18th November 1901
Reference Numbert19011118-17
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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17. GEORGE SPIE (23) , Unlawfully uttering counterfeit coin.

MR. WILKINSON Prosecuted.

JOHN GRINNANOW . I am a son of the landlord of the White Horse public house, Eyre Street, Bethnal Green, and assist in the management of the business—at 8.40 p.m. on October 12th, a boy came into the bar and asked for change for this bad half-crown—I asked where he got it—he said that his father gate it to him—I put it on the shelf and told him to fetch his father, and he shortly afterwards came back with the prisoner—I told the prisoner it was bad; he said that he knew where he got it and would take it back and see if he could get another for it—he was afterwards brought back by a constable.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. I did not put your coin among other money and exchange it—I tested it with acid in your presence, and gave it back to you.

ROSETTA SMITH . I live at 31, Bacon Street, Bethnal Green, and keep a general shop there—about 8.40 p.m. on October 12th, the prisoner and a little boy came in—the boy asked for a Guy face, the price of which was twopence—the prisoner put down this bad half-crown produced, in payment, and I gave him 2s. 4d. change—a man came in and said something to me, and I looked at the coin and found it was bad, I went after the prisoner and said, "Give me back my change; you have given me a bad half-crown"—he said "No, I will not give it to you, it is not bad"—a policeman came up—I gave him the coin, and we all went to the White Horse, where Mr. Grinnanow recognised him as the man who had uttered the same coin to him.

Cross-examined. Your hands were not being held when I asked you for my change.

THOMAS WOODARD . I live at 62, Curwell Street, Bethnal Green—at 8.40 p.m., on October 12th, I was in the bar of the White Horse—the prisoner came in and was told by Mr. Grinnanow that the coin he had sent the boy with was bad, and handed it to him—the prisoner left with the coin and said he would take it back to where he got it from—I followed him and saw him go into Mrs. Smith's shop—when he came out I went in and spoke to Mrs. Smith, and we both went after him and stopped him—I held him till a constable came—I think he had had a little too much to drink, but he knew what he was about.

WILLIAM JOHNSON (285 H.) On October 12th I was called and found the prisoner detained—Mrs. Smith handed me a coin and said the prisoner had purchased a Guy face with it and that it was bad—I searched him and found two separate shillings, seven pennies, and two half-pennies, all good money—I took him to the White Horse, where he was identified by Mr. Grinnanow, and then to the police station, where he was charged.

WILLIAM JOHN WEBSTER . This coin is an early forgery of George III, struck in a die, and not cast as they are now.

The prisoner's statement before the Magistrate. "I wanted something to eat. I went to a coffee shop and had something. A boy there changed me half a sovereign. I paid for my food and went out, and then met my pal and went and paid for my lodging, and then I went and had a drink with my pal and got half intoxicated. I went upstairs in my lodging and asked my landlady if she would like a drink, and if so I would send for a pot of beer. I took out half a crown and gave it to the boy to fetch the beer; be returned and said the half-crown was no good. I went and asked the matter, and the barman said it was no good and asked me where I got it from; I told him in a coffee shop in Slater Street; he advised me to take it back and get my right money. I did not go, as I was positive it was a good one. The boy I was with said, 'Come, let us try here whether it is good or bad; we will soon find out and purchase something for me, we will purchase "Kruger's face."' I asked for the face, which was given to me. I placed the half-crown on the counter and she gave me change."

The prisoner received a good character.


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