22nd October 1906
Reference Numbert19061022-20
VerdictsNot Guilty > unknown; Not Guilty > directed

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SEGAR, Nathan (37, tailor) , stealing a banker's cheque and order for the payment of £17 13s. 3d., the goods and property of George Fossick Wilson, and feloniously receiving same.

Mr. Cecil Fitch prosecuted; Mr. Louis Green defended.

Rev. G. FOSSICK WILSON, of Weybridge. On Saturday, July 7, I posted in Weybridge a letter addressed to Messrs. Penny and Hull, printers, 53, Leman Street, E., containing the cheque (produced) for £17 13s. 3d. The cheque was subsequently cashed by someone. I do not know prisoner. I cannot say what time in the day it was posted.

THOMAS JAMES HULL , of Penny and Hull. I never received the cheque produced. The endorsement is not in my writing or that of any member of my firm or anyone in our employment. Prisoner occupied the two upper floors at 53, Leman Street, where he carried on business as a mantle maker. My letter-box was on the outer door downstairs. The upstairs tenants had a key of the outer door. Letters for anyone in the house would be put in my letter-box. At times the box would be overcrowded; possibly sometimes a letter might be sticking out. Prisoner had been our tenant for about nine months before July.

Cross-examined. Letters are always put by the postman into the box, never under the door. Prisoner has stated that he has seen letters sticking from the box and has forced them down with a pencil. Prisoner would know nothing of my business and would have no means of knowing that we were expecting a cheque from Mr. Wilson.

JACOB WERNER . I am clerk to the Foreign Exchange Company, Brick Lane, which is about five minutes walk from Leman Street. On Sunday, July 8, Mr. Rafalovich was at our place; he is a partner in the business; he has since left for America. I first saw the cheque produced about half past 10 on July 8; it was in possession of prisoner. Prisoner in my hearing told Rafalovich that he was one of the partners in Penny and Hull and wanted the cheque cashed, and wanted the money at once.

Rafalovich said that that was impossible, but that he could have it collected by Tuesday. Prisoner left the cheque, taking a receipt for it, and went away. I was not present on the Tuesday when prisoner called and obtained the money.

Cross-examined. On the Sunday night prisoner was at our place about a quarter of an hour; the talking was entirely between him and Rafalovich. I did not at the time think there was anything suspicious. Rafalovich went to New York on August 14. I remember Detective Curry coming to see Rafalovich on a Thursday in August. In describing the man who cashed the cheque Rafalovich said he was clean-shaven; I said, "No, it was a man with a dark moustache"; Rafalovich then said, "I mean he was clean-chaven round the chin." Rafalovich also said that the man wore a light grey coat. I did not see the man write anything on the cheque; I only saw the face of the cheque, not the back. I do not remember saying before the magistrate at the first hearing, "The cheque was already endorsed when it was brought in." At a later hearing I said, "I did not see the customer endorse it; I did not know at the time whether it was endorsed." Before that last statement of mine Blumstein had given evidence.

To the Court. Before Rafalovich left for America he was taken to the police station and identified prisoner.

The Recorder. It is a strange thing that Rafalovich is not here.

HY. BLUMSTEIN , wholesale draper, 51, Wilkes Street, Spitalfields. I am a friend of Rafalovich, and was in his office about 10 on the night of July 8. A man came in with this cheque and asked Rafalovich to cash it, saying that he required the money at once. Rafalovich told him the cheque must be collected first. Rafalovich asked him to endorse the cheque (although it was a bearer cheque), and he did so. I had not seen the man before. I believe prisoner was the man. Three weeks afterwards I went to the police station; prisoner was placed with 12 other men; I picked him out and said, "I believe that is the man." I believe now he is the man; I cannot say for certain.

Cross-examined. I am often at this office; there are always lots of people there coming in and changing cheques; the customers are principally foreigners and Jews.

JOSEPH RIVLIN , 86, Brick Lane. I am a partner in the Foreign Exchange Company. On Tuesday morning, July 10, a man brought in this receipt and asked me for the money for the cheque. Prisoner was the man. I told him I had not yet had an answer from the bank; he waited some little time till I had a telephonic message that the cheque was cleared, and I then gave him in cash £17 10s. 9d., the amount of the cheque less 2s. 6d. for collection. I next saw him on August 9, when I went with Detective Curry to the office of Penny and Hull.

Prisoner was in the private office, and I looked at him through a window. I said, "I should think that is the man, but I cannot see his face. We had better send for my clerk, Werner, to identify him." Later in the day I was taken to the policestation, when I picked out prisoner from 13 or 15 men. I said, "That is the man."

Cross-examined. What I told the officer was, "I think that is the man, but I would rather Werner identified him." I wanted Werner to make sure about it.

JOHN CURRY , Detective-Sergeant, New Scotland Yard. On August 9 I went with last witness to 53, Leman Street. Prisoner was in a room there with Mr. Hull and another man, an employee of Penny and Hull. I took Rivlin to an outer office and he looked through the window. I said, "Do you recognise anyone?" He replied, "I think that man it the man who brought the cheque to me. I am not so certain that I could recognise him positively; he has his hat off, and he was dressed when I saw him; Werner could recognise him well, I'm sure." Neither Hull nor the employee was a Jew; prisoner was the only Jew among the three. I believe Rivlin said, "The man had a brown moustache like that." I sent Rivlin to fetch Werner. Prisoner having left Mr. Hull and gone to his own room upstairs; I went up and told him I was a police officer, and asked him to put on his hat and jacket and came outside. The two of us walked into the street; Werner was there, and he said, "That is the man who cashed the cheque." I told prisoner, "I shall arrest you for stealing a cheque for £17 13s. 3d. which was sent to Messrs. Penny and Hull on July 7 last; I believe you to be the man who cashed it on July 8 last or took it to the Foreign Exchange." He said, "When do you say it was?" I said, "On July 8 last, Sunday night." He said, "I never go out on the Sunday evening; where was it?" I told him, "Brick Lane." He said, "I have not been in Brick Lane for two months." I showed him the cheque; he said, "I know nothing about it; do Messer. Penny and Hull know about this?" I said, "Yes." Afterwards he said, "I do not know Brick Lane. I have not been out of the workshop on Sunday night till 10 or 11 o'clock, except to the club in Cambridge Road, for which my brother-in-law, Mr. Levy, 9, Oliver Lane, sold me a ticket. When I come up Sundays I have often to push the letters into Penny and Hull's box; the postman cannot push them in; I push them in from the back with a black-lead pencil." There are plenty of Jews in this part of London, and with dark moustaches.

Cross-examined. Prisoner did say, "I do not know where Brick Lane is"; Mr. Hull heard him say it. Nothing is known by the police against prisoner, although he has some business debts.

Prisoner's statement before the magistrate, "I plead not guilty, and reserve my defence."


NATHAN SEGAR (prisoner, on oath). I carried on business as a mantle maker in the second and third floors of Messrs. Penny and Hull's place at 53, Leman Street. My business is carried on from Sunday to Friday; on Saturday the place is closed, except for payment of wages from two to three. On Sunday night, as a rule, we leave after 10 or 11, sometimes 12. For three months prior to my arrest I had not left before 10 or 11 on a Sunday, except on one occasion. On July 22 my brother-in-law gave me a ticket for a meeting of a society of which he is chairman, and I went there from half-past seven to 11. I produce the actual ticket I used. Penny and Hull's letter-box is at the front door; letters for me would be put in that box; I have no letter-box of my own. Sometimes Penny and Hull would receive such long letters that the postman could not push them right through the wire cage, and I sometimes pushed them in from inside myself. I never took a letter from the box belonging to Penny and Hull. I never took this cheque or any cheque to the Foreign Exchange Company; I never knew there was a Foreign Exchange existing in Brick Lane; I never saw the people there in my life. I formerly had a banking account of my own and have made out cheques to Penny and Hull; I should have no difficulty in writing their name. [Note. On the cheque produced there had been two attempts to commence the writing of the endorsement, before the writing of the complete endorsement.] I now see this cheque for the first time in my life. I did not tell the officer that I did not know Brick Lane; I said that I did not know the office of the Foreign Ex change in Brick Lane. I never in my life had a light grey coat.

Cross-examined. Brick Lane is only about two minutes from Ely Place, Alie Street, where I lived. I have been in the neighbourhood for 18 years; I cannot have said that I did not know Brick Lane. My bail is a Mr. Lipski; I do not know that he lives a few doors away from the Foreign Exchange Company. I used to have an account with the Capital and Counties Bank, but I had left off paying anything in in May; I opened an account somewhere else. I never tried to see whether I could get any letters out of the box.

THOMAS JAMES HULL , recalled. Our place of business is closed and locked up at one o'clock on Saturdays. On the Monday my warehouseman would unlock the box and sort out the letters; the warehouseman is named Penny, a son of my partner. He would have no knowledge of our business.

JACOB BARBERCOFF . In July I was employed by prisoner as a cutter. On Sundays my working hours were up to past 11.

Prisoner would be there all the time on Sundays, leaving when I left. This was what he always did, except that I recollect on one Sunday he went to a society's meeting. With that exception he never left before 11 on Sunday.

Cross-examined. This was in the busy time. I cannot remember particularly this July 8. We never do business on Saturdays.

MORRIS GALLAHER . Since February I have been employed by prisoner as a finisher. On Sundays we started work about 10, and in the busy time stayed till 10 at night. Prisoner always stayed after I left. I remember that on one night he went to a meeting or a ball; with that exception he was never away before 10 on a Sunday.

Cross-examined. I told the detective that the usual hours on Sundays were 8 to 6; that is for the workmen. I always stay longer than the others.

MARKS STEINBERG . I am traveller for Frimpkins. Prisoner is one of my customers. I saw him every Sunday. On July 8 I wanted to borrow some money. I went to prisoner after eight o'clock, and he lent me £1. I fix this Sunday because, as I wanted more than this £1, and failed to collect it on the Monday, I had to go on the Tuesday to the pawn. I produce the pawn-ticket, which is dated July 10. I stayed with prisoner till after 10; he was chalking out some stuff, and I waited, so as not to mix him up as he was writing. On the Sunday following his lending me £1 I saw him again, and he told me of his trouble.

Cross-examined. It was not the Sunday after. I was wrong; it was two or three weeks after.

MORRIS LEVY . I am prisoner's brother-in-law. I am in the habit of calling at his business place on Sundays; he works regularly there till 10 to half-past or 11.

BARNET ROSENBERG . I am in the habit of assisting prisoner as cutter on Sundays. I was working for him in July. We worked up to past 11.

The Recorder suggested that this class of evidence had been carried far enough. Mr. Green thereupon closed his case.

THOMAS JAMES HULL , recalled by the Court. The first person who comes to business on Mondays is the warehouseman; then my nephew arrives at quarter-past eight. I arrive about nine o'clock. My nephew would open letters first, unless he was late, when I should do so. He knows as much about the business as I do; it very rarely occurs that he it not there first to open the letters. Cheques would be endorsed by me or by him; he is practically a partner, and has authority to draw or endorse cheques. Except on this occasion, we have never had any letters or cheques go astray.

Verdict, Not guilty. On a second indictment, for forging and uttering an endorsement on an order for the payment of £17 13s. 3d., with intent to defraud, his lordship directed a verdict of "Not guilty" to be entered.

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