8th September 1896
Reference Numbert18960908-639
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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639. ALBERT CHRISTOPHER ADDISON (34) , Forging and uttering an order for the payment of £2 5s., with intent to defraud. (See page 992.)

MR. JOHN O'CONNOR Prosecuted.

ROBERT HENRY BICKNELL . I am an engineer, of 11, Auckland Road, Primrose Hill—the prisoner was in my employment as a shorthand clerk up to July 27th, I think—I did not discharge him; he absented himself; he should have come on July 31st, but he did not—I employed him on alternate weeks—the first thing that made me suspect anything wrong was when Mrs. Townend brought me these two cheques, and asked whether they were mine—they were out of my old cheque-book, which was in a drawer in my office; the prisoner would have access to the cheque-book if he opened

the drawer; he had no business with the drawer—I know his writing well—I believe these cheques are written by him—I did not write them—they are drawn payable to Addison, and endorsed Addison—one is signed Robert H. Bicknell, and the other R. H. Bicknell—I went with Mrs. Townend to the Police-station, and made a communication to the police.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. Before I went away I asked you to clear out a lumber cupboard, which contained a lot of old drawings and papers—I cannot say that there were any cheque-books there—these cheques are drawn on a bank in London, where I have £5—I have an account in the Capital and Counties Bank at Boston—you were not discharged—the morning I went away I asked you if you had seen my cheque-book—I afterwards received it from Mrs. Bicknell; you told her that you had found it—that was the Capital and Counties Bank cheque-book—the signature to these cheques does not in the least resemble mine; it is not even a colourable imitation—you arranged to work for me for £1 a week.

MABEL TOWNEND . I am the wife of Percy Townend, of 174, Prince of Wales' Road, Kentish Town—the prisoner lodged with me—on July 24th he was in my debt—his wife gave me this cheque for £2 5s., and I gave her 16s. 5d. change—I put the cheque in my purse, and on the following Monday the prisoner's wife told me something which roused my suspicion, and after speaking to my husband I went and asked Mr. Bicknell if these cheques were all right before I presented them.

Cross-examined. Your wife has since paid the money—I declined to prosecute at the time.

GEORGE WALLACE (Detective Sergeant Y). I arrested the prisoner, and told him I should take him to the Kentish Town Police-station, where he would be charged with being concerned, with his wife, in forging and uttering two cheques on the National Provincial Bank, St. James' Street Branch, and thereby obtaining money—he replied, "My wife is perfectly innocent of any knowledge of the cheques being forged; I alone am to blame"—when I asked for the cheque-book he said, "Here it is," and handed it to me at once—it contains counterfoils corresponding to the cheques.

The Prisoner, in his defence, stated that he had written the cheques, but without any intention to defraud, as Im hoped to obtain extra work and replace the money.

GUILTY.—Strongly recommended to mercy by the JURY, owing to the circumstances under which he was placed. There was another indictment for forgery against the prisoner.— Six Months' Hard Labour.

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