1st March 1875
Reference Numbert18750301-228
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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228. GEORGE ROGERS (39) , Burglariously breaking and entering, the dwelling-house of William Thomas Hearn, with intent to steal.

MR. GRIFFITHS conducted the Prosecution.

JAMES EVANS (Policeman R 369). On 10th February, a little before 3 a.m I was on duty in Cambridge Terrace, Woolwich, and my attention was called to the coffee-room shutters of the Cambridge Arms, which I had seen safe an hour and a half previously—I lifted the window and the shutter and the wire blind fell into the room—I jumped in and shut the shutter behind me, turned my light on, and saw the prisoner standing "to attention" in a corner—I said "Is it a fair cotch"—he said "I can't tell"—I could not make any one hear—I took him to the station, gave him into the sergeant's charge, went back to the house, went up to Mr. Hearn's room, and kicked the bedstead till he turned over, and came down and searched the house—I then went back and searched the prisoner, and found on him a screw which he had taken from the wire blind, several matches, and a knife, which I do not think he could have opened the window with, though it had been opened with a knife—he said "I was hard up, and I had not time to get anything before you came round."

Prisoner. You never were in the room any more than you are at this moment—I went in for a drop of drink and fell off asleep.

WILLIAM THOMAS HEARN . I am landlord of the Cambridge Hotel, Woolwich—on 9th February I went to bed about 12.10, having; seen the potman fasten the coffee room securely and I fastened the parlour window—I was at the counter till 12.10, and no one could pass the house without my seeing them—when I went to bed the house was safe—I was aroused by a policeman between 3 and 4 o'clock and found that some chips had been cut from the bar window, and it had been opened, but the entrance had been effected through the coffee-room window—I cannot swear to this screw, but there was a screw there when I went to bed, which was not there afterwards.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. I do not know whether you would open the window when the door was open, all I know is that it was fastened when I went to bed.

BY THE JURY . I went to bed about 12.20—it was not 12.20 when I saw the potman close the house, it was 11.20.

JAMES BROOK . I am the potman—I fastened the windows and shutters at 11.5, but some customers were there and I went and sat in the room till 11.55—I then shut up and went into the coffee-room till the customers left and then closed the house—if anybody was in the room I should have seen them.

WILLIAM MCKEE (Policeman R 260). I was on duty on this night and was immediately opposite the Cambridge Arms—I saw the prisoner there—I am quite sure he is the man.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. I saw you there about 1 o'clock—I was seeing a person away by train—the train was due at 12.50, but it seldom arrives till 1 o'clock.

Prisoner's Defence. I had a drop of drink and went into the coffee-room, a nice fire was burning, but there was no light. My chum went to the bar to get some drink and I fell asleep; I bore a good character in the army; I have lost my discharge, but here is a letter (produced). I had free access to the house, and nothing was disturbed. I unfortunately fell asleep, having had some drink. I had been to the train to see a friend away who is in the Royal Artillery. The officer woke me up by scraping outside and by calling the porter, but he did not come inside.

JAMES EVANS (re-examined). I saw that both windows were fastened at 1.30—another constable goes to the grating and scrapes in the morning, and the porter brings him a warm bottle up.


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