Offence: Deception > forgery
Verdict: Guilty > lesser offence
Punishment: Imprisonment > hard labour
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GARNER. Angus (26, clerk) , stealing a banker's cheque for the payment of £270, the goods of George Bargate the younger; forging and uttering, knowing the same to be forged, a certain endorsement on the said cheque, with intent to defraud.
Prisoner was tried on the second indictment.
Mr. Henry Lancaster prosecuted; Mr. A.C. Fox-Davies defended.
GEORGE BARGATE , junior, Stephens Coombe, Grantown Road, Cornwall, mining engineer. On October 2 I arrived in London, with cheque (produced) in my possession on Lloyds Bank, Limited. Cheap side branch, payable to George Bargate, junior, or order £270 drawn for and on behalf of the Great Dowgas Tin Mines Company, Ltd., dated October 3. Next morning, while I was dressing. I missed it, and at once communicated with the drawers. The cheque is now endorsed "George Bargate, junior." I did not endorse it nor authorise the endorsement.
Detective-sergeant FREDERICK WAGSTAFF, City. At 5 p.m. on October 11 I was with Detective Hutton and Mr. Martin, chief cashier of Lloyds Bank, cheapside, in Howland street, Tottenham Court Road, when Mr. Martin made a communication to me, in consequence of which I went up to prisoner, who was standing with two other men, and told him I was a police officer and should take him into custody for stealing on October 2 a banker's cheque for £270, and on October 3 forging and uttering the same and obtaining £270 from Lloyds Bank, Cheapside. He replied, "You have made a mistake. I have never been to Lloyds Bank; I know nothing about the matter." Leaving prisoner in custody of another officer, I went to 19, Howland Street, where prisoner lived with a woman named Peggie Wilson. This woman handed me one lady's squirrel fur coat, one diamond cluster ring, two silver-backed brushes, one cameo ring, a pawn ticket for a gold watch bracelet, and a receipt for a suit of clothes purchased on October 4 at "John Dunks, tailor and habit maker, Quean's Road, Brighton" (produced). On the mantelpiece I found a picture postcard (produced), which bears no stamp, and has not been through the post, addressed to "Allan Garner, 10, Wharf, Amberley Road, Paddington, London, W. Dear A.—Good luck, old man, will be back in town Wednesday.—Gus." Prisoner is known to his associates at "Gus." In my opinion the handwriting on the postcard and the endorsement on the cheque are that of the same person. At Old Jewry Police Station I showed prisoner all these things I had found and told him that we should be able to prove that these things had been purchased with bank notes which were the proceeds of this forgery. He then commenced to make a statement. I cautioned him. He than said, "I met a man whom I do not know and played billiards with him until about midnight, with the result that I won £90 from him. He could not pay me and I went to his hotel in Berners Street the next morning at about 8.30. He asked me to cash a cheque for him and he would pay me the £90. I cashed the cheque. I do not know where the man can be found." When charged at Cloak Lane Police Station he made no reply. He was wearing a dark mixture suit, on the tab of which was the name of Dunks, which was on the receipt I found so his house. I searched him and found a gold Albert chain and coin, gun metal watch, gold turquoise ring, receipt dated October 3 from Madame Stace for £16 16s. for a squirrel coat, pawn ticket for a diamond ring, and lls. 7 1/2 d. in money (produced).
Detective-sergeant FREDERICK HUTTON, City, corroborated. After making the statement to Wagstaff prisoner said to me, "I will tell you where I cashed my nine notes. I cashed one at Stace's in the Charing Cross Road, where I bought the fur coat (meaning the squirrel coat), one I cashed at the jeweller's in Tottenham Court Road close to the cinematograph show, where I bought the gold chain I was wearing, another at the pawnbroker's in Church Row, Paddington, where I took two rings out of pawn. I changed the others at Robertsons, jewelers, in Edgware Road." The following morning, at Cloak Lane Police Station, I asked him if he would tell me the name of the public-house
where he played billiards on October 2 so that I could make inquiries on his behalf. He then said it was the "Crown" public-house, that he was playing between 11.30 and 12, and that he was well known by the billiard marker, Ray, who would also know if he won £90.
Cross-examined. Perhaps I did not say anything about Ray at the police court. At the time that prisoner told me where the notes had been changed we had traced them, but he did not know that.
THOMAS RAY , billiard marker, "Crown Hotel," Charing Cross Road. I know prisoner at a customer and the "Crown." I do not think he was there on October 2. I could not swear to it. I produce a document filled in at the time showing what games were played. No games of billiards were played on October 2—only snooker-pool. There are two billiard tablet.
Cross-examined. Playing billiards for money is illegal, so that care would be taken that I should know nothing about it. I go to the bar and get drinks for anyone who orders them.
Re-examined. Twelve games were played on October 2, of which I played in seven.
ROBERT JOHN MARTIN , head cashier at Lloyds Bank, Cheapside. On October 3, shortly after 9 a.m., prisoner presented the cheque (produced), endorsed and payable to George Bargate, junior." I asked him if he was George Bargate, junior. He said, "I wish I was; I should be doing better than getting £10 a month. Then he said, "I am an old "Varsity man and a half Blue." I asked him how he would take it. First of all he said £10 notes, and then, "Perhaps I had better have £10 in gold." I then handed him twenty-six £10 notes and £10 in gold. I have an extract from the bank's books certified by the manager.
Mr. Fox-Davies submitted that under the Bankers' Book Evidence Act witness was not an officer of the bank, and therefore could not give the numbers of the notes.
Witness (to the Judge). When we give notes an entry is made at the time in the cash-book, which is one of the ordinary books of the bank, and is always in use. I copied the extract produced from the cash-book and submitted it to the manager, who certified it. Witness was directed to produce the cash-book.
(Thursday, November 7.)
ROBERT JOHN MARTIN , recalled. I produce cash-book in which I made an entry of the numbers of the notes at the time T cashed the cheque. I gave prisoner twenty-six notes numbered 88694-700, dated September 15, 1910, and 13651-69, dated October 15, 1910. It is my duty to notice handwriting particularly. T should not like to say that the handwriting on the picture postcard and the endorsement on the cheque were of the same person; there is hardly enough to go on; there is only one letter; there is a slight similarity about the "G"
THOMAS ZWINGER , clerk, Bank of England. I produce twenty-four £10 notes, numbered 88694-700 dated September 15, 1910, 13651-57, October 15, 1910, 13659 and 13661-9 of the same date. These notes have been paid in by various banks, showing they have been in circulation.
SOLOMON JACOBS , 12, Coborn Road, Bow, grain sampler and tally clerk. On the night of October 2 I stayed at 19, Howland Street Tottenham Court Road, with a young lady named Abbott. I got up next morning at 11 a.m., and went down Tottenham Court Road with prisoner, Abbott, and Peggie Wilson. Abbott and I then left prisoner and Peggie Wilson, but met them again at Madame Stace's in Shaftesbury Avenue, where I found prisoner had just bought a coat like the squirrel fur coat produced. Peggie Wilson was wearing it. We then all four went in a taxi to Robertson's, jewellers, Edgware Road. Robertson's have two shops there, and prisoner and Wilson went into the firsshop while Abbott and I waited outside in the taxi. We then all four went into the shop further on, and prisoner bought some things there. Prisoner owed me £6, and he bought me a gold Albert, watch and a 20-lire piece (produced). I think two or three £10 notes were passed there. We then went into a pawnbroker's in Church Row, off Edgware Road, where prisoner redeemed two rings (produced). I think he paid with a £10 note. I parted with prisoner at the top of Edgware Road, and met him again between 3.30 and 4 p.m. in Howland Street. We then packed up a few things and took the 4.30 train to Brighton, where we four stayed from Thursday till the following Tuesday. Except for £3 or £4 which I paid, prisoner paid the whole of the expenses for the four of us.
ALBERT JOHN BUNK , assistant to A. and C. A. Robertson, 199, Edgware Road, jewellers and pawnbrokers. On October 3 at about noon prisoner and another man called and purchased a single stone diamond ring, a diamond cluster ring, a metal watch, a gold watch charm, a 20-lire piece, and a sovereign case. (All produced.) Prisoner paid by means of four or five notes.
Cross-examined. I think prisoner has bought articles before so my shop.
STANLEY FRANCIS COLEMAN , assistant to A. and C. A. Robertson. On October 3 at about noon prisoner bought a gold expanding wrist bracelet and gold watch (produced), which he paid for with a £10 note. I changed another £10 note for him.
JAMES JOSEPH SAMUEL DODIMEAD , 40, Tottenham Court Road, jeweller. On October 3 at 9.30 a.m. prisoner bought gold Albert (produced) for £1 10s., and paid for it by a £10 note, No. K13652, which I paid into the London County and Westminster Bank, Bloomsbury.
AMY NEWMAN , assistant to Madame Stace, 128, Charing Cross-Road, lady's costumier. On October 3 at about 11 a.m. I sold squirrel coat (produced) for £16 16s. to prisoner, who paid for it by a £10 note and coin.
Prisoner's statement before the Magistrate "I plead not guilty and reserve my defence."
ANGUS GARNER (prisoner, on oath). On October 3 just after 9 p.m. in the West-End, I think in Coventry Street, I met a casual acquaintance whose name I do not know, whom I have met in restaurants and different hotels two or three times before, lie asked me to have a drink, which is a general thing when I meet him; we went to the "Imperial" public-house, and then to the "Crown "; I had several more drinks there, and I went down to the billiard room once or twice, but the tables were engaged. When the tables were free, at his suggestion I agreed to play a game of snooker pool, which is a kind of billiards. He asked me it I would like a bet on the game; I said, "Yes, what would you like?" He said, "Anything you like." More injest than anything else I said, "I will play you for £10 and £2 a ball." He agreed readily—I was rather surprised at his agreeing so quickly. The result was that I beat him by 40 balls, making a gain of £90. I did not expect to get paid. I asked him if he would like to play another game to get his own back; he said, "No. How much do I owe you for this?" I told him £90. He said, "I have not the money on me now, but will you call at the Berners Street Hotel, where I am putting up, to-morrow morning between half-past eight and a quarter to nine in the lounge." I had a lot more drink, and we then got in a taxi. I dropped him at his hotel in Berners Street and went home to 19, Holland Street, where I lived. At 8.30 a.m. next morning I went to the "Berners Street Hotel," where I saw him in the lounge. He told me he had a cheque to cash, and asked me if I would go with him to the City. We went by Central London Tube to the Post Office Station, arriving there at 8.53. He said, "Well, it is not time for the bank to open," and asked me to have a drink, which, we did. We stayed in the public-house for about 10 minutes, when he asked if I would mind going to the bank for him with this cheque. I said, "Certainly not," and he handed me the cheque. He had told me that morning that his father was a very wealthy man and allowed him plenty of money. Thinking it was quite straight I took the cheque to the bank; the evidence of Mr. Martin is quite correct. I also said that the half Blue was for boxing. That was not true; I said it because the man whom I thought to be
Mr. Bargate had been bragging so much about his father that I thought I would say something of myself, too, and then the cashier might repeat my words to Mr. Bargate. I once went down to Cambridge as the guest of an undergraduate and tried to get him his half Blue in boxing, but he was a hopeless case. While I was up there I used to dine in Hall with the other undergraduates. I gave the money I received for the cheque to the man I thought it belonged to, and he handed me nine £10 notes, which I spent as has been stated. When Detective Wagstaff arrested me I was frightened and told him I had never been to the bank. Directly after he left me I started to to tell another officer the truth, but he stopped me and told me it was nothing to do with him, and I had better tell Wagstaff. I told Wagstaff the truth the next time I saw him.
Cross-examined. I am a clerk; I was earning nothing before my arrest, but I was getting money from friends. I had £10 when I played with this man; as soon as he picked up the cue I knew I could beat him. I did not tell the police I did not know this man, I said a man I had seen before, but I did not know his name. I played I suppose for about half an hour.
Verdict, Guilty of uttering.
Prisoner confessed to having been convicted at this Court on April 25, 1911, receiving nine months' hard labour for forging and uttering a postal telegram for £5, and another conviction was proved. He was stated to be the constant companion of men living on the immoral earnings of women.
Sentence: Twenty months' hard labour.
BEFORE JUDGE LUMLEY SMITH.
(Wednesday, November 6.)