13th January 1873
Reference Numbert18730113-149
VerdictGuilty > unknown

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149. JAMES SAUNDERS (46) , Stealing 933 yards of silk of the Great Northern Railway Company. Second Count—Receiving the same.

MR. COOPER conducted the Prosecution; and MESSRS. STRAIGHT and HUMPHREYS the Defence.

EDWARD HACK DALTOK . I am a member of the firm of Alfred Gilkes and Co., silk manufacturers, of 28, Stewart Street, Spitalfields—on 15th November last I was at White's Union Hotel, Glasgow—after selling what silk I did at Glasgow, I had twenty pieces left, and some remnants that were used as patterns—amongst them were three pieces that I could positively speak to, but I know them all from the numbers on the rollers—I packed them in a leather case secured by straps and a padlock, locked it, and sent the key home by post—I gave orders to the boots to take the case to the railway—I next saw it on my return to London at the end of the following week—the straps were then out, and the case empty—among the pieces I had packed were three numbered 10, 244, 10, 226, and 12, 297—it is my custom to mark the length on the end of the piece in pencil—these (produced) are the three pieces—they were manufactured for us, and these are some of our pieces of paper that were with them—the value of No. 10, 226 is about 5s. a yard, and the others about 3s. 9d/.—these are the rollers on which the silk was rolled.

JOSEPH BENNETT . I am a plain-clothes constable in the employ of the Great Northern Railway—I go on duty at 9 o'clock at night—on 17th November last, I went on duty at 9 o'clock at the King's Cross goods yard, and remained there till 9 o'clock next morning—I saw there a Great Northern box truck, No. 9, 423, labelled "From Sidehill, Glasgow, to Royal Mint Street"—it was sealed on both sides—I last saw the seals safe at 10. 30 that night—it was at the end of the down goods shed—there were trucks from Batley standing on another line close by—in order to go to Royal Mint Street the trucks would have to go to the North London Junction and to Poplar.

CHARLES BELLAMY . I am checker at the Royal Mint Street Station of the Great Northern Railway—on 18th November last, I was on duty at that station, and received a box truck, 9, 423, from Glasgow to King's Cross—both the seals on the truck were broken off; one at each side; the tape was left on one side—I caused the truck to be opened and examined, and saw a lot of loose papers, those produced, I believe, likewise a piece of silk from one end of the truck to the other, curled and tumbled about anyhow—I went and fetched the clerk, and he gave orders to Day.

THOMAS DAY . I am a constable, in the employ of the Great Northern Railway at King's Cross—from information I received on 18th November, I went to the Royal Mint Street Station, and was there shown a truck from Glasgow, No. 9, 423—I examined it, and found a piece of cloth there similar to one that was missing from a Batley truck that had been in the Great Northern goods yard—I also found these eight pieces of paper and two wooden rollers with labels at the ends—I found in the truck this leather case lying open with the straps out—it contained nine pieces of silk, and some outside—I afterwards delivered that silk at Messrs. Gilkes' premises—I compared the piece of cloth with a bale in a van at

King's Cross which came from Batley, and they corresponded exactly—that bale had been broken open.

ELLEN HOBNBY . I am the wife of Joseph Hobney, of Slater Street, Bethnal Green, and am a weaveress in the employ of Messrs, Gilkes—this piece of silk No. 10, 226 is my weaving—I know my work.

ELIZA SHIPMAN . I am a weaveress, this piece of silk is my work; I know it by the edge.

JOHN CROOME (Detective Sergeant). On Sunday 22nd December, from information I received, I went to the prisoner's house, 58, Great Dover Street, about 4.30 in the evening, with Sergeants Dowdell and Bell—a female opened the door, and the prisoner was called—I told him we were detective officers, and that we had information that he had stolen the property in his house—he made no reply at the momentI said "I am referring to silk, umbrella silk"—he said "Tea, I have some silk"—I said "Where did you get it?'—he said "I bought it of a man," or "A man brought it here"—I said "What did you give for it?"—he said "I gave 18d. a yard for it"—I told him we should have to take possession of it—he then went up stairs and we followed—he went into the first floor front room, which was then being used by his wife as a bedroom—he said to his wife "The police have come after that silk, what shall we do?"—he was then crying very much; the place was in great confusion; his wife got out of bed—we then went up stairs in search of the silk; being dark he was asked for a light, and while the house was being searched by Bell and myself, Dowdell took charge of him—Bell called out to me "Here is the silk"—I heard the prisoner say to Dowdell, "There it 140 yards; I gave 8l. for it"—he afterwards said it was a little over 10l.—I told him unless he could give us a more satisfactory account we should have to charge him—I then said "Our information also refers to a quantity of other stolen property; we must search your stable"—we then proceeded to the stable, which was in Trinity Place, about half a mile from the house—we could not gain admittance—he said "This is where I bought the silk; the man had it under his arm"—I said "What man, who is he?"—he said "I think his name is Clark"—I said "Where does he live?"—he said "I don't know"—I asked who Clark was—he said "He is in the waste paper line; I have done business with him in the Strand"—he said the silk was bought about a fortnight or three weeks ago—he was then taken to the station and charged—I have measured the silk—there is 151 yards 26 inches—it is in four pieces—a short length has been cut off.

Cross-examined. The premises at 58, Dover Street, consists of a dwelling-house over a shop—I don't know that the prisoner at one time carried on business in the shop as a coal-dealer and green-grocer—I have been informed so—it is new let to somebody else, and he lives in the upper part of the house—his wife was in bed in the first floor room—he said "I beg of you to be quiet, as my wife hat just been confined"—I did not hear him ask his wife where the silk was—the room where it was found was on the second floor—I was not present when it was actually found—I went up to Bell, just as he got possession of it—I did not see a cart and light van at the stable then—I did on a previous visit to the yard—the van had the prisoner's name and address on it—I did not go into the stable—when we found it locked he offered to break it open for us.

JOHN DOWDILL (Detective Sergeant). I took charge of the prisoner while the others went up stairs—I asked him where the silk was—he said he

really did not know—he asked his wife, and lie asked another person—he appeared in great confusion—he did not appear to know where it was—I took him into the first floor back-room, a sitting-room—I heard Bell say the silk was found; after that I asked the prisoner who the man was that he bought the silk of—he said at first he did not know—I asked what his name was, where he lived—he said he did not know—he afterwards said he believed his name was Clark, and he had done business with him before in the Strand—he said "I gave him 18d. a yard for it, about 140 yards"—I said "But this silk has been at your stable"—he said "Yes, a man brought it to me while I was at the stable, under his arm"—I asked him if he had any receipt—he said "No, but if I was let out I could find the man I bought it of in two or three days"—he said he paid 1s. 6d. a yard for it, about 8l. altogether, and afterwards he said it was 10l. odd.

Cross-examined. He was very much agitated, and so was his wife—when he went into her room he asked where the silk was, and he also asked another female.

ROBERT BELL (Detective Sergeant M). I accompanied the other sergeants—I found this silk in a cupboard in the second floor front room—there were three beds in the room and one, a boy's bed, lay against the cupboard; I pulled it on one side, opened the door, and found the silk—I have known the prisoner for fourteen or sixteen years—he formerly kept a greengrocer's shop—it is now turned into a china warehouse—lately I have seen him with a cart and a four-wheeled van and waste-paper bags—whether he was in that profession I don't know.

Cross-examined. He has not been living in the same place all the time I have known him; he was in Union Street, and then in the Dover Road—I have known him, but never spoke to him—I saw the van at the stable that I have seen him driving about—it had his name and address on it; and there was a horse there—the stables ire rented by a man named German, he rents only one stable.

Several witnesses deputed to the prisoner's good character, but Sergeant Smith City Detective, stated that he had seen him in company with a person named Cassabiancaf who had been twice convicted at this Court. GUILTY .— Eighteen Months' Imprisonment.

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