11th September 1882
Reference Numbert18820911-855
VerdictsGuilty > pleaded guilty; Not Guilty > unknown
SentencesImprisonment > hard labour

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855. WILLIAM KNIGHT (33) [See Third Court Wednesday], Stealing two compass stands, the goods of John Lilley, his master, and GEORGE THOMAS (68) , Receiving. KNIGHT PLEADED GUILTY .

MR. WILMOT Prosecuted; MR. GEOGHEGAN defended Thomas.

WILLIAM HARDING (City Detective). On 9th August I was watching Mr. Lilley's premises at 9, Lombard Street—he is a nautical instrument maker—I saw Knight leave the premises about 7 p. m.—I watched him for half an hour round the railway station in Fenchuch Street and about there—at 7.30 he returned to the warehouse, went in for a few minutes, and came out carrying these four compass bands—the people had left—I stopped him and told him I was a police-officer—I took him to the station—after he was charged he gave me certain information, in consequence of which I went to Thomas's house, in Sydney Street, Mile End, with another detective at 9 o'clock—Thomas is a marine store dealer—I said, "Mr. Thomas, we are police-officer a, I want to ask you a few questions. Have you lately bought any large quantity of old brass?"—he said, "No, I have not, I have bought a little broken brass, for which I paid 3 1/2 d.a lb. "—I said, "Will you let me see it, please?"—he said, "I have no brass here now"—I said, "Would you allow me to look over your shop?"—he said, "Yes, not to-night. I have no light, and I am not allowed to have a light by the insurance people; come in the morning, and then you shall search the place"—I said, "I had better do it now"—I sent for a light and got a candle and some matches, and we commenced to search the place—I pulled down a large pile of bundles of rags and rubbish from the back part of the shop; it was 12 feet high from the floor; under all this I found these two compass stands—I said to Thomas, "These are what I am looking for"—he said, "Oh, I re-member, I bought them of a seedy-looking man some time ago "—I said, "What did you pay for them?"—he said, "At the rate of 3 1/2 d. a lb. "—I said, "What did they weigh, and what was the amount that you paid for the whole lot?"—he said, "I do not know"—I said, "Don't you keep a register of the metals you buy?"—he said, "I have a book, but it is at home at my private house, and I do not think I have entered those"—I said, "Do you know a man named Knight?"—he said, "No "—I said, "A man, named Knight, I have in custody in the City for stealing brass; he will be charged with stealing these, and I shall charge you myself with receiving them well knowing they were stolen"—he said, "Very well"—on the way to the station he said, "I was not present when they were brought in; I suppose I am responsible for their being there?"—I took him to the Seething Lane Police-station—I had Knight brought out and he repeated the statement he made to me previously—I shewed him the two stands and he said, "They are the two I took to Mr. Thomas's last Saturday, for which he paid me 12s."—Thomas made no reply—they were both charged with stealing and receiving.

Cross-examined. Thomas's shop is very small, and there is scarcely room to move—there is no gas in the shop—there was nothing to lead me to believe he was a habitual receiver—it is about a quarter of a mile from the Thames Police-court—he has lived there fourteen years—he has borne a good character—I understood that 3 1/2 d. per lb. was as for old brass—I have heard Knight has been a ship's cook—at the police-court Knight said Thomas was innocent.

JOHN LILLEY . I am a nautical instrument maker, of. 9, Lombard

Street—Knight was my porter when he was apprehended—he had been with me since February—these compass stands are my property—they are worth about 7l.—Knight had no authority to dispose of them.

Cross-examined. There is iron as well as brass in the stands—the iron in them is worthless, except for the object for which it is made, or as old metal—if I sold the stands to a captain I should soil for 7l.; if they were new I should ask 2l. more.

Knight's Statement before the Magistrate. "Mr. Thomas is quite innocent. "

Witnesses for Thomas. WILLIAM KNIGHT (The Prisoner).I have pleaded guilty to this indictment—I have been cook on a steamer—on 9th August I went to Mr. Thomas's shop with a van—I told Mr. Thomas I bought the stands off a storekeeper on board a ship—he paid me 1l.3s. for the two stands. 3 1/2 d. a pound for the brass—I said at the police-court Thomas was quite innocent.

Cross-examined. I had known Thomas by sight for about a couple of months, not by name—I was never in his shop before I sold the stands—I did not say at the police-station "Those are the compasses, you gave me 12s. for them"—I was very much confused at the time—if the detective says so it is false—I do not know what I was going to do with the bands that I have pleaded guilty to stealing—I was under the influence of drink; drink has done it, and nothing else.

WILLIAM HARDING (Re-examined). Knight said Thomas gave him 12s.—Thomas made no remark as to the price.

Cross-examined. I made no note—I know nothing about the orders at Scotland Yard—Knight was confused and excited—Thomas was confused—that is not unusual in an innocent man.

RICHARD THORNE . I am a zinc worker, and live in Sydney Street—I saw a man two years ago take a bag out of a van and go into Thomas's place and come out again with it—I went in and said, "How is it you did no business?"—he said he did not think it was right. Thomas received an excellent character.

THOMAS— NOT GUILIY. KNIGHT—GUILTY. Fifteen Months' Hard Labour.

[For cases tried in the Old Court on Friday, see Kent and Surrey cases. ]

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