THOMAS REED.
12th September 1881
Reference Numbert18810912-769
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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769. THOMAS REED, Unlawfully obtaining goods on credit within four months of his liquidation.

MESSRS. POLAND and JONES Prosecuted; MR. MONTAGU WILLIAMS Defended.

JAMES CHARLES ROEL CRUSE . I am clerk to Mr. Chilcotts, Registrar of the County Court, Truro—I produce the proceedings in the liquidation of Thomas Reed, of Truro, filed 12th March—it was his own petition,

signed "Thomas Reed"—the first meeting was held on 5th April—the total assets are 6,974l. 12s. 3d., and the total liabilities 11,991l. 5s., exclusive of securities held by secured creditors—the order to prosecute, dated 22nd June, 1881, is made by Mr. Viney, one of the Committee of Inspection—Mr. Chirgwin was appointed trustee at the first meeting.

Cross-examined. I came from Truro to attend this trial—Mr. Chirgwin is a Truro man—I have not seen him here.

ARTHUR CLARK . I am secretary to Messrs. Dewar, Son, and Sons, Limited, of 12, Wood Street, Cheapside, linen manufacturers and Manchester warehousemen—the defendant has been their customer certainly 10 years—on 4th February he owed the firm about 200l.—I held his acceptance, which was due on 4th February, for 64l. 9s. 4d.—I received from him a letter of 3rd February, enclosing a cheque dated 9th February for 34l. 9s. 4d., and his acceptance for 35l. 3s. 6d.—the bill was not met, and a cheque was substituted for it—I received a letter on 8th February requesting us to hold the cheque for a week, and afterwards the letter of the 12th saying that they hoped to make up the difference, and then a letter of the 17th saying that he was not able to meet the cheque—I wrote on 21st February saying that he must remit, and he said on the 22nd that he would call about it—the cheque was paid into our bankers and dishonoured—on 28th February the defendant called at our warehouse—Mr. Colmer, a managing director, was present—the defendant was asked how it was he had not met his cheque—he attributed it to the bad weather—he stated that he was perfectly solvent, and produced this slip of paper, ready written, with a memorandum of figures—it shows 11,724l. assets and 6,470l. liabilities, leaving a balance of 5,254l. assets—Mr. Colmer and I looked at it, and suggested that it should be put into proper form as a balance-sheet—he consented—he was then asked if that was all he owed, and if he would sign it—he signed it—he then asked if he could have some goods, and he went to the warehouse and purchased goods to the amount of 36l. 16s. 8d.—they were supplied on credit—he asked me to hold over a cheque for 34l. 9s. 4d., which we agreed to—I relied upon his statements, and in consequence of them allowed him to have these goods—I heard on 12th March that he had filed his petition—the firm are now creditors for 238l. 6s. 6d.

Cross-examined. Up to the year 1880 the defendant had a partner—the defendant would buy as much as 30l. or 40l. worth of goods at a time, and about 500l. worth a year—we always had the highest opinion of him as a customer—he had always met his liabilities.

JOSEPH DOWNTON . I am in Messrs. Dewar's employment—on 28th February Reed came to my department and selected goods to the amount of 38l. 18s. 7d.

WILLIAM HENRY RANDALL . I am assistant manager in the entering room of Messrs. Dewar—on 28th February I entered a parcel of drapery goods to T. Reed, of Truro—they were made up by the porters and sent off in due course from the packing-room.

THOMAS COOPER . I am manager of the counting-house department of Caldecott, Sons, and Co., Cheapside—Mr. Andrew Caldecott has one partner—I have known Reed some years as a draper, of Truro—on 28th February he owed our firm 285l. for goods supplied—his acceptance came due on 4th March for 77l. 1s.—on 28th February he "called and stated that he should not be able to meet it, and asked us to renew it

in two amounts, 40l. 11s. to 10th May, and 37l. 12s. 3d. to 20th May—we agreed to that—I spoke to the accountant about the account—I told Reed the account was conducted so unsatisfactory that we would rather close it—he put a statement before me showing a surplus of over 5,000l., and represented that was his surplus at that time—in consequence of that I agreed to renew the bill—he wanted further goods, and I said I should have no objection to that, because of his having so large a surplus—he selected goods to the amount of 38l. 18s. 2d.—I supplied those goods, relying on his statements—I believed him to be a highly-respectable man—I received notice on 12th March that he had stopped payment.

Cross-examined. He was in partnership with a Mr. Parking and a Mr. Little—he had dealt with us for 15 years, or perhaps a little more—he had a good reputation in Truro—the amount of business he did with us was 250l. or 300l. a year.

AMES COWAN . I am assistant to Messrs. Caldecott—on 28th February I sold goods to Mr. Reed to the amount of 14l. odd—they were passed on in the usual way.

CHARLES SAMUEL HAYWARD . I am carman to Messrs. Davis; they have a contract with Messrs. Caldecott—on 1st March I received two bales of goods to be forwarded to Mr. Thomas Reed, of Truro.

WILLIAM ROBEY . I am clerk to Messrs. Ladbury and Viney, accountants, of Cheapside—I have investigated Mr. Reed's affairs—his liabilities were 11,991l. 5s., and his assets 6,891l. 2s. 8d., at the time of his stoppage on 12th March—this statement (produced) contains the details—it shows a deficiency of 5,100l. 2s. 4d.—I have seen the statement showing a surplus on 11th February of 5,255l.—I have ascertained that there was then a deficiency of 2,954l. 18s. 7d., allowing for all the book debts being good—the stock was worked back from what has been bought since, less the profit made—the claim of the bankers is stated to be 3,050l., whereas the balance would be 5,365l. 0s. 10d.—the cash creditors were stated to be 750l., whereas there were five cash creditors amounting to 2,272l. 13s. 10d., named J. James, J. Brewer, J. Hodges, Jane Reed 160l. 9s. 11d., and J. N. Reed 1,379l. 13s.—the trade creditors are put down as 2,670l.; the amount should be 3,774l. 14s. 10d.—these figures appear from the books Reed surrendered on his liquidation.

Cross-examined. The bank were the largest creditors—the amount is 5,300l.—James and Brewer are no relation to Brewer, the Reeds are sisters—I have not made a break in the account at 1st December to see if his liabilities were reduced to 1,044l. 11s. 7d. between 1st December and 12th March—I have made the account up to 8th February—I should have to go through the account to tell you that, or to tell you if he had paid into the bank 2,284l. 9s. 9d. between those dates—his partnership was dissolved on 1st December, 1880—I am not aware of any property or money having been improperly made away with—the books have been very improperly kept—the smaller books are in Reed's writing—I believe he has made considerable payments to other creditors—his partner retired with nothing.

Re-examined. This list of creditors shows that goods were supplied to Reed by warehousemen in other cities, and that his creditors at Truro would be the bankers and regular customers—besides the regular books of his business he had large private books, in which there are entries

which he appeared to have kept up to the time he stopped—the application for the order to prosecute was from 27 creditors—the other partner is liable, but he has no means.

The Prisoner received a good character.

NOT GUILTY .


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