Offence: Violent Theft > robbery
Verdict: Guilty > no_subcategory
Punishment: Imprisonment > penal servitude; Imprisonment > hard labour
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WILLIAMS, Lewis (24, coster), McGUIRE, Francis (27, fruiterer), BARNETT, Harry (22, coster), and SOUTHEY, Frederick (26, car-man) , robbery with violence upon Richard Haynes, and stealing from him 17s. 6d., his moneys.
Mr. Muir, Mr. Travers Humphreys and Mr. Briggs prosecuted; Mr. Hayes defended Southey.
MARK COBANT , ladies' tailor. On November 17, about 12 midnight, I went into the urinal at the corner of Wentworth Street, White-chapel; Haynes came in after me. There are two entrances to this urinal. McGuire and Barnett came in at one entrance and Southey and Williams and another man came in the other entrance. Southey ran behind Haynes and clutched him by the throat, saying, "It's all right; I have got him tight." The other prisoners rushed in and held prosecutor's hands. Williams put his hand in Haynes's waistcoat pocket. I saw some money drop out of the pocket, a piece of gold and some silver. Williams and Barnett picked it up. McGuire, Barnett, and Southey then ran out. Williams was left with Haynes; he pushed Haynes down to the floor and kicked him in the ribs, saying, "Stay down, or I will out you," and ran out after the others. I saw them all run into Lowlesworth Buildings. Haynes asked me to go to the station as a witness and give a description of the men as well as I could, and I did so. Later that night I went to the station and from a number of men picked out Williams. On November 21 I saw another lot of men put up, and I picked out Barnett; I was not sure of McGuire, so I did not pick him out. Next day I picked out Southey. Cross-examined by Williams. I was at the George Yard entrance to the urinal. It was quite light. When you took your hand out of Haynes's pocket I saw the money drop. You were in the urinal about five minutes altogether. Before I picked you out I was not told by the detective how you were dressed.
To McGuire. I refused to pick you out because I was not sure of you.
To Barnett. Prosecutor was in the urinal before you came in. To Mr. Hayes. I was able to see the assault committed because I was behind these men and they could not see me. I was looking through the entrance. The scuffle lasted four or five minutes. There was a fifth man with the prisoners; I cannot give a description of him. Southey was wearing a long grey overcoat like that which he is now wearing. When I said at the police court, "He was without the overcoat that he is wearing now; he had a different coat on," I thought you were referring to Barnett.
Police-constable AMBROSE RAYNER, H Division. On November 17, about 11.30 p.m., I was in Commercial Street. I saw there four prisoners and a fifth man enter the "Princess Alice,' which is about 50 yards from the urinal. About midnight I saw prosecutor and Cobant at the station. A little later I saw Williams in Commercial Street. I told him I should arrest him on suspicion of being concerned with four other men not in custody in assaulting and robbing a man of 17s. 6d. just previously in Wentworth Street. He said, "It is all through that big bastard that I done it." When told at the station what he was being detained for he said, "What, robbed of 17s. 6d. I should say so; I have not got it; I wish I had some of it." Next morning he was put up for identification; prosecutor failed to identify him; Cobant picked him out at once. On November 20 I went to McGuire's house, accompanied by a detective from another division. I told McGuire I should arrest him on suspicion of being concerned with' one man in custody and three not in custody in this robbery. He said, "If I had known you were coppers you would never have got into this house, as I knew you had got two in for it." (In fact two had been arrested, but only one had been charged.) On Barnett and McGuire being put up for identification, prosecutor identified both men; Cobant picked out Barnett, and did not identify McGuire. On McGuire being charged he said, "The 'pros.' was drunk when he was britched (robbed); I admit I was there, but I had nothing to do with it, but I saw it done, and it was where Southey broke his ankle." I was present on November 21 when Southey was arrested; he pulled out of his pocket a paper, which he tore up and threw away; the pieces were put together; it is a certificate of admission at some hospital receiving room (Exhibit 1). When Cobant identified Southey he said, "This is the man who held prosecutor by the throat." Southey said, "You are wrong"; Cobant said, "No, I am not; you are now wearing the same shirt as you had on then." When I saw Southey on November 17 at 11.30 p.m. he was not limping.
To Williams. When I arrested you there were some men with you whom I do not know. I had had a description of you from Haynes and Cobant, a joint description; what one did not remember the other did.
To McGuire. Detective Newing was with me when I arrested you; I cannot say why he has not been called as a witness.
Detective JOHN NEWING, G Division, corroborated Rayner as to the arrest of McGuire.
To McGuire. I was not called before the magistrate.
Police-constable WALTER CHURCHER, 432 H. On November 19 I arrested Barnett. He said, "I expect it was that b——Marks Cohen (Williams) that shopped me for this lot; I will do it on him."Barnett was identified by Haynes and Cobant. At the station Barnett said, "I can put up with what I get; I have had a good run." On November 21 I arrested Southey. I told him. the charge and he said, "I know nothing about it; if I knew. you wanted me I should have kept away from this end; I am not afraid of what I get; I am innocent." He was identified by Haynes and Cobant; Cobant said, "This is the man who held the prosecutor by the throat." Southey complained of an injury to his ankle and was taken to the station in a cab.
Police-constable WALTER BEADEL, 117 H. On November 17, at 11.15 p.m., 1 was in Leman Street, when I saw the four prisoners and two other men. I had seen them together before; they all ran towards Commercial Street. At midnight, when I went to the station, I saw Williams detained there; I knew him by the name of Marks Cohen.
To Williams. I have seen you about Commercial Street and Spitalfields for two or three years, frequently in company with Southey and Barnett.
Police-constable WALLACE RYE, 194 H. On November 17, at 11.40 p.m., I saw the four prisoners outside the "Princess Alice." Inspector THOMAS TRAVIS, H Division, spoke to the circumstances of the various identifications.
LEWIS WILLIAMS (prisoner, on oath). On November 17 I was with three other men (not these prisoners); we had a few words, and a constable came up and said he should arrest me for causing an obstruction. I was taken to the station and kept there for an hour before I was told that I was wanted on this charge. What Rayner and Churcher have said is perjury right the way through. When I was put up for identification Haynes walked down the row; he touched another man and said, "I swear to the Almighty God this it one of the men." Why was not that man charged?
Cross-examined. I never knew McGuire until I saw him at the police court. Barnett I have known as a costermonger. My right name is Mark Cohen. I have seen Southey several times. On this night I was in the "White Swan" from 11.15 to 11.50.
Sergeant ALFRED LAND, 86 'N, was interposed to prove a plan of the urinal.
FRANCIS MCGUIRE (prisoner, on oath) denied that he was with the other prisoners or had anything to do with the assault. He pointed out that Cobant had failed to identify him as one of the men in the urinal; the only man who had picked him out was Haynes, who was not here now.
Cross-examined. What the police have said as to my statements to them is all wrong. When I was charged the inspector said, "If
you will tell us who did it we will let you go"; this was not one of the officers called to-day; it was a man with a fair moustache. (Several officers were called into court; prisoner said as to each that it was not that man.) On November 17 I was not near the "Princess Alice." I left my house at 8.30 and told my landlord I was going to the Cambridge picture palace. I met two friends and went into the Cambridge and stayed there till after 11; one friend was John Buller; the other was a fellow called Scosher; I do not know their address. On leaving the Cambridge we went into the "Round House" and stayed there till a quarter to 12. I got home about a quarter past 12.
(Friday, January 19.)
HARRY BARNETT (prisoner, on oath) read a statement to the effect that he was innocent of the charge and knew nothing about it. From 9 p.m. on November 17 till 1.15 a.m. he was in Charing Cross Road with a man named Goldberg, helping him with a fruit barrow. On the 19th he was arrested by Rayner and a constable not in uniform, and when charged with being concerned with Williams, then in custody, in the robbery, all he said was, "I know nothing at all about it." Churcher was not with Rayner when he was arrested; the statements alleged to have been made by him when arrested were put in by the police to make it look bad against him.
Cross-examined. I cannot say where Goldberg lives and do not know where he keeps his barrow; I meet him at a certain place every night. My friends have tried to find him, but they do not know him.
FREDERICK SOUTHEY (prisoner, on oath). I am a carman. At 8.20 p.m. on November 17, I was going down the urinal in Leman Street, and, having had two or three drinks, I slipped three or four steps. I came out and walked across the road to the corner; this would be about 8.30 p.m. I found my leg gave way a little bit and I could hardly walk. A friend named Thomas Cooper came along and said, "Holloa, Fred! What is the matter?" I said, "I have just fallen down those steps over there and I can hardly walk." He said, "You had better come to the hospital." I said I did not want to go there because I had had a little drop of drink. He invited me to come to his place and have a cup of tea, and we took a tram to No. 131, Ernest Street, where he lived. On arriving there we found that his wife was out and he said that she had gone to the picture palace. He put some water on the fire to bathe my ankle with and I bathed my ankle. It came up so swollen that I could hardly walk at all. He made some tea and we sat there until the wife came in at 11 p.m. She asked me what had happened to my ankle and I told her I had slipped down. She said to her husband that he could not let me go out like that, and that he had better put me up a bed on the floor and take me to the hospital in the morning. I laid on the floor all night and got up in the morning. We had some breakfast and at about 3.20 p.m. he came with me to the London Hospital The doctor bandaged my foot up and gave me this application form,
dated November 18 (Exhibit 1). On the night of the 17th I was dressed as I am now, but I had no overcoat on. I did not get the overcoat until the 20th. I was also on that night wearing this same white shirt that I am wearing now. I have worn no other shirt since then. I know nothing whatever of this charge. Of the other prisoners 1 know only Williams, but I have never been in his company. (To the Jury.) Rayner, while searching me at the station, pulled out the Hospital ticket and tore it into pieces. I told the inspector and he said to Rayner, "You had no need to do that." Rayner picked up the pieces and put them together again. The inspector was a tall fair man. I have seen him on four occasions when I was remanded.
Cross-examined. No doubt this was not mentioned at the police court. I am not known as "Long Southey." My friends know me as "Darkie." I happen to remember the exact time that I came out of the urinal because as you cross the road there is a clock which you can see and which the majority of people look at. I was not in the company of the other prisoners that night. The police evidence is all untrue on that point. I did not go to the hospital on the 17th because I had been drinking all day. I did not have another drink after 1 met Cooper; I was "just middling" when I met him, but I know what I was doing; I was not silly drunk.
Re-examined. On the morning of the 17th I went to Caledonian Road to get my overcoat out of pawn. I had about sixteen or seventeen drinks before I met Cooper.
THOMAS COOPER , 18, St. Stephen's Place, Bermondsey. I sell fruit from a barrow or a crate. I have known Southey for a long time as frequenting Spitalfields Market. At 8.30 p.m. on November 17 I was coming from Aldgate when I met him at Venables' corner in Commercial Street. I said, "Hullo, Fred! What is the matter?" as he was leaning against the wall. He said, "I have sprained my ankle." I suggested his coming to the hospital with me and he said, "No, I do not like the idea as it is so late." I then invited him to come home with me, and he accepted. We took a tramcar to my place, which was then at 131, Ernest Street. On the following afternoon at 3.10 I went with him to the London Hospital.
Cross-examined. He was quite sober when I met him. I cannot say why he did not go to the hospital the first thing in the morning. I had not seen him for a fortnight before the 17th. I know the exact time I met him, because there is Gardiner's clock, which every man ought to be able to see. I noticed the time Cooper and I got into the house was 9.10 p.m., from the clock on the table. (To the Court.) I went to work on November 15 and 16. If I have enough money to stop in 1 stop in. I am quite sure that whilst in the house nothing whatever was done to Southey's ankle; I did not heat some water and bathe his leg.
McGuire called the following evidence in support of his alibi.
17 he said he was going to the Pictures and my husband gave him 4d. because he used to help him in the stables. He came home between 12 and 12.30 a.m. He had a little room downstairs and I slept upstairs. I told him when he came home if he knocked at the door there would be a bit of fish on the table for his supper. He knocked at my room door at that time and I told him there was the fish, and asked him where he had been, and he said to the Pictures. I asked him what time it was and he said between 12 and half-past by the clock on the table. He then took the fish away.
To McGuire. I was present when you were arrested and I do not remember your saying to the policeman, "If I had known you was two policemen you would not have got into the house." You said that it was very hard lines to be took into custody innocent, and Rayner said he was sorry, but he had to do it. I have known you three or four years.
Cross-examined. Barnett never came to our house on this night. At the beginning of the week he came one or two nights with McGuire and slept in the same bed, but I did not like it, as I wanted McGuire to have the room to himself. I did not always see Barnett when McGuire brought him, but I do not think he brought him after my husband had said that he objected to it. When arrested the policeman told him that he was being taken for identification in connection with a robbery, but I did not hear him mention any time as to when the robbery had taken place. They said they would not keep him after two o'clock. When the police asked me what evidence I could give I made the same statement to them that I have made to-day. (To the jury.) I know that McGuire did not have any money on the morning of November 18.
JOHN BULLER (to McGuire). I am at present doing a sentence of four years' penal servitude for having house-breaking implements in my possession. About 8.50 p.m., on November 17, I met you with a man named Scosher, a stranger to me, outside the Cambridge Picture Show. We stayed there until 11.10 and then we went to the "Round House" public-house and had drinks. Between 11.55 and 12.10 we left there and went to the top of Commercial Street to the Standard Music Hall. I there saw you on to a Stamford Hill car. It is about five minutes' walk from the "Round House" to the Standard. I saw no more of you that night. We left you at 12.20 p.m. (To the Court.) I got locked up about November 20. I gave evidence before the magistrate.
Cross-examined. I did not hear McGuire give evidence at the police court or at this court. It would not be right to say that we left him at 11.45. (To the Court.) I do not know what the prisoners are charged with.
SARAH MILLER . Between 11 and 11.30 p.m. I was in the "Round House," when McGuire came in with two men and had two drinks. I cannot exactly say the time when they left, but it was before 12. I have known McGuire about four years. He said he had been up to the Cambridge. I asked him to treat me, and he said he had only got a penny for his car fare. I think he was sober.
In accordance with the prisoner McGuire's request, Frank Smith was called, but he did not appear. Mr. Travers Humphreys stated that the police had made every endeavour to find him, without success.
Each prisoner confessed to a previous conviction: Williams, at the South London Sessions, on March 27, 1909; McGuire, at this Court, on July 19, 1909; Barnett, at the South London Sessions, on May 9, 1911; Southey, at the London Sessions, on December 20, 1910. As to Williams, six convictions since 1908 were proved, one of them on September 6, 1910, being for assault and attempted robbery. It was stated that since his release from his last sentence on July 8, 1911, he was not known to have done any work, but to have associated with thieves and prostitutes. As to McGuire, a large number of convictions in Scotland, mostly for theft, for which he had been admonished, dating from 1897, and further convictions in this country were proved, including the conviction to which he had pleaded guilty, on which he was sentenced to three years' penal servitude for robbery with violence; he was released on October 20, 1911, and had still 272 days to serve. As to Barnett, the conviction to which he had pleaded guilty was the only one against him; it was for insulting behaviour. He was stated to be an associate of McGuire and to have been very much influenced by his example and to be an associate of bad characters. As to Southey, a number of previous convictions, including two for living on the earnings of prostitution, were proved.
EDWARD LEONARD , greengrocer, High Street, Walthamstow, was called on Southey's behalf to say that up to three months ago prisoner had been working for him for twelve months and had given satisfaction.
(Saturday, January 20.)
(Each prisoner, by the recommendation of the Governor of the Prison, was placed in the dock for sentence separately.)
Sentences: Williams, McGuire, and Southey (each), Seven years' penal servitude; Barnett, Eighteen months' hard labour.
BEFORE THE COMMON SERJEANT.
(Thursday, January 18.)