24th June 1889
Reference Numbert18890624-564
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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564. HARRIET HUGHES (27) , Stealing £10 1s. 4d., the moneys of Frederick Smyth, her master.

MR. KERSHAW Prosecuted, and MR. KEITH FRITH Defended.

ELLEN SMYTH . I am the wife of Major Smyth, of 35, Matlock House, Ealing—the prisoner had been our cook for three and a half years—she left on 18th May, after giving a months notice—I kept money in a wash leather bag in my dressing-case—I had £10 1s. 4d. and four sovereigns, which I had kept since 1841, there; I last saw it safe about 6th May—I could swear to this sovereign among twenty as one of them—it is dated 1832, and I have had it since 1841, just after I was married—among the other three coins were a Russian coin and a George III. guinea—on Saturday, 5th May, I missed all the money, and this 1832 sovereign out of the bag; on the following Monday I gave information to the police—the dressing-case was locked—I left the keys sometimes in one place, sometimes in another, on the mantelpiece or drawers, or under the dressing-case—I think the prisoner knew where I kept the money; I have taken some out when she was making the beds.

Cross-examined. When she was with me I had one other servant, who had been with me seven years, and another servant left a few days before the prisoner—I last saw my money safe between the 4th and 6th; I am certain—I am certain the sovereign was dated 1832; I often saw it, I

know it by a mark on the ear and two small marks on the margin—I can tell it from the other William IV. sovereign of 1832—I know the prisoner has asserted her innocence; she was advised to come here for trial.

FREDERICK SMYTH . I am a retired Major in the Army, and husband of the last witness—the prisoner was brought to me at Willesden Junction by Sergeant Mott, and I gave her in charge—she had been in my service about three and a half years—on 6th May I paid her £1 10s., and on 17th May, the night before she left, I paid her 12s., the balance of her wages—about 1841 I gave my wife a William IV. sovereign—I cannot identify it.

ELLEN TILLING . I am female searcher at Ealing Police-station—on 29th May I searched the prisoner, and found this purse on her; in it was £11 10s. gold, 8s. silver, and 3d. bronze—I handed it to Mott.

Cross-examined. It was not concealed.

ALICE SEXTON . I am housemaid in Major Smyth's service, where the prisoner was cook—she left on 18th—about the beginning of May she said she was very short of money—she said she was going to set sail on 30th May for California, and was going home to Wales first.

Cross-examined. When she said she was short of money she said she wanted to buy a lot of things, as she was going so far; she said she should have money when she went to Wales; that she had some in the bank in Wales, which she had sent to her mother to put away for her—she has borrowed money from me, and always repaid it—I had known for some time she was going away.

EDWIN MOTT (Detective Sergeant X). About half-past seven on 29th May I arrested the prisoner at Willesden Junction—I told her Major Smyth was going to charge her with stealing £11; she said, "What proof has he got?"—I said I did not know—I took her to the station, where she was searched—the female searcher gave me this purse and this sovereign, which Mrs. Smyth identified—when the prisoner was charged she made no statement—afterwards she said, "I can easily account for the money found in my possession; my brother in America sent £8 in paper money to my mother in Wales; she changed it, and gave me £8 in gold. While riding in the train, I sold my watch and chain for £3 to a lady, a stranger who I did not know, and it is not true what the witness Sexton said that I told her I had got money in the bank in Wales."

Cross-examined. She said she did not take the money—the Bench offered to take bail, but she was not bailed.

MARY HUGHES . I live in Wales—on 20th May the prisoner came to me—I had received £8 in notes from her brother in America, and I left it for her where we keep our money, and she took it.

Cross-examined. Her character has always been good; she has been away for a long time—I never heard of her being extravagant—I cannot write—my son sent over £8 to his father, who cashed the note in Newtown and gave it to the prisoner with 10s., which he added to it—she did not take the £8 without our leave—I know she took away £8 10s.; my husband is here—she did not tell me she had sold her watch and chain; if she did so it was after she left home—she had been talking about going to California for a long time; I daresay that is why she had

the £8—she had been contemplating leaving her situation for some time.

Re-examined. She was wearing her watch and chain at home.


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