THOMAS HILL, JOHN WEBB.
18th May 1885
Reference Numbert18850518-538
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown; Guilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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538. THOMAS HILL (40) and JOHN WEBB (62) were indicted (with JANE DAYUS , not in custody) for unlawfully conspiring to obtain 550l. by false pretences from the London and North-Western Railway Company, with intent to defraud.

MESSRS. GRAIN and METCALFE Prosecuted; MR. BESLEY appeared for Webb,

and MESSRS. MONTAGU WILLIAMS and GEOGHEGAN for Hill.

WILLIAM HENRY TUCKEY . I am parcels porter at Euston Station, in the service of the London and North-Western Railway Company—on 21st December, about 6 o'clock, I was on duty at the station booking parcels for the Scotch mail—a train goes out at 6.30—Hill came up to me at 6 o'clock and showed me a parcel, and said he wanted me to insure it for 550l.—he did not give me his name—it was an ordinary square parcel about the size of a small cigar box—I cannot tell whether I took it in my hand—I took it round to the clerk on duty, Mr. Whitewood; it passed out of my hands into his.

WALTER WHITEWOOD . I am parcels clerk at Euston Station, and was on duty on 21st December, 1883—I recollect the prisoner Hill being brought to my office by Tuckey—Hill had a parcel which he said he wanted me to insure for 550l.—I told him the price would be 33s.—he disputed the charge, saying he had brought a parcel previously and had not paid so much per hundred for it, having the same contents in it—after some discussion he paid it, and said he wanted it to go by the 6.30 mail train to Dublin—the length was about five or six inches—I weighed it, and it weighed under a pound—anything under a pound is put down as a pound—I entered it in this book, and he signed the name of "Thomas Hill"—I wrote the address, Wood's Hotel, Drummond Street—I handed it to another clerk, Waite.

Cross-examined. He must have mentioned the 6.30 train—I said before the Magistrate that he wanted it to go by the first train possible, and that I mentioned the 6.30—I am not sure that he mentioned the 6.30—that was the first train.

RICHARD WAITE . I am claims clerk at Euston Station—on December 21st, 1883, Whitewood brought me a parcel consigned to Webb, of Dublin, insured for 550l., with jewels inside—I took it to Brockway, one of the guards of the 6.30 train, and drew his particular attention to it.

ROBERT STANLEY AUGUSTUS BROCKWAY . I have been a guard on the North-Western about 32 years, and worked the 6.30 train out from Euston to Holy head on 21st December, 1883—before the train went out one of the clerks brought me an insured parcel addressed to Webb, Dublin—I signed for it and put it on the seat in the van, and when the train left put it in my locker and locked it up—the train stopped at Chester, and the parcel was safe locked up there when we left—as we were running into Holy head I unlocked the locker and took out the parcel, which was the only one I had for Dublin—I got out when the train stopped at 3 a.m. (the train was an hour late) with the parcel in my hand, and went towards the gangway of the steamer—in consequence of the crowd I came back to the van with the parcel, and put it on the seat—I got on the platform; a man spoke to me about a dog—I went a few yards from my van, got the dog out, then a lady spoke to me, and I was absent from my van from the time I put the parcel on the seat to the time I got back again, about two minutes—I saw the book with which I had covered the parcel, and thought the parcel was right—I went to the other end of the van, and assisted in getting one or two boxes out—soon after I looked for the parcel, it was gone—I communicated at once with the station-master and other officials there—we looked everywhere unsuccessfully for it.

Cross-examined by MR. WILLIAMS. A straw-coloured label was pasted on it as an insured packet, so that anybody who knew the custom of the Company would know by seeing the label on it it was an insured packet—there were a great many persons on the platform—the train was in about an hour before the boat started I think—my book could be seen from the platform, but I believe the parcel could not. (The witness before the Magistrate had said "It could not be reached from it, you could see it from the platform.") My impression is I said they could not see it; the book covered it up—I should say over 300 passengers got out of the train, and there would be sailors and men to carry the luggage on board—I

said "There was plenty of time while I was getting out the bag for anybody to take the parcel."

Cross-examined by MR. BESLEY. When the train runs in, people make for the gangway to get on board directly, and they clear off the platform directly—servants and others come to and fro to take the luggage off—the principal part of the passengers were walking towards the gangway when I went towards it—I carried the parcel in my hand, so that it could be seen by everybody—I stood a minute or two at the gangway to see if I could get on board; I could not, and when I came back very near all the passengers were at the gangway which leads off from the middle of the platform—I put the parcel underneath my book—it is correct what I said before the Magistrate that I never saw either of the prisoners in my life before to my knowledge.

CHARLES GEORGE TIMBS . I am a clerk in the affidavits department of the High Court of Justice—I produce this affidavit sworn in the action of Hill against the London and North-Western Railway Company by Thomas Hill.

EDWARD SUMNER . I am a solicitor and commissioner to administer oaths—this affidavit was sworn before me—I took no notice of the person who swore it; I do not think I saw him write his name.

ANNIE WEBB . I am the prisoner Webb's daughter—in the week preceding Christmas, 1883, I was and had been for some time engaged as dressmaker at 28, Wigmore Street, Cavendish Square—my father called on me there on the Wednesday or Thursday in the week before Christmas to see me about going home for the Christmas holidays—I had a younger sister at school at Balham, and it was arranged she and I should go home to Dublin on the Friday before Christmas by the 6.30 from Euston, and our father was to meet us at Chester—on Thursday, the 20th, I and my sister stopped at Wood's Hotel, Drummond Street, where we had been several times before with our father—we went by the 6.30; our father met us at Chester—I had known Hill about two or three years, or not quite so much, by that name—I had generally seen him in Dublin, at my father's house—about a fortnight before Christmas, 1883, I remember his calling on me in Wigmore Street—when I got to Holyhead I got out with my father and sister.

Cross-examined by MR. BESLEY. I was an under hand at the establishment of Goodrich and Inglis, Wigmore Street, and had been there 18 months or more—my sister was then between 13 and 14—there are six besides myself in our family—my father gave us the money to go home with—only I and my sister travelled to Chester—we went third class—at Chester my father came into the same carriage with me, and he was in my sight from that moment till the time of the vessel leaving Holy head—he was never out of my sight for one moment, and my little sister also—on board the boat, owing to the crowd of passengers, our tickets were taken for the saloon in place of third-class—I saw my father take the tickets, and moved from one part of the boat to the other with him—I think on 2nd April this year the prosecution asked me to be a witness against my father I was in Liverpool then, and I think Mr. Richards first saw me about it—I told him all I knew, and when I came to London Mr. Coppin and Mr. Penson met me and took my evidence—I think they were the only two—my father was in the habit of attending auction sales and purchasing and selling goods of that kind—I have seen the goods my father

has bought—I have seen from the invoices that rings and things with precious stones in them were things in which my father dealt, and loose stones of all descriptions—his dealing in that way has been going on for as long as I can remember, it is nothing new—I have known him going about to different places to buy and sell such articles as these to make a profit by it—I knew before that Hill did business with my father but not in what way—I knew of invoices coming over by post, and sometimes my father would manage to purchase at sales without any invoice at all—my father owns two or three houses at Birmingham.

Re-examined. I don't know if my father had to pay for the saloon tickets.

THOMAS HYDE . I am employed in the office of the superintendent of the London and North-Western Line—on 27th December, 1883, Hill was brought there, and I took him to Mr. Coppin's office, the superintendent of police—I was present at the interview between him and Mr. Coppin—on 21st January, 1884, Hill came again about the lost parcel, and produced three pieces of paper, which I took copies of in his presence—this is the copy I made, they profess to be receipts for goods purchased from Tapiey, and amounting altogether to over 600—I handed the originals back to Hill—he took them—he called over the originals to me, and I checked the copy—it is correct—three or four days afterwards, on 25th, Hill came again, and I took him to Mr. Mason, the company's solicitor—I produced to Mr. Mason, in Hill's presence, this copy—a conversation took place between Hill and Mason with reference to the items—these red marks were then made by Mr. Mason, who then took down another list from Hill's mouth; that is attached.

Cross-examined by MR. WILLIAMS. These red-ink marks were all made by Mr. Mason, stating that some things were and that some were not in the parcel.

ELIJAH COPPIN (Superintendent, London and North-Western Railway Police). I heard of the loss of this parcel on 22nd December, 1883, and received instructions to investigate the matter, and I had three interviews with Hill on 27th and 29th December and 1st January—on the 27th December he was brought into my office at Euston—I said "You are Mr. Hill, I believe"—he said "Yes"—I said "You sent a parcel to Webb of Dublin on the 21st of this month insured for 550l."—he said "Yes"—I said "This is the 27th, and we have had no complaint from you"—he said "I found a letter at Wood's Hotel stating it had not been delivered"—I said "Who is Mr. Webb?"—he said "He resides at 134, Lower Gloucester Street, Dublin; I have known him some time; we have carried on business in the jewellery and hardware"—I said "Where are you living?"—he said "No. 12, St. Ann's Place, Brixton Road"—I said "I find you stayed at Wood's Hotel on the night of the 20th"—he said "Yes"—I said "It is strange that you should have stayed there, seeing that you have a wife in lodgings at Brixton"—he said "I don't know how that happened"—I said "This is a very important matter, and I want you to give me all the assistance you can; I presume you have a statement of the contents of the parcel?"—he said "No, I have not; I don't keep any books, but I dare say I can get you a statement"—he left my office—about 10 or 15 minutes afterwards I saw him come out of Wood's Hotel—he was called up into Inspector Pearson's office, which is immediately opposite Wood's Hotel—he there handed me

this list—the ink was quite wet at the time. (This included rings and various articles of jewellery to the amount of 561l.) I said "This is not what I really require; I want a thorough description of the whole contents, in order that it may be properly circulated among the pawnbrokers"—he said "I will endeavour to get you some further information, and will see you again"—he came on the 29th, and brought with him this list. (This was a list of rings with their descriptions.) I said "This is all very well so far as it goes, but it does not give the information that I require; I have received instructions from the Company to have bills printed offering a reward, and I shall require the private marks on the inside of the rings"—he said "There are no private marks"—Mr. Pearson made some observation as to the rings, and I said "Here are some rings of very great value, and they would certainly bear the private marks of the makers"—he said "I had them specially made without marks"—Mr. Pearson said "Oh, it is nonsense; rings of that sort would have the private marks of the maker"—I asked him two or three times over, but could get no further particulars from him—I said "Have you the invoices with you?"—he said "No; but I dare say I can produce them at the proper time"—I said "Well, you will know where you got the goods from?"—he said "Well, some are what I have had by me for some time, but the bulk of it is new; it is made in Birmingham and Clerkenwell"—I said "Will you give me the names of the manufacturers of it?"—he said "No, I don't see why I should"—I said "What were you going to do with the goods, as Dublin is the last place in the world to dispose of such goods as these?"—he said "Webb was going to put them up at auction sales, then we get a respectable man in the trade to bid for them; the public are thus led to believe they are very valuable, and we get more than they are worth, but the game has been played out there now, and I have returned to England"—he had said that he had lived at 3, Hanken Street, Dublin, prior to removing to St. Ann's Place—I said "It is very important you should tell me whether any one was present when you packed the jewellery that you were sending off, as thieves may have followed and stolen it in transit"—he said "That cannot be, as no one knew I had the goods; my wife may have been about the room at the time I packed them, but she did not see me do it; I don't leave my goods about;" and he opened his waistcoat and pointed to a small pocket inside and said "That is where I keep them"—he said they were in a cigar box when he sent them from Euston—I saw him again on 1st June, but we could elicit nothing further—after that I received instructions to watch Hill, and gave my subordinates, Pearson and others, instructions to do so, and I also gave instructions for Webb to be seen in Dublin—I was present in the High Court on 25th and 26th February, 1885, when the case of Hill v. the London and North-Western Railway Company was in the list—I saw nothing of Hill on either day, and they searched all the neighbourhood and in the courts and could not find any traces of him on either day—I know Tatley by name only—I have been to the address given on the list, 42, Coborn Road, Bow, since the action was commenced—I have not seen Hill there—I have not been able to find Mr. Tapley there or any trace of him, though I made every possible search and inquiry at his address and other places for him—the last trace we could find was the day after warrants were applied for for the prisoners' apprehension—when the action was called on judgment was taken for the

company—Webb was brought up as a witness—after the case was over on 26th application was made at Bow Street before Sir James Ingham for warrants against Hill and Webb and a woman, Jane Dayus, for whom every search has been made, but who has not been found—on 14th March I received a telegram and went to Hackney Police-station, where I saw Hill in custody—I said "Good morning, Hill"—he said "My name is not Hill, my name is Wood"—I said "You remember me?"—after a moment or so he said "Yes, of course I do"—I got into a cab with him—I said "Do you know that man Lowe standing outside there?" pointing to a man standing outside—he said "No, I never saw him before in my life"—I said "Why you know him very well"—he said "Yes"—he then made use of bad language—in the cab he said "How many are you going to prosecute?"—I said "Two or three"—he said "Who are they?"—I said "I will tell you if you name them"—he said "Is he one of them that I said I had some of the stuff from?" I said "You mean Tapley; no, at this moment he is not in custody; I saw Webb the other day"—he said "Where?"—I said "We brought him up as a witness the other day in your case against the Company"—he said "He cannot say anything about it; he can only say he did not receive the parcel; you admit you had it and lost it"—I said "Yes, and you had it twice"—he made no answer—I said "Webb was also staying at the hotel about the time this parcel was sent off"—he said "I think it was a little before that"—I said "He also used to stay at Euston Grove?"—he said "Yes, sometimes"—that is close to Drummond Street—I think that is all the conversation—that is all I remember of it.

Cross-examined by MR. WILLIAMS. I have been a detective for some years—I have heard it is a common custom with dealers in diamonds and precious stones to have pockets inside the waistcoat for the purpose of carrying the stones—I don't know it—I made some notes of the conversations; Pearson made notes—I said before the Magistrate that he said, "How many are you going to prosecute?" not "How many more?"—that is quite correct—he did not say that he understood Tapley had had some goods on approbation and had not paid for them; I certainly mean that—I took no note of what he said—I said, "I saw Webb the other day"—he said, "Where?"—I said, "He was up on your action against the Company"—he said, "What for?"—I said, "As I understood, against you on behalf of the Company," and then he said, "He cannot give any evidence, he can simply prove he did not have the parcel; you had the parcel, and lost it."

Cross-examined by MR. BESLEY. I should observe the same rules as the other metropolitan police officers—I believe Webb's name had been mentioned before; I cannot remember how it was—I did not suggest to Hill's mind that Webb had made a statement implicating Hill, and that he was there to be a witness against Hill—I said he had made a statement to our solicitor—I did not introduce it to raise his anger against Webb and get him to make a statement against him; I did not hope he would—I had seen a statement; I did not hear it; it is the same as Richards deposed to before the Magistrate—I said Webb had made a statement; I did not say it was a statement against him; I said he was called to give evidence on behalf of the Company—I knew there was not a syllable in any statement by Webb implicating Hill in any way.

Re-examined. At that time a warrant was out against Webb, and he was in custody—I told Hill that Webb had been examined by the solicitor to the Company, and was going to be examined on behalf of the Company.

WILLIAM COLLINS PENSON . I am assistant to the superintendent of the North-Western—it is my duty to inquire into claims made for lost parcels—I was present on 29th December, 1883, when Coppin had an interview with Hill; I heard all that was said by both persons.

Cross-examined. December 29th is the only date on which I was present.

JAMES HENRY PEARSON (Chief Inspector, L. & N. W. Railway). On 19th December, 1883, I saw the two prisoners together at Wood's Hotel, which my office at Euston overlooks; they came out together—I had seen them before together at the same place going in and out—I knew Webb's name, but Hill I did not know—on 23rd December I received information as to the loss, and instructions from Coppin to make inquiries—on 27th and 29th December, and 1st January, I was present at the interviews between Hill and Coppin; afterwards I heard of the action brought by Hill against the Company, and received instructions, and watched 12, St. Ann's Place, Brixton, the address Hill had given to Coppin—I saw Hill leave that house—I took a note of the different days I watched there—I saw him leave there altogether, with a woman, and I saw the landlady, and inspected the house—it was a respectable double-house, kept by Mrs. Plush—I have followed Hill—he would take the omnibus or tram and alight at the Elephant and Castle, and various times I have seen him going into Richardson's, a draper's shop—from there I have traced him to Bishopsgate Street, and from there to Bow, 42. Coborn Road, Tapley's address given on the invoices—I have seen him come out of there with Tapley and go into a public-house, and then Tapley returned to his house, and Hill went to the Coborn Road Station and came to London—I only saw that once; I have seen him go to Liverpool Street Station several times—I have watched him for a long time—I watched 15, Graveney Terrace, Graveney Road, Lower Tooting where I saw Hill and the same woman—I saw him doing no business at either of those places—the house at Lower Tooting was a very small one—I last saw Hill on 14th November, 1884—after that I was looking for him till the time of his apprehension—I could not see or hear of him—I was at the Royal Courts on 25th and 26th February—I went to Hackney Policestation on 12th March.

Cross-examined by MR. BESLEY. Wood's Hotel is a temperance hotel—I have seen Webb going in and out there for many years; I have seen him there several times with Hill—the last time I saw him and Hill was 18th or 19th December, 1883; I was in my office looking out of window.

EDMUND RICHARDS . I am detective inspector of the London and North-Western Railway Company at Liverpool—after Christmas, 1883, I received information of the loss of the parcel, and at the same time instructions to go to Dublin—I arrived in Dublin on the morning of 28th December, and went to Webb's house, Lower Gloucester Street—I told him what I was and said, "Mr. Webb, have you received that parcel yet sent you from Euston on the 21st of this month"—he said, "No, I have not"—I said, "Who was the sender?"—he said, "Mr. Hill"—I said, "What did it contain?"—he said, "Jewellery, gold rings,

with some diamonds"—I said, "Can you show me the invoice which you received from the sender?"—he said, "No, I have not received one, and I cannot tell exactly what was in the parcel, but Mr. Hill will be able to tell you"—I said, "Can you show me a list of what you ordered from him?"—he said, "No, I was in London a few days before and saw Mr. Hill, he told me he was going to send me some rings, how many and what sort he did not say"—I said, "How do you dispose of these goods?"—he said, "I attend sales in the city here, and I have done business with a Mr. Dillon, auction rooms, and Munkasy, also with a Mr. Perceval, a jeweller in the city. I have not received a parcel, I cannot tell you anything about it. I have been laid about a fortnight, I can scarcely walk now"—in consequence of what he told me I made inquiries in Dublin about Mr. Dillon, and went to Mr. Perceval—on ✗th January, 1884, I again saw Webb in Dublin as I was leaving the auction rooms—I said, "Mr. Webb, I find you received an insured parcel from London on 8th December; it was insured for 550l., can you tell me what that parcel contained?"—he said, "No, I shall not answer any more questions; Mr. Hill is the man you should question, I have nothing to do with insured parcels or the Company"—I told him I had been in Dillon's and Perceval's rooms, but he would not listen and walked away, and would not give any more information—I went to 3, Hanken Road, Dublin; it is a common lodging-house—I made inquiries at every auction room I could find in Dublin with reference to Hill and Webb—I saw Webb in Liverpool on 26th July, 1884, in Kirkdale Prison—I saw him at the station on 24th July, I did not speak to him; I spoke to him on 26th July.

Cross-examined by MR. BESLEY. Webb only once said that Hill was the Only person who could give information concerning the parcel—I have never before said anything about Kirkdale Gaol—it was not suggested to me that I should mention it, the question was put to me where I saw him.

WILLIAM COOPER (Detective Police Inspector, Birmingham). I have known Hill as Thomas Harrison for 12 or 13 years, at Birmingham first—I have known Webb at Birmingham about 15 years by the names of John Carpenter and John Dekin—I have seen them in Birmingham together—when I knew Hill first he was a cabinet-maker in partnership with John Mowlem—Webb carried on no business—I have known Jane Dayus more than 20 years; she and Hill have lived together for the last 12 or 13 years on and off.

Cross-examined by MR. WILLIAMS. They lived together as man and wife at times—her husband was a convict.

Cross examined by MR. BESLEY. I should think it was three or four years since I saw Webb until I saw him last summer, and I have not seen Harrison during the whole of that time.

JAMES LOWE . I am a fishmonger, and live at 16, Mold Street, Birmingham—I have known Hill by the name of Harrison for 16 years, and Webb about seven years—Hill was a journeyman cabinet-maker when I knew him, and Webb, I believe, was walking about the streets—I know Jane Dayus; I do not know where she is—her maiden name was Jenny Gostin—she lived with Hill—she married a man named Dayus—in February, 1884, I was with him in the Watch house public-house, Westminster Bridge Road; we met Jane Dayus. (MR. WILLIAMS objected to

the conversation between the witness and Jane Dayus being given in evidence, as the woman was not on her trial. MR. GRAIN submitted that as she was charged in the indictment the evidence was admissible. The RECORDER ruled that sufficient foundation had not been laid for at for him to receive it.) I last saw Hill in London on 11th March this year—I said, "Harrison, you know me now?"—he said, "I do not"—I said, "You have had a good innings of swindling; I apprehend you for conspiracy on the London and North-Western, or whatever you like to call it."

Cross-examined by MR. WILLIAMS. I was born before marriage, and I married in my mother's maiden name of Thornaby, and I followed my occupation in my father's name of Lowe; I always had the name of Lowe except for the few minutes when I was being married, and then I was Thornaby—I have been a fishmonger about six years, and keep a shop at 16, Mold Street, Birmingham; I sell fish there—my wife's name is Ann—I keep no other house whatever at Birmingham—a charge was made against me about some cloth that was lost in a house where I was—Dayus occupied that house, the sister of the man I was walking with, not the woman who lived with Hill; she was not a married woman—I was proved afterwards to be an honest man—that house was not a brothel to my knowledge; I visited there, but did not live there; I won't swear whether it was a brothel or not—I said before the Magistrate that I told the prisoner he had had a good innings of swindling—my deposition was read over to me and I signed it. (The words did not appear in the deposition.) I said it, but it was not heard—those words must have been omitted, I must have missed it from the statement—I did not call the Magistrates attention to the omission because I did not think it was anything important.

Cross-examined by MR. BESLEY. I swear I swore those words—it is true that "All I know of Webb is what I have heard from somebody else. I knew Webb in Birmingham. I saw him there. I never spoke to him. I have never seen him and Hill together."

Re-examined. I used that expression at Bow Street whether it was taken down or not.

By MR. WILLIAMS. When I said I would take him in custody there were two constables there; I should not know which two if I saw them.

GEORGE GRANT . I live at 72, St. John's Road, Hoxton, and am a jobbing watch maker—I have known Hill and Webb close on four years; they have been together to my shop and brought me different jobs to repair, watches and jewellery—Hill called at my place and told me he had sent off a registered parcel with a lot of goods in it and it was missing, and that some of the goods in the parcel I had sold him, that the goods were worth close on 1,000l.; that he was going to have an action against them and I should very likely be subpoenaed to prove I had sold him three rings he put me in mind of a large single stone ring he had given 17l. for six months previously, and a half hoop I had sold him eight months previous, and a small three-stoned gipsy—I keep books; these were not entered because they were taken in exchange for other things—Webb was not there on that occasion—I have seen Tapley in sale rooms, I know him by sight—I was not subpoenaed for the trial—four months ago I asked Hill how he was getting on with the trial—he said he was not going on with it because one of his partners, Webb, had got into trouble, he was going to wait until he came out—perhaps he

called him by his Christian name John as well, or perhaps he called him Jack.

Cross-examined. I know Tapley as a dealer at sales in jewellery, I have changed things with him—it is a common thing in the trade to make up second-hand stones—it is a common thing for people who attend sales and people in the stone trade to have no place of business.

Cross-examined by MR. BESLEY. Webb never informed me of bargains with Hill that I remember—I have been told Hill has bought at sale rooms, and I have known people that sold him goods—perhaps in 1883 I saw Webb five times—I knew he lived in Dublin, and that when he came over he came from Dublin and was taking things back.

By MR. WILLIAMS. I have seen Hill at different times in the possession of rings and stones to the amount of several hundred pounds.

Re-examined. I have seen him many times in 1880-82-83 at my place, he showed me them—he carried them in a pocket book, and I bought one stone of him for 44l.

EDWARD ORAM . I am a clerk in the writ department, High Court of Justice—I produce the filed copy of a writ in the case of Hill against the North-Western, the statement of claim, and the judgment, which was in favour of the Company—I have the statement of defence, and practically the whole of the documents.

Cross-examined by MR. BESLEY. This is the record of the case that was called on, and the only one; it is the only one I produced, sealed with the seal of the Court of Record.

Re-examined. This is the amended statement of defence, it had not been lodged when I gave evidence before the Magistrate—I produce it to-day as part of the proceedings.

ANN PLUSH . I am the wife of Robert Plush, of St. Ann's Place Brixton—just before Christmas, 1883, I had apartments to let in my house—a woman giving the name of Mrs. Hill called to look at them, and about an hour after she came back with Hill, and took two furnished rooms at 12s. a week with no attendance—he said he was an agent for Birmingham goods, and gave as a reference Fraser, coffee shop, Blackfriars Road—they stopped about five months, and then I gave them notice to leave.

ELIZA BUCKLEY . I am the wife of Richard Buckley, of 87, Tradescar Road, South Lambeth—in May, 1884, a woman took apartments in our house, and Hill came afterwards—they brought a tin box and portmanteau and a few other things—they carried on no business there—they stayed about nine weeks, and left in July—I gave them notice—they paid 11s. a week.

GEORGE SMALL . I live at Alderman Road, Biggin Hill—in June, 1884, Hill came to me bringing Thomas Gordon's rent-book with him—I had let premises in Alderbrook Road, Balham, to Thomas Gordon—Hill paid the rent—I receipted the book and gave it to him back—I had received a reference to Fraser, coffee shop, Blackfriars Road—Gordon continued from 26th March to 6th September, 1884—I could not say if Hill had the house or not—all the rent I received was brought by Hill—I had a month's rent in advance before I saw him—I received complaints from the neighbours about the house, and spoke to Hill the next time he came, addressing him by the name of Gordon: (I did not know the name of Hill till I saw him at Bow Street)—he said his name was not Gordon—I said

"Then if your name is not Gordon, what have you to do with the house?"—he said Mr. Gordon had gone to the Continent some time before, and he had taken part of the house and was occupying it with him—after that the key was arranged to be given up—I went to the house with Hill—there was no furniture of any consequence there—I examined the premises.

ANN SMITHMAN . I live at 47, Elderfield Road, Clapton—on 3rd February a woman came and took the first floor front and back rooms in my house, and on 4th February Hill came there and asked if his wife was there—I said yes, the first floor over the stairs—that was about six weeks before he was taken in custody—they lodged in my house until he was taken—I did not see the woman after 6 o'clock the night Hill was taken.

JOHN LANGRISH (Inspector E). I received these warrants for the prisoners apprehension and the woman's, and received a communication that Hill was in custody at Hackney Police-station—I went there with Coppin, and afterwards I went to the last witness's house—the woman was not there—I have not been able to find her anywhere—at Smithson's I took charge of two portmanteaus and a small writing desk—this black book was in the front room on the top of the cupboard, in the room pointed out to me as having been occupied by Hill and the woman—I found a small saw in the portmanteau and a centre-bit among other things, and a 100 franc note, and a diamond ring with one stone deficient—that was all I found of value—I searched Hill—I only found this ring of any value on him.

JOSEPH ISAAC BIRCH . I am manager to Messrs. Wontner and Sons, solicitors, of St. Paul's Chambers, Ludgate Hill—Hill came to our firm about February, 1884, and gave us some instructions about bringing an action against the London and North-Western Railway Company—the case was set down for trial, and after that a letter sent to the address Hill had last given me was returned through the dead letter office, and I saw nothing of him after that till I saw him at the police-court.

Cross-examined by MR. WILLIAMS. Two letters were returned through the dead letter office addressed to Hill—we received a letter from Hill requesting us to postpone the trial till about April, 1885. (This letter requested the postponement, as the witnesses could not be available till March or April. Another letter was read which requested them to inform him whether the case would come on within the next fortnight, and stated that he had been laid up with a fractured leg.) I only had charge of the case up to a certain point.

Re-examined. I know that a statement of defence was delivered, and that interrogatories were administered and answers drawn by our Counsel—I have never seen Hill write.

By MR. WILLIAMS. I have several letters from the Railway Company after the claim was made by Hill—the letter of 6th March, 1884, from the Railway Company says: "Neither I nor my clients have imputed fraud or dishonesty."

EDWARD HINTON . I am a solicitor at Euston Station—I had the management of the action brought by Hill against the Railway Company—up to the time that letter was written the London and North-Western Railway Company were not in the possession of sufficient information to plead actual fraud—in consequence of information from the detective

department I decided to fight the action, and an amended statement was put in on 8th December, 1884.

WEBB— NOT GUILTY . HILL**— GUILTY of false pretences and conspiracy. Eighteen Month's Hard Labour.


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