ARTHUR WHITE, WILLIAM MALTBY.
2nd May 1905
Reference Numbert19050502-414
VerdictGuilty > unknown; Guilty > with recommendation
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour; Miscellaneous > sureties

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414. ARTHUR WHITE (24) and WILLIAM MALTBY (21) , Stealing £1 10s., a watch, and other articles, the money and property of James Brown.

MR. THORNE Prosecuted; MR. WARDE Defended.

JAMES BROWN I am a ship's fireman, and live with my wife at 1, Ely Cottages, Butcher Row, Canning Town—a lodger occupies a back bedroom upstairs—I know the prisoners by sight only—I closed the house up at 12 p.m. on April 22nd, my wife and lodger having gone with a friend to the railway station—I went to bed—I was awakened by a knock at the door—

I went downstairs and put my hand on the latch, when the prisoners forced their way in and pinned me against the wall—I got away from them and ran upstairs and closed the bedroom door, but they ran up behind me, forced the door open and came in—we were wrestling for a good while when I jumped through the window—my house is a little one by itself—I stood outside, and whilst there I saw the prisoners with a light and they went from my bedroom to the next, to and fro—I then saw two young women, and made a communication to them—shortly after two policemen came up, and I went into the house with them—Maltby was standing in a little place we call the cupboard, and as soon as the police rushed in he went into the kitchen with White, who took his jacket and put it over his face—White had a knife in his hand—I did not notice a basket by him—this is my silver watch and chain (Produced), which I left that night over the head of my bedstead—the police told me where they were found—this table knife, brooch and other articles (Produced) are all my property.

Cross-examined. I have lived at that house close on three weeks, coming from Brent Road, where I lived a little over a fortnight—before that I was living with my wife's sister for a little more than six weeks—I was very much surprised to see the prisoners that night—they had not been to my house before on that night, nor had I seen them—my wife, my lodger and her sister were the only people in the house that night before the prisoners came—I did not let a man and woman out of my house—I had a good look at the prisoners—I have sworn that they were drunk; I will not deny that I said so—I was in bed listening for my wife when they came—I had not had anything to drink that night; I do not drink—in order to open the bedroom and kitchen doors you have to put a piece of wood in—the street door is opened with a key—the prisoners did not say anything when they came—I had never spoken to them before—I had seen them several times standing at the corner of the shops—one of them did not say he had come to see a lady; nothing was said to me about a lady—Maltby stepped in first, and held me while White struck me—Maltby did not say anything about a lady owing him 2s. at the house—it is a one-storey house—my wife came back that night, but I cannot say what time—my house is about ten minutes' walk from the station—she went out about half an hour before I went to bed—I had been in bed ten minutes when the prisoners came—my wife had not come home when I went to the police station.

Re-examined. The value of these things is about £5.

CHARLES BUCKMAN (204 K.) At 12.45 a.m. on April 23rd, in consequence of information received, I went to 1, Ely Cottages, Butcher Row, where I saw the prosecutor outside the house; he made a statement to me—in the front room upstairs I saw the shadows of two men with a light moving about the room—they came downstairs, and I saw them through the glass panels of the door—on seeing me near the door they ran up the passage into the kitchen—I pushed the door open and followed—they had the light in their hands, which they threw on the ground—I saw Maltby standing by the dresser in the kitchen, and White was concealed underneath the dresser, with a knife in his hand, which he dropped

—I said to him, "What are you doing here?"—he said, "I have come here for a chum of mine"—I told him that I should take him into custody, to which he made no reply—he was not drunk at the time—I took him outside, when he became very violent and tried to get away—I got him about 150 yards along the road, and as he was still struggling I called upon a private person for assistance—he assisted me until White kicked him. When he let go—White then slipped his coat and his neckerchief that I had hold of him by, struck me a severe blow in the stomach, which caused me to vomit, and then got away—after a while I blew my whistle and gave chase with two other constables—after that I returned to the house and went through it with the prosecutor—it was in great disorder—under the dresser where White had been concealed there was a basket with vegetables, amongst which I found this watch and chain—on searching White at the police station I found 3s. in silver, 4 1/2 d. bronze, five pawntickets and a black handkerchief.

Cross-examined. There were no pots and pans under the dresser, which was a fair size—it was a small hand basket—I do not know who put the watch and chain there.

JAMES DUNSTALL (546 K.) About 1 a.m. on April 23rd I heard a police whistle blown—I saw White run out into Hooker Road, through Frederick Road and another road, and climb over a seven-foot fence—I went after him over the fence and followed him over six backyards, and caught him at the rear of 46, Frederick Road—I heard a voice over the wall tell me that it was White—I saw him under a mangle, and I said, "Come on, White"—he said, "Very well"—I said, "You will have to come with me; there is a policeman after you," and I pulled him out from under the mangle—he commenced to be violent and I endeavoured to open the back-yard gate that led into Hooker Road, and whilst drawing the bolt he kicked me on the right hand—eventually I got the door open, and with the assistance of another constable who had come up, took him to the station—about 1.30 a.m. I went back and visited the place where Buckman had struggled with him, when I found a brooch, which Mrs. Brown has identified as her property.

Cross-examined. The mangle was in the yard.

WILLIAM WALLER (218 K.) About 12.40 a.m. on April 23rd I went with Police-Constable Buckman to 1, Ely Cottages, Butcher Road—I saw the shadows of two men with a light in the front bedroom upstairs—on seeing the light disappear I rushed through the front door and the prisoners ran into the back kitchen—Maltby was standing by the dresser, whilst White was crouching underneath—I asked Maltby what he was doing there, and he said he had come to look for a woman to whom he had lent 2s. the Sunday before—I took him to the station, where he was charged—I searched him and found 9s. in silver, 6d. bronze and a tobacco pouch.

ALBERT ORMOND (Inspector K.) At 1.35 a.m. on April 23rd I went to 1, Ely Cottages, and found there was a washhouse, two bedrooms upstairs, a front room downstairs used as a parlour, and a back room used as a kitchen—there were no marks on any of the doors—the front bedroom upstairs was in disorder, and the chest of drawers in the parlour had been

ransacked—each of the doors inside the house had no handles, but they could be closed and secured—something would have to be inserted in the socket to act as a spindle to open them—I returned to the station and took the charge against the prisoners—White said, in reply, "I went to the house with Maltby, who called for 2s. owing him by Brown's wife. When he (Brown) opened the door I said, 'Brown, is it you?' He said, 'Yes, what do you want?' I said, 'Only a friend of yours.' Brown walked back into the house and we followed him and went into the kitchen. I will not say I did not assault Police-Constable Buckman, but I did not assault Police-Constable buckman"—Maltby said, "I went to the house with White, because I wanted the 2s. back that Brown's wife robbed me of on Sunday, the 16th instant, at Customs House. Brown could not be possessed of 30s., as he has done no work for six months to my knowledge."

MARY ANN BROWN . I am the wife of the prosecutor, and live at 1, Ely Cottages—I did not know the prisoners before this robbery—there is no truth in the statement that I owe Maltby 2s.

JANE CLARK . I am a lodger of the prosecutor and his wife at 1, Ely Cottages—about 10.30 p.m. on April 22nd I went out with Mrs. Brown to Woolwich, returning from there by the last train, leaving at 12, and reaching home at 12.30 a.m.—I noticed the things in my room were disturbed, but nothing was missing—you have to pass a piece of wood into my door to turn the handle—I do not know the prisoners.

Cross-examined. There were four other females besides Mrs. Brown who I went out with—they had come to see me—it would be about 11 p.m. when we got to Woolwich—we went and had a drink, and we stood talking outside for a time—I did not come back with Mrs. Brown.

White, in his defence on oath, said that he went with Maltby to the prisoner's house that night for a woman, as it was their custom; that it was untrue that he caught hold of the prosecutor and finned him against the wall; that he never went upstairs, but into the kitchen, while the prosecutor went upstairs.

[MR. THORNE submitted that he was entitled to cross-examine the prisoner as to his character, since he had attacked the prosecutor's character, imputing that he kept a brothel, which submission the COURT upheld]; that he had been to the prosecutor's house about a week before the Easter holidays; that he hit the constable by accident; that he had never seen the property that was alleged to have been stolen by him before; that he was drunk at the time; that he admitted that he had been convicted and sentenced to eleven months' hard labour for highway robbery with violence in 1901; that previously he had been sent to a reformatory for stealing "fag "papers, but that since 1901, with the exception of getting fourteen days, he had been earning his own living.

Maltby, in his defence on oath, said that he went to the prosecutor's house with White for the purpose of having a woman, and also to get 2s. back from the prosecutor's wife, of which she had robbed him previously; that it was untrue that he forced his way in or that he went upstairs; that he was drunk at the time; that he had never seen the things which it was said he had stolen, before; that he had never been convicted before, and had always borne a good character.

GUILTY . Maltby was recommended to mercy by the Jury. WHITE then PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction of felony on April 21th, 1901, at this Court in the name of Albert Charles White. Two other convictions were proved against him— Two years' hard labour. MALTBY received a good character— Discharged on recognisances.


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