5th April 1897
Reference Numbert18970405-322
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error
Navigation< Previous text (trial account) | Next text (trial account) >

322. JOHN FRANCIS HALL (30) , Unlawfully conspiring with Arthur Linton to defraud William Henry Dicken of divers sewing machines and other articles.

MR. ELLIOT Prosecuted, and MR. ABINGER Defended.

GEORGINA MURRAY . I live at 129, Winston Road, Stoke Newington—I am single, and let lodgings—on November 4th I let the defendant a furnished room for himself and his brother, who came with him afterwards—after some weeks he said his brother would change his name to Arthur Linton, because they were going to change firms for business purposes, and that letters and packages would come in that name—the second week in January Linton went away—the prisoner remained—Linton came back on January 31st, and they both stayed till February 3rd, when they both went away without leaving an address.

Cross-examined. Linton left on January 8th—he called on January 9th, and took away some goods in a cab—the defendant said on January 23rd that he wished to give up his room.

WILLIAM HENRY DICKEN . I am a jeweller and fancy goods dealer, at 43, Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill, under the style of Hibbins and Co.—shortly after Christmas I put an advertisement in the Daily Telegraph, in consequence of which I received a letter signed "Arthur Linton, of 129, Winston Road, Stoke Newington"—by arrangement, Linton called, and I engaged him as traveller on commission and salary—he was to commence work the following Friday—on the Friday he called, took his stock, and went to Bristol the following morning—I subsequently heard from him from Bristol—I afterwards received a letter from the defendant, and, in consequence, after an interview on January 12th, when he proved he had been working for the same kind of firms, and on his producing receipts for stock, I gave him stock, and arranged that he should commence work forthwith in the name, of William Francis Hall, he giving an address in the Ball's Pond Road—I mentioned to him that I had sent a man to Bristol—he did not appear to know anything about it—I should be almost sure to mention his name—I corresponded with Linton from January 12th to 28th regularly, and received regular

orders from him by post, in consequence of which I sent him goods and money to the gross value of £175—ini consequence of something I heard, I went to Bristol—I did not see Linton—I made an inspection of the orders, and found Linton had collected goods already supplied—in consequence of that I called upon the police—out of the thirty-one orders fifteen were fictitious, and, with the exception of three, the machines had been taken away from the customers by Linton—I came backto London, and conversed with the defendant on February 6th—I told him all about it—he said he knew the man—I told him I had found out they had lodged together as brothers—he said, "Oh, that is nothing; it is an easy matter to say that; in fact, his name is not Linton," and he mentioned a name which I forget—he denied that they were brothers or that he knew him at first, but he afterwards admitted that he knew him—in consequence of some orders nob being satisfactory, and the experience I had had that week, and the knowledge that he had been in connection with Linton, I refused to pay him until I had inspected the orders—I told him, if he thought I was unfair I would lend him half-a-sovereign on account, and he could go with my inspector and visit the customers, and the inspector would have the money to pay the balance; and if he could prove he had no connection with Linton, I should be prepared to reinstate him—he threatened to expose me, and called me a swindler, and so on—he said, "Well, if you don't pay me my money, then I shall do the same as Linton has done"—I sent for a policeman, and gave him in charge—I had sent the commission to Bristol in return for the orders—I had not received any money from Bristol—I charged him with obtaining money by false pretences, and refusing to give up his stock—he was taken to the station—the officer there advised me that, under the circumstances, it was better I did not charge him, and he was let go—he waited for me outside the station, and confessed that the orders he brought in were not executed, and offered, if I sent to his place and gave him back the orders, to give the goods back—I sent to his place in Millard Road, and my employes-brought goods back which were supposed to belong to customers—I asked him to sign a document to that effect—I reported Linton's case to the police, and they advised me to go before a Magistrate, and apply for a warrant—I applied for a warrant, and the Magistrate told me to give Linton into custody, but we could not find him—in consequence of inquiries made by Detective Harris, we found that the goods which had been sent to Linton, at Bristol, had been seen at Millard Road, where the prisoner had lodged—the police applied at Greenwich Police-court for a warrant against Linton and Hall—Hall was arrested at one the next morning—I had sent to Bristol, amongst other things, a gold watch, of the value of about £3 15s. or four guineas.

Cross-examined. My firm is called Hibbins and Co.—my wife's maiden name was Hibbins—the defendant gave me the reference of Hart and Co., of Chiswick, Pritchard, Cross, Barnett, and various others—the inspector did not refuse to take the charge; he advised me to apply for a warrant, which would be a protection to me—he did not take the charge—when I came out of the Police-station the defendant said, "You are a lucky fellow," and as we walked together he said, "I have only done what is right," and so on; "I have had enough of this, but if I can help you in

the matter of Linton I will, and if you will send over to ray place for the orders not delivered, you can have the goods that ought to have been delivered"—this was on a Saturday—he did not tell me the goods ought to have been delivered on the Saturday by seven o'clock—he brought in orders, but did not tell me who bought, and I do not pay the commission till the order is executed—I did not write my deposition—I am not responsible—I mean every word is not given—I do not think it was read at the finish of the case—I signed my name outside the Court.

Re-examined. The defendant gave me the printed stationery of firms—Harts told me the defendant gave up their stock, but after he had left, they found he had lifted sewing machines—Barnett said the defendant was in their employ four or five months, which included the time he was in my service, and I asked whether that was his agreement—I went to Frost's, at Bristol, who gave him a very inferior character.

By MR. ABINGER. Mr. Barnett said a lot of the defendant's orders were anything but good—he did not give him the character of what I should call an honest man—he did not say he had employed him five or six years—he said he would take him back—he is not still working for him—while working for Harts', and while in my employment, he was working for Mr. Barnett.

By the JURY. The defendant's salary was 5s. a week, and commission of twenty percent, and seventeen and a-half percent, on orders—we paid him during three weeks £20, but not'travelling expenses, which is not the custom of the trade—he was limited to London.

CAROLINE ELIZA FAIRWEATHER . I live at 5, Millard Road, Stoke Newington—on January 27th the defendant engaged a room from February 3rd—it was not disengaged when he called first—before February 3rd he called, and said he had some boxes—he wanted a box-room, but I had not one, and I arranged to put his boxes somewhere till the room was empty—he brought six boxes—he told me they contained sewing machines, albums, and things—I placed them in the cellar—on February 3rd he came with his brother, whom he introduced as Linton—they came as friends; but on the day they were to have come Hall told me that, on account of different arrangements with the firm, Linton was not able to come with him—he came, but he went away—I saw Linton only once or twice—he never stayed—Hall came on February 3rd, and remained till the 12th, when he was arrested—he only took one machine away.

Cross-examined. I suggested the goods being put in the cellar; it runs under the two parlours, and is where we place coal and wood, and my husband has a carpenter's bench there—when the tenant left, the boxes were placed in the prisoner's room—there was no attempt to conceal them—my husband put them in the cellar—I remember the prisoner taking one machine away—he did not tell me anything about it.

WILLIAM WELLS . I am clerk in charge of the booking-office at Finchley Road Station, North-Western Railway—on February 10th a wooden case was deposited in the cloak-room—this is the ticket—to the best of my belief the prisoner is the man who waited outside, while another man deposited the box—I afterwards handed the case to Detective Harris.

GEORGE THOMPSON . I am an assistant to Messrs. Muller, pawnbrokers, 50, Stoke Newington Road—I produce a gold watch pledged, on January 30th, for 18s. by a woman in the name of Ann Smith, of 20, Cooper Road, Stoke Newington—this is the duplicate, which we keep.

JOHN HIBBINS . I am a clerk to Mr. Dicken, the prosecutor—I live at 43, Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill—part of my duty is to forward goods to travellers—on January 12th I sent our traveller, Arthur Linton, at Bristol, two sewing machines, value £8 12s., and three albums, value five guineas, on January 16th two sewing machines, value £8 and £4, and on January 19th two more, value £9 18s.—since the arrest I have identified those goods at the Police-station; also the gold watch, pledged at Mutter's, as the watch, worth four guineas, that I sent to Linton—the prisoner worked on a commission of seventeen and a-half percent, for gold watches, and twenty per cent, for all other goods—he travelled in London—he also received 5s. a week,

Cross-examined. I do not see why Dicken should not trade under the name of Hibbins or any other—I am his brother-in-law—I receive a salary, and have an interest as well.

ARTHUR HARRIS (Detective, P). I arrested the prisoner at 5, Millard Road, Stoke Newington, at 1.15 a.m., on February 12th—I read the warrant to him—he made no reply—having taken him to the station, I went back lo his lodgings at six a.m.—I found five sewing machines, in cases; two in the cellar, covered with shavings, two in the bedroom, covered with cloth, one in a case in a box in a cupboard, and two albums on the top of two machines, covered over—Hibbins has identified the articles—I conveyed the prisoner to Sydenham Police-station—he was charged, and went before a Magistrate at Greenwich Police-court, and was remanded—on the 13th I went to his lodgings again—on searching a box I found thirty-five pawn-tickets, including the one referred to by Thompson—I met the prisoner while he was out Oh bail—I had a conversation with him in Dalston Lane—he said he was very sorry for Dicken; he would help him all he could—I said, "Whatever you like to say, I will make use of it in evidence, and tell the Magistrate; there is one machine I have not found yet"—he said, "You will find that at Finchley Road"—I said, "Can you tell me the name it is left in?"—he said, "No, I cannot"—I said, "Did you leave it?—he said, "No, Linton left it"—I said, "You do not know the name?"—he said, "No, I do not"—I had found on him a ticket in the name of Palmer; so, after I had searched his lodgings, I went to Finchley Road, where I saw the machine the clerk Hibbins identified as the one he had sent to Bristol.

Cross-examined. The landlady told me her husband had put the goods in the cellar—they were apparently concealed under a bench—you could see they were boxes, but would not think there were sewing machines in them.

Re-examined. Before the prisoner said anything I had the cloak-room ticket, and could have gone to Finchley Road for the box.

The Prisoner, in his statement before the Magistrate, said that he was innocent of fraud or conspiracy. He thought his brother, having been in trouble, liad taken the name of Linton to get respectable employment; that he knew his brother had obtained employment from the prosecutor, but had no idea he was not serving him honestly; that he took charge of the goods for his brother as an act of kindness, and they were not concealed; that his brother denied that the goods were obtained from Hibbins and Co., and he had no idea they tvere obtained improperly. He denied telling the prosecutor he would serve him in the same manner as Linton had done; that

he was angry because the prosecutor would not pay his commission, and said he would keep the goods till he did; that on February 8th, when dismissed, he went back to his former employer, Mr. Barnett, where he remained till arrested; and that he had not seen his brother since February 10th, and had no idea where he was. (The prisoner received a good character.)


View as XML