21st November 1881
Reference Numbert18811121-56
VerdictGuilty > unknown

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56. WALTER SELWYN (26) , Stealing a New Zealand bond for 1,000l., and two other bonds for 200l. each, of Richard Chichester. Second count, receiving the same. (See Seventh Session, page 121.)


REV. RICHARD CHICHESTER . I am rector of Drew Steighton in Devonshire—on 9th July, 1880, my house was broken into—amongst other things that were stolen was a New Zealand Government bond for 1,000l., No. 1713, and two other New Zealand bonds for 200l. each, numbered 2451 and 2452—the bonds were afterwards produced before the Magistrate.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. Some Portuguese bonds were also stolen—they have been lost sight of—I am not aware whether they have been negotiated—I did not send a friend of mine to visit you in Millbank Prison; he went on his own responsibility—I don't know what he said to you—I believe the bonds were sold abroad—I know nothing about them—I supplied the police with the numbers—all possible inquiries have been made to trace the source from whence the bonds came, but without success as far as my being able to recover them—they were three bonds of 200l. each.

FRANCIS EDWARD DAVIS . I am a surgeon and physician of 1, York

Street, London Eoad—I knew the prisoner for some time by the name of Walter Tait—in October last he brought me a New Zealand bond for 1,000l.—I don't remember the number of it—it was produced before the Magistrate—he wanted to borrow 200l. upon it, and asked me to lend it him—he had borrowed money of me before—I lent him the 200l. on it, and he gave me an I 0. U for the sum, leaving the bond with me—in the early part of December last year I saw him again, and asked him to repay the loan—he said it was not convenient for him to do so, but he asked me to give him a letter of introduction to my bankers, the National Provincial Bank—he said he would open an account there, and get a further advance upon the bond, and repay me out of it—I gave him that introduction, and he gave my name as a reference—the manager wrote to me for a reference, and I answered the letter, and the prisoner opened an account there—he did not get the advance—he told me they did not care about the security—I then gave him a reference to the Imperial Bank—this (produced) is the letter I wrote to the manager, and the prisoner opened an account there—he called on me and said that he told the manager I had lent him 500l., instead of 200l., and I think he gave as a reason, that 200l. seemed rather small on such a large security—he handed me a cheque for 500l., signed by himself, payable on the delivery of the bond, which I was to present to the bank the following day—I did so, handed the clerk the bond for 1,000l., and he handed me 500l. for the cheque—next day the prisoner called on me, and I handed him 300l., the difference between the 200l. that was due to me and the 500l.—he paid me interest at the rate of 6 per cent.—when he originally asked me for the loan on the bond he did not tell me where the bond came from—he did not say anything about it—he said when he applied for the loan that the bond was settled on his wife, and that was the reason why he could not sell it, although he could get an advance on it.

Cross-examined. I have always known you as Walter Tait—Mr. McNalty also knew you by that name—I have recently heard that he knew you as Walter Selwyn for years—I have known you between two and three years, that I swear—McNalty is not an accomplice of mine in anything—the bond was never in my hands before it was in yours—I got the majority of the 200l. which I lent you, from yourself, in payment of another loan—I had lent you money upon the security of a Queensland bond—I cannot give you the number of it—I did not take the numbers of any of the bonds I have lent you money on—I never applied for a bill of sale on my goods, and never asked the manager of the Provincial Bank for a small loan on my house in York Street—I never kept a large balance at my bankers—more than 10l. or 15l. certainly—50l.—since this case came up I have heard that a charge of unlawful possession was made against you last summer—I did not know that McNalty was your bail on that charge—I did not go to Newgate to visit you with McNalty; I went with him to Newgate when he said he was going, but I went away—I read this case in the papers at the time, but I did not connect you with it—the house in York Street is jointly in my name and McNalty's—the furniture is not my own—I have not got much more interest in it than the red lamp over the door—I certainly deny that you got the 1,000l. bond from me; I never saw it till I got it from you—I did not see McNalty cut off any of the coupons; I never saw him with the bond in his possession, or any coupon—I went to the manager of the

London and County Bank at Brixton towards the end of December, or beginning of January, and, instigated by you, I told him that you had a loan from me on some bounds—I told him X did not think I had a loan of 1,200l. on some bonds, but I told him that I wanted a loan of 1,200l.; I told the manager that I had borrowed either 700l. or 800l. on a 1,600l. bond, and that I wished him to take it over, but he declined; I did this very much against my wish in order to benefit you—I have not concealed anything; I gave in a written statement in which I mentioned that fact as well as everything else—I said nothing about it at the police-court because I was not asked—I understand that you charge me with receiving the 1,000l. bond knowing it to be stolen, and that McNalty was my accomplice, and I understand also that you have been trying to weave a coil round me in order to throw the blame on me and McNalty—I remember a clerk of the Imperial Bank calling at York Street after these bonds were found to be stolen; I think I saw him, not there but at Elgin Gardens—I did not on 29th January give McNalty a coupon dated October, nor did he take two out of his pocket and put them in the fire—I opened a banking account in January; I had intended to do so for a long time; I have had an account at the National Provincial in Newcastle, and also with the Yorkshire Banking Company at York—I will not swear that the manager of the London and County Bank did not ask me for the numbers of the bonds; he may have done so, I cannot remember—I did not apply last year to the National Provincial for a loan on York Street; I applied some years ago.

Re-examined. I was communicated with in reference to this case, and I wrote out a statement of my connection with the prisoner, and all I knew about these bonds; in that statement I mentioned about the London and County Bank—I answered all the questions that were put to me at Guildhall—this (produced) is the written statement I made at the time.

JOHN WHITTER SMITH . I was formerly manager of the Westminster branch of the Imperial Bank—about the end of November last year the prisoner called on me; at that time he had opened an account, and we had received references to Mr. Davis and Mr. McNalty—he said he had a New Zealand bond for 1,000l., and that a friend of his, Mr. Davis, had lent him 500l. on it; that he wished to sell that bond, and would be glad if I would make a fresh advance on it; it was arranged that 800l. should be advanced on the bond—I knew the prisoner as Walter Tait, 9, Victoria Chambers, Westminster—the 1,000l. bond was afterwards brought to the cashier of the bank; the 600l. was first paid to Dr. Davis—this (produced) is the prisoner's pass book—his account was opened on 27th November with a deposit in cash of 50l., and on the 2nd Dec. there appears loan 800l., and on the other side Davis 500l.—afterwards the prisoner deposited at the bank two 200l. bonds, on 10th January, for a loan of 300l., and we advanced a further 100l. On the 13th—I remember receiving a letter from the prisoner, but I do not recollect the date; it was lent to the Treasury at the time of the prosecution, and we have not seen it since; we were requested in that letter not to collect the coupons as he was going to redeem the bonds afterwards; it was signed in the usual way, "Walter Tait"—towards the middle or end of January we wrote to his address, Victoria Chambers, and got no reply—all the boards were produced before the Magistrate.

Cross-examined. You seemed to be in good circumstances—I should not have lent you money had it not been for the references; had I known that all Davis had at Elgin Gardens was a red lamp I should not have lent the money.

ROBERT HILLYARD BIRD . I am a receiving cashier at the Westminster branch of the Imperial Bank—on 9th January, 1881, the prisoner called at the bank, and in the absence of the manager I saw him; he said he called in reference to an advance of 350l., which he required on two bonds, Nos. 2451, 2452—I told him the manager was out, but that I would submit the proposal to him—I asked him about the value of the security—he said he would place the bonds in my hands—I said the security was very good, but had he no other, if it should not be considered sufficient?—he said he had other security in the country which he could bring up, but he afterwards consented to take 300l.—at that time he had an account at the bank—he subsequently called and asked if I was satisfied with the security, and I told him I was satisfied, and that 300l. had been placed to his credit, and the bonds were left at the bank.

JAMES EDWARD KING . I am secretary to the Victoria Chambers Company, Limited—about the 10th or 11th November last year the prisoner called, and gave the name of Walter Tait—he said he was desirous of taking an office, and wrote this letter, giving a reference to Mr. H. McNalty, York Street—he never took possession—he called and asked me to let him have letters addressed there, and letters were addressed there—I never heard any more of him.

Cross-examined. Rent would have been due if you had been in possession; but I never considered the question, and never sent you notice to pay rent, because you did not have the key.

EDWARD HANCOCK (City Detective Officer). I took the prisoner in custody on another charge; I said "You will be charged with unlawful possession of French Eentes; and there is a warrant against you for obtaining money by false pretences"—he said "No"—I said "There is another charge against you for being concerned in a burglary committed at a rectory in Devonshire in November last"—he said "You are wrong, I can prove where I was at that time"—I said "Among other things stolen at that time was a New Zealand bond for 1,000l., and two for 200l. and I know that you have deposited them in the name of Tait at the Westminster branch of the Imperial Bank"—he said "Were they stolen? McNalty and I have both been deceived; we thought the things were nobbled in Paris"—he had refused his address—I said "You had better give your address; it will come better from you than me"—he said "I have no address"—I don't think there was any other conversation; I went with the prisoner to the police-station.

Cross-examined. To the best of my recollection I used the word by before the Magistrate—I decline to say who told me that you had negotiated the bonds.

The prisoner called

WILLIAM EDWIN WHITE . I am manager of the London and County Bank at Brixton—I saw the prisoner in May last, when he was convicted of forgery at this Court—I was not called as a witness then—I was subpcenaed by the prisoner's solicitor—I know Francis Edward Davis as a customer at the bank—I have two letters of his which I produce—on 3rd January Davis applied to me for a loan on some New Zealand bonds I

did not tell him that before advancing the money I should like to know the numbers of the bonds; I don't think the numbers were ever brought in question—the loan he asked for was 1,200l. at first—I agreed to advance him the money if he deposited the bonds with me—I think he said he had borrowed 1,000l. from a friend; I don't think he named the friend—he afterwards wrote saying he should not require the loan—I have not advanced money to him on Portuguese or other bonds—I have known him since January last—I was a little surprised at his declining the loan; I thought he had made arrangements elsewhere—I do not know McNalty—I have never seen him with Davis to my knowledge.

JOHN MOYSEY . I am the manager of the London Trading Bank—I have never seen you before to my knowledge—I had not the least idea when I was subpoenaed what evidence I was to give—I do not know Henry McNalty—I never saw him or heard of him till I came into this Court—I never had a letter from him—there is no sub manager at our bank; it is not large enough.

The prisoner, in a very long defence, repeated that he had received the bonds from the witness Davis, and that he did not know they had been stolen till 29th January; that Dan's and McNalty were the really guilty parties, and that they had made him their dupe; he also urged that this prosecution was merely pre ceeded with for an indirect purpose, and not for punishment, as he teas already under sentence of five years' penal servitude, and as he was not likely io have any additional sentence he could have no motive in stating anything but the truth.

GUILTY of receiving. He also PLEADED GUILTY to the previous conviction, as on his formertrial. Six Days Imprisonment.

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