8th February 1892
Reference Numbert18920208-296
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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296. RUFUS WEIGHT (23) , Robbery with violence on William Ward, and stealing 14s. 8d., his money.

MR. ROUTH Prosecuted, and MR. SANDS Defended.

WILLIAM WARD . I am a superannuated Government clerk, and live at

Black Horse Road, "Walthamstow—on the evening of January 9th I went to the Royal Standard public-house—I am known there, and go there at least once a day—I had some rum, and put down a sovereign and got change—I gave five shillings to my son, and put the rest of the change into my left-hand pocket, loose—I saw the prisoner there, who I know by sight, and two others who I cannot identify—I left, and my son remained behind—when I got about fifty yards I was attacked by the prisoner and two others from behind, and knocked down flat on my back—the prisoner got on top of me—I was struck on my eye, and the prisoner put his hand in my left-hand pocket and took my money—they left me, and I got up and went to the fixed-point and told a constable—I was taken to the station the same night, and identified the prisoner from about thirteen men without any hesitation—I was about five minutes in the public-house, and he was there the whole time.

Cross-examined. My son came up while I was being assaulted, and went home with me—he and I had three pennyworth of rum each in the public-house, which I paid for—I had also been at the Essex Arms, where I had one pennyworth of beer, and I had my usual beer at lunch and dinner—my son went with me to the Essex Arms, and I treated him; I stood two drinks—it would not be correct to say that we had six drinks each—I heard him examined at Stratford, but did not hear him say, "I had six drinks, and my father bad the same number "; and if it was said it was not true—he is here—I heard Mr. Atkinson cross-examine him—the change was half a sovereign and ten shillings, less the drink; and I changed the half-sovereign and gave my son five shillings, so that I had 14s. 6d.—what was taken from me was all silver—I had a stick with me, and my son took it from under me, and used it on the three men—there were lamps at very long distances, and on the other side there is a long field for nearly a quarter of a mile—it was dark—the three men were on top of me; I was very much dazed, and cannot recognise them—they were short, thick-set men—I could not see their faces to swear to them—the prisoner's face was close to mine, and I knew him well, because he once attacked my wife—I know Delia by sight—I saw him the next morning, Sunday, and told him what had happened—I had a black eye, which the prisoner gave me—Delia asked me if I knew them, and I said, "It is in the hands of the police, and I will not answer any questions"—I did not say, "They well stroked me down, but I had nothing for them to take"—my son did not say to me on the Sunday, in the presence. of Goddard, an ex-police officer, that I had given some men a good hiding last night, and could do so again—when I came out at six o'clock I had £1 in my pocket and twopence—I was not drinking the whole evening with my son, nor did we have six drinks each at those two places—I can carry six glasses without being drunk-, but not ten; about six is my full capacity—I paid for the six glasses out of my usual money; before I changed the sovereign I took my wife out, and she generally has a glass of wine at the Essex Arms; we went along the Chingford Road, where she had some ginger-beer, and possibly had another glass of beer—the six glasses were not pretty well mixed, only with the rum—I paid for them with my own money; I always carry a shilling or two—I did not change the sovereign till the evening.

Re-examined. I brought out the sovereign for the first time at the

Royal Standard, just before I was attacked—it was loose in my pocket—the two men who knocked me down were behind me, and I cannot recognise them, but the prisoner was in front of me, lying on me—I did not say, "I had nothing to take"—that would have been untrue—when I saw Della I had made this charge.

PERCY WILLIAM WARD . I am a gunner in the Royal Artillery, and was on furlough—on January 9th I was with my father at the Royal Standard public-house, and saw the prisoner and two others, who I cannot identify—we had some drink, which my father paid for; he changed a sovereign, and gave me five shillings—after which we both had some rum, and after that a glass of ale each, which I paid for with some loose coppers—he left first, and I stopped there ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, when a boy came and said something, and I went out and found my father about fifty yards down Black Howe Road, with the prisoner on his chest, rifling his pockets, another man leaning on his chest, and a third standing up, who gave me a blow on my face and knocked me down—I was kicked on my mouth and almost stunned, and could not render my father any assistance—I identified the prisoner directly at the station.

Cross-examined. I was perfectly sober, and have a perfect recollection of everything that happened—I said before the Magistrate that I found my father 200 yards down the road, but I should say it was fifty yards—my father was lying on his stick, and I took it from under him, and tried to use it—I had a small regimental cane with me, which I used, but I did not use my father's stick; I pulled it out, as being heavier than mine, but it was knocked out of my hand—I told the Magistrate that I used my cane but used no stick—it is not true that Mr. Graham, the landlord, refused to serve us—we did not leave the house together—no one refused to serve us because we were drunk—I only had four or five drinks the whole evening, with my father; some were rum and the rest bitter ale—my father had the same amount—I think I had six drinks in the Standard—I went to the Essex Arms that night, but my father was not with me—I have been a soldier twelve months—I did not strike somebody who was close by me—it had been freezing and had thawed again—I do not know that man (Donald Clark) or that man (Delia), I do not recognise him as giving evidence for the defence before the Magistrate—I did not tell Clark next day. hat I had knocked somebody's eye out—I did not show Delia my knuckles, they were scratched—I did not say, "I guarantee one of them has got a mouthful of loose teeth"—I know the prisoner by sight, I have had no quarrel with him—I did not go back to the Standard that night.

JAMES BUCKLE (Detective Sergeant). A communication was made to the police about the robbery, and I saw the prisoner on 15th January, at 10 45 p.m., in the bar of the Black Horse public-house; I called him outside and told him he answered the description of a man, concerned with two others, in committing an assault and stealing 15s. from a man in Black Horse Lane on the 9th instant—I made a note at the time of what ho said—he said, "You have made a mistake; it was me that was assaulted"—I told him he would have to come to the station for identification—on the way there he said, "I saw the soldier in Black Horse Lane, he was drunk; I said to him, 'Hold up, soldier, it is rather slippery

to-night,' and with that both the men crossed to me, pushing me against the fence, and the soldier said, 'I have been a soldier twelve months,' and jobbed his stick in my eye"—I said, M And you hare done nothing?"—he said, "What do you think? when I have a chance I let out"—he was identified at the station from seven people taken from the street, and charged—he said, "I was by myself, no one was with me.

Cross-examined. I have made inquiries; nothing is said against his character.

Re-examined. He was fined for an assault on 21st November, 1891, but was admitted to bail.

Witnesses for the Defence.

GEORGE GRAHAM . I have kept the Royal Standard five months—I know the prosecutor and his son as customers—on January 9th, between eight and nine o'clock, they came in, and the father had half-a-pint of ale—the soldier never asked for anything—they went away together; no boy came in and called the soldier, I was in the bar the whole time—the soldier came back into the bar five or six minutes after wards with a stick la his hand, swagging about some person, and said he would give him a good hiding if he came across him—it was not a soldier's cane, it was a stick—he was just as usual, fresh—my niece was behind the bar—the old gentleman put coppers down, nothing else, he changed no gold that night—there was no gold in the till—I have two sons and a niece to help me—if a sovereign was changed I should have seen it—the prisoner is an honest young fellow—I have not heard that he was fined 10s. for an assault; I have never heard anything against him.

Cross-examined. The prosecutor is a customer also—I was not called before the Magistrate, I was subpœnaed here—there were only three people in my house, three working men—the prisoner was not one of them—I did not hear about this robbery till a week afterwards, but January 9th is fixed upon my mind by the soldier coming in and saying he had been attacked; he never mentioned robbery—I do not take the money; I have a till on which all silver is placed, and the gold is placed on a shelf—I do not watch every copper that is paid—I am a Yorkshire-man.

Re-examined. The change is kept in one place, and whoever changes a sovereign goes to that place—I always keep my eye on that place.

JAMES DELLA . I am a labourer, of 3, Iron Place, Walthamstow; on Sunday, January 10th, about 11.30 a.m., I saw the prosecutor; he had a black eye, and said, "You see what they did to me last night"; I said, "What was the cause of their doing that to you? I have always seen you about quiet, and not interfering with anyone"—he said, "I don't know"—I said, "Did they do it with the intention of taking anything away from you?"—he said, "They might have thought I had got something, seeing me walk about at my leisure; they both stroked me down, but I had got nothing"—his son showed me his cut lip and said, "You see what they have done to me. Do you see my knuckles?"—the skin was off both knuckles—I have no animosity against the complainant; he never did me harm—I have known the prisoner about three years; he was always honest and hardworking, and very much respected—he is a labourer.

Cross-examined. He did not tell me he had been to the police and

charged them, and I did not know it—I did not mention about the mouthful of loose teeth before the Magistrate; I was stopped; they did not wish to hear me any further, and I was ordered out of the witness-box—he did not say, "It is in the hands of the police, and I will not say anything"—he said, "I had nothing to take"—I gave evidence on the Wednesday following; nobody asked me to do so; I done it gratis; I did not know he was charged till I saw Mr. Purbank; they said he was locked up—I did not know what it was about—I came forward and told the solicitor I wanted to give information.

DONALD CLARK . I am a commercial traveller, of Zion Hill, Waltham-stow—I only know the prosecutor and his son by sight—I was going to meet my wife, and stood a few minutes outside the Standard till she arrived about nine o'clock—she had some refreshment, and the soldier-came up in his full uniform and made use of a very rude remark, saying he had knocked somebody in the b——eye, and called the ostler to come out—I advised him to go home, and wash his face and go to bed—I do not know the prisoner—I have no interest in the matter.

Cross-examined. I got there about 8.50—I saw no struggle.

ALFRED GODDARD . I am a pensioned City constable, and live at Walthamstow—I know the prosecutor and his son—on 9th January, about 8.45, I saw them in Forest Road, in front of me, with their arms linked together, and I had a hard matter to get along, as they were staggering—on the next night I saw them in the Essex Arms, between eight and nine o'clock—the son was showing his knuckles, and said, "I have loosened some of their teeth, but I have got this for it, "pointing to a swelled lip—his father came in a few seconds afterwards and said, "Yes, I have got this for it, but I think they have got the worst of it"—he had a lack eye—he said, "They rubbed me down: they thought of getting something, but I had nothing for them."

Cross-examined. I do not know whether the prosecutor and his son had already made their complaint; I did not hear that—perhaps the remark, "I have got this for it," was not taken down at the Policecourt—the Magistrate asked me if the prosecutor was drunk, and I said I never saw him sober—he never was sober, to my knowledge, till this case was pending; I have been in the force over twenty years, and I should not have lent myself to it—I was not asked before the Magistrate what the father said, I stated it to the solicitor—I went to the Police-court on the remand, to give evidence; I did not know who the party was who was supposed to have struck these two—I saw nothing that occurred after the prosecutor and his son got into the Standard.


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