13th May 1839
Reference Numbert18390513-1499
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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1499. GEORGE FOUNTAIN was indicted for feloniously, breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Langham Christies on the 19th of April, at St. Marylebone, and stealing therein 1 spoon, value 1l., and 2 forks, value 1l., his goods.

JOHN WALKER . I am servant to Mr. Langham Christie, of Cumberland-street, St. Marylebone. On the 19th of April, at half-past twelve o'clock at noon, I was in the pantry, and heard the street-door bell ring—I went up to answer it—the door leading to the area, I believe, at that time, was left open to dry the passage, which had been just cleaned—I shut the pantry door, but did not lock it—it is a common latch—when I got to the door there was a person there with a newspaper—I took it up to the drawing-room—mistress sent me into the dining-room with it, and I went, down to the pantry, in less than five minutes—when I got to the top of the stairs I saw the pantry door wide open, and the prisoner in the pantry—I called out, and asked him what he wanted there—when I got to the bottom of the stairs he asked if I wanted any black lead—(he had a parcel, of black lead in his left hand, and a blue bag in his other hand)—I said, "No—where do you come from?"—he made no answer, I felt the bag, and heard something rattle—I looked at the tray, and missed some plate—I said, "You have been stealing the plate"—he put his hand into the bag to pull it out—I said, "No, I will take care of that"—he begged of me to let him go—I sent for my master, who came directly, and went for a policeman himself—I kept the prisoner in one hand, and the bag, in the other—the bag was examined at the station-house, and contained two silver dessert forks, a table-spoon, and two papers of black lead—they were my master's forks, and had been on the tray, which I had just set ready for lunch—there was a silver salt-spoon, which he had not touched.

Cross-examined by MR. PAYNE. Q. What size is the pantry? A. Very small—I shut the pantry-door close to—I am certain the lock caught—I was coming out of the pantry at the time the bell rang, and I recollect shutting the door particularly—I knew the area door was open, which made me particular, and if the bell had not rung, I should have locked the door—I saw the prisoner in the pantry—there was no blue bag there before, nor any black lead—he seemed very much frightened—there was other plate in the pantry, but it was locked up in a cupboard.

THOMAS GANE . I am a policeman. I was sent for and took the prisoner at Mr. Christie's, with the bag, which I have here.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

(The prisoner received a good character.)

GUILTY . Aged 30.—Strongly recommended to mercy.— Confined Six Months.

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