21st November 1881
Reference Numbert18811121-48
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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48. BENJAMIN PALMER (52) , Feloniously forging and uttering the endorsement to an order for 2l. 12s. 6d. with intent to defraud.

MR. FULTON Prosecuted; MR. GRAIN Defended.

CHARLES TABLING . I am a wholesale clothier, of Commercial Street—the prisoner travelled for me and for three Other firms—he ceased to be in my service at the end of September, but he has not returned my samples yet—he came into my service on 14th March at 4l. a week salary and 2 1/2 per cent, on all sales effected by him; that was put an end to at the end of May by verbal arrangement; he did not represent me at all during June, but early in July it was arranged that he was to have 5 per cent, commission, which was to include all expenses—his duty was to solicit orders, but not to receive payments; he had no authority to endorse cheques—I saw him about a fortnight before 13th September—I did not know that on 13th September he received this cheque for 2l. 12s. 6d. from Henry Street, of Sandwich, payable to my order—the endorsement is not my writing, it is the prisoner's; it is crossed with the stamp of a bank at Canterbury; I never had any account there—I was

not indebted to the prisoner on 13th September—he had no authority from me, direct or implied, to endorse a cheque.

Cross-examined. I have paid him something like 60l., which was made up of 4l. a week, and commission, including the new arrangement; that was principally by cheque—he travelled for other houses, and if he was going a journoy where I was not represented, he took my samples—he travelled in the eastern counties—I am a wholesale clothier; I am not in the slop line—as early as April 2nd he wrote me this letter from Ely (This stated, "I am sorry not to have a cheque from you this morning, &c. I could not get to London because I had not cash enough, so may I ask you to send me 4l. ")—he had received a cheque from me three days before that—on April 8th I received this letter from him from Lynn. (Stating that he had no money to move on with, and must remain where he was at the prosecutor's expense till he received some)—that was untrue; he had received sufficient money on the 28th—I presume I replied to that—he also sent me this letter: "Deerham, July 12. Dear Sir,—I am sorry you do not send me any money or take notice of me, but I suppose I can go without money as your former traveller did. Please send me 5l."—he was on commission then and commission only, and I wrote to him and sent him 5l. on commission account, although he had not earned it—I did not receive a letter from him from Portsmouth on or about August 19th—I did receive a letter, in which he said, "I must beg of you to send me some cash. I have had no expenses from you since June 2nd, since when I have been working for you"—that is utterly untrue, but I cannot say whether I wrote and told him so; I answered it undoubtedly, but did not keep a copy—here is a letter from him from Peckham, S.E. (This was dated October 15th, 1881, complaining of money not being sent, and enclosing an account for 21l. for his expenses)—he never wrote and told me that he had collected this 2l. 12s. 6d., nor did he send me an order from Mr. Street—I have no order from Mr. Street entered in this book.

Re-examined. I did not execute an order to Mr. street—the arrangement was altered in May because the amount of business he was doing was not satisfactory—he did not travel at all in June—he agreed to the new terms—I gave him in custody on this charge after applying to Mr. Street for the 2l. 12s. 6d.—that was on the old account—I did not execute any subsequent order.

HENRY STREET . I am an outfitter, of Sandwich—on 13th September the prisoner called on me to see if there any order—he did not say anything about this account, but I paid it voluntarily; I did not say anything about it till he was just leaving the shop; he seemed as if it did not matter to him whether I paid it or not—I paid him this cheque for 2l. 12s. 6d., and gave him an order for a smaller amount, which has never been executed.

Cross-examined. The new order was for two suits of boys' clothes.

GEORGE WRIGHT (Police Sergeant). I took the prisoner on November 10th, and told him the charge—he said, "Well, what was I to do? I had no money. Where I have done wrong was signing his name."

CHARLES TABLING (Re-examined by MR. GRAIN). I will swear that I did not post in my order book an order from Mr. Street for two suits of clothes; I never heard of such an order.

By MR. FULTON. This is my order book (produced); the order is not

in it—this other book shows the amounts paid to the prisoner on commission—he received 20l. 10s. between July and September; that represents 5 per cent, on the goods paid for—on March 14th he received a cheque for 4l. up to the 21st—the lump sum he received up to the beginning of June was 37l.; that includes his expenses for every day he was out for me.

GUILTY. Recommended to mercy by the Jury and prosecutor, but a certificate of his conviction of embezzlement at Ipswich in 1869 was put in. Twelve Months' Hard Labour.

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