3rd March 1879
Reference Numbert18790303-355
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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355. JUSTIN DE TRACY (37) , Obtaining by false pretences from William Shetland 20l., with intent to defraud.

MR. DANIEL Prosecuted; MR. GILL Defended.

WILLIAM SHETLAND . My right name is Chatelaine—I am French, and

am a political refugee—I carry on business at 3, Cross Lane, St. Dunstan's Hill, under the style of Shetland and Co.—in December last Mr. Ginies introduced me to the defendant at his office, 17, Tower Hill, in reference to the sale of some wine at 8s. 6d. per dozen; I had a sample, and about 23rd or 24th December I agreed to buy 200 cases of it at that price, and to give Mr. Tracy 20l. cash and the balance in two months—I took the 20l. a few days afterwards to him—he put it in his pocket, and was about to give me a delivery order, when I said "It is not right; I should prefer your giving me the warrants"—he said "No, it is not the custom; I give no warrants"—I said "No, I prefer a warrant"—I then insisted on a warrant, but he refused, and I accepted a delivery order—he said he had no time to accept a bill then, but would to-morrow, and would then give the invoice—I thought the delivery order was equivalent to a warrant—this is it (produced)—I saw him write it—I immediately went to the British and Foreign Wharf, Lower East Smithfield, named in the warrant—I gave the delivery order to a clerk there to make a transfer of the wine to me—he searched in a large book for some minutes, and then returned the order to me, and said "It is a dummy delivery order"—I did not understand what dummy meant, and said "You write on the delivery order what you said to me"—he wrote on it "Particulars incorrect"—I was unable to obtain the delivery of the wine, and have never had it—I returned to the defendant's office, and saw his brother-in-law, who said that Mr. Tracy was not in—I went the next day at 11 o'clock, and his brother-in-law said that he was not in—I went again at 3 o'clock, and a clerk told me Mr. Tracy was not in—I made objection, and he said "If you will not go out I will eject you"—I left, and went to my solicitor next day—I had asked the defendant for the wine or my 20l. back.

Cross-examined. I have passed by the name of Shetland for 18 months, and have been in England three years—I have not seen Ginies for two months—I do not know that he left London suddenly—I knew him for three months before last December—he dealt in coal—last winter I bought vine in large quantities—I deal in fish also in Billingsgate Market—I am a commission agent—I went with Ginies the first time he went to see the defendant—I do not know that Ginies bought some wine of the defendant—I am not sure that the writing on this cheque (produced) is Ginies's—I have seen letters from Ginies—these letters (produced) are not in the same writing—I have known Craig and Co. for 12 years—I do not know that Ginies had given the defendant a cheque for some wine and that it had been dishonoured. A letter from De Ginies, of Lower Thames Street, to the Defendant, dated 2nd January, 1879, was here put in, acknowledging the receipt of invoice: also the following letter addressed to De Tracy and Koch: "January 3rd, 1879. My letter under date 2nd instant being unanswered, I come to confirm it by this post. First, I claim from you my cheque, as you are paid in full. Second, I only owe you but 12l. 12s. 6d. for the two casks of wine you sold me, and not 17 cases that you put to the debit of my account; and that I did not buy from you, and that you have never delivered to me. You will have to reimburse me on the 20l. that I have paid you for the 200 cases of wine; for which you gave me a bad delivery order; but if you did not mean to do it, it would have been much better to say so than to put difficulties in the way (delivery order not stamped). Believe me, although you have declared before witnesses that I was a swindler and a

thief, give me back what you owe me by return of post and have done with it, it will be better for you. You must give me back 7l. 7s. 6d. and my cheque, and we shall be quits. I expect it by return of post. Yours, &c. L. G. De Ginies. P.S.—I keep copy of this.") I told Ginies he was in conspiracy with Tracy, and that the delivery order was no good; he said "Oh, it is not my fault, it is the fault of De Tracy"—the Magistrate at Thames Street Police-court, on the 13th January, dismissed the case—Ginies gave me the sampling order in the defendant's office—I went with him to the defendant's office after that—I have perhaps seen this writing two or three times. (Read: "L. G. De Ginies, 77, Lower Thames Street, to Messrs. De Tracey and Koch. I cannot see you to-night at 4 o'clock; tomorrow between 1 and 2 o'clock. Please to wait for me. I shall take delivery of the 300 casks, and I shall pay you 20l. cash. L. G. De Ginies.") This is a copy of the invoice I saw (produced).

Re-examined. I do not owe a farthing in London—I have received some large commissions from the defendant—there was no partnership or association between him and me in reference to buying the 200 cases of wine.

RICHARD CHARLES DERBT . I am one of the principal bookkeepers at the British and Foreign Steam Wharf—on 30th December Mr. Shetland brought in this delivery order and wanted the goods put on warrant—he was told that the particulars were incorrect—I did not see him at the time—there were 200 cases lying at the wharf in the defendant's name—they were entered on 16th October, 1878—this is one pass, and 22nd October is another pass—the defendant's order to put on warrant was issued on 3rd December, 1878 (produced)—it was not deliverable to the delivery order unless the warrants had been lodged—the warrants are not in our possession—the wine is still in our place, and was sold to a Mr. Danton some time after this case was heard at the police-court.

Cross-examined. I had plenty of other wine and brandies standing there—I know the defendant as a respectable man in a large way of business as a wine merchant.

MR. GILL submitted that there was no case to go the Jury, in which the COURT concurred, and held that it was merely a commercial dispute as to the wine, which was not to be delivered probably until something else was done.

NOT GUILTY . ( The Prosecutor was ordered to pay the costs of the Defence. )

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