21st May 1906
Reference Numbert19060521-40
VerdictGuilty > no_subcategory
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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HOWSE, Frederick Thomas . Conspiring to defraud the Griffin's Meat Company of quantities of meat.

Mr. Travers Humphreys and Mr. E. C. P. Boyd prosecuted. Mr. Curtis Bennett defended.

EDWARD WILSON CAIRNS , chief clerk to Griffin's Meat Company, 12, Central Meat Market. On March 24 Mr. C. R. Bryant

came to our shop and bought meat to the value of £16 6s. 2d., and I accepted from, him a cheque on the London City and Midland Bank. He gave his address as 33, Marcia Road, Old Kent Road, and the meat was handed over to the carrier Hinge, The cheque was returned, marked, "Account closed," on Tuesday, 27th. Howse is a butcher carrying on business at 47, Tower Bridge Road, and we have done business with him. When this meat was bought his name was not mentioned. We did not know we were serving him, and if we had known it was going to him we should not have parted with it without cash. A fortnight before he bought meat and I refused a cheque, saying I must have cash. My instructions were to have cash. Nothing was said by Bryant to lead me to suppose there was any connection between him and Howse.

Cross-examined. I have known Howse since the beginning of last December. He dealt with us once a week, and I may have received eleven cheques. I received cheques for £8, £8 9s., £7 18s. 9d., £8 9s., and they went through properly. Up to January 27 I received cheques from him. I thought Bryant was ordering for himself. If messengers came to order meat, they would give their master's name invariably. I know that Howse's cheques are coming back in the meat market at present time. If they are accepted, they are coming back. If cheques are being accepted in the market the people are being defrauded. As late as 16th inst. I know a cheque was returned, and the people have not got their money.

Re-examined. Two or three weeks before March 24 I received instructions not to receive cheques from Howse.

ALEXANDER FUCHSTER , cashier to Litton and Clark, meat salesmen, 250, Central Market. On March 23 Bryant ordered meat of me of the value of £7 13s. 6d., and I received cheque produced in payment, which was returned on 26th, marked, "Refer to drawer." When the meat was ordered, nothing, was said about Howse, and no reference made to him. If I had known the meat was going to him, I should not have parted with it, as my instructions were not to give credit to Howse. I believed the meat was for Bryant and that he had a shop. He gave his address, 33, Marcia Road, Old Kent Road, and I had no suspicion that he and Howse were connected. Last year we had to take proceedings on a cheque given by Howse and drawn by a Mr. Scott. The meat bought by Bryant was given to the carrier Hinge.

Cross-examined. Before Scott's cheque was returned we would not allow Howse credit, but if He had paid a cheque we would have allowed meat to go, not his own cheque but Scott's. We took Scott's cheques previously and they passed through all right. Our first transaction with Bryant was a week previous

to March 23. He paid by cheque, which was honoured I thought at that time he was principal. Managers come and order meat in the market for employers. If a new man came he would give the name of his employer. I have heard Howse is now dealing in the meat market.

Re-examined. When we are dealing with a manager he does not give a cheque on his own account.

WILLIAM HENWAY , cashier to James Blofield, meat salesman, 253, Central Market. On March 24 Bryant purchased meat to the value of £8 6s. 10d. and gave the cheque produced on the London City and Midland Bank. No reference was made to Howse, and I thought I was dealing with Bryant. He gave the address as Marcia Road. If I had known the meat was going to Howse I should not have taken a cheque in payment. I had received instructions from my employers not to take his cheques. The meat was handed to Hinge, who applied for it in the name of Bryant The cheque was returned marked, "Account closed."

Cross-examined. On March 24, when Bryant came, he gave us Litton and Clark as a reference, and I communicated with them and it was satisfactory. Bryant signed the cheque, and the meat was sent out in his name. The Grand Jury have thrown out the bill against Bryant. We took cheques from Howse up to March 23. We took cheques regularly from him up to that date, and they were honoured, but it was after I had taken the cheque in that day that my employers gave me instructions not to lake his cheques.

Re-examined. I had taken that cheque on my own responsibility. Then my employers gave me definite instructions to take no cheque or give credit.

WILLIAM GOLDSTEIN , cashier to S. Matthew and Son, 34 and 35, Central Market. On March 23 Bryant gave me cheque produced on the London City and Midland Bank for £4 17s. 8d. in payment for meat. I had not seen him before. I thought the meat was bought on his own account, and he gave his address 33, Marcia Road. If I had known it was going to Howse I should not have taken a cheque in payment. We had a judgment against him. Some meat was purchased by him and not paid for in February of this year. There was nothing on which we could distrain.

Cross-examined. We proceeded in a civil way against Howse. Bryant's cheque was returned, and we did not proceed civilly against him. We do have bad debts, and have to sue for them. I have heard that Howse is still dealing in the market.

HENRY HINGE , meat carrier, 47, Oliphant Street, Queen's Park, W. I know Howse, and have carried meat for him for some years. In March Bryant gave me orders to carry meat.

and during that month I took meat from the meat market regularly to Howse on Bryant's orders. On March 23 and 24 I took meat from the Hammond Beef Company, Litton and Clark, Matthew and Son, E. Oppenheim, Griffin's Meat Company, and James Blofield and delivered it to Howse, who paid for the carriage of it.

ALBERT ALEXANDER CROSS , manager of the London City and Midland Bank. On February 23 he opened an account at the bank with a credit of £15. Before it was opened I required a reference and Howse was given as reference. I received the letter produced from Howse. The account was opened with a cheque for £10 and £5 cash. The cheque was drawn by Howse on the South-Western Bank, Bermondsey. Exhibit 4 is a certified copy of Bryant's account. On March 3 a cheque for £12 10s. was dishonoured, there not being sufficient funds. I produce a list of cheques drawn by Bryant and dishonoured.

Cross-examined. Tradesmen's accounts are fluctuating; at times the credit balance is very small indeed. A man will sometimes pay money in the morning to meet a cheque coming in later in the day.

EDGAR CHALLICE WARD , cashier to Darrington and Co., 258, Central Market. On March 24 Bryant purchased meat of us to the value of £2 15s. 10d. and gave a cheque which was returned marked "Account closed." Nothing was said about the meat being bought for Howse, and if Howse had ordered it it would not have gone out on a cheque. I believed it was bought for. Bryant, a butcher, residing at the address given.

JESSIE BURGE , wife of George Burge, 33, Marcia Road, Old Kent Road. Bryant has lodged with me for four or five weeks, from the end of February to end of March, occupying one room at 5s. a week. He brought no luggage and gave Howse as his reference. I have seen him with Howse at his shop. I was under the impression that he was working for Howse.

GEORGE INGLES BOYLE , messenger, London Bankruptcy Court. I produce the file of the Bankruptcy Court showing that Howse was adjudicated bankrupt on December 15, 1902.

CHARLES RICHARD BRYANT , butcher. I first met Howse three or four months ago. I did not know him before February. I was applied to to go and work for him at 30s. a week and food. I worked for him for six or seven weeks. I was his paid servant during the time I bought the meat. On February 23 I opened the account with the London City and Midland Bank at the instigation of Howse. He said he would open the account and I should assist him in the buying; he would open it with his own money. He gave me £15 to open it—cheque for £10 and £5 in gold. I did not know at the time what I was doing. I bought meat in the Meat Market for Howse and once (on March 23) for

another man. On March 23 and 24 I bought a large quantity of meat in the market from the Hammond Company, Litton and Clark, S. Matthew and Co., E. Oppenheims, Griffins Meat Company, J. Blofield and Co., and Darrington's—in all nearly £60 worth. I bought it all for Howse on his instructions. I never bought such a large quantity in one day for him before. In previous weeks the money was in the bank on Monday morning to meet the cheques, and I thought it would be so this time. When I asked him for £60 he said he had not got it. He did not mention it to me till 8.30 Monday morning. He gave me £30. I paid two small cheques, amounting to £9, and I have been living on the rest. On March 23 and 24 I believed the cheques would be met by Howse. I was not aware that his cheques were not received in the market, because he always had a banking account. I gave the address 33, Marcia Road, at his instigation, that I might have a proper address to open the banking account with. I told the landlady where I was working.

Cross-examined. Marcia Road is half a mile away. I was going to be a butcher if I could get enough money. There was a chance of somebody setting me up if I could have got a loan. I had done everything at the trade except buy. I never had a banking account, and did not know the meaning of one. I wanted to have some experience of buying in the market before setting up for myself. Howse also had a banking account, and up to March 23 his cheques were also given in the market. When I went to the market I gave my own name, because the bank account was in my name. I had no intention of defrauding these people. March 24 was a very big day as to orders, and Howse was also ordering meat.

FREDERICK THOMAS HOWSE (prisoner on oath). I am a retail butcher, of 47, Tower Bridge Road. I buy all my meat in the Meat Market. In February I wanted a man for the shop, and I asked a butcher in the market, Brace, if he knew a man to suit me, and he introduced me to Bryant. Brace had known him for six years. Bryant told me he wanted to learn how to buy frozen meat. He told me he had had some experience with English meat, but none of buying from the Meat Market. He came and worked for me and went to Smithfield Market. He opened an account in the London City and Midland Bank. I gave him a reference for that account, and it was my money that started the account. Account was opened because he told me he was about to buy a shop in Seton Street of a man, and his sister was going to lend him some money. I said, "All right, I will learn you what I can," and there was a sum of money paid for the shop in Seton Street. At the time he bought for me I was also buying for myself. I gave my cheques in the Meat Market. All my cheques given to Blofield's

were met. In our business we do not keep a large credit balance at the bank. When cheques are given I pay in money to meet them. Unless cheques are wired in or sent in quickly I have always paid in the money to meet them. If cheques are wired in and there is not money to meet them I pay it in as soon as I can. On March 24 Bryant ordered a great deal of meat—too much—and I also bought too much—and we had enough for the whole of the week following. I gave Bryant £30 on Monday morning, all I had, but I did not know he did not pay it in till the following day, and the account was closed. No application was made to me by any of these firms for this money. Since March 25 I have been doing a large business in the Meat Market and paid by cheque, and cheques were honoured, except one given one Friday morning. I gave the cheque at 11.5, and I came home and said to my wife, "How much money have you got? I will take it to the bank for fear it should be wired through." The manager said it had been in by special messenger, I said, "Can I stop it?" He said, "No, you will have to go and see them." I wrote it at 11.5, and it was there at 12.5. On another day I gave a cheque for £9 11s. 9d. to Bowyers, and when I got the meat home in the morning I went to the bank and I pot in £17 to, meet it. The manager said the cheque had been wired through. He said, "If you go to Lombard Street and take this money with you you can stop it." I saw Bowyers, and told them if they passed the cheque through they would find sufficient money to meet it, and it was all right. My cheques are accepted up to this date in the market. I did not give Bryant any directions to go to any definite people in—the market, but to go to the cheapest place he could.

Cross-examined. I admit I gave Briginshaws a cheque for £16 6s., which was dishonoured. I was very anxious to meet it on April 14, and I have seen their salesman and asked him to present that cheque again, and he refused. There was a cheque given to Frost for £5 12s. wired through and dishonoured. It has never been taken up. I bought six sheep and, one lamb, and they were three stone short in weight. I went to them and they would not allow me to talk to their scalesman about it; they said I should have sent it back. My cheque of February 9 for £5 4s. 6d. given to Elmer and Griffiths was dishonoured. I bought two top pieces of this firm, and when I got them home they were bruised. A cheque for £5, which I gave to Bryant to pay into his account, was dishonoured. I still insist I am a man of credit in the market. I admit that Matthew and Co. obtained a judgment against me which was never paid, and that on March 16 I went to the Griffin's Meat Company and asked them to let me have meat on a cheque, which was refused-and I deny that after March 23 the Hammond

Meat Company, S. Matthew and Son, Litton and Clark, Oppenheims, Griffin's Meat Company, James Blofield. and Darringtons would not have accepted my cheques. My credit is. good in the market. I admit I had not known Bryant for six years, but my friend had known him. That statement I admit was untrue. Bryant had bought odds and ends for me in the market in the first part of February, and I insist he is properly described in this letter. I trusted him, and found him honest and straightforward. I did not at any time tell him Griffin's Meat Company would not take my cheque.

Verdict, Guilty.

Counsel for the prosecution stated that the prisoner was made bankrupt in 1902 with liabilities £1,513, and assets £98. and the following year convicted of fraudulent removal of goods under the Bankruptcy Act.

Sentence, Nine months' hard labour.

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