JOHN ALLEN, THOMAS ADAMTHWAITE, MICHAEL GESS, JOSEPH WRIGHT.
6th February 1899
Reference Numbert18990206-207
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour; Imprisonment > hard labour; Imprisonment > penal servitude; Imprisonment > hard labour

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207. JOHN ALLEN (36), THOMAS ADAMTHWAITE (45), MICHAEL GESS (69) and JOSEPH WRIGHT (51) , Conspiring to obtain and obtaining £18 from John Larkins, with intent to defraud.

MESSRS. BIRON and TRAVERSHUMPHRIES Prosecuted, and MESSRS. GEOGHEQAN and PERCIVALHUGHES Defended Adamthuaite.

Hebry Dowding I am a greengrocer, of 91, Marlborough Road, Holloway—on August 11th, in the afternoon, I went to Stapleton's Horse Repository, Spitalfields, to buy a horse—Adamthwaite came and asked me which was the best day to put a horse into the sale—I have not the slightest doubt that it was Adamthwaite—I afterwards identified him when he was placed among a number of others—I said I thought this was the best day—he said that he was a farmer, and came from Sevenoaks, in Kent—that he had a horse for sale, but it Was too late for the sale—he asked me if I could find him a customer, and if I could I could have the auction expenses for my troublethat would be 3s. 6d. a night for keep, and according to what the horse fetched—I went to look at the horse outside the Weavers' Arms—he said the price was £25—a second man came up, I have never seen him since, he asked Adamthwaite if he would sell him a mare—Adamthwaite said, "No, I will not have anything at all to do with you, you are a bad man"—they both abused me, and called me a Salvation b—then Adamth waite asked me to have a drinks the other man brought out a handful of gold, and said, "Tou might as well take my money as this gentleman's" pointing to me—Adamthwaite said, "I will not have any thing to do with you"—he would not sell the horse to him—we then went into the public-house, and the second man asked me to come outside for a minute—he asked me if I had bought the mare—I said no, I did not think her worth it—he asked me to buy it for him—I asked him what the price was, and he said he would give £25, which Adamthwaite had refused, but that I could have the difference between the £26 and the price I paid for it—I said I would try, and I went to Adamthwaite and told him the man wanted to buy his mare—Adamthwaite said, "I will sell it to you, but I will not sell it to that other man, but if you like to sell it to him I cannot prevent it'—he asked for a deposit, and I paid him £9 in cash—the second man offered to pay the deposit, but Adamthwaite said he would not have that—he said he would sell the horse for £23, so I should make £2 profit—I went to my house to get the other £14, and in the presence of a man there named William Crossman I paid Adamthwaite the money—a receipt was written out there, and signed by Adamthwaite in the name of J. Baker—I went back to the Weavers' Arms, and Adamthwaite said that he had left his wife in a coffeeshop, and he would go and look for her, and he went away with my £23 in his pocket—he had taken the halter off the mare, and left a rope on—I never saw him again till he was

in custody—the man who was to pay me the£25 said he would call his man to take the horse—he went away and never returned—I had the horse, and examined her—I found she was lame in both fore feet, and suffering from fever; she was absolutely useless and unable to work—I sent her out to grass; she has been there ever since—I was in Adamthwaite's company about two hours—when he was in custody I picked him out from among nine or twelve other men.

Cross-examined by MR. GEOGHEGAN. I had never seen Adamthwaite before, and after August 11th, not till January—I gave information ta the police in August, and a description—I am not a judge of horses—I intended to buy a horse, but I did not mean to give so much money—I could not have had a worse crock than that—I did not see her movo, she was in the street—they did not trot her up and down—I saw Adamthwaite in custody at Southwark Police-station—I have not got his receipt—I do not keep them after a month—when I saw Adamthwaite at the station he had no whiskers.

Gross-examined by Gest. I did not see you there.

Re-examined. I had not the slightest idea of buying the horse for myself.

WILLIAM CROSSMAN . I am a baker, of 85, Benchan Lane, West Croydon—on August 11th I was living with the last witness—I remember his coming home about five p.m. with Adamthwaite—Dowding paid Adamthwaite £14—they were there about forty-five minutes—I afterwards identified Adamthwaite at Southwark Police station.

Cross-examined. MR. GEOGHEGAN. Before August 11th I had never seen Adamthwaite—I did not give a description to the police, Dowding did—I picked Adamthwaite out at once.

EDGAR KIRBY . I am a coal merchant, of Leighon sea, Essex—on September 20 there was a sale at Temple Fair, near Southend—I went to buy a horse—the prisoner Adamthwaite came up and asked me whether there was going to be a sale, and whether he could put his horse in—I said I knew nothing about it—there were two horses, a chestnut and a bay, standing in the ground—Adamthwaite asked me what they were worth—I said I did not know—then Wright came up and said to Adam-thwaite, "Are you going to take my money?"—it was £42—Adam thwaite said, "No; you called me a b——Salvationist, and I will not have anything to do with you"—Wright asked me if I would buy the horses—I told him I did not want anything to do with them—he said if I would buy them he would give me £3 for the bargain—I said I would not; I could not get away from them—Wright had some money in a bag—I have seen a bag since but I cannot swear to it—after a good deal of worry I agreed to buy the horses for Wright—we went into a private house and I wrote out a cheque for £42—Adamthwaite gave me the name of John Smith—while I was writing the counterfoil, Adamthwaite tore the cheque from my book—I said, "Hold on a minute, I have not crossed it"—he said, "That is all right"—I went out to see the other man to get my money, and Adamthwaite came out with the cheque—Wright was outside—I told him I had paid the money, and he said "I will pay you," and he shot the money from his pocket into his hand, and then

said, "Wait a minute, I will get my man to hold the horses, and he went off—I went after him—he got into a trap, and I got into another, but I lost him—I then drove to Southend to stop the cheque, but I was tea minutes too late; it had already been cashed—I never saw either of the prisoners till 1 saw them in custody—when I got to the horses I found one of them had gone; they were worth about £2 each, and I had to give 10s. to the man who found the second—Adamthwaite said he was a Christian man, and a God-loving man—I identified both the men at sepa rate times at the Police-court—I was with Adamthwaite about half an hour.

Cross-examined by MR. GEOHEGAN. I did not say I sold the horses for £2 each—I said they were not worth more—if I could get £10 for them I should take it, I never beat a man down—when I identified Adam-thwaite I went in once and came out again, and then went in again and picked him out—there were two policemen at the door—I did not recog-nise the men at first, they were so much altered.

Cross-examined by Wright. I saw you at the station with about nine others.

By the COURT. I gave a description of the men to the Southend police—Adamthwaite was clean shaved then.

FREDERICK FORD . I am a jobmaster of 11A, Barry Road, East Dulwich—on August 11th I was inside Ward's Horse Repository in Edgware Road—a man not in custody came up and asked me which was the best day to sell a horse—I said I did not know, I was a stranger—he said he had a horse outside, but he was too late for the sale—he said he had come from Sevenoaks—he asked me if I would look at it—I said I could not, as I was going to see some horses sold—then Allen and Adamthwaite came up, and Allen said, "You will not take my cheque for this horse, will you take hard cash," and he pulled some money out—the man not in custody said he would not go from God's word—he then said, "Come, we will have a glass of ginger beer"—Allen said to me "You don't want to have anything to do with this man; if you will not buy the horse I will give you half-a-sovereign"—I went across to the public-house with the man who is not in custody—he said he would let the horse go to a home for its keep for three months—I said I did not want it for three months, but if I could have it for a week, and found it would go in harness I would try and find a dealer—Allen said, "Do you think you can buy the horse?"—I said, "I think so; he will let me have it for its keep"—we went out and found Adamthwaite trying to buy the horse—we went back to the public-house, and Allen said to the first man, "Look here, will you let me buy the horse? you were going to let me try it for twenty minutes, and a man has charged me 7s. fid. for the hire of the cart, will you sell it to that man?" pointing to me—the other man said "Yes"—Allen said to him, "Give me your hand," and he took his hand and put it into mine—Allen gave me £18, and I paid the other man £16, putting £2 in my pocket—then the other man said, "No, I will not go from my word," and he gave me back the money, and I returned the £38 to Allen—I said, "I shall not have anything to do with it; it is too late now." I then said I would buy the horse for Adamthwaite, who proposed that I should pay a deposit of %£5—I said to Adamthwaite, "Now give me your money, and

I will pay him the rest"—the other man said, "No, I will not do business like that,"—he got the other two £5 notes from me and signed the receipt—Adamthwaite gave me £1, and I went outside—the other man said to the man who was holding the horse, "Give the gentleman the horse;" and I had the horse handed over to me—another man came up and said, "Those two gentleman are waiting for you; I will hold the horse for you"—I said, "No, you don't"—I have got the horse at home now; he is a little bit of curiosity; it is hardly able to carry itself; it cannot carry a set of harness—I did not see the men again until the Wednesday—I stopped at St. Martin's Lane Repository, and went into a public-home and saw Adamthwaite and the man not in custody—Adamthwaite hit him on the leg with a stick—I said, "How about the horse?"—he get walked out of the bar; I went after him—another man tried to get between us, and I said I would knock him down if he did not go away—Adamthwaite said, "We will do business with you," and we went into another public-house at Seven Dials—he said, "What will you take for the horse?"—I said, "I will take £10 for him"—he said, "I will give you £10 for it"—I said. "You shall have it; where is you money? I will not give you a receipt for it until I have had your money; you have had me once"—Adamthwaite was clean-shaved then.

Cross-examined by MR. HUGHES. I was not very angry at losing my money—I should have liked to see the men punished—I went to St. Martin's Lane because I thought I might see the man who had cheated me—there were abut ten or twelve men in the deal on the previous day—I did not arrest the men on Wednesday, because I asked a constable think so—I never saw Mr. Larkin before I saw him at the Police=court—I might have discussed the case with him.

Cross-examined by Allen. You were not in my deal.

JOHN LARKIN . I am a tram-conductor, of 52, Casella Road, New Cross—on December 19th I went to the Elephant and Castle Horse Re pository—I did not go to buy a horse—a man came up and asked me if I knew the best day to bring a horse to the sale—I said I did not know—he did not say who he was, but he said he had brought a mare from Sevenoaks, and the auctioneer told him it was too late for the sale that day—he asked me to go and see the mare—I went to Tiverton Street, where—I said, "She looks all right"—I did not see her move—then Allen came up, and said to the other man, "You had better by half take the £18 I have for you"—the other man said, "No, not for the Word of God will I take it after I said that I would not"—Allen said he was a silly man, and the other said, "Not after the way your man has black-guarded me"—Allen said he was a silly man; he ought to put up with all those kind of things in the dealing business"—the first man asked me to go away with him, and as I was going Allen said, "If you can get that mare for £18 I will give you £20 for it, as I want to make a pairwith it—I said "All right"—I want to make a pair with it—I said "All right"—I went into a public-house with the first man, and Allen followed—the first man said, "Will you buy the mare?"—I said, "I don't know; how much do you

want for it"—he said, "I will tell you what I will do. I will let you have it for £18, which the other man offered for it"—I said, "All right, I will take it at that," but that I could not pay him the money then—he said, "Can you pay me a deposit"—I said, "Yes"—as I said that Allen came up and put three sovereigns into my hand, and the other man said, "I am doing business with this man"—Allen had taken the money from his pocket—the other man said, "If you get the money from that man I will not sell the horse"—Allen said to me, "You give him £5"—I gave him £5, and said I should have to go home for the other—he said, "Can I go with you?"—as I was going out Allen said, "What time will you be back?"—I said about two o'clock—he said, "All right, I shall be here"—as that was going on, the first man went up to Adamth waite, who was standing outside the Wellington public-house—he then left and went with me—we went to my house to get the remainder of the money, and on the way I asked him who would look after the horses, he said, '* That will be all right; there is my brother, who I have just spoken to at the corner"—that was Adamthwaite—I went to my house and got £13 in cash, and went back to Tiverton Street—I saw Allen, who said, "Look sharp," as he wanted to be off"—I gave the £13 to the first man—while I was doing that Allen left me, and went to Adamthwaite at the comer of the street, and when I looked round both Allen and Adam thwaite had gone—after I had given the first man the money I said, "Give me a receipt"—he said, "Yes, I will just go into this little corner shop and write one out"—he went round the comer and disappeared with my money—I did not know he was going or he would not have gone so easy—I took charge of the mare—I was going down Rockingham Street, and Adamthwaite, Gess, Wright, and another man came up—the man not in custody said, "Is that mare for sale?"—I said,. "No"—he said, "I will buy it, how much do you want for it?"—I said, "How much will you give me for it?"—he said, "What do you want for it"—I said the price was £20—they all laughed and said,. "Don't talk so silly"—the unknown man said, "It is a wrong one, it is no good, I will give you 2 for it"—Gess said, "It is a dreadful roarer"—he went up to the mare and nipped its nose and made it bleed—I did not see how he did it—he said, "Look how it is bleeding at the nose"—it had not been bleeding till he came up—Adamthwaite said, "It has got a bad leg," and the man not in custody said it was "fracy"—Adamthwaite said, "You will get locked up if you are seen going along the road with it"—I saw it was not much good, and that it had only three legs and a "swinger"—the unknown man said, "The horse is no good, and I am an agent for Bovril: I have got my horse and cart here—he offered me £2 for it again to have it killed, and after a time I took it—I should not have parted with it for £2 if they had let me go away with it—the unknown man gave me the £2—I asked where it was going to be killed, and Wright said I could not see it killed—we went into a public-house—I was going to give the unknown man a receipt for the £2—Gess held the horse—I asked the unknown man if he had a stamp—he said he had not, and Wright said he would get one—he went out, but did not return, and later in the day I saw him in Tiverton Street with the mare—I did not speak to him, because I wanted to see the man who had got my money.

Cross-examined by MR. HUGHES. Adamthwaite was there—I suspected he had something to do with the deal, and I discussed part of the transaction with Ford—I had never seen Adamthwaite before—I gave him in charge in the Wellington public-house.

Re-examined. I gave Adamthwaite in charge on January 3rd—I saw Allen speaking, to Adamthwaite.

Cross-examined by Gess. You were not there when I bought the horse; you took charge of it in Rockingham Street.

Cross-exavdned by Wright, I saw you minding two carts.

JOHN RYMAN . I am an ironmonger, of 66, Newington Buttgr—on March 10th, 1891, I went to Btapleton's Repository, in Bishops gate Street, to purchase a horse—a man came and spoke to me; I have not seen him since; he talked about the sale, and then asked me to have a glass of wine—we went into a public-house—he told me he was the son of a farmer residing near Tunbridge Wells, and that he had come up to London to bring up horses they did not require to sell—he showed me two horses with rugs on—I said they would be useless to me—I was going away, when Gess came up and said to the other man, "Am I to have those horses?"—the other man said "No, certainly not, I will have nothing to do with you," because he had grossly insulted him, and he would refuse to do business with him—then we went into a public-house, and Gess followed soon after, and said to the first man, "Am I to have those horses? I will give you £20 each for them"—no price had been mentioned till then—the other said, "I shall not sell them to you," and they went away—soon after Gees returned and asked me if he might speak to me—I refused at first, and afterwards I let him—he asked me if I would induce my friend to sell those horses to him, and then he would give me a present of £2—I said I would not do business with any horse-dealers, and he was no friend of mine—Gess then said if I would not do business that way, would I buy them for him, and said he would give me £45 for them—he put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a handful of gold—I went to the first man and said I would buy the horses, and that Gess would buy them from me and give me a profit—the dealer said, "I would not have anything to do with him if I were you"—I said it did not matter much to me who he was, providing he paid me a profit—I asked him what was his lowest price, and after some argument he said he would take £40—I drew a cheque for £40 dated March 10, 1891 (Produced)—I drew it in the nwne of W. or Wm. Smith—he said, "You must be aware that a crossed cheque is no payment for horse-flesh, and only cash is recognisable"—I recognised that to be a fact—I went to my bank in a cab and cashed the cheque—as I went I saw Gess standing on the pavement, and said to him, "Where shall I find you when I return?"—he said, "I shall be here, I shall not lose an opportunity of getting those horses; I will give you a deposit if there is a doubt about it"—he gave me £1—I handed the £40 over to the other man, and then I went to find Gess—I saw him waiting—Gess said, "All right?" and the other man said "Yes"—I went with the first man to have the horse handed over to me, leaving Gess in the public-house There was a man holding the horses, and the first man said, "Now the horses

belong to this gentleman," pointing to me; 'they are his property, and I will pay you for the time you have held them," and he gave him 2s. 6d., and then he went away—Gess came up and spoke to the first man, and then went back to the public-house—I went after him, and the first man went away—I did not see Gess, and I never saw him again—then I rushed back to look for the horses, but both horses and man were gone—I never saw any of them again till I picked Gess out at Southwark Station.

Cross-examined by Gess. You were dressed very similar to what you are now—it was eight years ago—you might have been a little stouter.

By the COURT. I have not the slightest doubt about him being the man.

THOMAS PETERSON (44 LE), I have often been on duty near the Elephant and Castle Repository for the last twelve years—I know all the prisoners as associates outside the repository.

Cross-examined by Gess. I have known you twelve years—I have never seen you different to what you are now—I might have seen you once or twice a week, and then I might miss you.

Re-examined. I missed him in 1891 for twelve months, and in 1895 for six months.

WILLIAM SMITH (Police-Sergeant M). On January 2nd I was in Tiverton Street with Larkin—I saw Adamthwaite and Allen together—I went towards then, and they separated and went in different directions when they saw me—I stopped Allen, and a detective stopped Adamthwaite—I said I had a warrant for their arrest—Allen made no reply, and Adamthwaite said, "You have made a mistake"—I took them to the station—on Adamthwaite I found £116 4s. 3d. in a bag, a book containing a list of fares, a small memorandum book, and several small pieces of paper—I then returned to Tiverton Street, where I found Wright in charge of a horse—I had previously kept observation on them—I asked Wright what he was doing, and whom the horse belonged to—he sa d, "I am minding it for my master; it belongs to him"—I said I should charge him for frequenting Tiverton Street—I took him to the station, where I asked him who the horse belonged to, and he said, pointing to Adamthwaite, "It belongs to him"—Adamthwaite said, "Yes, it belongs to me, I had another pne there with it"—he made no reply to the charge—on January 23rd I charged Wright at Southwark Police-court, with Allen, Adamthwaite, and Gess, with fraud and conspiracy—he said, "What, me!"—I saw Gess in Walworth; Larkin pointed him out to me—I said I had a warrant for his arrest for conspiracy and fraud—he said, "I was not there"—I saw them all in company except Gess bctore I arrested them.

Cross-examined by MR. GEOOHEGAN. There is always a number of dealers and others round the entrance to the repository—there is a publication published by the police called "The Hue and Cry"; not by the London police—there is the "Police Gazette," which is circulated in London and in the country—it contains a description of persons wanted—the horse claimed by Adamthwaite was sold by his wife for £7 11s.—we could not find an owner for it—this is the first time that Adamthwaite has been charged.

Cross-examined by Wright. I saw you at the corner of Tiverton Street with Adamthwaite about one hour and a half before you were arrested.

Cross-examined by Gess. I have known you a good many years—sometimes you had a moustache and whiskers; you varied—you are often at the Elephant and Castle—I have seen you with other people.

JOHN CABAN (Detective M). I was with Sergent Smith when Adamthwaite and Allen were arrested—on January 2nd the prisoners were in the waiting room a the police-court—I was in charge of them—I heard a conversation between them—Allen said, "Mate, which will get the most, those who helped or those who got the money?"—Adamthwaite said, "One is as bad as the other, we shall have to go for trail"—Allen said, "I wish we could get it settled; I suppose some kind friend has put us away."

Gess, in his defence, said that he always went clean-shaved; that he had been near the repository for years; that the prosecutor ought to have identified him before if he was the man, and that he was as innocent as a baby,—Wright said that he knew nothing about Southend.

GUILTY ., GESS and WRIGGT then PLEADED GUILTY to Convictions of felony. ALEEN September 15th, 1891, at this ourt; GESS ** on October 15th, 1895, at Brecon, and WRIGHT at clerkenwell on August 13th, 1894, there other convictions were proved against Wright

ADAMTHWAITE— Eighteen Months’Hardlabour , ALLEN— Fifteen Months’ Hard Labour. GESS— Three Years’ Penal Servitude. WRIGHT— Twelve Months’ hard Labour.

before Mr. Justice Bruce.


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