Offence: Theft > theft from a specified place
Verdict: Not Guilty > unknown
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Mr. W. T. Spratling prosecuted; Mr. Cecil Hayes defended.
HILDA ISEMAN . I married prisoner on October 18, 1910, at Hackney Registry Office; we then kept a boot shop at 149, Church Street, Stoke Newington. On January 8 last I had a pair of diamond earrings, a marquise diamond ring, a half-hoop diamond ring, a long gold chain with ruby pendant, a diamond and ruby gold bangle, and £45 in gold locked up in a cashbox, of which I kept the key. That day prisoner persuaded me to take out £55 in notes from my banking account; I put that also in the cashbox. That evening my husband persuaded me to go to a picture palace. When I came back he said he had a headache and told me to go to bed at once. Next morning he asked me to make him some sandwiches as he was going to warehouses to choose goods. He told me to tell the customers that they would have their boot repairs by 10 o'clock that night. I fully expected him back that night. He did not return, and I found all the keys were gone. I then borrowed a lot of keys from the lady next door and succeeded in opening my cashbox with one of them. It contained nothing but two pieces of iron (produced). I then went to live with my mother at 25, Leyton Road, Stratford, where I am living now. I took out a warrant a few days after he left. I did not see him again or. hear from him until he called at my mother's house on January 26. I sent for the police and he was arrested.
Cross-examined. Prisoner was a bootmaker. At my wedding my brother made me a present of £175, which I put into the bank in the joint names of myself and prisoner. The £55 notes was part of that. Cheques had to be signed by us both. Prisoner persuaded me and I consented to take £55 to be spent on improving the boot repairing business Prisoner made me a present of an engagement ring, which I
partly paid for, and a bracelet. I never consented to the jewellery being sold to improve the business. After I was married my brother gave me a cheque for £20, with which I bought the rest of the jewellery from a Mrs. Weidenbaum, Black Lion Yard, Stepney. I took £55 out of the bank to save the trouble of going a lot of times; I intended to hand it over to prisoner a little at a time. I did not notice prisoner packing his things before he went. Prisoner never talked to me about going to America and starting business there; I should not like to go to America. When prisoner came to my mother's house on January 26 he kissed me and said, "You need not think, because I took your money and your jewellery and deserted you, that I married you for that purpose. I had to go to America because some time ago I bought some stolen jewellery and I went there to sell it; I made a lot of money. I have sold your earrings and your marquise ring, and I will buy you another pair of earrings and another marquise ring; I will take your bracelet and other jewellery out of pawn. I will pay your brother back for the ring I took from him. If the landlord will not let me have the shop back I will take another shop, but I will not work any more, I have found a better way to make money." I said, "Where is the money?" He showed me some American paper-money and asked me to lend him £20.
Re-examined. I paid for the business. He had no money at all when I married him.
Detective-sergeant THOMAS EVANS. On February 26 I saw prisoner at the West Ham Police Station. I said, "I am a police officer; I believe your name is Phillip Iseman?" He said, "Yes." I said, "I hold a warrant for your arrest." I read the warrant. He said, "I bought the earrings and sold them again as I wanted the money. It was only £50. I sent her to the bank to get it. I can get the manager to prove it was a joint account. I went to America and I came back and went straight to my wife, and my mother-in-law asked me to go upstairs, and next the police came. I went away just for a little time to get rid of my mother-in-law; if she had not interfered I should not have gone. I bought some jewellery before we were married and sold it again as she was not satisfied with it." I conveyed him to the Stoke Newington Police Station. When charged, he said, "I did not steal it. She gave me the money and I can prove it. It is not £95, it was only £50, and she gave it to me." I searched 'him and found three notes for 20 dollars, one for 5 dollars and 2s. 3d. English money.
Cross-examined. Prisoner is known as a very respectable and very hard-working man. I know nothing against him.
MRS. SARAH WEIDENBAUM , Black Lion Yard, Stepney, jeweller. I have known prisoner and his wife for the last few years. They came together and bought an engagement ring, diamond cluster earrings, and a wedding-ring. Prisoner and his wife afterwards told me they did not like clusters and that I was to make them some other earrings. A few days afterwards prisoner brought back the earrings I had sold them and asked me to give him the money back and his wife would pay for the earrings they had ordered. I gave him the money back and took the receipt from him.
FLORENCE WESTON , 151, Church Street, Stoke Newington, wife of Charles Weston. I lived next door to prisoner and his wife. At about 5.30 p.m. on January 8 prisoner asked my daughter to go with his wife to see the pictures. About 10 a.m. the next day prisoner's wife made a communication to me and borrowed some of my keys. I went into her house and we succeeded in opening her cashbox. There were only two pieces of iron in it.
LEWIS FISHER , 115, High Street, Kingsland, furniture dealer. Prisoner's wife is my sister. At her marriage I gave her a cheque for £175 as a present. At that time she had £45 of her own. I afterwards made her presents of furniture and money to buy jewellery. Prisoner's was not worth £10 when he was married.
Cross-examined. I did not give £175 to them mutually for the business.
Mr. Hayes submitted that under Section 12 of the Married Women's Property Act, 1882 (45 and 46 Viet., c 75) a wife can bring criminal proceedings against the husband for the protection and security of her separate property, but "separate property" had a special meaning in law, and referred to marriage settlements.
The Common Serjeant. I do not know that.
Mr. Hayes further submitted that a husband could not be convicted of stealing his wife's property unless he had left her or was about to desert her altogether; in this case the prisoner had only left his wife for a short time.
The Common Serjeant. It is a case for the jury.
PHILIP ISEMAN (prisoner, on. oath). I am a Jew and a bootmaker and live at 18, Montford Street, Whitechapel. I have been seven years in: his country and there has never been anything against my character. Before I married I bought my wife a diamond ring from Mrs. Weidenbaum for £10 15s., and a long gold chain. After the marriage I. bought her a diamond and ruby bracelet, brooches and bracelets for a few pounds in Whitechapel. When I married her she promised to give me the £175 her brother gave her. About three months before I left my wife we talked of going to America. I said I would go first and then she would follow. She said, "We are young people and we must try our luck." I did not talk of going to America any more after that. In January I found the shop did not pay, and I determined to go to America. I told my wife to get £55 out of the bank, and she did so. Next morning I took all the jewellery from the cashbox; there was no money. I sold some of the jewellery in England and some I sold in America. I went to America to open a business there and because my mother-in-law used to worry me. I had no intention of deserting my wife. I went to Chicago and opened a shop. I wrote her a letter nine days afterwards. I found the business was no good and I came back to my wife. I did not take the jewellery with the intention of depriving my wife of it.
Cross-examined. I had £50 in Moorfields Savings Bank and a shop when I was married. At the police court, in my evidence, I said, "I
did not tell my wife I was going as I knew she would not have liked it. I did not take a return ticket to America. (To the Court. I always kept those pieces of iron in the cashbox for the last six years as a remembrance; I had once used them as tools.) My brother-inlaw lent me the £20 to buy jewellery for my wife; I gave it back to him seven days afterwards. I and my wife went to Mrs. Weidenbaum and asked her to change some earrings we had previously bought. A few days afterwards, on the day I went away, I went to Mrs. Weidenbaum and got the money back. I asked my wife to draw out £55; I did not tell her what for. She had four free tickets to see the pictures and wished to go. I went to the next door neighbour and asked her daughter to go with my wife. Next day I asked her to make some sandwiches for me. I did not tell her I was going to warehouses for goods. I told her I wanted the sandwiches because I was going away.
Re-examined. I kept the key of the cashbox.
Verdict, Not guilty.