WILLIAM WILKINSON, ALBERT WILLIAM WILSON, HUGH WILSON, FRANCIS JOSEPH FIETH, CHARLES HANIK, FRANCIS JOSEPH WILKINS, CHARLES MAIN.
16th May 1898
Reference Numbert18980516-388
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown; Guilty > lesser offence; Guilty > unknown; Guilty > with recommendation; Guilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > penal servitude; Imprisonment > hard labour; Imprisonment > hard labour; Imprisonment > penal servitude; Imprisonment > hard labour

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388. WILLIAM WILKINSON (57), ALBERT WILLIAM WILSON (46), HUGH WILSON (17), FRANCIS JOSEPH FIETH (47), CHARLES HANIK (47), FRANCIS JOSEPH WILKINS (39), and CHARLES MAIN (46) , Unlawfully conspiring to obtain from Hugh Maxwell and others a quantity of metal boxes and other goods by false pretences. Other Counts, for obtaining goods and credit under false pretences.

MESSRS. J. C. MATHEWS, BODKIN, and PERCIYAL E. CLARKE Prosecuted, and MR. BURNIK Defended Main.

HKNRY RUSTON . I am chief clerk to Mr. Harry Marlow, Excelsior Works, Dudley—I took over the business from Sproston's in August, 1896—I received this letter from the TyPan Tea Company, 13, Carysfort Road, Stoke Newington, club caterers, stating that a client wanted a catalogue—I sent a catalogue to G. and A. Dyae—I received this order for twelve bedsteads, giving as a reference R. H. Vosper, 9, Mincing Lane—I wrote to Vosper, from whom I got this reply on paper with a telegraphic address, "Defia, London," that transactions had been entirely satisfactory—I supplied the goods—I received this acknowledgment of September 5th, 1896, and a further order, which I did not execute—I next got a letter pressing us to deliver—I replied that our usual custom on first transactions was to ask for a cheque before sending the goods, but we had made an exception in their case, and asking for a remittance—the answer was Dyas and Co.'s letter, stating that they had given us a reference, and expected usual terms—I never was paid—I never saw the goods again—£11 11s. 2d. was the trade price, including carriage.

Cross-examined by Wilkins. We should not send out goods without proper inquiry—in your case we had a reference—upon the faith of Vosper's reference we sent the goods—I had no doubt of its being a genuine transaction till I got no reply to our asking for payment—our terms of discount are five per cent, monthly—the same as Birmingham.

FREDERICK JOHN DAVENPORT . I am a salesman in the bed and bed-stead department of Crisp and Co., of Seven Sisters Road, grocers and store-keepers—I have been there five years—early in September, 1896, I bought some bedsteads from a design submitted to me by a man I do not recognise—I made the price—he gave the name of Wilson or Hanik—I believe the name was Wilson—I do not think he gave any name—there were two lots—he gave no addres—this is my signature (Referring to his deposition)—yes, he gave the name of Dyas and Co.—I bought six bedsteads at three guineas—this is the receipt—the man was paid at the counting house—the goods were delivered into my department, and have since been sold—I believe they were delivered in straw, as they come from the manufacturers—I am first salesman—I took it for granted the man came from a respectable firm—on September 9th I bought six more bedsteads from designs for £4 10s. from the same man—I bought two better bed-steads a long time ago for £7 13s.—I should not know the man again if I

saw him—the "set" mentioned on the invoice means the head, foot, and frame, but no bedding.

Cross-examined by Wilkins. They were not damaged, only in transit—nothing was said about their being damaged—we often buy bedsteads on designs—they are paid for through the counting-house—I was buyer pro. tern.—they were packed in straw.

HARRY DAINTRY . I live at 1, Alkham Road, Stoke Newington—I was a traveller for Rowley and Davies, tea merchants, 27, Mincing Lane—I recognise Wilkins and A. W. Wilson, as G. and A. Dyas, of Carysfort Road—my firm supplied them with tea to the value of about £37—they were not paid to my knowledge—it was in connection with that transaction I met the prisoners.

Cross-examined by A. W. Wilson. I saw you about three times—I did not know Dyas's office—I went to Carysfort Road—I saw you in the passage—at the top of the stairs—I addressed you as Mr. Dyas.

Cross-examined by Wilkins. I generally saw you when I called—you had a room up-stairs with a lot of odd canisters knocking about—a dozen or so—very likely 300 or 400—it is a long time ago—perhaps there was a cash-box, and everything appertaining to an office—there were a few wines and spirits, cigars, pickles, and bill files—it had the general appearance of a business place to a certain extent—you told me there was a ware-house—I believed there was—we made inquiries—I have not got the reports—I had a reference—I do not think it was from Vosper—I went to Mincing Lane two or three times—I saw his name on the door.

Re-examined. I saw bedsteads and Typan tea—Vesper's name was painted on the left of the bottom door of 9, Mincing Lane—the tea was sold to the Ty-pan Tea Company in September, 1896—this reference of September 2nd helps to fix the date—the weights of cases of tea vary—as a rule they are 112 lbs.

JAMES SWAFFIELD . I am a buyer for Messrs. Crisp—on September 10th, 1896, I bought 300 lbs. of tea from Dyas and Co. through their representative, the prisoner, A. W. Wilson, for £16 5s., or 1s. 1d. per lb. it was retailed at 1s. 6d.

Cross-examined by Wilkins. I do not recognise you as the seller—I did not buy several lots—I am the only buyer for that department.

GEORGE GOGNEY . I live at 57, Gloucester Crescent, Regent's Park—in September, 1896, I was manager of the French Lascila Coffee Company—in October, 1896, I was introduced to Wilkinson—I appointed him commission agent for the company at 10s. a week and 10 per cent, commission—we got orders and the customers paid, but I never received the money—on December 5th I got an order from him from Cook Brothers, 67, Aldersgate Street, in consequence of which I supplied six dozen cases of coffee to the value of £7 9s. 8d.—I was never paid—on January 11th I had an order from him from Hening for six dozen cases, value £5 12s.—I made inquiries about Hening at 4, Hercules Road—I supplied the goods—in January I got an order from C. Main, of Stone Avenue, Loughborough Junction, for six dozen cases, value £5 1s. 5d.—I supplied those—I was never paid—towards the end of January I got an order from F. J. Wilkins, 13, Crutched Briars, for coffee to the value of £6 18s.—on January 20th I wrote

Wilkinson for information about Wilkins—I wrote again, and stated that I did not deliver the goods as the references were not satisfactory—the next order was from Vosper, on January 26th, for goods value £5 6s.—I made inquiries—I did not supply them—I also declined to supply goods to W. O. Clarke, of 9, Mincing Lane—I discharged Wilkinson about March, 1897—I went twice to Cook Brothers, 67, Aldersgate Street—I could not get in—I saw a paper notice on the door for letters to be put in the box—the office was on the first floor—I wrote to Wilkinson—I considered the account was lost—I had called his attention to it in February.

Cross-examined by Wilkinson. No one paid—Adams, Webster and Company paid the first few shillings, because it was cash on delivery—you received money, but I never got a farthing—you sent me about thirty customers—I prosecuted you for embezzlement about twelve month ago—I do not understand why the Magistrate discharged you—there was a contra account.

JAMES SWAFFIELD (Re-examined). I remember Hanik offering some Lascila coffee—I refused it—I said we had sufficient coffee in stock—I had seen him before, and taught curry powder, bottled fruits, and other things from him—he came as Hanik, an agent—he was paid at the counting-house.

Cross-examined by Hanik. I knew you as an agent years ago—always as Hanik.

JAMES CLEVELAND . I am assistant to Mr. Laurence, pawnbroker, 27, Seven Sisters' Road—on January 1st, 1897, Hanik pledged eleven cases of Lascila coffee in the name of Seyd for £8—he gave his address as 37, Castle Road, Kentish Town—the goods were redeemed by somebody else.

Cross-examined by Hanik, I knew you for many years as Seyd.

MR. BURNIE here stated that by his advice MAIN would PLEAD GUILTY to the conspiracy count.

SARAH KABSLAKE . I am married—I have lived at 37, Castle Road, Kentish Town, as tenant since June, 1896—no person named Hanik, Wilson, or Cook has lived there since that time, nor had any business there, nor anything to do with the premises—I do not know any of the prisoners, I have not seen them before—they have not lodged with me, nor had any right to give my address.

Cross-examined by Hanik. Mrs. Blew was the landlady before I went there—she is dead.

FRANK VINCENT . I am agent for the Great Western Railway, Red-cross Street, City—I know Hanik as Cook Brothers, of 67, Aldersgate Street—I have had consigned to me in his name whiskey, coffee, curry and cheese—I produce their orders for curry powder, a 6 lb. sample of French coffee, and eleven cases of coffee in December, 1896.

EDMUND VINCENT VAUNTELLI SALAMAN . I am an export and import merchant, of 23, Great St. Helens—I deal in tinned goods—in September, 1896, I engaged the prisoner Wilkinson as traveller on commission—he introduced various orders, including one of January 5th, 1897, from C. Main, 13, Station Avenue, Loughborough, for five cases of milk and one case of salmon, value £6 3s. 6d.—the goods were supplied—they were not

paid for—I also supplied Cook Brothers with 72 lbs. of curry powder, price £4 4s., and another—9 worth of goods, which were not paid for—Wilkinson introduced Hanik as Cook Brothers—Hanik gave, me an order for 30 lbs. of tinned salmon, which I did not execute, because I wanted references or a cheque on the first transaction, which did not come—I received an order from F. J. Wilkins on January 14th, of 13, Crutched Friars—two references were given—I made inquiries—I declined to deliver the goods—I wrote to Wilkinson to say so—Wilkins called and expostulated rather strongly because I did not supply the goods—my next order was from Vosper for 100 cases of "Aunt Sally" flour in bags—an American flour—I did not supply it—in the spring of 1897 Wilkinson ceased to be my traveller—I discharged him—I have never been paid for the goods referred to.

Cross-examined by Wilkinson. You sent me close upon 200 customers, to the amount of very likely—500—my business is for cash on delivery for the home trade—the curry was the exception—I refused when I found your requests were becoming frequent—you signed an agreement to pay a portion of bad debts—I cannot see what interest you had to send wrong customers—I stopped 20s. of your last week's money—you were a good traveller.

Cross-examined by Wilkins. Seven days was on your milk order introduced by Wilkinson, but I would not entertain it—you were very indignant, and I wrote to Wilkinson after your visit.

JAMES SWAFFIELD (re-examined). I bought a quantity of curry powder from Hanik—this is a bill-head of Charles Hening and Co.—I was not positive—I never bought anything except in the name of Hanik. (A bill to Crisp and Co. was here produced for four dozen tins at £2 19s. 2d. and 2 1/2 per cent, cash allowed.) I was not aware that that cost—4 4s. two days before.

JAMES CLIFFORD BROWN . I am one of the firm of Rowland Carr and Co., of 163, Palmerston Buildings, and am agent to Mr. Howson, of Tunstall, in Staffordshire, patentees—about Easter, 1897, I engaged the prisoner Wilson, as traveller on commission—he gave his address afterwards at Three Tuns Passage, Newgate Street—among other persons he introduced to us was F. J. Fieth, as a customer, who gave an order for half-a-dozen of "Perfection Relish," which we had to transmit to Tunstall to be executed—his address was 52, Fairlawn Park, Sydenham—the order was executed, and we then got an order from the same person for five gross of relish—I think it was from the same firm—the price of that was £13—the next order was about August 14th from A. W. Wilson, of the Acme Novelty Company, 27, Halliford Street—price £13 5s.—that was executed—the next order was from Cook Brothers, of Alderegate Street, for five gross, but I do not know exactly—that order was executed—shortly after that there was another order from Cook Brothers for two more gross—I believe that would be about £5 6s.—that order was executed—we received no payment for any of those orders—the account went on up to August last—those orders amount to £47 9s. 6d., but there are others—you have Wilkinson's statement—the amount is £69 or £70.

Cross-examined by Wilkinson. We made some inquiries—we never applied for any of the expenses.

Cross-examined by Fieth. Wilkinson wrote you a recommendation to Mr. Howson—I never received any claims for breakages of the bottles—I did not say at the Police-court that I called at your place with Mr. Howson—we did not call—I said I called on most of the defendants.

Cross-examined by A. W. Wilson. I do not know of the practice of introducing an article into a large firm at a sacrifice in the hope of recouping it by subsequent orders—you did not write offering—3 and a three months' bill, with interest added—we did not receive such letter—we have produced all letters from you—you gave me a bill and asked for its renewal—we did not renew it.

WILLIAM HENRY HOWSON . I am the proprietor of the "Perfection Relish," of Tunstall, Staffordshire—Messrs. Rowland Carr are our London agents—we executed an order for half a gross to F. J. Fief, 52, Fairlawn Park, Lower Sydenhain—this is the statement of account—it shows half a gross on July 10th, and five gross on July 31st, coming to £14 7s.—we were never paid—our next order was by A. W. Wilson, of the Acme Novelty Company, amounting to £13 5s.—we were never paid—on August 23rd and 24th and September 6th I executed orders from Cook Brothers, of 93, Aldersgate Street, amounting to £18 11s.—we never got paid—we never got any of our sauce back—we had a repeat order, which we executed—we never got paid—we never dealt with Crisp and Company.

Cross-examined by Fieth. The bottles were packed in good packages—I cannot swear to the boxes—I did not pack them—I had no complaint of the packing—you could have claimed from the railway company for broken packages—we pack them now in a more convenient way—with a separate compartment in bin cases—I do not remember informing you that Rowland Carr and Mr. Brown, his partner, were my agents.

DAVID FOTHERINGHAM . I am the general manager at Messrs. Crisp of all the departments—I knew the prisoners A. W. Wilson, Hanik and Wilson for eighteen months as the representative of the Acme Novelty Company—when I bought brown paper from him—I have had other transactions with him—I bought some sauce on August 17th—he offered a sample, I think it was five gross at 28s.—this is the receipt from the counting-house—I have known Hanik four or five years as Hening, an agent—I bought some tinned goods from him first, and five gross of "Perfection Relish" at 25s. a gross on August 27th.

Cross-examined by A. W. Wilson. I have heard that new goods are introduced more cheaply sometimes to obtain a market—I do not know it of my own knowledge.

WILIAM SLADE VINCENT . I am manager to Messrs. Dyas, drysalters of 87 and 88, Fore Street, City—in September last I bought of Hanik two gross of "Perfection Relish" at 30s.—this is his receipt (Headed: "Charles Hening and Co., general agents, Hercules Road, Holloway.")

JOHN INGLIS DOYLE . I am a messenger in the Record Office of the Bankruptcy Court—I produce the files in bankruptcy of Emil Hening in 1886—adjudication April 19th—his liabilities rank at £2,793 7s. 5d., his assets at £186 14s—book debts principally—he is still undischarged—no application was made—Main is described as Charles Augustus Marni, agent of 28A, Paternoster Row—his adjudication was December 29th, 1894—he is

undischarged—his labilities were £525 11s., his assets nil—F. J. Fieth is described as a merchant and agent, of 12, Lawrence Lane—that petition was filed in June, 1894, and dismissed on August 3rd—there was a final judgment for £226 15s. 1d.

JOHN CHADWICK . I am clerk to the London Banking Corporation, Bridge Street, City—I produce certified copy account of William Wilkinson and Co., 2SA, Paternoster Square, from July to December, 1897—it shows payments to Cook Brothers, Offerman and Wilkinson—the account was opened upon this reference to C. H. Main, which states "I have known Mr. Wilkinson for many years. He is highly respectable"—that is from 13, Stone Avenue, Loughborough Junction—the account was closed with 2s. 2d. charged for commission, because we were not satisfied.

Cross-examined by Hanik. The amount paid to Cook Brothers was £24 in August.

ALBERT LUDOVICI . I am a clerk in the Economic Bank, Palmerston Buildings, Old Broad Street—I produce certified copy of the account of Albert William Wilson, 13, Carysfort Road, from October, 1896, to March, 1897, in which the name of R. H. Vosper appears very frequently as a payee—the account was closed because we could not get an answer to the reference—I also produce a certified copy of the account of George William Wilkins, of 13, Crutched Friars, from February 26th to March 6th, 1897—a reference was given, but the account was not satisfactory, so we closed it with 9d.—it was opened with £10.

Cross-examined by A. W. Wilson. We did not allow you to overdraw—the amount passing through altogether was £144 5s. 9d.

Cross-examined by Wilkinson. Your reference was Wilson—we open deposit accounts with a sovereign.

EDWARD JAMLYN . I am secretary of the Bank of Great Britain, St. Andrew's Hill, E.C.—I produce certified copy of account of Alfred William Wilson from October 29th, 1897, to March 9th, 1898, during which period £30 passed through the bank—1s. is charged for not keeping a proper account—I recognise Wilson.

GEORGE EDWIN MARSHALL . I am a cashier in the London and South-western Bank, Finsbury Pavement Branch—I produce a certified copy of the account of Albert William Wilson, manufacturer, of the Acme Novelty Company, 27, Halliford Road, N., from March to May, 1897, when we closed the account, charging 10s. 6d.—one of the references was Vosper—the money was drawn out nearly as quickly as it was paid in—the whole amount is £59 10s. 10d.—there was no substantial balance.

Cross-examined by A. W. Wilson. Such an account is not usual—you drew 19s. 10d., leaving 10s. 6d. for charges.

HENRY FREDERICK WHYMARK . I am a builder—13, Carysfort Road is my property—I let it to A. W. Wilson in March. 1896, on a reference to his previous landlord, at—42 a year, as a private house—he stayed between six and nine months—he owes me £21—I put in the brokers in September—there was nothing to seize—he went out—there were old boxes at the back, which we broke up.

Cross-examined by A. W. Wilson. You did not tell me you did not require the house yourself—I called several times and could get no answer—I am not certain about your paying £5 5s.—you said as you could not

let I should have to take money in two lots—the £5 5s. was the only cheque I ever received.

JAMES LEWIS NEWTH . I am trustee of 28, Rushmore Road, Clapton—in December, 1896, A. W. Wilson entered into possession at £30 a year—he paid to June, 1897—I put the brokers in about a month ago—I have possession now—there was nothing to get—the family remained some time without furniture.

Cross-examined by A. W. Wilson. You offered to go out if I would forego the rent—you offered me a bill—that was before your arrest—I did not accept it.

HENRY PELHAM BOWYER . I am assistant clerk to the Coopers' Company, Coopers' Hall—13, Crutched Friars is their property—in November, 1896, a man named Wilkins came about an office there—he gave me as a reference Dyas and Company, 13, Carysfort Road, which was satisfactory—I let him a room at £15 a year—he occupied it a few days—we could not get the agreement taken up, consequently we put a padlock on the door.

Cross-examined by Wilkins. There was a negotiation about taking two rooms on the first floor—we never got any rent.

ARTHUR KILBY . I am the landlord of 256, Albion Road, Stoke Newington—in October, 1896, I let Wilkins three unfurnished rooms at 9s. 6d.—he gave me a reference from Carysfort Road—he left, owing five weeks' rent—he gave me an I.O.U. and a cheque on the Economic Bank for 10s., which was referred to drawer—that was after he left—he lived there with his wife.

Cross-examined by Wilkins. You did talk about change for a £5 note and a lot of things I don't remember—you knew where I lived if you wished to pay—I heard that your wife has an income.

CAMILLO ARRIGHI . I am the landlord of 39, Barnsbury Street—in February, 1897, Wilkins took two rooms at 8s. 6d. a week—for about eight weeks—furniture was brought and taken away by other people after seven or eight days—he came in in the afternoon always drunk—there was a wife and two or three children with nothing to cover them—I gave them notice ever so many times and went to a Magistrate—he left, owing £3 8s.

Cross-examined by Wilkins. I did not quarrel, and you get obstinate, and say you would stop as long as you liked—I told you I would go for a policeman, and you threatened to kick him downstairs—you were never sober.

EVA ELAND . I am landlady of 21, Parkfield Street, Islington—in March last I let Welkins a furnished room at 8s. a week, which he occupied, or his wife and two children, till April 11th—he only paid rent for the first fortnight—his wife stayed on after his arrest.

Cross-examined by Wilkins. You took the room on March 14th—I asked you to pay the first week in advance—you paid it—also the next week.

HERBEHT WINSTANLEY . I represent the owners of 20, Budge Row—I am an architect—on June 17th, 1897, the prisoner Wilkins agreed to take two small offices on the third floor at £45 a year—I saw "Mackenzie Brothers" up—he said he was a wine shipper—there was never anybody

in the place—I re-took possession in October, 1897—I never got any rent—I never saw any furniture—I got an order of the Court.

Cross-examined by Wilkins. You said, I believe, that you were an agent for champagne, and were taking the offices in conjunction with two other gentlemen—I believe the business was advertised—the housekeeper is dead—I know nothing of an arrangement with her for furniture.

ELLRN HINTZE . I am the wife of Ernest Hintze, an electrician, of 27, Halliford Street—in the garden is a bricked workshop with a separate entrance in another street—in November, 1896, I let this shed to Vosper and A W. Wilson at 6s. a week for packing toys—I saw both—Wilson was the spokesman—later I had a post-card from Vosper to take in letters for the Acme Novelty Company—I saw packing cases and tin-boxes in the shed, but no wine, nor curry—it was occupied till they were arrested in February—I used to see Hugh Wilson there nearly every day, but not so much lately—they used to come there at all times—young ladies were employed there packing cards into boxes—I saw Wilkinson there very often—if no one was at the shed I used to take large and small packages in at the house—sometimes there were two in a day—if the carriage was not paid, and was much, I refused.

Cross-examined by A. W. Wilson. My husband wrote the agreement which you signed—you paid the rent—you do not owe anything—I did not know you were ill—I used not to see you very often—I asked your son for your private address, which he gave without hesitation—we used a small part of the shed ourselves—Wilkinson said he was a friend of Vosper—you were there early and late.

Cross-examined by Wilkinson. I only believe it was you who came.

HARRY DAINTRY (re-examined). I have made inquiries, and find that on September 12th, 1896, there were three cases, 240 lbs. at 1s., and 120 lbs. at 1s. 4d., and on September 19th, two chests, 240 lbs. at 1s. 5d. sold to Wilson and Wilkins.

EDWARD HARLEY . I am an architect, of Three Tuns Passage—I produce agreement between my uncle and Wilkinson for an office on the first floor at £30 a year from March, 25th 1897—there is one entrance to that and 28A, Paternoster Row—Main was there, but not before Wilkinson—the name of Offerman was up, and I saw Main on the stairs—I only got one half-quarter's rent up to June 24th—£3 15s.

Cross-examined by Wilkinson. I called several times—you told me you had been robbed of a lot of goods, and that that was the reason you could not pay.

Re-examined. That was nearly the end of 1897—I managed the letting for my father—he is the leaseholder.

WILLIAM BUTTERFIELD . I am housekeeper at 93, Aldersgate Street—I know Hanik as Cook—in July, 1897, he viewed an office there, and agreed to take it, and I allowed him to have letters addressed there to Cook Brothers—he called for them—after receiving a communication from Mr. Clifford Brown I stopped taking in letters—some parcels came—some "Perfection Relish"—I sent the van away—a bicycle came—I did not take it in—I recognise Wilkins as a traveller for cigar manufacturers on Creol and Sons' premises at 93, Aldersgate Street, nineteen months ago—the name of Cook was on the door.

Cross-examined by Hanik. You complained of the rain spoiling your goods, and that you had lost £40.

Cross-examined by Wilkins. I have not seen you at 93, Aldersgate Street with Hanik—nor since you left the cigar merchants.

STEPHEN EDWARDS . I am cashier to Tubbs, Lewis and Company, 29 and 30, Noble Street, City—67, Aldersgate Street belongs to them—Hanik, as Hening, was tenant of an office on the first floor there for five or six months at £55 per annum—he paid a half quarter's rent to Christmas, 1896—he paid no more rent—I only saw him once, just before I re-took possession—we applied several times, but there was nobody there—there was a name over the door of "Cook Brothers."

Cross-examined by Hanik. I heard no complaint about the rain—you were on the second floor—the agreement was with Mr. Mason.

REBECCA HANMAN . I keep a general' shop at 4, Hercules Road, Holloway—from about Chistmas, 1896, or the beginning of 1897, I took in letters in the name of Hening for Hanik—I occupy the house—some cases of wine came—they were taken away by a man, like a greengrocer's man—I know Crisp's shop—I have seen Hanik about there—I told Hanik a gentleman called, and he said he could be seen at his office, Leadenhall Market—he did not want people to come to his house, as he had an invalid wife, and he did not want them to bother him—a tall, thin, slim young man came for him from Crisp's—I thought I had seen him at Crisp's.

Cross-examined by Hanik. You told me you did not live far from me—no one called to say you owed money—you had one case of claret—you paid one halfpenny a letter.

MARY ANN POPE . I am single—I live at 5, Eldon Street, City—on December 16th Hanik took two middle rooms on the first floor from my brother, who has since died—I was residing with him—Hanik said he could give good references, but my brother did not ask for them—he paid 10s. deposit—this is my brother's signature to the agreement to pay £2, £3, and £4 a month—the rooms were unfurnished, but my brother lent him house furniture till the end of the month, when, if he did not have his own, he said he would "buy it—the place was to be an office—I never saw any business—goods and letters came—I took in some Bradley's I sauce and other small parcels—my brother let the house to tenants—I looked after them, living upstairs—a good many letters came the first two weeks—he was living there three weeks—I did not see Hanik after the first week in January—just before Christmas he asked me take in some turkeys—none came—he went away without saying anything—my brother watched for him, but we never got any more rent—the name Hanik was painted on a tablet.

Cross-examined by Hanik. My brother said you were an agent for an insurance company, not a manufacturer's agent—I saw no one there but yourself and George Twining.

WALTER WATTS . I collect the rent for the owner of 52, Fairlawn Park, Lower Sydenham—Fieth occupied the bottom flat, four rooms, at 6s, a week, with his wife and family—he was very seldom there—he owed £2 11s. in March last, when his wife and family left.

Cross-examined by Fieth. You commenced your tenancy on February 3rd, 1896.

THOMAS BROWN . I live at 21, Dartnell Road, Camber well—I am not in employment—I was engaged by Wilkinson as clerk in November last at 25s. a week, at 26, Pilgrim Street—it was a bicycle-riding school—I was afterwards salesman and bicycle instructor—I was only there a month—I think the business would have been prosperous—I afterwards wrote letters at Three Tuns Passage at his dictation to business firms in London and the country—bicycles and bicycle frames, and one or two odds and ends came to Three Tuns Passage—I saw no books—I wrote this letter signed "Brown, Williams and Co.," because Wilkinson asked me to put that name—Brown is not meant for me—I do not know who was trading as Brown, Williams and Co.—I did not ask, I did what he asked me—I I have seen Wilkinson at the Ship public-house at the corner of Three Tuns Passage, and at Paternoster Square or Ivy Lane—I think I saw A. W. Wilson with him once or twice—I have seen Hugh Wilson two or three times since the case came on, not before—I saw him with his father outside the public-house—I have seen Fieth come into the Ship about eleven o'clock and hurry out—I have seen him with Wilkinson on two or three occasions—I have seen Hanik, I could not say where—I saw no shipping business at Wilkinson's office—there was not much business when I was there.

Cross-examined by Wilkinson. Your office was fitted with desks, etc., as a place of business—you left Pilgrim Street because of the previous tenants being sold up for back rent.

Cross-examined by Fieth. You had samples, and mentioned that you were in a situation in Aldersgate Street—I saw you taking your luncheon at one.

JAMES MOBLEY (Serjeant, N.) On February 21st, I saw Fieth at Sydenham—I told him I was a Serjeant of police, and asked him if his name was Fieth—he said "Yes"—I said I held a warrant for his arrest, and read it to him—he said, "I am not guilty. I have not conspired with anyone. It is only a debt"—the warrant charged him with conspiring with others—he said, "I had the relish, and sold it at a profit"—on the way to the station he said, "I know Wilkinson, I suppose you want him. I insured his life. He asked me if I could do with some relish, and I said, 'Yes.' I have been to his office in Three Tuns Passage. I have been to Wilson's office. I insured his life. I have never had any other dealings with him"—in answer to the charge he said. "I have never conspired with anyone"—I searched his rooms at 52, Fairlawn Park—I found two bottles of "Perfection Relish," and a quantity of papers, including bill-heads of A. W. Wilson, 13, Carysfort Road; of the Acme Novelty Company, and R. H. Vosper, 24, Miranda Road; a card of W. Wilkinson, Three Tuns Passage; memorandum of J. Fisher and Co., 6, Foster Lane, and 52, Fairlawn Park; a Police-court summons against Fisher, of 52, Fairlawn Park, for gas; bill-heads of C. A. Marni, of Stone Avenue, Loughborough, and H. Freeman, of 37, Cursitor Street; and of Fieth, who is described as a Continental agent, of 52, Fairlawn Park, Sydenham—I arrested Vosper, and searched his rooms—I found bill-heads of the Acme Novelty Company; of Mackenzie Bros., wine shippers, 20, Budge Row; of R. H. Vosper, 9, Mincing Lane, Monument Chambers, Miranda Road, and Pembroke Road, Walthamstow, "Continental and Colonial Importers," and other

documents, including a number of letters from Wilson to Vosper in different parts of the house—the letter from Crisp to Wilson was found at Hackney Place: "Will you kindly make it convenient to see Mr. Crisp to-day"—in consequence of instructions received in June last year I kept observations on the shed in the garden of 27, Halliford Street, up to the arrest of Hugh Wilson—I saw no business—became about eleven o'clock, and sometimes stayed two or three hours, and sometimes went away with his father to arrange vans—there were a great many inquiries—goods were taken in and removed shortly afterwards—Hugh Wilson took part—I saw Vosper there and Fieth once.

Cross-examined by Fieth. You did not ask me if I knew Wilson—I said I had seen him there—nothing was said about Cook Bros.—I have only samples of what I found—I found one card of Wilkinson, no bill-heads—found a portion of one of Marni's cards—I found letters in your writing from "Firth" and "Fisher"—some were in a black box—the papers were not mixed with those of the other prisoners—you were taken to Upper Street and charged—I searched the whole place—not the wash-house—I found papers in the name of Granville, of Hammersmith, and a notice to quit 112, Glenthorn Road, Hammersmith—I did not see a Post Office Directory in your place—I found correspondence in German—it has been translated—it was with a German firm—this bill-head appears to have in mistake "Firth" for "Fieth"—you called at Wilson's with an insurance book in brown paper—I found testimonials and prospectuses as a teacher of languages, and some letters of the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, which I took to refer to one of your boys—I know you were Fisher in Foster Lane—there is an agreement for a house, dated October, 1895.

Cross-examined by A. W. Wilson. I watched your place in consequence of an anonymous communication—I received complaints almost daily from individuals—I saw Fieth and Vosper at your place daily—I saw them come out together—I followed you there—I followed your boy to a private house at Clapton last June—I followed him to Holloway in July—your papers could not have been mixed with others—I was watching in plain clothes—it is my division—a week before your arrest, and while watching, a gentleman did not ask me if I belonged to the Acme Novelty Company—at Upper Street Police-station I did not say you had kept me waiting a long time—I kept away for nearly a week because I was going to get a warrant—I did not fetch a constable from point duty, and ask whether a gentleman had tried your door and walked away, or whether he had seen him go in or out—that was Brown, who laid the information—I was not with him.

CLIFFORD BROWN (examined by Wilson). I called several times at your office—I asked a gentleman his business in the Acme Novelty Company—I called a constable, who told me he knew the man was connected with that company—Serjeant Morley did call at your place afterwards—I was with him—the place was locked.

ALFRED DYKE (Policeman, N). On February 24th I arrested Hanik—I asked him his name—he said, "Hening"—I said, "If your name is Hening it is Hanik, and if it is Hanik it is Cook"—he said, "I will say nothing"—I took him to the station—when charged he said, "I was

formerly at 67 and 93, Aldersgate Street as Cook Brothers"—I searched him—I found these addresses: 46, 67, and 93, Aldersgate Street; 5, Eldon Street; 4, Hercules Road; 56, Isledon Road, South Hackney; 53, Catherine Road, Fulham; a card of Rowland, Carr and Co.; pawn tickets, and various papers—I found nothing of consequence at his private house—I found his private address by inquiries—I kept observation on the Acme Novelty Company—I saw Wilkins come out and young Wilson.

Cross-examined by Hanik. You paid your rent at your private house—I found nothing against you there—I do not recollect your saying jour wife was ill, but you would not give your private address—I found no papers signed by the Home Secretary stating that you were a naturalized Englishman.

Cross-examined by Wilkins. I saw you come out of the Acme Novelty place about June or July—you were dressed, as I told you at the Police-court, in a black coat, similar to what you have now, a high hat, and light trousers—you had shaved the whiskers off the chin, and moustache.

JAMES NEARN (Police Inspector, N). On February 21st I saw Wilkinson in Dalston Lane—I said, "Is your name Wilkinson?"—he hesitated, then said, "Yes"—I said, "I am a police inspector, and have a warrant for your arrest, with others, for conspiracy and fraud"—he said, "What? Where?"—I replied, "Islington and other places in London. I will read the warrant," which I did—he said, "I was traveller for them and paid on commission. Where are we taken to?"—I said, "Islington Police-station, where you will be charged"—he was taken by another officer—the same day I went to a building in the garden of 27, Halliford Street, where I saw Albert and Hugh Wilson—I said, "I am a police inspector, and I am going to arrest you both for conspiracy and fraud"—I read the warrant to both—the elder prisoner said, "It is ridiculous. I offered to pay for them, they would not have it"—I conveyed them to the station—I after-afterwards went to Three Tuns Passage—on the door was the name "Wilkinson and Co."—in the letter-box I found this paper, "Mind, the police are on you.—G. H."—I took away a quantity of papers—I went to 89, Graham Road, Wilkinson's address, and took possession of papers there—I made another journey to 28, Rushmore Road, Wilson's private address, and took possession of a lot there—the papers were tied up separately, and labelled—the prisoners were charged together—they made no reply then—going to the cell Wilkinson said, "You might get me bail, there is very little against me"—I said I knew nothing about bail, it was a matter entirely for the Magistrate—at Three Tuns Passage I found a quantity of memoranda, unpaid accounts, letters threatening legal proceedings—the office was furnished with two chairs, an empty jug, new packing cases, and some parcels, and dummy parcels on the shelf tied up to represent goods, but containing rubbish and waste paper, and this one book—it contains the names and addresses of all the prisoners now on trial—in another book I found the names of firms in the provinces and in London in Brown's writing, who was Wilkinson's clerk—some bill-heads of Wilkinson, Offermann and Marni, and a card, "A. Marni and Co.," manufacturers, shippers' agents, Paternoster Square, and Three Tuns

Passage, E.G."—I found a desk near the door, and a desk on the left—I found this card of John McNeil, who is giving religious addresses in London, and on the back "Return shortly. Please leave all parcels at the shop down stairs"—I have added them up, and find from January, 1897, to February, 1898, £368 18s. 10d. of unpaid accounts—at Graham Road I found this old order book—at Rushmore Road I found these three book—in the day book is Vesper's writing, and a little of Wilson's—it gives the names of firms and accounts, including Crisp's, and others in this case—I find frequent record of sales to Crisp's of all classes of goods—I found dominoes and domino-boxes—the cash-book is in Vesper's writing—the call-book is in Vosper's writing, and a writing I do not know—I found unpaid accounts, which I have scheduled—they amount to £427 7s. 1 1/2d., ranging from February, 1897, to February, 1898—at Halliford Street in the shed I found a quantity of miscellaneous things—sealing wax, playing cards, stops for punctured cycle tyres, dies, Jubilee trays and confetti, writing pads, dominoes, Jubilee bricks, King of Spades boxes, samples of glue and brown paper, and an India-rubber stamp with the name of the Acme Novelty Company, empty cases and rubber stamps marked France, Belgium and Austria; bill-heads of Manchester, New York, and so on of The Acme Novelty Company—the heading is: "27, Halliford Street; 1, Helmore Road, with branches in London, Manchester, and New York. Telegraphic address 'Overwrought London.' Terms strictly cash on delivery. No discount"—I found a number of cheques, some marked "R.D," and "N.S.," and the five-guinea cheque of Whymark's, a County-court summons by Porter, wine merchant, St. Peters Chambers, St. Peter's Alley, for wine delivered; also wine cases and empty bottles—a card of Wilson with "Fieth" in pencil at the bottom, and has reference to whisky at 25s. 6d. per gallon and wine at 18s. a dozen, and is signed "A. W. Wilson "underneath—it was in consequence of what I heard that I instructed Morley and Dyke to watch the premises in June—I received complaints at the beginning of June—Fieth's accounts amount to £94 7s. 6d., of which one item is £91 7s. 6d., a judgment debt in the High Court, according to information from Freshfield and Williams—Hanik's were £34 4s.; Wilkins's from August, 1897, to February, 1898, £35 2s. 6d.—one of Wilson's creditors was the Dockhead Metal Company, Limited, for the boxes sold to Crisp—their debt from Wilson was £170—that was on an invoice found at the Acme Novelty Company's place with a telegraphic address of Vosper, "Defia, London."

Cross-examined by Wilkinson. I did not know you till the morning; you trod on my toe—you lived at Graham Road upwards of three years—you had a house there and farmed it out, and had for yourself two small rooms, the kitchen downstairs, and the other near the sky—I believe the last quarter's rent has been paid since you were in custody—you had two desks, a counter and chairs—there was a partition—there was no appearance of business.

Cross-examined by A. W. Wilson. The papers were in a little office, which was accessible—you had no cupboard to lock them in—there was a glass case—I found at Halliford Road a rent book and wages book—I found you sold goods to a firm in Hounsditch that you bought from the Dockhe id Metal Company, and put the money in your own pocket—this

matter was laid before the Treasury, who selected the cases—I do not know that your telegraphic address was registered—I found no receipt for it—when I said I found a cheqne made out by you in favour of all "prisoners," I meant "persons," and I asked the Magistrate to allow me to alter it—there is one in favour of Vosper, that is all—the County-court summons was February 8th—you were arrested on the 21st—I found by the rent book the rent was paid—you asked for your books, and have had facility so see them—this case was three months before the Magistrate, from week to week, and I had them at the Police-court every time—you applied for them once or twice—you wrote to me, and I told you you could not have them, they would be used against you, but you could have opportunities of seeing them—I have no doubt you have received payment from customers in Manchester and other places.

Cross-examined by Fieth The judgment debt was due to Maurfour and Son, of 12, Laurence Lane, City, and Switzerland.

Cross-examined by Hanik. I did not find in Wilson's papers anything to connect you with him.

Cross-examined by Wilkins. I found in Wilkinson's office an envelope addressed to you at Richmond Road, N.—nothing connected with the Acme Novelty Company.

Re-examined. I found a cheque in favour of H.M. Postmaster-General for one guinea dishonoured.

GEORGE SHANKS (Detective Serjeant, N). On the night of March 31st I saw William Wilkins in Chapel Street, Islington—I said, "I am a police officer, and have a warrant for your arrest for conspiring with others to defraud. Are you Wilkins?"—he replied, "No"—I said, "Well, I shall take you"—he replied, "This is the result of getting mixed up with a lot of swindlers. Who are they that I conspired with?"—I said, "Wilkinson, Wilkins, Vosper, and others"—he replied, "Wilkinson is the biggest thief in London, and ought to get fourteen years. Vosper is a mug, like me. What was it you said we got?"—I said, "Bedsteads, tea, and Treman's cigara. The tea was from Mincing Lane"—he said, "Wilson sold the tea to Crisp's. I wish I had never seen the German crew; they are all frauds. I lost £2,000 over them w—after the charge, when in the cell, he said, "I met Wilson in No. 99, the 'pub.' in Finsbury Pavement. When I was separated from my wife I went home with him to 13, Carysfort Road, as a lodger. My references were all right, and he knew it, and got the tea and sold it to Crisp's. I have never had a penny of it. Crisp's had the bedsteads through Wilson. I haven't even got one of my own. Crisp's have been encouraging old Hanik to get stuff for them. Have you a warrant for them? They are only receivers."

Cross-examined by Wilkins. You did not seem surprised at being arrested—I wrote the statement down in your presence.

The Prisoners' statements before the Magistrate—Fieth says: "I am innocent of the charge of conspiracy. I have not conspired with anybody, and have not defrauded anyone. Some of the prisoners were perfect strangers to me until this case commenced." Wilkins says: "I am perfectly innocent of any conspiracy."

Wilkinson, in his defence, said that he was innocent of conspiracy, and

not a penny had gone into his pocket; for the different firms he represented orders were given and inquiries made through trade societies. A. W. Wilson, in his defence, denied any conspiracy; his were only business debts; his object was to sell to the best houses; bills had been picked out, omitting those where he had sold at a profit in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, and other places; that Vosper travelled with him on commission, and made up his books and did his correspondence in the evening; that he worked from 9 a.m. till 10.30 p.m. at the shop, the girls he employed leaving at 8; and that he was fortunate to get so roomy a place at so little money; that family illness and the death of his eldest girl kept him absent some time. The prisoner here broke down, but later on, continuing, he said that he took a house at £42 to let off, but could not let it though he advertised; that he made special designs for Jubilee trays and goods, and could show his customers' prices and the manufacturer's charges, and his receipts were with his papers; that he could not keep up his payments through misfortunes, but he could recoup all if he had his liberty. Fieth, in his defence, said that he met with Wilkinson through applying to him on behalf of an insurance company and insuring his life, when Wilkinson introduced goods which he tried to sell at a profit, but was a loser, and so was unable to pay; that he got Marni's card through seeking him to collect money; that Vosper gave him the card of his firm; that there were no papers found or anything to connect him with the prisoners; that it was not criminal to call at Wilson's place once, and he had no reason to think he was not doing a legitimate business; that the sauce was not properly packed, and proved a loss; that he won in a situation as town traveller till arrested, but he never took an order from the other prisoners nor was guilty of conspiracy with them; that he was a German master, and had been a private tutor at the Royal Armoury and Staff Institution at 39, Lombard Street; that his bankruptcy proceedings in 1894 were dismissed by a payment; and there was nothing against his name; that he had a good order from a shipowner, by which he hoped to liquidate his debts, retrieve his lost credit and his health, if he could return home to his wife and little ones, who were in danger of being sent into the world branded with their father's criminality. Hanik stated that he was a naturalised Englishman, and had had a good business, and was once a churchwarden in Aldersgate; that four of the prisoners were unknown to him; that Wilkinson came for orders, and he gave him one for sauce; that his goods were spoiled through the water coming in; that his partner (Cook) gave the order for the curry powder; that he was engaged by Crisp and Co. to look afar their stores, and the name Firth was a printer's error, which he corrected with the pen as he used his bills; that he had never swindled anybody; that the only one of the prisoners he knew was Wilkinson, and he wished he had never seen him; and that he had twenty-seven years' good character. Wilkins stated that having separated from his wife he accepted Wilson's invitation to live at Stoke Newington; the Typan tea was a trade name, and meant master tea, which he sold in addition to his connections with the wine, cigar, and home and Colonial trades; that at the time he opened his account with, £10 at the Economic flank he had a country cheque, which was taken to the Cheque flank for convenience; that he travelled on commission, and had endeavoured to do legitimate

business, and all the firms dealt with made inquiries; that he had nothing to do with Halliford Street or Rushmore Road, and was only connected with Wilson through giving an order for Lascila coffee, which was bad, and therefore a failure; that he had never met Wilkinson since 1896, and that connection only lasted three weeks, and lie generally denied the conspiracy to defraud.

WILSON and FIETH— NOT GUILTY .

WILKINSON— GUILTY of conspiracy only (the police stated that he had been living by fraud for years)— Five Years' Penal Servitude.

WILSON— GUILTY on all Counts— Eighteen Months' Hard Labour.

HANIK— GUILTY on all Counts (recommended to mercy by the JURY)— Twelve Months' Hard Labour.

WILKINS— GUILTY on all Counts (he was stated to have been for years engaged in fraud)— Three Years' Penal Servitude. Sentence on MAIN— Twelve Months' Hard Labour.


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