29th February 1904
Reference Numbert19040229-259
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceMiscellaneous > fine; Imprisonment

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259. HARRY BRITTON, For a libel on George Bedford.

MR. GRAHAM CAMPEELI Proescuted, and MR. W. B. CAMPBRELL Defended.

FRANCES BEDFORD . I am I he wife of George Bedford, of 16. Wolsley Road—I bought goods of the Prudential Furnishing Stores, 150 Sand 150A, Seven Sisters Road, Holloway, amounting to £2 9s. 3d., oft which I paid two instalments of 6s. and two of 4s., according to agreement—for one instalment we received no receipt.

Cross-examined. I agreed to pay 6s. a month, which would have paid off the debt in nine weeks—I bought blankets, but I would not go into detail if I were you—I wanted to bring some of the things into Court, but 1 think you have had enough.

GEORGE BEDFORD . I am a bricklayer, of 16, Wolsley Road—I have been employed by the Great Northern Railway since 1875—I received this letter of January 2nd, 1904, addressed to 16, Wolsley Road, and to the care of the station master, Great Northern Railway, King's Cross; also the post cards of January 7th., 4th, and 18th (Threatening proceedings for nonpayment of instalments of debt.)—I wrote this answer (Stating that he preferred proceedings in Country Court to receiving open letters.)

Cross-examined. I knew my wife bought the goods—I agreed to it—I suppose I signed the contract—this is my writing "George Bedford"—this is my wife's signature. "Frances Bedford"—I believe they do not look the same writing—I do not think they are—I have no doubt sue was present when I signed—she signed as a witness—I am still employed by the Great Northern Railway Company—I have never had any complaint against me of any illegal act or improper conduct—since these proceedings I have had notice that I should have to leave perhaps in a month, but 1 do not say that that is because of these letters; it may be because I am fitting to their age limit—I was represented by a solicitor

at the Police court—I did not instruct him—my wife did, I suppose—it was not the railway company.

FRANCES BEDFORD (Re-examined.) I am an imperfect scholar—my husband does all my correspondence, as a rule—he did not sign this contract; I remember that I signed that myself—I do not think I write like him—I do not think I did write it—I am not sure—I cannot identify my own writing, and it is no use asking me; but I will sign my name (Doing so.)

JOSEPH SYKES . I am a solicitor, of Great James Street, Bedford Row—I have written to and received letters from the prisoner—I received this letter from him—I believe the writing in these four documents is his, including the signature and the address.

Cross-examined. I wrote to him between the first hearing of the summons and the adjournment—the reply is dated February 5th—I addressed the letter, "Harry Britton, Esq., 20, Hillmarton Road, Camden Town, N.W."—the letter was produced when the manager called for it. The post card read: "Harry Britton, Accountant, Debt Recovery and Private Inquiry Agent, 20, Hillmarton Road, Camden Town, N.W. January 18th, 1904. Sir,—Yourself and Stores—I am surprised you are not recognising your obligation herein. Persons who obtain goods on credit to suit their convenience, do not pay for them, treat communications with contempt, occasion considerable trouble and expense, and offer no explanation of their conduct, receive scant courtesy from me, and suffer exposure and the consequences of their neglect to act, as a deterrent somewhat in obtaining credit elsewhere. Without prejudice,—Yours truly, HARRY BRITTON."

GUILTY .—Other similar levers, type-written were found in the prisoner's possession. To pay a fine of £25, and to remain in custody till it is paid.

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