21st October 1895
Reference Numbert18951021-829
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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829. JOSEPH FARNHAM (49) , Robbery with violence upon Alice Fitzwater and stealing a purse, two rings, and 5s., her property.

MR. CALTHROP Prosecuted, and MR. DRAKE Defended.

ALICE FITZWATER . I live at 18, Talbot Road, Twickenham—on October 14th, between seven and eight p.m., I was coming along the Staines Road from Han worth to Twickenham, and on the right-hand side of the road—a man came out of the ditch on the other side of the road—he came behind me and threw me down—the night was very dark—I was almost insensible—when I came to I felt the man feeling in my pockets—he took my purse, which contained 5s., and two gold rings—I had never seen him before—the prisoner is the man—he said he would have my money or my life—I said he should not have either—I struggled with him a little while, and scratched his face—I could not speak for a minute; when I could, I called to two boys; the man stood back by the side of the fence—I heard some singing, and the boys fetched two young men, one of whom took off his coat and went to the man—I am sure he had not left me—the man was wearing the same white clothes he has now—I scratched him on the left side of his face—the young man asked the prisoner what he had been doing—I think he said "Nothing"—he asked the way to the Grotto—after that he ran away towards the hospital bridge; it was very dark, I could not see whether he turned the corner—I was carried home—I was sent for to the Police-station—I identified the prisoner from 15 or 16 men—he had either a knife or a razor in his hand.

Cross-examined. The prisoner had the knife or razor in his hand before, and when Gatfield came up, I asked the boys to go home and fetch my father—the man was kneeling alongside, leaning over me—he let me go—a cross-road is near the spot—there are two or three gates near on the other side of the road, not exactly opposite to where I was lying—someone came behind and threw me down—he remained all the time—no woman was there—the boys are here—I was bruised down my side—no knife was used upon me—the man held the knife up and said he would use it, but he did not—one of the Gatfields took off his coat, not both—I recognised the prisoner before the Gatfields struck a match.

Re-examined. The Gatfields came up after he had knocked me down and robbed me; then the other people came up—when the match was struck the boys had gone to give information.

WALTER GATFIELD . I live at Hanworth—I am a labourer—on October 14th, about 8 p.m., I was coming from Hanworth to Twickenham—three boys came to me and made a statement—I went up to the prisoner who was standing two or three yards from the prosecutrix who was lying on the ground—and asked him what he was doing—he did not answer me at first—I struck two or three matches, when he walked up to me and asked me the way to the Grotto—he had a knife or razor in

his hand—I looked at him when I lit the match—I was with my brother.

Cross-examined. There are six cross-roads about fifty yards away—two girls were witn me—the boys came to me close against the corner of the road—I took off my coat and rolled up my sleeves as I was coming up to, the prisoner—my brother did the same—the boys ran away—the night was dark—I held the match to his face—the prosecutrix did not complain, she could not speak—I do not know where the Grotto is—the knife looked a lot bigger than the one produced.

ALBERT GATFIELD . I am the brother of the last witness—I live at Hanworth—I was with him coming from Hanworth near Lady Freke's place—some boys made a statement, in consequence of which I ran up to see what was the matter with the young woman—I saw the prisoner standing about three yards from her—my brother struck a match and asked the prisoner what he was doing—he would not answer—then he wanted to know the way to the Grotto and ran away towards the hospital bridge—we went to the girl's home and to the Police-station.

Cross-examined. We went towards the prisoner with our coats off.

MARTHA GODSALL (Cross-examined.) The prisoner was standing beside the fence when we came up.

JOHN NAPIER (608 T). On October 14th I received information, in consequence of which I went in pursuit of the prisoner—I saw him on the Saturday and jumped off my horse and questioned him—he made rambling statements, first that he came from Teddington, then that he came from Twickenham, and later that he came by Hounslow—I told him he answered a description I had received, and I should take him back to the station to have him identified—he said "All right, I will go with you, constable"—on searching him I found the knife produced, a pawnticket, fourpence in bronze, and a purse which I showed to the prosecutrix—it is not hers.

Cross-examined. The prisoner lives at Teddington—I found he had taken the tram from Teddington to Twickenham, and walked to Hounslow for work—if he had come by the cross-roads he would have come a long way round—I do not know him.

WILLIAM HOLLER (Police Sergeant). I took the charge against the prisoner—I cautioned him—he said, "It is all false evidence"—I noticed a considerable quantity of fresh blood on the left side of his cheek and on the back of his left hand.

Cross-examined. I have known him some time—he bears a very good character—I have been there six years and ten mouths—I went and saw one of the boys named Clark—I did not call them at the Police-court.

Evidence for the defence.

LOUIS FRENCH . On October 4th I was with two other little boys named Clark, going towards Hanworth—there are cross-roads—I saw Miss Fitzwater, who I knew, lying on the path—no one was beside her—she said, "Take me home"—she looked frightened—we asked her to sit up, she-said, "I can't"—we walked to the cross-road, and I saw a man who turned out to be the prisoner, when a match was struck in his face—he asked us to go to the Grotto—that is not so far as twice the length of this court—I did not see anything in his hand till the Gatfields struck a match, and then I think I saw something, but I cannot say what

it was—he was then standing about three yards from Miss Fitzwater—both the Gatfields took off their coats.

Cross-examined. I did not see who the man was at first, but it was the man I saw afterwards—neither of the Gatfields said anything to the prisoner—he did not say "What are you doing?"—The prisoner said nothing; he did not run away, he walked towards where he came from.

CHARLES CLARK . I am fourteen years old and live at Hanworth—on October 14th I was with my brother and French, and came across Miss Fitzwater, who was lying on the ground—I did not know her—no one was near her—it is not true that anyone was kneeling by her side—she looked as if she was coming round from a faint—she told us to take her home—I went to the cross-road and saw a man, I cannot say that it was the prisoner—he asked me the way to the Grotto—I then spoke to the two Gatfields, and they went towards where Miss Fitzwater was and took off their coats—I saw the prisoner standing there—I do not know whether the man I saw standing by the young lady was the same man who I had spoken to at the cross-roads—it was a very dark night—a policeman came to see me, and I made a statement to him—I was not called at the Police-court.

Cross-examined. The Gatfields struck a match at the cross-roads and said to the man there, "Let us have a look at you." I did not hear whether he answered.

----CLARK. One night in October I was with my brother and French in the Staines Road and saw Miss Fitzwater lying across the path—I knew her—she asked us to take her home—she looked as if she had been fainting—I saw a man at the cross-roads—I did not see anything in his hand, not even when a match was struck—I saw the two Gatfields take their coats off—the police came to my house, and I told them what I knew—I was not summoned to the Police-court.

By the COURT. It was 50 yards from where I saw the young lady lying on the footpath, to where I saw the man—the man went to where she was standing under the fence—we went back with him—we told him that we had found a girl lying there.

The prisoner received a good character.


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