19th October 1885
Reference Numbert18851019-1025
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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1025. GEORGE KIRBY and ROLAND FAIRBROTHER, Unlawfully uttering counterfeit coin.

MR. POLAND Prosecuted.

GEORGE ALBERT BRAZIER . I was serving in the bar of the Black

Horse, Brixton Road, on 3rd October, just on 7 o'clock—I saw the two prisoners there—I won't be quite sure about the elder one—there was a woman with them—Fairbrother called for some stout, and put down a shilling—I bent it in the tester, and said to the manager in the prisoners' hearing, "This shilling is bad"—he then spoke to the prisoners.

FREDERICK WILLIAM FIELDER . I am manager of the Black Horse, Brixton Road—on 3rd October, about 7 o'clock, I saw the prisoners served with some liquor, which came to 4d.—Fairbrother ordered and paid for it—I saw the boy take this coin up and test it and bend it—I saw a mark on it where it had been bent—I said to Fairbrother, "This is a bad one"—he said, "Is it? I did not know it was bad," and tendered a good one—Kirby and a woman were with him—they all drank together.

JOHN THOMAS WATSON . I am manager of the Atlantic Tavern, Brixton—about 9.45 p.m. on 3rd October the two prisoners and a female came in—Kirby called for some liquor, and tendered a shilling—I broke it and found it was bad—I said, "Have you any more?"—he said, "No, my governor gave it to me in my wages"—I gave him in charge.

REGINALD COUNTER (Policeman W 78). I was called to the Atlantic public-house on this night, and saw the prisoners there together—the manager showed me a broken shilling, and said Kirby had tendered it in payment for a pot of beer—I took him in custody—when nearing the station he said, "Fairbrother, my governor, paid me the shilling for my wages, and if he is in the habit of passing counterfeit coin I did not know it"—he followed Kirby to the station—he made no answer to the charge—I made inquiries on the morning of 5th October—Fairbrother was at the police-court—Mr. Fielder identified him, and he was taken in custody and charged with being concerned with Kirby in uttering a counterfeit shilling to Mr. Fielder—he replied, "I have got into a fine old mess"—I found on Kirby 1s. 4 1/2 d. good money—he gave his address, 101, Clapham Park Road—I found from inquiries that he lived there with his father—Fairbrother gave his address, 106, Effra Parade, Brixton—I found from inquiries that he lived there—it is a private house.

WILLIAM WEBSTER . This shilling is bad.

The Prisoners' Statements before the Magistrate. Fairbrother says: "I work for my brother, and took about 2l. in silver on Saturday, and did not know we had bad money, and paid this man." Kirby says:"I worked for this man about five years, and he has not given me bad coin yet."

Witnesses for the Defence.

JAMES FAIRBROTHER . I am a lath-render and builder, of 52, Moreland Street, Stockwell—the prisoner is my brother, and is foreman at my yard in Shepherd's Lane, Brixton—he sells goods retail there, and takes money from day to day when I am away—he is paid every Saturday, sometimes 2l., sometimes 30s. or 35s.—he has worked for me six years, and I have never known him to keep a penny—I have bailed him—Kirby works under him, and drives a horse and cart.

Cross-examined. My brother had been working for me the whole week, and on this Saturday up to 5 or 6 o'clock, and he would pay himself and Kirby out of the money he received, which would be 2l. for himself and 15s. for Kirby—he would have accounted to me on the Monday for that, but he was arrested and had not sufficient time—he took more than 2l. on Saturday.

Kirby's Defence. I had the shilling paid to me in my week's wages, and I went to the public-house and put it on the counter, and they broke it.

Fairbrother's Defence. When I gave him his money at the Black Horse I was not aware it was bad. He gave it me back and said, "That is a duffer," and I gave him another. If that is the shilling, I do not know how I got it.


The COMMON SERJEANT stated that both prisoners left the Court without a stain on their character.

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