27th July 1885
Reference Numbert18850727-788
VerdictGuilty > unknown; Guilty > lesser offence
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour; Miscellaneous > sureties

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788. GEORGE EDWARD MORETON (43) and THOMAS RIGBY BRERETON (36) , Unlawfully obtaining by false pretences from George Leidig 4l. 5s., with intent to defraud, and other moneys from other persons with a like intent. Other Counts for conspiracy.


AVORY defended Moreton, and MR. GILL defended Brereton.

HENRY WILLIAM GEORGE CRAWFORD . I am a jeweller, of 177, Brockley Road—on 15th May Moreton, who owed me 13s. 6d., came and said he wanted to pay ray account, and drew his cheque-book out, and drew this cheque for 1l. 13s. 6d. on the Royal Exchange Bank, and signed it "Moreton and Co."—I gave him 1l. change—he had said, "I may as well make it 1l. 13s. 6d. "—he said, "Send the bill up"—I endorsed the cheque and paid it away to a Mr. Burton, and on the 20th it was returned marked "No effects"—on the day before that, the 19th, I received this letter. (This wasdated 9, Rood Lane, and requested that the witness would not part with the cheque until the prisoner had seen him, and if he had done so to tell the person who had it not to let it go.) On the following week I saw the prisoner and asked him to settle the matter—he said he had been put about by people giving him cheques, and that he would see to it—I had written to him—the money has never been paid.

Cross-examined by MR. AVORY. He came to me on the same day as the cheque is dated—it was crossed when given to me—it was returned through Mr. Burton—I did not go to Mr. Burton after receiving this letter of the 20th to ask him to hold the cheque—the prisoner led me to infer when I saw him afterwards that he had been disappointed by taking cheques that he had not got money for.

GEORGE REDMAN . I am a baker, of 254, Brockley Road—on 16th May, Moreton, who owed me 1l. 3s. 9d. for bread, came to me with this cheque for 2l. 5s., and said that he would settle my account—I asked him if the cheque was all right—he said "Oh, yes, do you know anything wrong about me?"—I said "No, I don't"—I saw the cheque was post-dated

two days, but said nothing about that—I receipted the bill and gave him the balance, 1l. 1s. 3d.—on the 18th I paid the cheque in part payment of my account to Symonds and Moreton, and on Tuesday, 19th, my wife gave me this letter. (This was dated May 19th, 9, Rood Lane, and requested him if he had not parted with the cheque, to hold it till he saw him, or if any one else had it to ask him to hold it.) In consequence of that letter I went to his office, Rood Lane—I did n it see him then, but saw him the same evening—I said I had come about the note he had left me in the morning, I came for the money for the cheque—he said that he had been disappointed with a man in the New Cross Road; he was expecting some money, and he would call aad leave it in the morning—I told him I had paid it away—he said "Go and stop it, for God's sake, don't let it go, it will ruin me at the bank"—I told him it was too late, it was gone—it was afterwards returned marked "No effects"—no money has ever been paid me for it—he brought it ready drawn and crossed—about 9 p.m. on 27th or 28th May, I went to Moreton's house and asked him for payment of the dishonoured cheque—he said he was going to meet a man in the New Cross Road at 9 o'clock to receive some money—I said "If that is the case I will go with you, and if he pays you you can pay me the cheque"—he agreed—we went as far as the Breakspeare Arms—he said "Will you go and have a glass of ale?"—I said "No, let's go down New Cross Road, it will get late before we get there"—we went into the Breakspeare Arms, I had a glass of ale—I there asked him what name it was he was going to see in the New Cross Road—he said Brereton—nobody came—we waited about five or six minutes—he said he had promised to meet him at the Breakspeare and he would call on the following morning and pay me—he did not come and has never paid me.

Cross-examined by MR. AVORY. I saw the cheque was dated 19th May and understood it would not be paid till the 19th—he gave me no reason, and I did not ask why it was post dated—I thought he had not got money to meet it before that day—I received this note early on the morning of the 19th—I paid the cheque away before it was due, on Monday night—I did not go down to the people to whom I had paid it on receiving the note, I knew it was no use—I saw the prisoner twice every day for the money, I tried very hard for it—he called at my shop as late as 3rd June—I used to stop him going up the road at night; he rode up on a 'bus with a paper in front of him so that I could not see him.

Cross-examined by MR. GILL. He held the paper at the side of his head—he suggested that I should employ him as accountant to go through my books, but I would have nothing to do with him—I only knew he was an accountant by what he told me.

Re-examined. He suggested that he should collect my debts, I declined the suggestion.

ROBERT STEPHENSON . I am a butcher of the Market Parade, Brockley Road—on Saturday, 23rd May, Moreton bought a fore-quarter of lamb at my shop; it came to 8s. 9d.—he gave me this cheque for 1l. 1s. (Dated May 23rd and crossed, pay self or bearer.) He brought it all ready written—I gave him the balance, it was dated the 21st when he brought it—I objected to that, and he redated it 23rd—on the 26th I paid it away to Mr. Jacobs, of Covent Garden—on the 27th he returned it marked "No effects"—on that day I went to the prisoner's house and saw Mrs. Moreton, and next

morning I received this postcard from him. (This expressed sorrow for the delay which had been caused by an accident which he would explain and put allright to-morrow.) On 31st he called and promised to settle next day, 1st June—I received these other letters, one dated May 20th and the other June 2nd. (The first one expressed sorrow that he had not been able to call as promised, but that he would call and explain. The second regretted that he had not bten in when witness called and the trouble he had caused and hoped to send the money in the course of the day, as he had an appointment to receive some at 1 o'clock.) I did not see him again till he was iu custody, a fortnight afterwards—I never got my money or my lamb back.

Cross-examined by MR. AVORY. I think Moreton is my only doubtful customer—I called and saw his wife and received a postcard—I saw him several times after that—I don't know if ha is still living in that house he was not to be seen—I called from 7.30 to 9 o'clock p.m. expecting he would be at home, I saw his wife on those occasions.

GEORGE PLUNKETT . I live at 34, Tasker Street, East Greenwich, and am under-bailiff to the Greenwich County Court—in May I had some proceedings in my hands against Moreton—on 10th May his wife called on me and gave me a crossed cheque for 1l. (This was on the Royal Exchange Bank, pay Plunket or bearer 1l. signed Moreton and Co, dated 19th May.) It would not be payable for nine days—I paid 17s. 9d. into Court to Moreton's credit on the following morning, the 11th—on 19th May I received this postcard and five more on subsequent dates. (Requesting him to hold the cheque over for a day or so.) On 7th June I paid the cheque away to Mr. Burnie; it was returned marked "no effects"—on 8th June I went to Moreton's house, but could not see him, and did not see him again till he was in the dock; I saw his wife.

Cross-examined by MR. AVORY. The amount owing by him was 17s. 9d.—she made me a present of the 2s. 3d.—I saw at the time that the cheque to me for advancing the money at once—I received this post-card on the 19th th first thing.

Re-examined. I have never got the 17s. 9d.

ROBERT LEIDIG . I am a confectioner, of 5, Broadway, Deptford, and have a shop at New Cross Road—Brereton came to my shop on 19th May with this cheque, dated 18th May, for five guineas—he owed me 2l. 7s., and said he would pay a sovereign off his account—I said "Is the cheque all right?"—he said "Yes, it is all right, it is one of my customers"—it was all ready filled up and endorsed as it is now—I directed my assistant, Mr. Penamn, to give him change—on 21st May I paid the cheque into my bank, it came back marked "No effects"—I sent my son to Brereton, and afterwards wrote to him—I received this letter. (This said that he was very much annoyed, and that he was going to see Moreton about it, and would call.) He didn't come in the wiht my monet—I believed the cheque was a genuine one when I parted with my money—I put the matter into the hands of my solicitor—I have never been paid—I know nothing about Moreton.

Cross-examined by MR. GILL. I believe Brereton has dealt with me for six or serven years, and is still doing so—I believe he lives opposite my shop—I know him as a dentist, he has performed on my mouth—I think I have changed cheques for him before—I have known him as a respectable

neighbour—he told me Moreton was a customer of his when I asked him if the cheque was all right.

JOHN SCOTT . I keep the Marquis of Granby, 322, New Cross Road—on 26th May Brereton came to me with this cheque for three guineas, dated May 26th. (This was for 3l. 3s., crossed payable to T.A. Brereton or bearer, signed Moreton, and endorsed Brereton.) I could not say if it was endorsed when he brought it, it was tilled up—he said "Will you cash it for me?"—I said "I don't mind," and gave him the 3l. 3s., believing the cheque was genuine—on the 29th he came again in the evening, after banking hours, and said "Have you paid the cheque for three guineas into the bank?"—I said "No, I have not"—he said I have another one in my pocket for 10l., would you mind giving me the difference, and I will take the three guinea one back?"—I said "Do you know this Mr. Moreton?" he said "Yes, he is a customer of mine"—he endorsed this cheque in my presence, and I gave him 7l. 7s. and the three guinea cheque—I paid it into my bankers on Saturday, the 30th—between 6 and 7 o'clock on that day the prisoner called and asked if I had parted with it; I said I had; he said "I am afraid there won't be sufficient to meet it"—I said "What do you bring your rotten cheques to me for?"—he said "I will see Mr. Moreton about the cheque," and he said he had heard that there were other cheques in front of it that he had paid away, and there was not sufficient to take mine up he thought; he said he would come on Monday—I went to his house on Monday, the cheque having come back in the afternoon—he said he would have to see Mr. Moreton about it—I asked if he could not give me the money—I never got my Money.

Cross-examined by MR. GILL. He told me he had seen Moreton, and heard there were other cheques in front of this—he called again on Monday morning before the cheque had come back—I have been in New Cross about five years, and have known him as coming in and out of my house occasionally—I have changed cheques for him two or three times before this—there was nothing wrong about them, that is how they get into your confidence—I had not changed a cheque for more than 10l. for him. By the JURY. The former cheques were not all Moreton's.

WILLIAM HENRY BURNIE . I live at the Centurion public-house, Deptford—on 29th May Brereton came to me and asked me if I would change this cheque for three guineas. (This was the same three-guinea cheque spoken to by Scott.) I told him I did not know Moreton, but that he could have one pound on account—I gave him one pound on account, and after doing so he asked me to hold the cheque over, and he would bring the sovereign and take the cheque away—he did not call on me and pay the sovereign—I paid the cheque in on June 1st—it came back on the 3rd marked "No effects"—I believed the cheque was good when I parted with my sovereign—I have never got my sovereign

Cross-examined by MR. GILL. I have known Brereton as a respectable tradesman.

PHILIP CRAWSHAW . I am a draper, of 92, High Street, Deptford—Brereton, whom I knew, came to me on May 30th with a cheque for 2l. 2s. drawn on the Royal Exchange Bank in the name of Moreton and Co.—he asked me, alter I had cashed it and handed him the 2l. 2s., to keep the cheque for a few days, as he was afraid there was nothing to meet it—after that he called on me and asked me still to keep it oyer—

I kept it till 21st June, and then paid it into my bankers, the London and County Bank, who returned it the following day marked "No effects"—on the 22nd Mrs. Bills called on me—I had some conversation with her, and then gave the cheque to Miss Baker, an assistant of mine—I afterwards received 2l. 2s. from Miss Baker.

Cross-examined by MR. GILL. A lady called and paid the money for the cheque—I have lived there 25 years, and have known Brereton for six years as a respectable tradesman.

WILLIAM HALL . I am manager to the Royal Exchange Bank, Cannon Street—Sir Robert Walter Carden is chairman—Moreton was a customer of ours—he opened an account on 16th January, cash 70l.—it was overdrawn on the 1st of April 2s. 7d.—on 28th February 15l. had been paid in—after 1st April no money was paid in except 2l. on 14th April hypothecated to meet a special cheque—I said to him then that I would take this particular 2l. on condition that he would pay the 2s. 7d.—he did not pay it—I said we had had to return various cheques for want of funds, and we should not continue the account—I had written him previously to that effect—no more money was paid in after that—different cheques were presented after that, and having no effects were returned dishonoured by my orders.

Cross-examined by MR. AVORY. On the day I accepted the 2l. I told him I would not continue the account—the 2s. 7d. overdrawn was 1d. overdrawn and 2s. 6d. for a cheque-book—the 2s. 6d. was debited on the 1st of April, so that he would have had it some time in March, as they are always debited once a month—the account was opened with 70l.—140l. was paid in the next day, another 70l. on 19th January, 112l. 10s. on 23rd January, 1l. 1s. on 12th February, 45l. on 19th February, 75l. on 23rd February, 15l. on 28th February, 3l. on March 21st, altogether 528l. 11s. in January and February—it was chiefly drawn out in small amounts, and on 19th March his account was overdrawn 1d.—I could not say without my book that he did not have the new cheque-book after that, I don't think it likely—I wrote to him in February—I said before the Magistrate "No written notice was given to Moreton that the account was closed"—the account never was actually closed—we wanted our 2s. 7d., and when the cheques came, to us we marked them "No effects."

JAMES SNIDER (Detective P). On 3rd June I met Moreton in Brockley Road—I said "Is your name George Edward Moreton?"—he said "No"—I said "What is your name?"—he said "Charles Moreton"—I said "I believe you to be George Edward Moreton, and I have a warrant for your apprehension"—he said "Who are you?"—an inspector was with me in plain clothes—I said "We are police officers, and if you deny your identity I shall take steps to prove who you are"—he said "I did not know who you where when you spoke; I am George Edward Moreton"—I read the warrant to him, and he said "I did not think they would grant a warrant for a thing like that"—I took him to the station; before entering he said "Make it as light as you can for me and I will make it all right with you both"—I searched him and found 2s. 6d. and 2 1/2 d. in coppers, and this cheque book—I replaced the cheques, one of which I found on him, in the cheque book—there are counterfoils of twenty-three cheques drawn since 21st March, four of which are Brereton's—on 5th June I called on Brereton and said

"I have a man in custody by the name of George Edward Moreton, and in his possession I found a cheque book with several counterfoils with your name appearing; what did you do with the cheque that you received on 18th May for 5l. 5s.?"—he said "Mr. Liedig cashed that for me (I put it down in my pocket-book at the time)—it was afterwards returned marked 'No effects;' I received another on May 26th for 3l. 3s. not knowing the other was dishonoured; Mr. Scott cashed the 3l. 3s. cheque—on the 28th I saw Moreton again and received another cheque for 10l. 10s. I withdrew the 3l. 3s. and received 7l. 7s. change, not then knowing that any of the cheques had been dishonoured"—at that time I had the cheque book and pointed out the counterfoils, and when I came to the counterfoil for two guineas on the 30th, he said "I did not receive any cheque on May 30th, all I received was on account for work done and ordered on 13th May to the amount of 18l. 18s.—the first information I had of the cheques being dishonoured was on May 30th"—I read this over to him—he said it was quite correct—he said he had been making a set of teeth for Moreton, which he could produce.

Cross-examined. I was in plain clothes and did not say who I was when I first spoke to Moreton—I did not say what right I had to ask his name—we were actually on the point of entering the station when he asked me to make it as light for him as I could—I told him he would be detained in custody.

Cross-examined by MR. GILL. I saw Brereton in his front room; I do not know if it was his surgery—I have made inquiries about him, and ascertained that he has been in business about eight years—when I spoke of Moreton he brought me a little-black book with marks of black lead on it—I did not take it in my hands—he said, "Here is the record of transactions with Mr. Moreton"—he pointed some entry out; I did not take any notice of it—I took his statement to be true.

HENRY MOORE . About 2.30 on 18th June I met Brereton in New Cross Road and said, "I have a summons for you to Greenwich Police-court to-morrow morning"—I read it to him—he replied, "Oh, Mr. Scott has cashed several cheques for me"—Mr. Scott was mentioned in the summons—I said, "Where is the 3rd June cheque?"—he said, "I tore it up," making a motion with his hands; "Do you think I am to dip into every man's banking account? I never saw the man before in my life, and what I received from him was for work done, which I can produce."

Witnesses for Moreton.

JAMES PARKE . I am a solicitor's clerk, of 46, Lincoln's Inn Fields, and am Moreton's brother-in-law; he married my sister—I am the administrator of my brother's estate—through his wife Moreton is entitled to a share in the residue of the estate—within the last three months I informed him his share would be about 50l.; it is a residuary amount—I have known him 15 years—he was secretary to the London Road Car Company up to the time they went into liquidation—he has carried on business as an accountant daring all the time I have known him, and as far as I know has always borne the character of a respectable and honest man.

Cross-examined. The estate is sworn under 1,317l.—I should say Moreton's share would be quite 20l. within a month from now.

Re-examined. One or two large bad debts have been discovered since I spoke to him—my share is the same, and 30l. has been advanced to me on mine.

ARTHUR SIDNEY MORETON . I am a cement merchant, of 9, Rood Lane, City, and the prisoner Moreton's brother—he has been an accountant—in January and February this year he was doing a good business, and in receipt of moneys for it.

The prisoners received excellent characters.

MORETON— GUILTY of obtaining money by false pretences and conspiracy.Four Months' Hard Labour. BRERETON— GUILTY of conspiracy.Recommended to mercy by the Jury.To come up for judgment if called on.

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