24th October 1887
Reference Numbert18871024-1057
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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1057. FREDERICK STENLAKE , Forging and uttering a receipt for 45l., with intent to defraud.

MR. PURCELL Prosecuted; MR. TAYLOR Defended.

HENRY MARSHALL (Detective Inspector Metropolitan Police attached to King Street Station). The prisoner was a sergeant of the A Division, and he would have been twelve years in the service next December—at King Street Station a canteen is kept up for the use of officers at the station, and it is managed by a committee—the prisoner was appointed treasurer, I have ascertained—I was not myself a member of the canteen, although attached to King Street Station—I knew the prisoner was acting as treasurer—on 10th September the prisoner was suspended and I was directed to make inquiries by Chief Superintendent Dunlop, and on 14th September I had the prisoner at my office with Inspector Peters and Mr. Bloxam, the traveller for Showell and Sons, brewers—I said to the prisoner "Produce the book you now have; I have made inquiry into the matter by order of the chief superintendent, and Mr. Bloxam here" (who was in the room) "says that this receipt purporting to be for 45l. is not authentic, but is a forgery; he says that he gave you a receipt for 29l. 16s.; have you any explanation to offer?"—he said "No, I have nothing to say"—I left him there with Mr. Peters and reported the matter to the chief superintendent.

Cross-examined. There is a canteen attached to several of the divisions of the police; they are recognised by the Commissioners.

Re-examined. When I searched the prisoner I found on him a bill from Showell and Sons for 14l., which is the debt now owing to them, 9th September, the day after the forgery.

By MR. TAYLOR. I know nothing about the canteen except from hearsay.

STEPHEN BLOXAM . I am traveller to Walter Showell and Sons, brewers, of Oldham, Birmingham, who have been in the habit of supplying this canteen—I have collected accounts for them—on 8th September the prisoner paid me 26l. 10s.; I added 3l. 6s. on and gave him a receipt for 29l. 16s.—this is the counterfoil of the receipt—he was entitled to that discount—this receipt I gave him for 29l. 16s. now purports to be for 45l.—it was taken out of this book, and was in pencil—I entered on the counterfoil in the book 29l. 16s.

Cross-examined. I had known the prisoner about a year and a half—during that time I had seen no one else at the canteen—I gave him this receipt in his own house—he asked me to give him a receipt for 45l.; nearly 45l. was due to us at the time—29l. 16s. was all the money he had to pay me; he told me he was obliged to show that he had paid the money that night—I know he had been away to get married—he said he had to pass his accounts, and he was short, and he had to put his accounts in order—once before he had had a transaction of the kind with me—I cannot say when—on that occasion, at his request, I gave him a receipt for 15l. when he paid me 9l. to make his books look better, and to enable him to pass his accounts—I then paid my cashier the full amount of the 15l., and I got into trouble afterwards for doing so—the prisoner promised to pay the rest shortly, and he had been a good customer—eventually I received the balance from the prisoner—our cashier looked over it—I made it right on purpose to make the prisoner's book look right, and that he should not lose his position—during the 12 or 18 months I had known him I had been on very friendly terms with, him—when my father died some months ago the prisoner lent me 4l.—I have not paid it all back yet; I shall be very happy to do so—he asked me to give him a receipt for

45l. as a friendly act, to pass his accounts, and he said he would get a bill of sale on his furniture, and pay me on Monday, but I refused to do it because I got into a row for doing it before—I said at the police-court I noticed he did something with the receipt in my presence after I gave it to him—next day I paid in the 29l. 16s. to the Stores—Probyn is our London manager—I told Probyn I thought the prisoner had tilled up the receipt in ink in my presence—the prisoner tried to persuade me for two hours to do it myself, and I would not, and I told Probyn what I thought had been done.

By the COURT. I told Probyn that I thought the prisoner had filled it up for 45l.—Probyn knew of the former affair.

Re-examined. Next day, I think, 9th September, I sent an account for the balance of the 45l. to the prisoner—I did not consent to give him a receipt for 45l.—I would willingly have lent him the money if I had had it—he said he was just married, and he should be thrown out of the police if he did not show his book paid that night—he said he had got to account that night for the moneys he had received, and that; he was 14l. short, and to conceal that he asked me to cook the receipt for him.

JOSEPH PETERS (Police Inspector A). I am attached to the King Street station—there is a canteen there for the men at that station—the prisoner was treasurer—he received no pay for it—an attendant named Haynes served the men and received money from them; it was his duty to hand over to the prisoner the same day the takings of the day, and the prisoner would enter into the takings book each day the money he received from Haynes—Haynes signed each item and the prisoner initialled it—the books would be audited monthly—from 2nd August to 7th September there are entries of sums in the prisoner's handwriting acknowledged to have been received by him—the total between those dates is 46l. 3s. 1d.—on 7th September he was requested to make up his accounts for the August audit—he did not do so—he said he could not get the books in from the tradesmen—next day I asked him about it again; he said he could not make up his accounts; he could not give any reason why—I said "Well I must take you now before Chief Superintendent Dunlop"—he said he was 20l. or more short in his accounts—he was given another day to get the books ready and give in his accounts—on the evening of the 10th he was suspended as he could not make up the money nor account for what he had received, and I was then directed to go with the prisoner to Messrs. Showell's brewery on the 12th—we arranged to meet on the Monday morning at King Street station—we did so—the prisoner said "Before I go to the brewery I wish to make a statement"—I took him back to the Superintendent's office; this small book was lying there; the prisoner pointed to it and said "The receipt for 45l. is incorrect, I have only paid 29l. 16s., but Mr. Bloxam the traveller gave me a receipt in full, in consideration of my difficulties"—on that day I went to the brewery, and afterwards saw Mr. Bloxam in the prisoner's presence at King Street station—Mr. Bloxam said "I only gave a receipt for 29l. 16s."—he paid the 45l. was not his figures nor was it his hand writing he knew nothing about the 45l.—Mr. Marshall read over what it was and asked if the prisoner had any explanation to offer—he said "No"—these entries in the canteen cash book are in the prisoner's handwriting—it would be his duty to total in that the receipts taken from the daily cash bock—I find there the entry of 47l., particulars of which are in the daily

cash book—46l. 3s. 1d. are the daily takings from 2nd August to 7th September—the prisoner kept that book—I find that total entered in the cash book in the prisoner's writing—on the other page I find the amount he paid out 47l. 14s. 4d.—46l. 3s. 1d. is in the prisoner's writing.

Cross-examined. The prisoner locked up the books when he went away, and entered them up afterwards when he came back—it is the prisoner's writing in both these books—the prisoner had no salary for the canteen—he was not paid by commission that I know of—he ordered all goods and paid all moneys—there was not to my knowledge any arrangement that he was entitled to be paid 12 percent.—the single men appointed him with the approval of the chief-superintendent—if he took commission from tradesmen he should show every item—he was struck off part of his ordinary duty for taking the canteen—I understood he could not take commission—he should show it if he did, and it would go to the credit of the canteen—on 7th September he had just returned from his wedding trip: he had been away 14 or 15 days—Haynes and Gray conducted the canteen during that time and took the takings—I have not had much experience in the conduct of the canteen—this is the first case I have known of canteen accounts getting muddled and mixed—I have heard of treasurers being taken before commissioners—I have audited the prisoner's books monthly up to the time of his leaving in August, and I have found nothing irregular—when he asked on 7th September for more time to make up his accounts he gave as a reason that he had been absent, and could nut get the books in—he did not present this receipt to any member of the canteen to obtain money on; he showed it to me as haying been paid, for the purpose of balancing his books—the receipt was not shown to me for the purpose of asking me to pay money to him—the prisoner was not personally liable to the tradesmen—I said at the police-court "You are responsible that the money is paid, and your comrades will have to pay it again"—he canteen would take him about four hours a day from his duties; we did not trouble him if we could do without him.

THOMAS HAYNES (Policeman A 306). I was the attendant who looked after the canteen and served the men—I took money from them and paid it to the prisoner the same day—he would enter in his takings book the same day, the day of the month and the sum I gave him; I put my signature in the same line and the prisoner would initial it—on 19th August I paid him 4l. 8s. 6d., that was the amount of receipts for the three days, 17th, 18th, and 19th—he has entered 17th 1l. 3s., 18th 1l. 3s., and 19th 1l. 2s. 7d., that comes to 3l. 8s. 7d.—my signature does not appear for those three days, because when I came to sign the prisoner said the book was not ready—he had not entered it.

Cross-examined. I commenced my duties at the canteen on 5th July and ceased on 9th September—I was in attendance during the prisoner's absence—I accounted to Sergeant Harris then, he is here—the prisoner left on 24th. August for his wedding tour I think—the books could not be found when he was away; they were in his possession—the books was made up when he came back—Sergeant Harris took the money and handed it to the prisoner when he came back—I made a note of 4l. 8s. 6d. at the time on the 19th—I made a note of the amounts received during his absence because I did not sign the book at the time—I have kept this piece of paper in my pocket ever since—these

other entries are what I handed to the other sergeant—the prisoner gave me no receipt for 4l. 8s. 6d.—I entered it in the daily takings book.

JOHN GRAVES (Policeman 716 A). I am attached to King Street station—on the 26th August I handed the prisoner the takings, amounting to 5l. 10s.—I could not say how many days' takings that was—I commenced duty on Monday, 15th August, but money had been taken out between the time I went in and the 23rd—I cannot say what days the 5l. 10s. relates to—I did not see what the prisoner entered in the book.

----HARRIS (Police-Sergeant A 88). From 24th August to 5th September while the prisoner was away, I took charge of the canteen—on 8th September I handed to him the takings, amounting to 26l. 8s. 3d., representing all the takings from 24th August to 7th September inclusive—he gave me a receipt for that amount—I did not see the takings book, the prisoner locked it up—he has entered up for those days 19l. 14s. 9d. instead of 26l.—he must broken up the total I gave him into those daily items.


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