25th February 1901
Reference Numbert19010225-212
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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212. CHARLES EVANS (27) , Forging and uttering an order for the payment of ₤9 6s. 8d., with intent to defraud.

MR. ARTHUR GILL Prosecuted.

HENRY STANDISH HERBERT . I am a clerk at Lloyd's Bank, St. James's Street Branch—on January 31st this order for a cheque-book (Produced) was received—it purports to be signed by Mr. Walter Levett, who has an account there, of 10, Wilton Street, Belgravia—I compared the signature with Mr. Levett's signature, and they did not at all agree—in consequence I wrote to Mr. Levett, saying that as the signature differed considerably, we should be glad to have the order confirmed—I subsequently received this letter, saying, "It is quite correct; the difference may be because I am in bed"—I thereupon despatched the cheque-book to that address—it contained 60 forms, Nos. 44661 to 44720—the cheque produced, and marked "A," is the first out of that book.

GEORGE HOAD . I am a coachman out of employment—since December 20th I have been caretaker at 10, Wilton Street—I did not know Mr. Levett, and he does not live there—the prisoner visited me at 10, Wilton Street daily, helping me-up with boxes—the house belongs to Miss Vereker, and the stationery produced is hers—this card (Produced) was left at the door—my little daughter put her name on the top, and all the rest of the writing, including the words "Walter Levett, was written by the prisoner—the prisoner told me that he was waiting to go by a Cunard Line boat, that they were giving him a retainer of ₤4 per month till the boat went, and then it was to be ₤8 per month—on March 5th, about 12.30, he said he was going to Cockspur Street to get the money—he returned in 15 or 20 minutes, and said, "I have got my money"; I said, "You have been very quick"; he said, "I rode back"—he showed me four sovereigns, which he paid Mr. Brown had given him—he paid me about 10s. that he owed me—a gentleman came from Lloyd's Bank two days later, and showed me a paper—subsequently I saw the prisoner, and told him someone had been from the bank, inquiring about a letter or a book for Mr. Levett—he made some remark, but I did not take particular notice what—the next day two police officers came, and on Saturday, February 9th, I went with the police to Victoria—the prisoner was playing at billiards, and I pointed him out to them—I did not hear what passed between him and the officers, as I was on the other side of the room—when letters arrived at first they were laid about, downstairs on the table, and then I sent them to Brighton and 16, Sloane Square—I never saw a packet or a letter addressed to Mr. Levett.

FREDERICK ARNOLD . I am a butcher, of 54 and 56, Elizabeth Street, Pimlico—the prisoner came to my shop on February 5th, about 8 p.m. and asked if we would cash the cheque produced, for Mr. Levett—I asked who Mr. Levett was, and he said a gentleman who had taken 101, Eaton Square—I know that house, and I said, "Mr. Levett does not live at 101, Eaton Square; I know the lady who lives there; Mrs. Close"—he said that Mrs. Close did live there, but Mr. Levett had taken the house from

her, and his butler, who was a Belgian, and could scarcely make himself understood, asked him if he would bring this cheque over to me to cash—I knew there was a foreign butler living there, as he bad been in my shop on several occasions, and he could scarcely make himself understood—I thought there was some truth in what he was saying—he told me he was the odd man in the house—I cashed the cheque.

HARRY EDMUND MORGAN . I am a cashier at Lloyd's Bank, St. James's Street Branch—the cheque produced was presented to me for payment through Messrs. Barclay & Co.—it was paid, and subsequently returned—as far as my memory goes, I do not consider that the signature on the cheque resembles Mr. Levett's writing in any way—I cashed the cheque under the manager's instructions—I have compared the writing upon the cheque with that upon the card produced—I should say it was the same—the order for the cheque-book, and the order confirming it, are written and signed by the same person.

WALTER LEWSON BIRD LEVETT . I live at Davenport, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, and have an account at Lloyd's Bank—the cheque and the two letters produced, purporting to be signed by me, were not written by me, nor with my knowledge or authority—I know the prisoner by sight—he was footman to my mother-in-law, Mrs. Lambert.

CHARLES ALFRED NOLDER . I live at 36, Bellsbridge Road, Acton, and I am a clerk in the employment of the Cunard Company—they had no man in their employment named Charles Evans in February—I do not know the prisoner—it is not the custom of the Company to pay a retainer of ₤4 a month to persons in their service when not on duty—the prisoner has never been to our office, as far as I know, to get money—there is no one in the London offices named Brown—all the employees on the ships, if they were paid for any time on shore, would be paid at Liver pool, and not at our office in town.

GEORGE WALLACE (Police Sergeant) On February 9th I went to Victoria Street with Chief Inspector Leach, where I saw the prisoner—I told him that we were police officers, and that I should arrest him on the charge of forging and uttering an order for the delivery of a cheque-book containing 60 blank forms of banker's cheques, and, further, with forging and uttering a cheque at a butcher's for ₤9 6s. 8d. on Lloyd's Bank, 16, St. James's Street—he said, "I do not know anything about it; I never sent for any cheque-book, neither did I cash a cheque at the butcher's"—I conveyed him to Gerald Road Police-station, placed him with nine others of similar stature; Mr. Arnold was called in, and immediately picked the prisoner out—on the Monday morning I showed him the two order forms and cheque—he was then charged, and said, "I deny the charge, the same as I did when you arrested me"—I found on him ₤2 10s. in gold, 7s. 6d. in silver, and 1 1/2d. in bronze.

The prisoners statement before the Magistrate: "I am not guilty I was in Mr. Hoad's company from 12.30 till past 6 o'clock."

The prisoner, in his defence, stated that the ₤4 which he received was not a retaining fee, but was paid in consequence of an agreement which he had with Mr. Brown; that if he did not start soon Mr. Brown would allow him ₤4 as a loan, which he was to repay when he started.

GUILTY .— Twelve months' hard labour.

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