25th March 1895
Reference Numbert18950325-338
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation
SentenceMiscellaneous > sureties

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338. GEORGE ROGERS (49) , Stealing a letter, an envelope, and an order for the payment of £7, the property of Davis Molenkamp.

MR. GRANTHAM Prosecuted, and MR. DRAKE Defended.

DAVIS MOLENKAMP . I am a jeweller, of Victoria Dock Road, Canning Town—on February 10th, the prisoner, who I have known some time, came in, and I asked him to get me a P.O.O. for £7, which I gave him, and 5d. for the order—he went away and came back with the order—in the meantime I had written a letter to W. E. Johnson; I put the order in it when the prisoner was close to me, and asked him to post it—he said, "Shall I put it in the pillar-box next door?"—I said, "Yes"—on the 15th I received a letter from Mr. Johnson—during the following week the prisoner came in once or twice, as I had promised to get him a situation—I told him the order had not been received—he said, "I suppose some b—postman has got it; you know where I live; I will always come forward and swear that I posted it"—he stayed away after that, and I sent for him, and asked him to write down that he posted it for me, and he did so—I saw him write this W. E. Johnson. (This was a declaration by the prisoner that he got the P.O.O., and posted the letter.)—this is the request I gave to the prisoner to go to the post-office.

Cross-examined. I have known him about eight years as an honest, hard-working man—he bought something of me on February 11th, but I did not ask him for the money, because he was out of work—another customer was in the shop—I had another letter, but that was not to be posted—I asked him to deliver it to my son at Plaistow, as he was going there—that was delivered all right, and on the following Saturday he came as usual—I did not send for him—he came sometimes once or twice

a week, but if he was at the factory not for a month—he had told me he was agent to a life office, but it did not bring him in sufficient—I spoke to him once or twice about the loss of the letter, and then he did not come, but his address was entered in the book—I asked him to deliver a letter to my son, but I did not ask him if he would mind putting a letter in the pillar-box.

Re-examined. It was the prisoner who offered to post the letter.

WILLIAM LORD (Constable, G.P.O.). I produce the money order B, and the requisition and the advice C, the payee being W. E. Johnson—the money order was cashed at the Post-office on February 12th, the day after it was taken out.

HENRY COOPER (Detective Sergeant). On March 8th I went to the prisoner's house, 23, Burnand Road, Silvertown, and said, "I shall take you for stealing a valuable document—he said, "He put it in the envelope, and I put it in the pillar-box."

WALTER JOHNSON . Mr. Molenkamp is my tenant—he owed me £12 10s. for rent in February—I received a letter from him, but never received this money order—this is not my signature; I did not authorise anybody to sign my name to this order—I was at my business place that day—I wrote to Mr. Molenkamp three days afterwards for the rent, which I had not received—I received the second letter on the day that it bears date.

Cross-examined. I employ about 120 hands, and receive from 20 to 40 letters a day, and almost daily letters containing remittances.

By the COURT. I have never had to complain of money remitted to the firm not being received—if I am not there on a Saturday the letters are sent to my house on Sunday, as the private letters are unopened—they fall into the office and are picked up by any clerk who is passing—an authorised clerk opens letters in my absence before my arrival in the morning, and private letters are put on one side.

ALFRED GEORGE KILLUP . I am a clerk in the Money Order Office, London—I paid this money order B on February 12th to the person who presented it between 10.30 and 11 a.m.—I have no remembrance of the person to whom I paid it.

THOMAS EDWARDS . I am a clerk in the General Post Office, and have had some experience as an expert in handwriting—the signature to the declaration A and to the order B are no doubt written by the same person, the first V of the "W" is parted at the bottom, and is larger than the second, and the second has a tendency to curve to the right—the next letter, "E," falls below the other two letters, and there is the same peculiarity in document "A"—in the "J" the loop at the bottom is the same in each—it is not disguised in the rest of the name Johnson—the striking similarity is in the letter "s"—we get the same in the words' undersigned "and"enclosing "in the break between the "J" and the "oh" and "s"—I can point put other instances—it is the prisoner's undisguised writing.

Cross-examined. I have been in the Post Office twenty years, and have devoted my attention to handwriting for ten years—the Post Office do not usually employ an expert—this is not a Post Office prosecution—I have been employed before the late Recorder and Mr. Justice Day and others.

By the COURT. Robberies are usually preceded by complaints—there

have been no complaints that letters have been lost from the districts in which they were posted or where they ought to have been delivered—there has been no complaint about the postmen who deliver letters to Mr. Johnson.

Re-examined. Postmen do not cash stolen P.O,O., because they have to be paid at a particular office, which ensures detection.

GUILTY.—Recommended to mercy by the JURY. Discharged on recognizances.

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