24th November 1890
Reference Numbert18901124-44
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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44. FRANK BRADLEY (45) AND JAMES STELFOX (56) , Forging and uttering an order for £5 15s.

MRSSRS. MUIR and A. GILL Prosecuted; and MRSSRS. WILLES and TYERELL Defended Stelfox.

JAMES ELLIS . I live at 15, Dunstan Street, Haggerstone—I am fore man to Mr. Meek, timber merchant, at Hackney—on 4th October the prisoners came to our yard—Stelfox looked out some wood to buy—he asked me if I could give him change for this cheque—the value of the wood was nearly £4, I cannot say exactly—it was to be delivered by our man. (On the London Trading Bank, Limited, by Currie and Walmer to J. Stelfox for £5 15s)—he said Bradley knew the people; they were good for £1,000, and as safe as the Bank of England—I asked the address, and he said, Eldon Street, Finsbury, and that it was all right—Mr. Meek gave them the change in my presence; I cannot recollect the amount—I saw the cheque endorsed; it was returned, marked "No account," and I saw the prisoners about it—we held the cheque over from the Saturday till the following Friday; it was returned on the Tuesday, and I went to Stelfox on the Wednesday—I told him the cheque had been returned; he said ho rather expected it would, and "Bradley told me to tell the timber people if the cheque should come back to hold it over for a few days, and the money would be there"—then he said, "I suppose you look to me for the money?"—I said, "Certainly we do, for we can't find these people—he said, "I will come down; you will have to see my

governor"—he promised to come the next day, and came, and promised to pay £1 a week, and the following Saturday he came and paid £1, and I think he laid out 30s. besides—on the following Thursday I think he paid 15s., and laid out 30s. again—the wood was delivered, which he paid the cheque for—we inquired, and could not find the name of Currie L „ and Walmer in Eldon Street.

Cross-examined by MR. TYRRELL. I have known Stelfox about twenty-six years—I have done business with him—I have had other cheques from him—those have been right—only the endorsement is Stelfox's—I asked him if the people were all right—then he passed the question on to Bradley.

Cross-examined by Bradley. When Stelfox asked you, you might have said, "Yes, perfectly right; I have had two from the same bank."

FREDERICK COOKE . I keep the Bishop Blaize public-house, New Inn Yard, Shoreditch—on 27th September Bradley brought me this cheque. (Drawn by W. R. Morris on the London Trading Bank, payable to H. Bradley, for £3 3s)—he asked me about changing it for him—I said I did not care about doing it—Stelfox said it was all right, that Morris's were as right as the Bank of England, and worth thousands—I had seen Bradley several times—I knew Stelfox—I cashed the cheque—Bradley said he. got it from a man for selling four tables—he showed me a note to show. that he had got some more to do for the same man—the cheque came back marked" No account"—Bradley endorsed it in my presence—I tried to find Bradley, but did not succeed informed the police—I saw Stelfox after I cashed the cheque, but not after it was dishonoured—the day before it came back Stelfox said the cheque was sure to come back as Bradley had been to see him, and he said he (Bradley) would come down on the Saturday and pay a sovereign, and the rest at 10s. a week—he did not come—I saw Stelfox again—he said a man named Charles Prior would call on the Thursday and pay me the money—I waited in, no one came—I have not been paid—I inquired, but found no trace of W. K. Morris—I told Stelfox so—he said he thought Morris belonged to the people in the Curtain Road.

Cross-examined by MR. TYRRELL. I have known Stelfox several years as a customer—I have changed cheques for him—they have been right—I believe I said at the Police-court Stelfox said Morris's were worth thou sands, and safe as the Bank of England; no, I do not believe I did—I know nothing about the practice of cabinet-makers.

FREDERICK MILLER . I live at 12, Downham Road—I am employed by Bradley—on Friday, 26th September, I saw a Mr. Coutts in his shop—I did not hear what was said—I saw Coutts writing on a piece of paper. something like a cheque—I do not know Morris—I had seen Coutts in the shop before—he was done no work for twelve months—four tables were made, and I believe on the Saturday some were sold to Mr. Fit by Bob Thompson, a commission agent, for 10s. or 11s.—I do not know of any cheques being received that day—I do not know Splinter, nor Currie and" Walmer.

Cross-examined by MR. WILLES. I am an apprentice—the working cabinet-makers make up stuff and sell it to the wholesale firms—they sometimes receive cheques, but our work was never large enough for a cheque, it was never much more than £1—I have known Coutts a long while by his coming to the shop.

Cross-examined by Bradley, I came to you the beginning of last winter—I heard you say, "Endorse the back"—I was taken up for assault, and bound over for six months.

ROBERT THOMPSON . I am an agent, of 42, Cooper Street, City Road—about the end of December I sold for Bradley two tables to Mr. Fits, of New Inn Yard—Fits paid me 24s—I gave Bradley 22s. in money—the boy took one—Stelfox was with Bradley when I found the money.

Cross-examined by MR. WILLES. Small workmen make up work in the week and sell it to the wholesale firms—I sell it for them—the wholesale firms pay cheques if the amount is large enough—the small men do not club together to sell their work, I sell for each individually—the men have no banking account—they take the cheque to a publican to get it changed, or pay it away to a timber merchant or other tradesman—some of the publicans keep money for that purpose—Morris and Austin are well-known people in Worship Street, and easily found—their cheques are right for thousands.

Cross-examined by Bradley. I sold work for you several times—I always received the discount—I have known you so pressed as to pledge your goods.

GEORGE BERRY . I keep the Devonshire Arms, 114, Pitfield Street—on 30th September a woman brought me this cheque to change. (Drawn by J, S. Splinter on the London and Trading Bank, Limited, for £3 3s., payable to A, Bradley or Order)—I changed it—I knew Bradley as a customer—I paid it into the bank—it was returned marked "No account"—I sent for Mr. Bradley five or six times; eventually he came—he said he received the cheque for four tables his boy had sold the previous Saturday—I was not paid—after a deal of trouble I saw him again at home.

Cross-examined by Bradley. You did not come to me directly—you asked me to take the money for the cheque, but I did not get it.

SARAH BARON . I live at 4, Fanshawe Street—in September I was living with Bradley—he gave me a cheque to cash—I got the money at the Devonshire Arms—I saw Coutts at my place one Saturday after I had the cheque—Bradley was there—they were in my room—I got them a pen and ink—I was ordered out of the room—Bradley was taken into custody—Stelfox, Cooke, and I went to the station about my child on the Wednesday—Bradley was charged on the Friday.

Cross-examined by MR. WILLES. Bradley was out on the Wednesday—Stelfox did not say Mr. Cooke was with him.

Cross-examined by Bradley. You were ill with fits last year.

By the JURY. Bradley took away my child, and I went to the station about it.

WHITEMAN COOPER . I am manager to the London Trading Bank, Limited, Coleman Street—we have no accounts named on these three cheques—the forms are from a book issued to Josiah Kelly in December, 1881—in January, 1882, his balance was 4s. 9d.—there has been no transaction since 1882—at the end of September and beginning of October last those three cheques were presented, and returned by us, marked "No account"—we had not Kelly's address—he communicated with us after the cheques were presented, and we signed the cheque for 4s. 9d.—we supplied the form—I did not know the other cheques were his till the day after—two cheques are in the same writing, but not that

of 4th October—the three cheques are consecutive numbers from the same cheque-book.

WILLIAM WARMACK (Police Constable). I took Bradley on 10th October—I told him he would be charged with uttering a cheque on Mr. Cooke—he made no answer.

Cross-examined by MR. WILLES. Stelfox was at the Police-court on three occasions.

Re-examined, The first occasion referred to Cooked case only—Stelfox was not subpœnaed; he came voluntarily.

ARTHUR SEWELL (Police Sergeant G). I took Stelfox at the Red Lion public-house, Hoxton Street, about one o'clock on 29th October—he spoke first, but I said, I must tell you you are now going to be charged with being concerned with this man "(he had mentioned Bradley's name)—he said, I am innocent, so help me, God! I thought it would come to-this—I took him to the station—he was charged—he made no reply.

Cross-examined by MR. WILLES. I had seen him at the Court, and had spoken to him—he began to say something, when I stopped him.

The Prisoners' Statements before the Magistrate. Bradley says: "I am innocent. "Stelfox says: "The cheque I took to Ellis I received from Bradley."

FREDERICK COOKE (Cross-examined by MR. WILLES). I met Stelfox and Baron in the Kingsland Road—I had seen Selfox before that—I did not know he had gone to Bradley's house—I went with them to the station, because I was going the to lay information in reference to the cheque—they did not know it till I told them—I said, "I am going to the station to complain about these false cheques"—they said they were going about Mrs. Baron's child, and they came with me and heard my complaint to the inspector on duty—I had seen Stelfox several times-about the cheque—he had only told me the cheque had come back, and what I have stated.

Bradley, in his defence', stated that he received the cheque for £5 5s. from a man who purchased two tables, and made an appointment for the Monday to buy more, and when it was found to be bad, offered to pay the amount by instalments, which nothing but illness prevented; that he took the cheque in a fair way of trade, and there was not a stain on his character for twenty-five years.

GUILTY of uttering.

STELFOX then PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction of felony in August, 1881, at Worship Street. Twelve Months' Hard Labour each.

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