Offence: Deception > forgery
Verdict: Not Guilty > unknown
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MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL, with MESSRS. GORST, Q.C., and MR. A. B. KELLY, Prosecuted; MR. SOLICITOR-GENERAL, with MR. BESLEY, Defended.
HENRY LEWIS VAUGHAN . I am a member of a firm of wine merchants called Fletcher, Vaughan, and Co., at 28, Leicester Square—Messrs. Riviera and Hawkes, music publishers, are the owners of the house, and have a place of business there—we rent the premises of them—in 1874, before I joined the firm, the second floor was sub-let to Messrs. Fisher and Co., and the name of "Fisher and Co.," with "E. Levy" underneath, was written up—I joined our firm in May, 1877—I found that previous to that Mr. Levy had been in the habit of collecting debts for the firm, and I myself employed him to do so—in December, 1877, I employed him to collect a debt from Captain Maxwell for wine supplied; I did not know that it was supplied to the mess; I supposed it was supplied to him—I thought it was in December, 1877, that I first put it into Mr. Levy's hands to collect, but I am not certain of the time—after doing so he said he had written to Captain Maxwell and could get no answer, and he had served him with a writ—I again asked him about the matter, I should think perhaps three weeks after; I asked if he had heard from Captain Maxwell, and he said Captain Maxwell was going to defend the action on the ground that the wine was supplied to the 92nd Highlanders and not to himself to use at his own residence—there was an affidavit brought down, which my partner, Mr. Fletcher, made; as far as I can remember that was about 15th April, 1878; that affidavit was brought down to me by Daniel Levy, the prisoner's son, who acted as Fisher's clerk—nothing was said to me at that time about Captain Maxwell having made an affidavit—I did not make the affidavit, because I was not sure whether the goods were supplied to Captain Maxwell; it was before I joined the firm—Mr. Fletcher made the affidavit; I was not present when he made it; it was presented to me first—I was told it was to show that we were quite right in what we said, that the goods were supplied—a little I time afterwards I saw the prisoner again, and asked him when he thought the money would be paid—he said that the Courts were sitting, but they would rise in about a week or a fortnight, and the action would wait—he said that Captain Maxwell had offered to pay 50l. into Court—after the Easter vacation I asked him how the action was going on—he said that we had won the case, and we should have the money shortly; I believe he said it required so many days before he could get the money out of the Court of Exchequer—I asked him which Court it was in, and he said in the Court of Exchequer—that was about the end of April or the beginning of May—on 28th May, as the prisoner was passing our office door, I called him in—Mr. Thompson, our clerk, and Mr. Fletcher were present—I said "Mr. Levy, don't you think it would be a good thing to write to Captain Robson?"—Captain Robson was Mr. Fletcher's old partner, and was in the same regiment as Captain Maxwell—the prisoner said "No, don't do that; I have taken out the writ in the name of Fletcher, Vaughan, and Co., instead of Fletcher and Co., and that may raise a new action, and we shall lose our costs"—I got Mr. Fletcher to write to Captain Robson, and we received a
letter from him, after which Mr. Fletcher and myself saw the prisoner—we sent up and asked him to come down and see us; that was on 11th June—we asked him first if he had received Captain Maxwell's money; also two other accounts—he denied having received them—we then showed him the letter and read it to him—this is it (This stated that the writer had communicated with Captain Maxwell, and had received a reply stating that the money had been paid in December last.) When I read that letter to him he replied "How can that be, Mr. Vaughan, when you only put Maxwell's account into my hands in January"—I believe on the 12th June Mr. Fletcher addressed a letter to Fisher and Co., with "E. Levy "underneath—I believe that letter was sent by hand by our clerk, Mr. Thompson, up to the office, and Daniel Levy came down and said that these moneys had been paid—I believe we sent up the letter after Daniel Levy came down—I have a press copy of the letter we sent (Read: "12th June. Dear Sir,—We must request that you will at once let us have the number or letter, whichever it may be, to enable us to trace the affidavit said to be made by Captain Maxwell, and which we understand is filed in the Court of Exchequer." We never got any answer to that letter—the affidavit there referred to was the affidavit about the goods not being supplied—the prisoner told me about that affidavit—he told me that Captain Maxwell had made an affidavit that the goods were supplied to the 92nd mess—I never gave the prisoner any authority to sign our name on this cheque (produced)—it purports to be drawn to order by A. C. Maxwell on the Dumfries branch of the Bank of Scotland, and bears the endorsement of "Fletcher, Vaughan, and Co."—that is not the endorsement of our firm—I never gave the prisoner or any one else authority to put Our firm's name upon that cheque—sometimes I sign the name of the firm and sometimes Mr. Fletcher—the writing is not like either of ours—no one in our employment signs the name of the firm.
Cross-examined by the SOLICITOR-GENERAL. I joined the firm in May, 1877—part of this wine was supplied before I joined, and I believe a small' part after; I think so; I cannot quite carry that in my mind—I have no document by which to refresh my memory as to when the affidavit intended to be made by myself or partner was talked of—I generally made all the affidavits since I joined—I cannot remember the dates—the 15th April was about the date Mr. Fletcher made one; it was certainly not in December, that I am certain of—I was in the habit of making affidavits from time to time with respect to debts due to our firm, and conversing on the subject of them with Mr. Levy—I think Mr. Levey only collected two accounts up to June, 1878; only two that I know of, two or three—there were a great number given him to collect, and from time to time I saw him on the subject of them—I believe this (produced) is the invoice supplied to Levy for the purpose of collecting this particular debt; I did not make it out; one of our clerks did; it is one of our invoices—if these dates are right I was wrong when I said that some of the wine was supplied by the new firm—Mr. Levy said it was a very strange slip that he had taken out the writ for Fletcher, Vaughan, and Co. instead of Fletcher and Co.—he did not say it was our own fault for giving him an invoice headed "Fletcher, Vaughan, and Co.," I am quite certain of that—I don't exactly know the date when this conversation took place, I saw him so often; I cannot carry the date in my mind—I am not prepared to swear that it was not in December—it was
not till 11th June that I really began to remember the dates, when I was so certain of them—no charge was made of forging this cheque till March this year—there was a difference between us about not paying over the money as soon as he received it—there was a contest between us in June and July last year; there was a controversy as to the amount of his costs against us and the amount he had received on our behalf—that resulted in an offer by him to pay 60l. as the balance if we would give a receipt in full—he gave us that cheque for 60l., and we agreed to give a receipt in full, without prejudice to ourselves in taxing his bill of costs—we had not agreed to give a receipt in full; we said we reserved our right to tax his bill; that is in the receipt—he did not say that he would not pay the 60l. unless we gave a receipt in full; he sent us down the cheque for 60l., and we sent him up a receipt the same evening—in consequence of the form of our receipt he stopped the cheque at the bank early in the morning—it was not in the first instance agreed that if he paid the 60l. that would settle the matter, not without reserving our right to tax his bill of costs—I never saw Mr. Levy in the arrangement at all; it was Daniel Levy who came down to us; there was nothing mentioned about reserving our right then; we gave him the receipt directly we got the cheque, the same evening; it was a crossed cheque—we sent it for payment the first thing in the morning—that was not with the object that it should be paid before Mr. Levy should have the opportunity of seeing the form of our receipt; we were afraid of our money—we got the receipt drawn by our lawyers, Messrs. Randall and Ainger; we doubted Mr. Levy so much that we thought it right to have that in about reserving our right to tax his bill of costs, because we thought the costs very exorbitant, and we wanted to reserve that right to ourselves—the bill was only a summary then—I don't think I saw Daniel Levy afterwards; I had no conversation with him—I don't remember seeing the prisoner afterwards—I remember stating before the Magistrate, "The defendant, to the best of my belief, said that in consequence of the wording of the receipt he had given orders not to pay the cheque: he also said that if we were to reserve our right to tax his accounts because they were only delivered in summary he must have the right to deliver a bill in detail, which might amount to more than the summary"—I had forgotten that—I believe this (produced) is the summary. (This was headed "J. C. Fisher and Co. in account with Fletcher, Vaughan, and Co." showing ambunts received as against costs, leaving a balance of 60l. 18s.) That came enclosed in a letter—the accounts referred to in this summary are 1l. 19s. for coals supplied and 80l. 4s. 5d. for Mr. Levy's account—we did not send receipts for those at the time; we have since—I did not take up the receipt for the cheque; we sent it up by our clerk, Mr. Thompson, the same evening; he put it in the letter-box or under the door—we sent it up directly we had the cheque, soon after, in the evening; we close at 6; I can't remember exactly the time—I did not put it in his letter-box—I suppose I did say before the Magistrate, "I put it in his letter-box"—we did not do so late at night on purpose—I did not put it in the letter-box; it was sent up; if I did say so I suppose I could not carry it in my mind as well as I do now; I have been asking my clerk since—I saw Mr. Randall, our solicitor, a day or two before; we had got the receipt all ready drawn; the prisoner did not get it till after we had the cheque—we had the receipt drawn up in the rough by our solicitors, what was the form of receipt we should give—
that was before my interview with Daniel Levy—when we agreed with him to receive the cheque, we had in our minds to give a form of receipt which reserved our rights to tax the costs; we did not tell him so; it was left to ourselves as an open question whether we should tax them or not—I believe we took proceedings to have his bill delivered and taxed, and we began an action against him in respect of this wine account of 80l. 4s., 5d.—Messrs, Randall and Ainger are still our private solicitors—we have left the taxation of the costs entirely in their hands—I am not sure whether they are here—I was in Court in March when this case was twice postponed—I suppose it was for the purpose of having Mr. Levy's bill taxed—I understood the case was fixed peremptorily for 28th April—I was not aware that 8th April was fixed for the taxation—I know it now you have told me; I did not know it before—I was not aware that our attorney appeared before the Magistrate to object to the taxation going on on 8th April—I am not aware of it up to this moment—I never could understand why it was not taxed—I know nothing about it—if our present attorneys had signed our name on the back of a cheque we should certainly object to it; with our present attorneys or anybody else. (The Solicitor-General read the following passage from the cross-examination of the witness before the Magistrate: "I would have allowed Messrs. Ainger to sign our name and receive the money; I should not consider they had done anything improper if they had done it")—I was not referring to the cheque then—I was not aware that the cheque had been forged then—I was referring to county-court money. (The deposition so stated.) To the best of my knowledge and belief I did not sign any affidavit on this matter—to the best of my knowledge and belief there was not more than one occasion upon which the question of making an affidavit in Captain Maxwell's matter was the subject of discussion—to the best of my knowledge and belief there was one affidavit made by Mr. Fletcher, and that was the only one, and that was some time after December—I am not sure about the date. (Mr. Fitzroy Gardner was called to prodttce an affidavit of H. L. Vaughan, of the 28th December, 1877, but stated that no such affidavit had been filed. A draft affidavit was produced to the witness.) I cannot remember making that affidavit—that is not the one Mr. Fletcher made afterwards—I might have made that affidavit when the debt was first given to Mr. Levy for collection, but I don't remember it at all—I cannot call it to my mind; the only one I can remember is that one of Mr. Fletcher's—we did not swear the same affidavit—I have only just glanced over it—(reading it over to himself)—well, I cannot recall it to my mind—I won't swear that I did not swear that affidavit—I have not the slightest recollection of it—I do not know whether Mr. Fletcher left town that Christmas—I may have been in town on 27th or 28th December, and I may not, I really cannot tell you—I do not remember that the affidavit being incomplete the two last paragraphs were added, and that I then swore to it—I will not say one way or the other whether that did or did not take place, but that is not the affidavit that was before me on a later occasion—it is not the same affidavit that I read in our office which Mr. Fletcher made—there was another affidavit which was worded different from that which Daniel Levy brought down to our office, and I would not sign it—that is not the same—I don't remember whether I swore any affidavit—I know I would not swear the one that was brought down to me, because
I could not swear whether the goods were supplied to Captain Maxwell at his own place, or to the 92nd mess, as I was not in firm at the time—I have not observed that the affidavit states that they were supplied to him in London by his own instructions—(reading it again)—I do not remember this at all—I don't believe I ever did make it—the conversation in which it was suggested I should swear an affidavit was some time after, when we understood the action had been defended—I am not misplacing the dates—I do not remember the prisoner or Daniel Levy telling me that an affidavit was necessary to serve the writ out of the jurisdiction; not to the best of my memory—I don't believe it ever took place with me—I only remember one occasion upon which I was requested to make an affidavit.
Re-examied. I think this debt was sent up to Mr. Levy by Mr. Thompson, our clerk—he bad other debts of ours to collect—they were smaller amounts—several of those were collected and paid into different county-courts in London—when money is paid into the county-court the plaiutiff has to give an order to get it out—this was the largest amount the prisoner had to collect for us—I say it was about the 15th April when the affidavit was brought to me—about that time I used to make all the affidavits, and there was an affidavit made about that time by Mr. Fletcher—Daniel Levy brought the affidavit down to me; that was after the prisoner had told me Captain Maxwell intended to defend the action—I am certain of that—I had signed affidavits in some of the cases the prisoner had to conduct for us—as a rule whenever he or Daniel Levy asked me to sign it I did so—I read the affidavit which Mr. Fletcher signed—I think it was to the effect that we heard Captain Maxwell was defending the action on the plea that the goods were not supplied to himself but to the 92nd mess, and that we had to state that they were supplied to his own house and not to the 92nd mess—that was the substance of it, and I said I could not make that affidavit, and Mr. Fletcher made it—the letter of Captain Bobson's is dated 10th June—I read it to Levy on the 11th—up to that time I had not heard a word from Levy about his having received this 121l. 17s. or the cheque in respect of it—I did not know that the money had been received—after that letter was shown, Daniel Levy came down and made a communication about this money—the prisoner was not present—there were other accounts which lie ought to have collected for us—then arose the question as to how much he owed us, and the summary was sent in showing a balance of 60l.—he did not ask us not to tax the bill—I believe we applied to tax, we sought the advice of our solicitor—Daniel Levy brought the 60l. cheque after the summary had been delivered to us, and under our solicitor's advice we sent the form of receipt reserving our right to tax his bill—we were not paid for the wine which Levy owed us, and we subsequently sued him for it—he was taken into custody some time in September—there was an investigation before the Magistrate, which lasted a considerable time—this particular charge was not brought before the Magistrate—the cheque was mentioned—it was first mentioned when he was going to be tried and it was put off.
THOMAS HENRY HAZLEWOOD FITZPATRICK . I am clerk to Messrs. "Wontner, solicitors, who are conducting this case as agents on behalf of the Treasury—I served a notice to produce, of which this is a copy, upon the prisoner's solicitor, Mr. Edward Lewis, on 29th February last.
Yaughan, and Co.—Fisher and Co., solicitors, have offices in the same building—I let them to Mr. Levy some considerable time ago; I cannot remember the date—he was my tenant—I think he had four rooms on the second floor, above my office—our firm became tenants of Riviere and Hawkes; we were not so at first, they bought the lease—after I had let the rooms to Levy I saw on the door "Fisher and Co.," with "Levy" underneath—our firm put some debts in Levy's hands to collect, amongst others one of Captain Maxwell for about 114l. 10s. for wine supplied to him—I could tell you when from my clerk's book, which is here; it would be according to the invoice; I dare say it was about 75—it was supplied to Tor Eagles in Dumfriesshire, Captain Maxwell's residence; it was not sent to his house in London—I don't fancy he had a house in London—I can't give you the date when Levy was instructed to collect this debt—this invoice is my clerk's writing; it is an account that has been sent in since; it is "To goods as invoice, September, 1875"—the date of the instructions for suing is 11th December, 1877—after those instructions were given I saw Levy on the matter on very many occasions; I cannot give you the date when I first had conversation with him about the debt—I had very little to do with that department of business; it was almost entirely in the hands of Mr. Yaughan, and I took hardly any action in the matter—on 11th June I asked Mr. Levy if he had received the money—before that I remember being asked to swear an affidavit, either by Mr. Levy or Daniel Levy—I did swear one before Mr. Thorpe, a solicitor, in Cranbourne Street, Leicester Square; Daniel Levy went with me to swear it—it was read to me before I went to Mr. Thorpe, as far as I remember, by Daniel Levy—it was that the wine had been supplied to Captain Maxwell at Tor Eagles, and that it had not been supplied to the mess of the 92nd Highlanders—I can tell you the exact date of that, the 15th April, 1878—I had no idea what the date was, and I went to Mr. Thorpe and made inquiry—he said he did not remember—I did not make any other inquiries—I fix on the 15th April simply because it was entered in Mr. Thorpe's book—I was in Court when Mr. Yaughan was examined—I have no knowledge of an affidavit sworn for the purpose of serving a writ out of the jurisdiction—this (produced) is not the affidavit I swore; there is no date put to it—I do not think I swore any such affidavit as that before Captain Maxwell had the writ issued against him; in fact, I am almost certain 1 did not; I can hardly swear, because I do not recollect, I had so little to do with the transaction—I do not think this is the affidavit that Daniel Levy took me to Mr. Thorpe to swear—that affidavit stated that the wine was delivered at Tor Eagles—before swearing it I was expecting to receive the money—I remember writing a letter to Captain Robson after a communication from Mr. Vaughan—I received a reply, after which I and Mr. Yaughan saw Mr. Levy, and he said that the money had not been collected; I asked him—then Mr. Yaughan produced this letter from Captain Robson, stating' that the money had been paid in the previous December—this was on 11th June—I think that is all I can tell you about it—I am wrong, I beg your pardon, we spoke to Mr. Levy about it on 11th June, and on the 12th Daniel Levy came down and we showed him the letter, and I said, "You are sharp solicitors, I think, and I wonder you did not-let us know of the receipt of this money," and his answer was that it was an omission—I am certain the letter must have been shown to the prisoner, but I cannot say that I showed it to him myself—there were other accounts that he was
collecting or us—Daniel Levy said they had been collected—there was a con tentionf between us as to the state of the account—a summary was sent down to ua, showing the balance due to us; after that a cheque for 60l. came—I remember the receipt we signed for it—when we sent the cheque for collection it was not paid—until I got the letter from Captain Robson I did not know that the account had been paid—I never gave the prisoner or anybody authority to endorse this cheque in the name of our firm; I never knew that the cheque existed—this is not the endorsement of our firm—I don't remember when I first learnt that the cheque had been given; it was not for some time.
Cross-examined by the SOLICITOR-GENERAL. I say that I did not give the prisoner authority to sign my firm's name to that particular cheque—I did not give him authority to sign the name of the firm for the purpose of collecting debts generally—I will swear that most certainly, except that it has been brought up at Bow Street that I may have verbally said something, something to do with the Hon. Mr. Harper's debt, but I have not the slightest recollection of ever giving him authority for that—I certainly never said to him that for any purpose connected with the collection of debts he was entitled to sign my firm's name; I am perfectly certain I never did—I cannot say whether I made more than one affidavit about Captain Maxwell's debt; I don't think I did, but I can't answer for certain; I don't recollect—I wont to Mr. Thorpe to swear the affidavit—I did not find that he was not in, and that I had to go on to Mr. Goatley in Bow Street—I recollect nothing of the sort—I could almost swear to it—I am almost certain I never went to Mr. Goatley that I know of—I am not aware that I ever went to Mr. Goatley in Bow Street to swear an affidavit, not that I remember—I have no recollection of going there, or of ever hearing the name before (paper produced)—that is my handwriting, I think—there is no doubt about that being my handwriting; I don't know what it is, I think it is my handwriting; I believe it to be—I am the person who originally made the agreement with the prisoner to collect debts for me—there was no alteration made in the terms—it was merely verbal—there was no written agreement—I don't think I insisted that he should not go on with any litigation which would involve costs without consulting me—I had so many conversations with him that I cannot recall one—I do not remember that—the signature to this document (produced) is very like mine, but I cannot say—I do not believe it is mine; I should like an expert to look at my signature—there are two things that are different—it may or may not be mine—I have not read the letter, so that I do not know in the least what it is—(reading it to himself)—I have no knowledge whatever of signing such a letter as that—I did not see that it was witnessed—I can only say, to the best of my belief, I never signed such a letter as that, nor in the presence of a witness—I cannot answer that it is not my signature, because it may be a very clever copy of it—there are two things in the signature that I think disagree with mine—I cannot answer you anything else honestly—I have no animus whatever—if you look at it against the others you will see it is different—when you showed me the affidavit just now, I certainly thought that was my signature—(looking at it again)—I believe it to be my signature—no, I don't know, it is so difficult to say—will you let me sign my name—(looking at a paper)—that is my writing—there is no doubt about that, not the slightest, but is that the same as this?—I believe all these (fourteen others) to be my signature—my signature may differ a little from time to time, I don't think
it does much—I do not remember a Mr. Foulger, I never remember hearing his name—I do not remember signing any document in his pretence in January, 1877—I have no possible recollection of it at all in any way—I have no recollection of signing such a letter as this, and I do not believe I ever did—I won't pledge my oath—I say I have no recollection whatever of signing such a letter—I have read it through; I understand what it means—I must say that I will not swear I did not sign it, because I do not remember anything—my mind is a total blank on the subject—I never saw, at least I don't remember ever seeing-such a letter—I see the purport of it; I see it is most important—I can only tell you I have told my partner over and over again that I have never given any authority in writing of any sort or kind—I tell you I have no recollection of signing that document—I don't believe I did.
The COURT. If you did sign it there is an end of the case.
Witness. That is the very reason why I have hesitated about saying it—that is the only reason I have in my mind.
By the SOLICITOR-GENERAL. As to the affidavit, I have no recollection of going to Mr. Goatley or even hearing of his name—I do not remember overtaking it—I will not swear I did not—rit is very like my signature as I look at it; I don't remember the affidavit; I can hardly deny the signature—as to this letter, I do not remember any such arrangement as is there set down; I won't swear it is not my signature, I won't go any further—I never signed such a letter as that according to my best belief; the signature is exceedingly like mine—my belief is that it is not mine—my belief is that it is very like, but that it is not my signature—the signature to the affidavit appears to be mine, I think so, I believe it to be mine—I did not mean to refuse to answer thai question just now—I have read it; there is not a word in it about the 92nd Highlanders—I think there is something about the delivery of the wine at Tor Eagles—not there is not—I can't swear to the exact terms of the affidavit I swore, but it was made before Mr. Thorpe, and this was made before Mr. Goatley—I swear that I did swear an affidavit in which I referred to the delivery of the wine at Tor Eagles; I can't say it referred to the 92nd Highlanders—I have read this affidavit in Court three or four times—I was not under the impression after so reading it that it contained an allegation of the delivery of the wine at Tor Eagles—the affidavit I made was made on 15th April before Mr. Thorpe, and Daniel Levy went with me.
By the COURT. I will not swear there was anything in the affidavit which I swore before Mr. Thorpe about the 92nd Highlanders; to my belief there was, but I could not swear without seeing the affidavit.
By the SOLICITOR-GENERAL. As to the letter to Mr. Levy, I cannot answer more than I have already—I swear to the best of my belief I did not sign it; I will not swear positively I did not, I swear to the best of my belief, I won't give any further answer; I swear to the best of my belief and memory that I never signed it—I will not swear positively that I did not, that is my answer.
Re-examined. I am quite sure that I did make an affidavit before Mr. Thorpe—previous to that I had had conversation with my partner about the claim against Captain Maxwell, and I had had conversation with the prisoner about it—he told me that Captain Maxwell's agents or solicitors had told him that the wine had been supplied to the 92nd Highlanders, and
that he had paid 50l. into Court, and that he disputed the claim on the ground that it was supplied to the mess and not to him—I made an affidavit after that; the substance of the affidavit which I made before Mr. Thorpe was that the wine was supplied to Captain Maxwell, at Tor Eagles, in Dumfriesshire, and not to the mess of the 92nd Highlanders—I can't remember how long I had employed the prisoner to act as my agent in the collection of debts, I have had so little to do with the case, it was in the hands of my partner, Mr. Vaughan—my clerk, can answer all these questions; I do not remember the dates—as far as I know to-day is the first time I have seen this letter—I was examined before the Magistrate as to what authority I had given to Mr. Levy—this letter was not put into my hands on that occasion—I swore before Mr. Flowers that I had never given any authority except it might have been possibly a verbal authority about one particular debt of Mr. Harper.
HENRY MORTIMER THOMPSON . I am clerk to Messrs. Fletcher and Vaughan—I was in the establishment at the time Mr. Levy was first employed to collect the debts; I should say it was at the end of 1875 or the beginning of 1876—I can't say with whom the arrangement was made, whether with Mr. Fletcher or me—I think Captain Maxwell's debt was given to him to collect at the beginning of December, 1877—we continually spoke to him about the account afterwards, and at one time in my presence he said that Captain Maxwell had paid 50l. into Court—I can't say whether that statement was made to Mr. Fletcher or to Mr. Vaughan, but I was present at the time—he said the debt was disputed on the ground that the wine was supplied to the mess of his regiment—an affidavit was made, I fancy, somewhere in the beginning of April—I did not hear any conversation about it between Mr. Levy and the partners—I saw the affidavit and read it—this (produced) is not the affidavit I read. (MR. KELLY proposed to ask the witness the contents of the affidavit, notice to produce having been given. LORD COLERIDGE did not consider the notice sufficiently definite.) I remember a conversation about writing to Captain Robson; about the end of May we were talking to Mr. Levy about different accounts that he had in his hands, and Mr. Vaughan suggested writing to Captain Robson, Mr. Fletcher's late partner, and asking him to write privately to Captain Maxwell, who was a friend of his, to pay his account; Mr. Levy said, "Don't do that, Mr. Vaughan, as I believe the writ was issued in Fletcher, Vaughan, and Co.'s name, and it should have been in Fletcher and Co.'s, and if he finds that out the costs will be lost, and we shall have to take fresh proceedings, as the goods were supplied prior to the new partnership"—a letter was written to Captain Robson, and an answer received—about that time there was another conversation with Mr. Levy, but I was not present—I did not hear anything further between Levy and Messrs. Fletcher and Vaughan about Captain Maxwell's debt—I only heard it from my principals afterwards.
Cross-examined by the SOLICITOR-GENERAL. I have an affidavit before me—I never saw it before that I remember—this is not the affidavit that I took to Daniel Levy and asked him to substitute the name of the other partner; I did do that with an affidavit; he did not strike out one name and substitute another; I think he wrote a fresh one; he took it upstairs; I won't undertake to say he did not—as to the date of April I first date my observations from 28th May, when we wrote to Captain Robson, and I go backwards—I heard yesterday that Mr. Fletcher had been to Mr. Thorpe to
see if he had an entry of any affidavit in April—I had not mentioned April as the date of the affidavit—I said it was about six or seven weeks backwards from 28th May.
PHILIP SHAW FLETCHER (Re-examined by the SOLICITOR-GENERAL). I know that the affidavit was sworn in April because Mr. Vaughan reminded me of it—I went to inquire of Mr. Thorpe about three weeks, or it may be a month ago—before that I had a memory as to April; I remembered going to make the affidavit perfectly; I knew it was before May, that it was in April—I believed it was in April, but I did not know the date, and I went to Mr. Thorpe to ascertain the date—I merely asked him to tell me the date, and he asked his clerk to look back and find an entry in his book of Fisher and Co.—I think I suggested to him to look at the month of April—I can't tell you exactly what I said, but I told him as near the date as I possibly could, and my impression is that I did say to him that it was during April—I gave him an idea as to the date, so that he might be able to turn back to it—I went twice to see him; I can't tell when the first time was, but it was a short time before; I can't tell you the date—the second time was some time after the 15th April, because Mr. Thorpe turned to his book and found that it was on the 15th April that an affidavit had been made in the name of Fisher and Co.—I am not confusing two different years—yes, you are right and I am wrong; it must have been this year; I was referring back to April of last year—I can only say that I went the second time to Mr. Thorpe not long ago; I should say it was before Easter because I went out of town before Easter—I did not go out of town at Christmas, 1877; it was the only Christmas that I have not gone out of town—oh, the Christmas before last I did go out of town—I did not go out of town last Christmas.
By the COURT. I do not keep a diary—I have always been out of town at Christmas, except this last Christmas—I don't know on what day I went, I only know it must have been just before Christmas Day; I stayed about a week or a fortnight, I can find out exactly when I go home.
By MR. GORST. I spent last Christmas in Park Street, Grosvenor Square—the Christmas before I spent at Kennard, near Maidstone, my mothers place, I think I was there ten days—it was this year that I made the two visits to Mr. Thorpe, last month—I can't tell how many visits I paid to Mr. Thorpe last year; I made lots of affidavits before him about different people.
STUDHELME CARPMAEL . I am a solicitor at Carlisle—on 29th December, 1877, I received this letter from J. C. Fisher and Co., dated the 28th (This enclosed a copy writ on Captain Maxwell, to be forwarded to an agent at Dumfries for service)—I sent the writ to Mr. William Millegan, a solicitor at Dumfries, and I received a letter from him which I forwarded to J. C. Fisher and Co., it contained this cheque for 121l. 17s.; I received no reply to my letter, and on 7th January I again wrote to Fisher and Co., in reply to which 1 received this letter dated January 8th, stating that they had written on the 4th, and enclosing a copy of such letter—I never received the letter of 4th January—I replied to the letter of the 8th or the 9th, and enclosed an account of my charges—I have had no reply, nor have my charges ever been paid.
Cross-examined. My charges were 30s.—I applied for them two or three months afterwards; I have received no answer.
Street—I have here a book which shows most of the payments I receive for the administration of oaths, not the whole—I have an entry of 15th April, 1878, "Messrs. Fisher and Co., 2s. 6d." that is for an affidavit and exhibit, 1s. 6d. for the affidavit, and 1s. for the exhibit—in nine cases out of ten I simply put "oath "so much, without mentioning the names of the parties; it is only occasionally that I put the names—that name does not appear again in that month—Mr. Fletcher came to me about three weeks since, and he called a second time about a week ago.
Cross-examined. I gave him the information required the first time, he called again to inquire whether I could recollect Mr. Levy coming with him—I cannot say how often Fisher and Co., or anybody from their office, came to swear an affidavit—I have no particular reason for taking the name on some occasions and not on others—this entry only shows that some gentleman from the office of Fisher and Co. came and had an affidavit sworn with an exhibit—it does not identify what matter it was upon.
EZRA LIVERMORE . I am the manager of the Covent Garden branch of the London and County Bank—on 12th October, 1876, an account was opened there in the name of J. C. Fisher and Co., of 28, Leicester Square, by the prisoner—he signed the name of his firm in our book as J. C. Fisher and Co.; this cheque was paid in on 3rd January, 1878, to the account of Fisher and Co., it has our stamp on it—the balance of the account on 2nd January was 46l. 4s. 5d.; this cheque being crossed was not placed to his credit till the 7th—the account was virtually closed in July, 1878—in opening an account I always require, after the signature for cheques has been left, that the names and signatures of individual parties should be given—the prisoner first signed "J. C. Fisher and Co." and "John Cambridge Fisher," as his own individual name; that is the signature book—on 12th June, 1878, the balance in his favour was 18l. 9s. 6d.
Cross-examined. We balance our ledgers once a quarter, the pass books are agreed with the ledger whenever they are sent in by the customer—we balance in March, June, September and December—the balance on 1st January was 72l. 13s. 1d., on the 2nd 46l. 4s. 5d., on the 4th 61l. 1s. 5d., on the 5th 154l. 16s. 1d., that was before this cheque was credited—on the 6th the balance was the same—on the 7th this cheque comes in and the balance then was 236l. 11s. 1d.—I did not know Mr. Fisher by sight—I do not think there was another gentleman with Mr. Levy with a paralysed hand, I will not undertake to say there was not any one else with him; I think not, I will not say positively.
GEORGE TURNER . I am an auctioneer in Church Street, Liverpool—I am well acquainted with the prisoner's handwriting—he was formerly in my employment—these two letters received by Mr. Carpmael from Fisher and Co. are in the prisoner's handwriting—I cannot speak as to the endorsement of Fletcher, Vaughan, and Co. on the cheque.
JOHN HYDON . I am a clerk in the Covent Garden branch of the London and County Bank—I was there when the prisoner came to open the account of J. C. Fisher and Co.—Mr. Morris Abrahams was the only person I saw with him; he has not got a paralysed hand that I know of—during the time the account was opened no one else operated upon it as far as I know.
Cross-examined. I knew Mr. Levy by sight, not by name—I did not know that his name was Levy—I believed his name to be Levy, and when I saw the name of Fisher I was greatly astonished, and thought I might be
mistaken in the name—I did not ask him by name to bring hit private account from Ransom's to our bank; I never dreamt of such a thing—I am quite positive there was no one with the two gentlemen, for I have a strong recollection of his coming with Mr. Abrahams to open the account—Mr. Abrahams introduced him.
FITZROY GARDNER . I am in the Rule Office of the Court of Exchequer—I have with me the appearance book—I have an entry here of a writ having been issued, but no appearance is entered—there has been no affidavit filed in the case within three months afterwards—it is the practice where leave is given to serve a writ out of the jurisdiction to require an affidavit—I have searched to see if there is any affidavit on the files of the Court in this case, and I can find none.
Cross-examined. The writ may be issued without the affidavit, but the order is not granted without the affidavit—it frequently happens, or it did up to about a year since, that affidavits were taken off the file before they were sent up to the Rule Office; at Chambers a great many went in that way—I have communication with Chambers almost every day, and I know precisely what goes on there, or what ought to—all affidavits filed there are handed in, or should be, and 10 days afterwards they are sent up to the Rule Office, put on the file, and entered into a book, but up to about 10 months ago we had a number of complaints, especially during the last few weeks of 1877, of affidavits not appearing anywhere, and I remember two or three cases where the persons who ought to have had the affidavit had not filed it, and they were called upon to file it and did so in one case, and in another it was not found at all—when an order is drawn up on reading an affidavit the affidavit would be filed; that is the practice, but frequently it does not happen—it is not in all cases that the affidavit reaches the Court of Exchequer—I know nothing of this particular case.
Witnesses for the Defence.
GEORGE PARKINSON . On 28th Dec, 1877, I was clerk in attendance at Judges' Chambers—I drew up this order, and I have no doubt that an affidavit was exhibited before me—an affidavit must have been filed and perused by the Judge, and it would have Baron Huddleston's initials upon it—we keep affidavits in the chambers for 10 days, and they then go to the Rule Office until this order is drawn up—very great complaints were made of missing affidavits—it was found that parties were accustomed to come and ask to look at affidavits and never put them back again—a great many have been taken away—I have no doubt that an affidavit satisfied the Judge to allow it to go out of the jurisdiction, and that it was signed by him before I drew up the order.
Cross-examined by MR. GORST. If it is not in the Rule Office some one must have taken it away.
DANIEL LEVY . I am the prisoner's son—I wrote the name of Fletcher, Vaughan, and Co., on the back of this cheque—it came up by post on the morning of Jan. 3rd, and the letter was opened by my employer, Mr. Fisher—it was my father's custom to open the letters himself of a morning, but on this particular morning he was not at the office—Mr. Fisher handed me the cheque and told me to endorse it and pay it into the London and County Bank, as his hand was palsied, which prevented his writing—I did so, and it was handed to Mr. Whitehead to pay into the bank, and it was paid in on the 3rd, about 11 o'clock—I made out the slip and I see it here in my
writing—my father knew nothing whatever about it, he was in bed, he had a day or two before undergone an operation for stone—I was present at the interview when the authority was drafted and the terms of it arranged, and also when Mr. Fletcher signed it—Mr. Foulger, Mr. Levy, and myself, were also present—this is the first affidavit drawn up in the matter—it is in Mr. Whitehead's writing—he was a clerk at that time—it was made out at first for Mr. Vaughan, as he was the person who usually made the affidavits in various matters—I went down to him, and saw Mr. Thompson, who was called to-day—I said "Will you go and ask Mr. Vaughan if he will come out with me and swear an affidavit in the matter of Maxwell"—he went into Mr. Vaughan's room and came out and said that Mr. Vaughan did not see how he could swear it, but that Mr. Fletcher would do so—that was on the date that it was sworn, 20th Dec.—Mr. Fletcher is entirely mistaken about it taking place in reference to another matter, because it is the only affidavit he ever swore in any matter in which we were concerned—it was not sufficient, because some new rule came out at Chambers in consequence of some complaint that the business was brought from Scotland, and it was necessary to swear that there was no Court of local jurisdiction, and also to verify more completely that the cause of action occurred in London—I took the affidavit down to Chambers and the clerk pointed out to me that it was insufficient, and instead of filing it I brought it back on the 20th—I should not have gone on the 20th, but on the 21st, because it was sworn on the afternoon of the 20th—I was reading the bill at Mr. Thorpe's office, but the boy said that he was out, and we went down to Mr. Goatley to swear it—he is the gentleman we generally go to when Mr. Thorpe is out—I may say that Mr. Fletcher did not sign the affidavit till he got into Mr. Goatley's office—part of that affidavit is in my writing and part in Mr. Whitehead's—it was really drawn from an affidavit in another case, and when I had ascertained what was necessary, I put in the two paragraphs in the margin, and so altered the affidavit that the two paragraphs fitted, and it says, "See over, and take in No. 5," and then it says, "Over, other side, No. 6"—from that draft an affidavit was prepared—the words, "The cause of action occurred within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, because the goods were delivered to Captain Maxwell by his instructions," were put in because we were informed that the goods had been ordered by and delivered to Fletcher and Co. at some railway-station, and that there the contract ceased, and that the railway company were the agents of Maxwell, and therefore the cause of action occurred in London and not in Tor Eagles—Mr. Vaughan swore the affidavit of which that is a draft—it was first allotted to Fletcher, Vaughan, and Fletcher, but afterwards, when the two paragraphs were put in, Mr. Fletcher was out of town, and I altered it to Henry Vaughan; he swore it, and it was upon that that the order was obtained—I have not yet been able to verify what the affidavit was which Mr. Thorpe has sworn to from our office on 15th April—no exhibit was attached to Mr. Vaughan's affidavit, but I believe it referred to the matter of Kahn and Nicholson—I never had an affidavit with an exhibit to it sworn in this cause—Mr. Fisher died in July, 1878—this (produced) is the summons to deliver the bill—it is dated 13th July, 1878, and on 16th July Baron Pollock made an order upon it—we took out a summons on 31st October to tax our own bill before Master Butler, but that was successfully resisted; it is endorsed, "No order, application premature"—we applied to
Justice Lush, who made this special endorsement, "The application being opposed, I hold that I have no power to order bill to be taxed at this time"—we took out another summons on 3rd December, 1878—it was resisted by Fletcher and Vaughan, but notwithstanding that Master George Pollock made an order on 4th December that our bill should be taxed, and on the 5th they applied to the Judge and the order was postponed till after the trial of Keg. v. Levy—that did not refer to the case you are now trying—there was then an application to the Court of Exchequer, which made an order that the bill was to be taxed—this is a copy of the bill delivered (produced)—everything mentioned in it was then done, and upon the dates which they bear—I have compared the diaries and attendance books—a considerable amount is for disbursements, every halfpenny of which was disbursed by us, and a cash account was delivered with the bill of costs—my father keeps his own account at Ransom's—some time before Mr. Fisher's death a gentleman named Mickelthwaite joined the firm in August, 1877—here is a press copy in the letter book of a letter written to Mr. Carpmael on 4th January—it is signed by Mr. Fisher himself—when I said that he could not sign, I meant not sufficiently well to satisfy any banker—that letter was sent, here is the postage book to show it, and Mr. Whitehead is here who posted it.
Cross-examined by MR. GORST. My father left the office on 31st January, and I think he was operated upon on the following day—he came back to the office on the afternoon of 3rd January to attend an appointment, which appears in his attendance book—he was not there again till the 7th or 8th, and then not so regularly as he had been—Mr. Carr Jackson operated upon him—I endorsed the cheque immediately it was handed to me on the 3rd, about 9.30 or 10 o'clock—it is in my natural ordinary writing, but it I was copying I should write roundhand—it is not feigned—if I was writing a letter I should write very differently to what I should in writing an affidavit—I never had the slightest intention to alter, and never tried to—as soon as the Rule was made in March, I looked up the affidavit of 15th January, 1877, for the purpose of going to the taxation of the bill of costs—I found it in the iron safe of Fisher and Co.: and Micklethwaite at that time—I knew that it existed when the proceedings were going on at the police-court, and Mr. Fletcher was asked as to a specific endorsement what authority he had given, and I think he said he would not swear it was not as I had suggested—Mr. Vaughan swore that Mr. Fletcher gave my father authority to sign his name, but Mr. Fletcher swore that he did not—I did not produce the document, because at that time we could not put our hands upon it—we found it in March, 1879, after the Rule was made for taxation; my second reason for not producing it, was that I had not the conduct of the case, I was simply there to give evidence—I mentioned that I knew there was such a document in existence—I think that was to Mr. Edward Lewis, who acted as solicitor; I cannot give the exact date, but I should say it was prior to the questions being asked of Fletcher—Mr. Levy and I occupied one room, and he and I and Fletcher were present when the discussion took place about drawing up the document, but no one else—(Foulger was Mr. Fisher's clerk)—prior to this Messrs. Fletcher had sent us up some small accounts for collection, but Mr. Fisher subsequently ascertained that we were getting the small accounts and Richardson and Sadler were getting the large ones; they proposed to hand us a batch of 30 or 40, some bad and some good, and we said we would not
take them unless we were allowed the county-court scale; in consequence of that it was arranged that we should take a retainer on the terms that they should pay us costs over and above the county-court scale; it then became a question of taking money out of Court, and subsequently Mr. Fletcher discussed the question, he did not want us continually going down and charging attendances on him, and in consequence of that the authority to sign was given in order that we should not every time go down to him on small county-court matters and charge 3s. 4d.—the order to sign refers to getting money in the county-court and to accounts generally, nothing specific is stated as to what should be signed—I cannot say whether any sufficient authority was given to sign my name on a cheque—I do not mean to say that Mr. Fisher was really taking part in this interview, we had previously obtained instructions from him—my father did not pay him so much a week, Mr. Fisher paid us so much a week—I cannot say hew mach—I know what he paid me—I mean to say that Mr. Fisher got the benefit of that and paid my father a salary—the only interest my father had in this business was his salary as managing clerk, he being allowed to carry on an agency in his own behalf—this document was copied by Foulger, but the draft was made by the defendant, and it was read over to Fletcher by Mr. Levy and handed to Fletcher, who signed it—it was put in the safe, but I could not lay my hands on it, because it got under the drawer; and I do not suppose it came out of the safe from the time it was put in till the time of my finding it for the purpose of taxation—I looked in the safe for it, but could not find it in the first instance, but in moving to Leicester Square the safe was turned over, and instead of staying at the back it came over the drawer—it had got underneath in the constant opening and shutting of the drawer which fills up the bottom of the safe, and the back of it does not go to the top part of the lining of the drawer—it was impossible to carry the safe downstairs without turning it over;. that is the only way I can account for finding, it—I hack looked in the drawer for it over and over again, and it was not there—Mr. Vaughan must answer for himself why he did not make the first affidavit—he sent out word that he preferred Fleteher swearing it, because the wine was supplied before he became a partner, which was in May, 1877—I had very little conversation with Mr. Vaughan, and none as to the terms upon which we were to collect' accounts for him—I do not know whether he is bound by this document; I should say that he is, because he never revoked it—it is signed, "Fletcher and Co."—I thought I was authorised to sign "Fletcher, Vaughan, and Co.," just as much as Fletcher and Co.—it is an authorisation to sign the name of the firm—that is not at all an unusual thing if you ask a good many solicitors; if a cheque came to a client's order because they had not put the client's name on the back, he would not give it to the client to keep—I signed "Fletcher, Vaughan, and Co." on the cheque—I thought the document authorised me to do so, and I do so now—I signed the firm's name; if I had signed Mr. Vaughan's name he would have had a perfect right to complain—I do not think it strange that Mr. Vaughan made the second affidavit, having refused to make the first; they were identical, except that the second contained two additional passages—I do not know that he was unwilling to make the first, but Mr. Fletcher was out of the way, and as the holidays were intervening, he was asked to make it and acording to the terms of his partnership it was due to him, because he
took over the duties—the goods were delivered at the station here, and consequently they were delivered to Captain Maxwell in London—I took this affidavit at Judge's Chambers—the Judge reads affidavits, but his clerk would look at it first to see that it is right, that the Judge might not be annoyed by an abortive application—I went before Baron Huddleston, and took the affidavit with me—I gave it to Mr. Parkinson—I did not take it away with me; it is not likely, it was no use to me—I did not afterwards go and fetch it away—I do not know what has become of it; I am surprised to hear that it is missing—I have never seen it since—I told my father on the morning of the 7th or 8th that the wine had been received for Captain Maxwell, and he or I told Fletcher, Vaughan, and Co., I think, in June—I can't say whether my father told them before June, and it was not my duty between January and Jane to go down and tell them—they never asked about the action in my presence—they produced a letter to me on a subsequent occasion—I was present on December 31st, 1877, when they spoke about writing to Captain Robson—I heard Captain Robson's letter of June read months afterwards—I was not astonished—perhaps I may read the entry in the attendance-book—they did. not speak about it in May or June in my presence—two days before they read me Captain Robson's answer they asked me if Maxwell's money had been paid—I told them yes—that was the first time they had asked me about Captain Robson's letter, and I can only say that they have made a mistake in the date about my saying that the action had been defended—I did not talk to them about the action having been defended, because it was not commenced—something was said on 31st December about defending the action; it was commenced on 28th December—if you will read this paper (produced) it will save you a lot of trouble—when they asked me the question I told them that the bill was paid—I do not remember any conversation, except their saying "You, have received Maxwell's money," and I said "Yes"—from the time the money was received till then they never mentioned the matter to me personally, nor to my father in my hearing—I have got the books before and afterwards (produced)—we got the judgment of the Court of Exchequer in March. I think, but the rule speaks for itself, it is dated March 4th—the appointment with the Master was on 20th March by the book, but I did not go—Randell and Angier were the solicitors on the other side—I had nothing to do with giving them notice—I attended when there was to have been a taxation—I do not remember hearing them say then that they had only received the notice late the night before.
Re-examined by MR. SOLICITOR-GENERAL. This is the defendant's writing.—I saw it the following day—Mr. Vaughan came up, and saw him, and said that he had been thinking, he ought not to have sworn the affidavit, as tile goods were supplied by Fletcher and Co. before he joined the firm, and he thought it was in their name the action should have been brought—Mr. Levy said "You must not blame us for that, you must blame Mr. Thompson for giving me an invoice with Fletcher Vaughan's name on it," and I think Mr. Levy told him that he could raise the defence that he said nothing about Fletcher Vaughan, but about Fletcher and Co., but he said "No, that will point out the mistake directly," that was the purport of it—Mr. Fletcher has never suggested that I had denied receiving the money from January to June—I have seen a rough draft of the affidavit of 15th April, and I imagine it was the affidavit of Kahn at the suit of Nicholson's Discount Company—I believe there was a letter attached to the affidavit.
By the COURT. The partners in Fletcher and Co. on 15th January, 1877, were Fletcher, Robson, and Pickering, and so far as I can recollect Mr. Vaughan joined immediately on their going out, but I only speak from hearsay—Mr. Vaughan declined to swear the first, affidavit, Goatley's, which was drawn for him to swear, and then we changed "Vaughan "into "Fletcher," and he swore it, and some person in authority said that it would not do—we then made out a second, which is not produced in Mr. Fletcher's name, and then Mr. Vaughan, who had objected to sign an affidavit saying much less, swore one stating more—I did not hear what he said, but the result of what came from him was that I changed the name, and he signed a much stronger one without objection, but I put it that he did it to facilitate the sending down of the writ—we were losing days—there is only a Judge there on Tuesdays and Fridays—if you look at the attendance book you will see that we did not issue a writ till the 11th, when the instructions, are to write for payment, and then we wait till we get further instructions before we issue the writ—we are bound to get instructions before that to prepare the affidavit—I never troubled myself about the second affidavit after the writ went down to Scotland—I never had it back to look at—I cannot suggest anybody who would wish to look at it, but when I see the way affidavits are kept at Chambers I am not surprised that they are lost.
Saturday, May 3rd.
DANIEL LEVY (Cross-examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL). This is my letter book—I find here a letter written by my father on the 1st January, and three letters written by him on January 3rd, and one signed by him referring to the appointment which I stated he came up purposely to attend—on the 4th here is one letter written by him, and on the 5th one signed by him, on the 7th one written by some one else, and signed by him, and one written by him—on the 8th there are five letters all written by him—I believe the operation was that the stone was crushed, but I do not understand it—he had been attended some months ago for the same tiling, but he had never gone through an operation before.; they had tried some treatment for dissolving it I understand—the verbal authority I spoke of before the Magistrate was two occasions when my father had authority to do certain things; it was merely in conversation that it was stated—I said before the Magistrate that there was a request to pay something out of the county-court—the money had been paid in about April, 1878. (Some extracts from the depositions were here read to the witness.) Mr. Gibbs was the gentleman that found the money—I got fresh verbal authority in respect to Messrs. Fletcher and Vaughan's accounts—I stated last night that there was nothing more in writing beyond that retainer—when I gave that evidence I knew that I had got on 15th March, 1877, a written authority from Fletcher and Co., but I. did not mention it, because I was not asked the question, and I am going on with a further reason—I had looked for it before I went before the Magistrate, and as I could not find it it was suggested to me ahat it would be dangerous to say that we had such a document, unless we could produce it—I really do pot know who suggested it—I do not think it was my father—I took very; little instruction from him—it perhaps struck me as well.
By the COURT. This "8" (In one of the books) means 1878—the letters of the 3rd were written after the interview with Mr. Hall—I think only
one letter was written by my father on January 1st—that was to Denton, Hall, and Barker; it was only signed by my father, it was written by Mr. Wiltshire—all the other letters are put into the copy book before that letter, no doubt they were being written by the clerk while the other was being drafted; very likely that letter would be copied before a letter which he brought out—that letter is referred to in the letter signed by my father—all the letters of that day appear in the press copy book before that letter.
By the SOLICITOR-GENERAL. As soon as letters are written press copies. would be taken off by the boy in the office; no doubt while Mr. White head was copying that letter Mr. Levy sent out these three letters and the boy would copy them and send them to the post, that letter would be taken off the letter book and would appear later; no doubt Mr. Levy drafted the letter in the first instance, and while the clerk was copying it Mr. Levy would be in his room writing the other letter—my father was not there at all on January 1st; the letter written by him on that day had nothing to do with any business in the office; it is in different ink; it was written at home—neither this shield of Fisher and Co. or this "28, Leicester Square' (The stamped letter headings) would be copied in the book—my father was at home all day on January 1st; that was the day he underwent the operation—he was at the office on January 3rd, at 3.45; the appointment was for 4 o'clock, and Mrs. Levy came down with him—I do not know whether it would be called an operation, but he went through some treatment in April—he has been suffering from that complaint for a considerable time, both before and after—I was desirous of being able to produce the document before I referred to it, and I consulted Mr. Foulger in reference to it—the letter of January 1st is in different ink—it very often happens that a letter is written at home when Mr. Levy does not happen to be there, and it is taken down—I find by the postage book that the letter to Mr. Hall was posted on 3rd January, at 6.30—letters cannot be copied after they, are posted—I do not think Captain Maxwell's letter was written by Mr. Levy at all, it was certainly written before he came to the office, that I am very positive of—Maxwell's letter is signed by Mr. Fisher, and it is in answer to the letter Mr. Carpmael wrote, which was sent the very day that we endorsed the cheque—that is not the letter alleged to be missing; that is the letter of the 4th—that of the 3rd is the writting of the apology suggested by Mr. Carpmael; it has not been in evidence yet—this letter, J. C. Fisher and Co., per E. Levy, was written by my father—Egan's letter is not entered in the postage book—the letter of January 1st was addressed to Farmiloe, I think—letters delivered should be in this book as well as letters posted—this one to Mr. Farmiloe was delivered at 6.10—a letter written at the house must be pent to the office to be copied, because the book is never away from the office, but when or where it was written would not appear—as to that letter, neither delivery or postage is referred to.
WILLIAM FOULGER . I am clerk to Mr. Lomax, a solicitor—I was formerly in the employment of Fisher and Co.—I wrote this letter of authority on 15th January in the presence of Mr. Levergerer—Mr. Daniel Levy came out, I think late in the afternoon, and asked me to copy, from a draft the letter in question—I did so and returned it to Mr. Edward L. Levy—I went into his room for the purpose—he was there with Mr. Fletcher and Mr. Daniel Levy—Mr. E. L. Levy first read the letter and
then handed it to Mr. Fletcher, who signed it in my presence and Mr. Daniel Levy's—I affixed my signature as the attesting witness to the letter and returned it to Mr. E. L. Levy—on 19th December Daniel Levy came to me in Pentonville Road in reference to this document—I was seriously ill at the time—I was four months in bed—I had a recollection of the document because it was the only one that I attested with Mr. Fletcher, but I could not tell him the purport of it until he could produce it—I have not the slightest doubt about it now—the whole of it is in my writing except the signature "Fletcher and Co."—I left Fisher and Co. in March or April in consequence of the hostile feeling that Mr. E. L. Levy displayed towards me—we are far from being on good terms.
Cross-examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL. I left Fisher and Co. in March 1877, and went to Mr. G. R. H. Harrison for a few months—I am now with Mr. Lomax, a solicitor, of Brown Street, Golden Square—I went to Fisher and Co. a few days before or after Christmas 1876—I had known Mr. Fisher many years, I did not hear of his having any partner—I left in March 1877, and he died in June, 1878—he was there daily during the whole time I was there—he was my principal—"Fisher and Co." was on the door, but I should say that the business was Mr. Fisher's—many introductions were made by Mr. Levy and by me—the business in Leicester Square was also I should say most distinctly carried on for Mr. Fisher—he paid me; it was not Levy's business and Fisher only a puppet, it was a real genuine bond fide business of Fisher's; that I most distinctly say—it does sometimes happen that a man who is not a solicitor carries on a business in the name of a solicitor who lends his name—this was not I believe a case of that sort—my belief is that it was Mr. Fisher's business, but unfortunately his hand was bad, he wrote very indistintly; his mind was very clear, sometimes too clear, for sometimes he forgot to pay me—he was like summer and winter, two extremes, sometimes he paid pretty freely and sometimes not at all—he used to go down to the Court and instruct Counsel, and I have frequently been with him, but I have never been to the Court with Mr. Levy—Mr. Fisher saw many clients; he paid money into the bank, and I have frequently seen him draw cheques and endorse cheques—he was a very peculiar tempered man, ill-tempered at times; very genial at one time and the contrary the next—he treated me very well in the end—he was not a man of great intelligence—I should say of ordinary intelligence considering his impaired health—I should say that he was suffering from decay of nature, but not so much from old age; he could walk from 151, Asylum Road, Peckham, where he lived, to Chancery Lane, which is five miles—I never heard of his having an allowance from Levy of so much a week—he was tolerably sober, I never saw him the worse for drink, but I have heard he has been—I superintended the business that I introduced to Mr. Fisher at the Asylum Road, for which he paid me a salary and a commission which depended on his promise—he used to give me whatever he promised me, if I brought him a piece of business—I introduced business to him both at Asylum Road and at 28, Leicester Square—it would be to my welfare to get clients to the office, and then I was paid—I attended once or twice a day at the office, but generally speaking I was about the town trying to get business and sometimes in the country, any sort of business I could get, and that business I solely attended to under Mr. Fisher's supervision, not Levy's—I could not work with Mr. Levy, he was too
impetuous, too irritable, but I have seen him genial—I refused to work under Levy, and I was compelled to leave the office in consequence—I never did work under him—I was Fisher's clerk—there were other clerks in the office—Levergerer was the foreign clerk, and there was an office boy, and Mr. Daniel Levy, and one of his younger brothers—Levergerer did a great deal of the work introduced—there was a great deal of foreign correspondence—he assisted Levy I believe in that work as his clerk—I sat in the outer office if Mr. Fisher was not there, and I usually waited for him—his office was at the back of the second floor of No. 28—it was a separate room from Levy's—I used not to see the clients when they came—I saw Mr. Fletcher many times going up and down stairs, and in the office on two or three occasions—I knew him perfectly well—I did not see him for the first time when I signed the paper—he must have known me, but I had no beard then, it has grown during my illness, which was from October to February—this letter purports to be from Fletcher to Fisher and Co. Q. Is it usual to attest letters in this way? A. It was usual in this case, and I remember the father said to Mr. Daniel, "Have that stamped at once." I remember that distinctly—he said that the very moment Mr. Fletcher left the room—the prisoner and Daniel Levy and Fletcher and myself were there—I have a perfect recollection of it—I did not know Mr. Vaughan at that time—if the prisoner had brought out that draft I should have refused to copy it, but Mr. Daniel Levy brought it out—I was on very good terms with him, and would do anything to serve him—I do not think any solicitor knows his business better than E. L. Levy, he has plenty of intelligence—I do not know whether it is his habit to get agreements stamped because that is the only one I had jo do with—the penalty for not getting a sixpenny agreement stamped would be 1l., but it is 11l. above sixpence—I have attested several documents for Fisher and Co., but I never attested a letter for Mr. Levy before.
Re-examined. I was in the office of Fisher and Co., I think, from the latter part of December to the latter part of March or the beginning of April—I have not the slightest friendship for the prisoner—I left in consequence of his overbearing manners to me, and I introduced my business elsewhere—I had known Mr. Fisher many years, and had been familiar with him—I had often seen him in the neighbourhood of Asylum Road, and often introduced business to Mr. Skinner there—that was not at the time I was in the office—I have not the slightest interest in this matter beyond telling the truth—I do not know whether Mr. Fisher's banking account had reference to the Leicester Square business, but I have seen him draw and sign cheques during the Leicester Square time—the affection of his hand was palsy—he had great difficulty in writing, but he used to sign daily—I find that my second entry, "Watson and Ross," in this call book is on 2nd January, 1877, that was after my return from my Christmas holidays—I find Fletcher's name on 15th January in my writing, and have not the slightest doubt that he called there that evening very nearly last—I had not seen the book till this very moment since I left the office.
By the COURT. If the clerk was engaged, I put down the names of those who called—if you go on you will see many names put down by me, but I was not supposed to keep the book—Watson and Ross called while I was there, and no clerk was present—I put them down without reference to
whether they were clients or not—the whole of this paper (produced) is in my writing except the name "Fletcher"—these words," Witness W. Foulger," were written by me after Mr. Fletcher had signed his name—I swear that most certainly—I can account for the difference in the ink—looking at the name Fletcher in the call-book and the name Fletcher on the guarantee, I swear that I did not myself write the "Fletcher and Co." on the guarantee—there are two inks in the office, copying ink and ink from which we could not take any impression, but I should say that this document is all in copying ink—I think Fisher and Co.'s account was kept at a branch bank of the London and County—I have seen Mr. Fisher draw cheques and endorse cheques to be paid into the bank—lie managed to draw cheques almost daily, but I never had one of his cheques, he always paid me money—he never paid my commission by cheque, it was so very small, we did so little business and I was there a very short time.
WALTER GEORGE WHITEHEAD . I was in the office of Fisher and Co. from May, 1877, to April, 1878—in December, 1877, I was directed by Daniel Levy to prepare a draft form of affidavit intended to be sworn by Henry L. Vaughan—the body of the draft produced is in my writing, but the corrections are not—I afterwards engrossed the affidavit of which this is a draft, and Mr. Fletcher ultimately swore to it—the alterations are Mr. Vaughan's—I did not prepare an engrossment for Mr. Vaughan—on 3rd Jan. either Mr. Fisher or Mr. Daniel Levy, I should not like to swear which, handed me a cheque with the paying-in slip book, and I took it to the bank and brought the book back—whoever gave it to me it was in Fisher's presence—Mr. Lewis Levy was not there—it was between 11 and 12 o'clock, before dinner time—this is the cheque, and I believe this is the paying in slip (produced)—the amount and date correspond—Mr. Levy came to the office that afternoon about 4 or 5, or 5.30—this is my letter to Mr. Carlisle—I wrote it partly from dictation and partly from Mr. Fisher's instructions—when I had writtten it I read it over to him, and he approved of it and signed it—this is his writing.
Cross-examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL. I left Fisher and Co. of my own accord—I was not discharged—Mr. Levy made no complaint against me, but a disagreement took place between us—the only conclusion I can come to so far as the wording goes, is that the original affidavit was intended to be signed by Vaughan—this (another) is the draft of an affidavit afterwards sworn by Fletcher before Mr. Goatley—here is a statement in the draft: "Captain Maxwell is jointly indebted to my co-partner and myself in 114l. 10s. for goods sold and delivered, &c."—I do not know why Mr. Vaughan did not sign that affidavit, I was not brought up as a lawyer's clerk, I am simply a correspondent; my copying is mechanical—I do not know whether it was because he could not swear to it because the goods had not been delivered—at the top of the draft "Henry Lewis Vaughan "is struck out, and in the margin is inserted Henry Lewis Vaughan and Philip Shaw Fletcher, and then there is a paragraph—I should say that that is in Daniel Levy's writing—I go more particularly from the last paragraph—I should not like to say in whose writing this Henry Lewis Vaughan is; but this Philip Shaw Fletcher is Mr. Daniel Levy's to the best of my belief—this Philip Shaw Fletcher in the engrossment to the affidavit is decidedly Mr. Daniel Levy's—I have no hesitation about it, and this paying-in slip also—there is a counterfoil of it—the cheque would be given as usual inside the slip-book,
and the bank clerk tears off the counterfoil and keeps it—they kept a paying-in book, and I should say it is in Daniel Levy's writing—I sit in the outer office; there are four rooms, all on one floor—the clerks sit behind a partition in the entry room—you can go through the clerks' room to the other three rooms, but there are two doors on the staircase besides—Mr. levy had one room, and Daniel sat there with him some part of the time—Pickering had a large room at the back, lighted by a skylight; that is where Mr. Daniel used to sit the few months I was there—I was frequently sent to the bank, but not generally—the London and County, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, was the bank of the firm—I cannot say at what time the prisoner came on the afternoon of 20th December or on the 21st or on January 8 or on any day except 3rd January, and I have a reason, because there was an appointment with Mr. Hall to meet him which I had to write about, relative to a case which will come on in connection with Worth's affair—Mr. Levy was collecting debts for Worth—I do not know what Hall had to do with it—the only question I have been asked was whether Mr. Lewis took my evidence down—I don't think he asked me whether I could remember whether it was on the 3rd that Lewis Levy came to the office—I do not think I have been asked by anybody else whether I remembered at what time he came to the office—I do not think I have had the letter-book in my hand till now—this is my writing, and I see by the postage book (produced) that the letter was posted by me; it is initialled by me—all the letters which have W. G. W. were posted by me—Mr. Fisher engaged me—I took all the cheques for the firm to the London and County Bank, Henrietta Street—I know of no other bank, but I believe Mr. Fisher did have another account, which I know nothing about—I believe he was trustee for certain matters, and kept an account, but I never went to any other bank for him—I cannot say whether I ever saw a cheque drawn by him upon any other bank.
Re-examined. I have paid in cheques at Ransom's Bank—that was for Mr. Levy, to his private account—I did not know that Mr. Levy was to undergo an operation on 3rd January, but I know that for several days before and afterwards he was irregular in his attendance—I know he was suffering from stone, and I heard afterwards that he had undergone an operation—he came with Mrs. Levy—he was looking very ill, and I even advised him to stop away from the office—I am certain he came late in the afternoon—I know it was almost posting time; we were copying letters and getting them ready for post.
By the COURT. I posted all the letters on Friday if they are initialled—I posted one to Mrs. Daniels at 1 o'clock—I do not remember anything about it; but during the irregular attendance of Mr. Levy, letters were written at his private house and brought down to the office—I know the name of Daniels, but I know nothing about the contents of the letter unless it is in the letter-book—I posted it at 1 o'clock; that is when I went out to my dinner.
WALTER EPHRAIM GOATLEY . I am a commissioner to take affidavits—I know Mr. Fletcher by sight, and know that he swore this affidavit—it was riot like the case of a stranger—these are—my initials to this attestation, which I remarked upon at the time to Mr. Daniel Levy—I saw Mr. Fletcher sign his name.
By the COURT. My duty is simply to swear the person—I do not know
who would affix the stamp—I have nothing to do with it—it would be brought to me unstamped.
FITZROY GARDNER (Re-examined). The stamp is put on by the solicitor's clerk, and the obliteration should be done at Chambers by the Judge's clerk, but if he did not take it there would be no obliteration, and then the stamp could be taken off.
GEORGE ROGERS HARRISSON . I have been a solicitor since Michaelmas, 1861, and have had experience in the taxation of costs—I have been through this bill of Fisher and Co.'s—the charges here set down, subject to diminution on taxation, are very reasonable.
FREDERICK GEORGE NETHERCLIFT . I have made handwriting a study for 30 years—I have looked at the genuine admitted signature of Mr. Fletcher to this affidavit, two letters signed "P. S. Fletcher" directed to E. Levy, Esq., and a letter of Fletcher and Co., which I have here—looking at the document of 15th January, 1877, and the signature of Fletcher, my judgment is that they are written by the same person—I find that the admitted signatures vary very much indeed, I can show you four which, when put in juxtaposition, are not at all like each other, and it would be a very hard matter to say that they were all written by the same hand; they vary very much indeed—I am able to detect what is the ruling character, so as to detect what is genuine and what is not—I believe this is a genuine signature; I should not like to say that it is not—I do not think this word "Fletcher" in the call book is written by the same person, the character is quite different—the habit generally is to form a perfect "T" and add a little dot, but there is no "F"—sometimes it is connected with the "I" in a very peculiar way, it does not pass through the downstroke at all—I cannot find in any of the admitted signatures anything like this "F" in the call book; the "Fletcher" in the call book is certainly not by the same person; I express that confidently.
Cross-examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL. The signature to the guarantee agrees with all the genuine signatures.; I find the same characteristics, and I then go through them; one of them is making "Co." like "to," and "&" for "and"; the "Co." anybody would take for "to" plainly—F and T are exactly alike till you cross the F, and instead of putting a dash in the middle he puts a dot—here is a genuine signature in which he does not touch the "T" at all; I call it "T" because it is a T until it is made into an F—sometimes he leaves a marked space; that is a very distinguishing feature in the guarantee—another feature is that his general inclination is to make the top of the final "o" go to the left; there is a horizontal dash, I mean, when he has finished the "o"; they all present that peculiarity—I have marked the cheque "7 A," and upon that I find one exactly like it, and it is so in the signature in question, only it is turned to the right, but they generally are to the left; that shows against it being a forgery because the forger would imitate the signature—the next peculiarity is the "c" in "Fletcher," and the other is like it—if any one is forging a name he ought to make it as like as he can; his eye should be fixed on the "F" and on the "Co."—in forgeries the peculiarities of the hand are always copied—there is no general resemblance between the "Fletcher" in the call book and the signature to the guarantee; the top of the "F" is different and the cross—if I were to ask two or three persons to write, you would find several of them as much like it—I write every hand; I have written the Lord's Prayer
in 150 languages—I am a lithographer as well—I will write the word "Fletcher "if you wish it (doing so)—I am so much in the habit of imitating copperplate that I do not write a very free hand—I am in the habit of imitating writing—in my view this "Fletcher and Co." to the guarantee bears as much resemblance to the "Fletcher and Co." in the call book as to any other; it is as little like it as the writing of anybody—there is a decided peculiarity in Fletcher's "r "at the end of the word; sometimes he does not define the "r" at all, but this is a very nice one; here is one which has come to an untimely end, it is an "i"; he sometimes writes "i," and no "r"at all.
Re-examined. I have made a written report—this cheque, 7 A, gives the peculiarity I mention—I made a memorandum of it a week ago, and here it is in my pocket—it is sometimes very difficult to tell whether writing is feigned or genuine—anything copied from an exemplar would not exhibit freedom, not if it was traced on the window; it would be what you call a painted hand—there is no trace of tracing here; I have examined it with a very powerful glass, to see if pencil marks have been rubbed out, and I can see nothing of the kind—it appears to be genuine, and brings in the character, not of one but of several documents—every handwriting has a character of its own like a countenance—it is always more difficult to come to a just conclusion where a man varies his signature; if he always signs the same, it is much easier—I could take two of these signatures, and you would never suppose they were written by the same person—I have written "Fletcher," but I did not try to imitate, I wrote it according to my usual scribble—I do not think the Fletcher in the call-book bears any of the characteristics of the genuine writing, but the signature to the guarantee does.
By the COURT. I see the two words "County Court" here; the first "C "is different to the other, one has an open bow to it and the other has not—comparing that with the "c" and "o "in Fletcher and Co., there is not the slightest resemblance; but one is a final "o" and the other is not—there is not a faint resemblance; these are bows filled in in the act of writing—I should not say that there is the faintest resemblance, except that it is an "o"—I should say that they were not made by the same person.
Witness in Reply.
CHARLES CHABOT . I have for a great many years directed my attention to the investigation of handwriting, and in forming a judgment as to whether signatures are forged or not—I have examined these 14 admitted signatures, but I do not like to express a very positive opinion as to this signature to the guarantee after hearing that three eye-witnesses saw it done, and therefore if I were to express a positive opinion, it would be to criminate those persons and charge them with perjury, but if you ask my opinion I say that I doubt it being a genuine signature, but of course my opinion is affected by having heard the evidence, which I am bound to respect—to the best of my belief it is not a genuine signature—looking at the genuine signatures, I find that the "r" in Fletcher in two of the genuine signatures departs from a peculiar formation of the "r," which distinguishes the handwriting of the genuine signatures; that the "r" in the disputed signature is not at all like either of those I saw—I am referring to two exceptional "r "s; the "r", in a document numbered 1 of May 4th, 1875, and the "r" in the document of July 24th, 1875—those are formed in an. exceptional manner from the
distinguishing letter "r" of Mr. Fletcher's signature—they are different from Mr. Fletcher's usual "r," and those in the signature in question are totally different, not at all like Mr. Fletcher's habitual "r"—in the disputed signature the "F," the "1," and the "e "in "Fletcher "are freely written—the "t" betrays hesitation of hand in the upstroke connecting the "c "with the "h"—it betrays nervousness of hand until We come to the second "e"—then comes the difficulty of the signature; it appears here that the person who has copied this signature has copied it from a signature which possesses the habitual and distinguishing "r "of Mr. Fletcher's signature, and naturally lifted his pen to consider—it is as clear as possible that the pen has been lifted after forming the "e;" then the distinctive "r" of the signature appears to have been misunderstood; in some of the signatures if seems like a little dash, but it is more than that; here is a strong distinct dash by a strong pressure of the pen, and there is no such thing in the ordinary signature, and there is no tendency in Mr. Fltetcher's writing to that backward strong touch of the pen'; then there is a clumsiness in the "cher & Co.;" the "Co." in particular in Mr. Fletcher's writing could be very easily imitated, but there is a great lack of freedom and a heavy pressure of the' pen in the upstrokes; it seems to be more plainly written; all Mr. Fletcher's signatures are carelessly written, and the worst of these signatures, and which I might be inclined to doubt, is that of 25th April, 1877, but that possesses the peculiarity of the final "r," seeing which I should accept that as a genuine signature—then the crossings of the "t" and the "h "are at the top of the letters; but they are not always on the top; they are sometimes nearly at the bottom, and sometimes a little higher, so that wherever "it is put it cannot assimilate to the genuine signature—then the Fletcher and Co." is not in the same ink as the "Witness W. E. Foulger"—I have looked at the final "r" through a magnifying glass, but it scarcely wants that; it only shows more distinctly that the pen has been lifted up and put down again suddenly to make the "r," which is a simple dash of the pen, nothing, more—Mr. Fletcher in his signature does not lift his pen when he comes to the "r;" he never forms the "r "in such a simple manner as this; nothing, could be more simple; it is merely a strong dash; there is no form at all—I have mentioned that in the signature of the disputed document there is a very heavy pressure of the pen on the upstrokes, and this word "Fletcher" in the call book on 15th January, 1877, is distinguished by that' peculiarity; the upstrokes are very fairly written, but beyond that I can say no more—I am not able to say that the person who wrote one wrote the other, but I do say this, that I should be quite as much inclined to think that the signature "Fletcher" in the call-book was a genuine signature; in the disputed signature the "r" in "Fletcher" in the call-book is something; like Mr. Fletcher's distinctive letter "r"—I have seen very little of Daniel Levy's writing—I have seen it on a credit slip, which he admits to be his writing, and a spurious signature to a county-court request; it is a signature of Fletcher, Vaughan, and Co., not written by them, and which is alleged to be a forgery—I mean that' I have seen a name, which is not Daniel Levy's name, written on a document, and it is admitted to have been written by Daniel Levy—the signature to which I refer is not in his natural writing, but this endorsement "Vaughan & Co."on the cheque has a resemblance to it—I do not consider it is his natural writing—it bears no resemblance to the signature of Flecher, Vaughan, and Co.
Cross-examined by the SOLICITOR-GENERAL. My knowledge of Daniel Levy's natural writing is from this writing on the credit slip, "Jan, 3, J. C. Fisher & Co.", and I think I saw some more of his writing last Nevember in the other case—I have seen two signatures in a county court book—those are natural signatures—I took these tracings from them (produced)—I have two specimens at least of Levy's bond fide writing—the credit slip exhibits a different style to this—both are genuine, but one is in an upright and the other in a sloping hand—those are the exemplars by which I arrived at an opinion—I have got from them a good idea of his general writing—they are both in his general writing, but they differ in one being sloping and one upright—in the same way here, is my upright writing—these 14 documents differ from each other in Fletcher's signature—he varies his signature—I quite agree with Mr. Netherclift so far—it is a fact, it is palpable—the four selected do differ from one another, but they are all freely written, carelessly written, and there is no appearance of drawing or copying—if any one of these four signatures was given to me and the other three were admitted to be Fletcher's genuine writing, and I had heard him deny the fourth, I do not think I should be able to say that it was his—I am not able to speak to every signature of Mr. Fletcher's; but I am to some, and this is one.
NOT GUILTY .