20th April 1909
Reference Numbert19090420-39
VerdictGuilty > pleaded part guilty

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PETTY, George (33, pawnbroker), was indicted for conspiring with Harry Benson and William Russell to defraud such persons as should deal with them or with the International Securities Syndicate or with the International Securities Corporation, Limited, or with Feltham's Bank, or with the British and Foreign Securities Corporation in the buying, selling, and exchanging of premium bonds and certain hotel shares.

Mr. Muir and Mr. Graham-Campbell prosecuted.

Prisoner asked for legal assistance, stating that he was without means to employ counsel.

Mr. Justice Jelf asked Mr. H. D. Harben to watch the case on behalf of the prisoner and to advise him when necessary.

Mr. Muir said that prisoner was indicted for a series of conspiracies and frauds, all carried out in conjunction with Harry Benson, and as to one of them in conjunction with a man passing by the name of William Russell, who was not indicted with the other two. The case had been postponed since January on account of Benson's illness.

At the conclusion of the opening statement, Mr. Harben intimated that prisoner would withdraw his plea of "Not guilty" and plead "Guilty" to three counts which charged him with fraud in regard to the duplication of certain premium bonds sold to the public.

Mr. Muir said that the duplication was the work of Petty and Russell, who had received the proceeds down to December 23, 1907. It must be said in fairness to Benson that since that date not a single bond had been duplicated, and that a promise he made to take steps to prevent any duplication for the future had been absolutely carried out.

The Jury returned a verdict of Guilty on three of the counts and Not guilty on some of the remainder, others remaining on the file in view of the possible trial of Benson.

It was stated that prisoner had hitherto borne an irreproachable character, and that a former employer would take him back into his service.

Prisoner said that he knew nothing whatever about financial business until he met Russell, and he had gained nothing by the matter. As regards the writing of the circulars, he got the facts and figures from Russell, who was a foreigner.

Mr. Muir, replying to the Judge, said that in the view of the prosecution this prisoner's part in the matter was only a minor one.

Sentence, Six months' imprisonment, second division.


(Monday, April 26.)

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