23rd May 1887
Reference Numbert18870523-644
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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644. JOHN DAVEY. (31) , Stealing a watch, chain, and other goods, the property of Elizabeth Hill, from her person. Second Count. Receiving.

MR. ARTHUR GILL. Prosecuted. MR. KEITH FRITH. Defended.

ELIZABETH HILL . I am a widow, of 53, Beresford Street. Woolwich—I am a dressmaker—on 23rd April I went out to get groceries and 2l. in postal orders to send to the Charing Cross Bank—I went into the Distillery to get a glass of beer—Davey said "Good morning, let me pay for it"—I said "No, I can pay for it myself"—he said he knew me before—I said "You have made a grand mistake"—he got into further conversation—he said he wanted a wife, and I was the only woman he liked, and Woolwich was a bad place—I said I could not stay to answer him then—he said his intentions were honourable, and that he worked inside the Arsenal, and was earning 50s. a week, and that he would make me a comfortable home if I would accept it; that he had two furnished rooms, and he asked me to go and see them—I told him I could not stop, but must go to the post-office, and I went; he walked with me, and saw me take out the two orders—ho said "Excuse me, young lady. I would take that watch from my bosom and put it in my pocket, there are bad people about Woolwich, they could take the watch in an instant"—I took the watch out and put it in my pocket—I went with him to the Carpenter's Arms; I had not been in Woolwich for three weeks, and I knew no one there; I went out, he gave me a glass of beer, and I felt silly; he told me his name was Rastall—he said he would come back again—when I went to his rooms he spoke to a man in the passage—he took me to a room where there was a piano—I said "You have a piano"—he said "Yes, can you play it?"—I said "Yes"—he sat beside me—he said he wished to have an interview with me, and he gave me a glass of beer—I remained there not more than ten minutes—he said he would marry me by special licence on the Monday—he

tried to take liberties with me; I told him if he wanted to get married he could wait—he said he was going out to get 2l. to buy me a ring, but he never returned—I afterwards missed my purse, bunch of keys, and my watch was gone from my pocket—I went to the police-station and told Mr. Alexander about it—I had about 12s. 6d. in my purse and a coin with the figure "5" on it, like a sixpence—this is the coin and purse—7s. was in it when returned.

Cross-examined. I came from Exeter, a garrison town—I was living with a Devonshire woman at 53, Beresford Street—I have worked as a dressmaker for Eliza King and Harriet King, also for Major Wood, at Abbey Wood, for three weeks—I did not know the name of the street I met Davey, but I have since learned it was Eyre Street—he spoke first—I was indignant at being addressed by a stranger—I did not go away because he pressed me to stay, and he said he knew me before, although I was indignant—I said "I have business to attend to, I cannot talk to you now"—that did not mean I would not talk to him at all—he said "I have a comfortable home, and will make you a good husband"—he said he would go with me to the post-office, as I had said I had business to attend to there—he walked just behind me, and came and stood beside me in the post-office while I signed—I did not complain of his molesting me—I was indignant—I went with him into the Carpenter's Arms, after some persuasion, to wait for him—he asked me to wait ten minutes while he went out; I did so—he paid for the beer when he came back, and said he would show me his rooms—I thought that was rather extraordinary, and said I did not wish to see his rooms, I had a room of my own—he did not take me by force, after some consideration I went—he said some female was there, I asked him that—I did not know then he was taking me to a coffee tavern, he said it was his rooms—I had not too much to drink—we entered through a side door and through a passage—it was not far from where I lived—I had not passed down that street before—there was no sofa in the room—I cannot say if there was a bed, I do not think so—I will not swear there was not—I was doing nothing—I tried the piano, it was broken—I was talking to the prisoner—do you suppose there was a bed?—I did not swear I was there half an hour—before the Magistrate I said I should think, I would not swear—when the prisoner said he would marry me on Monday by special licence I said there were two to talk about that—he left me in the room—I waited some time for him, not many minutes—I believed he was coming back, I know he said so—I did not wait after I found my things were gone—a man came to the room door with the beer—I have not been with the prisoner to any other place—I did not slap his face nor play with him—I never kissed such a face—he asked me if I lived at Abbey Wood, I said "No," but I had lived there—I had told him I had lived there—I did not say "You had better go to a room and have a sleep"—I did not ask for refreshments—the prisoner took the beer in from the man at the room-door—I did not take off my jacket—I asked him what sort of a house it was we were going to, he said it was a most respectable place—I took off my watch and chain and my purse out—I did not ask him to take care of them, I am capable of taking care of my own property—I believed the rooms I went to were his—I did not take off my hat—nothing was said about connection—he wanted to take liberties with me and I said "No" then I waited for him, because he asked me to forgive him and said he

was sorry for what he had said—what do you think I am if not respectable?—he put something in the beer; do you think if I was in my right senses I should have remained there?—I said "If you make me a comfortable home you must wait"—I asked him what he thought I was, and said "If you wish to marry me you must wait"—he may have paid for the room—I have heard since the house was a brothel.

Re-examined. We did not go in through the shop but through a long passage—I did not entrust the articles to the prisoner.

HENRY ROLTON . I live at 8, Coleman Street, Woolwich—I work in the Arsenal—On 23rd April, in Eyre Street, Woolwich, I saw the prisoner when in charge of a constable drop a watch and chain—I picked it up and gave it to the constable—this is the watch—he had had a little drop.

FREDERICK ALEXANDER . (Detective R.) I received instructions from the prosecutor on 23rd April—I made inquiries and shortly alter 9 o'clock I saw the prisoner in the Carpenter's Arms—I called him outside and told him I should take him into custody and charge him with stealing a watch and chain, a purse, and about 12s. in money, and a bunch of keys, from a woman at Roger's Coffee-house, High Street, Woolwich—he said "I have robbed no one, I was not with a woman there"—I then took him to the Police-station at Woolwich—on the way something was told me, and when I got there this watch was handed me by Rolton—I searched the prisoner and found this purse, 4s. 6d. in silver, 1 1/2 d. bronze, the small coin, postage stamps, and bunch of keys—he said they were his property—I then fetched the prosecutrix to the station, and in her presence he said he had not seen her before—when charged he told the Inspector he had been to this place with the woman and the things were handed to him—he was the worse for drink—the coffee-shop is about 200 yards from the Carpenter's Arms—the prosecutrix appeared drugged, somewhat stupid.

Cross-examined. She did not appear to be drunk—I received information about 1 o'clock—I found the prisoner about 9 o'clock about 100 yards from where he lived—he was recovering from the effects of drink—the prisoner has been employed at the Woolwich Arsenal many years—he has always borne the character of an honest man.

The Prisoner's statement before the Magistrate. "A number of lies have been told by the woman—she gave me the things and told me to take them with me and bring them back when I came, so as they should not be stolen; she was intoxicated, and so I was myself, rather worse than she; not knowing this locality, and meeting friends whom I drank with, I did not go back, but intended to give her the things back."


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