27th May 1889
Reference Numbert18890527-519
VerdictNot Guilty > no evidence

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519. FREDERICK LLOYD (45) , Unlawfully attempting to obtain £6 by false pretences.

MR. GRAIN Prosecuted, and MR. GEOGHEGAN Defended. THOMAS CAUDELL. I am manager to Mr. Barnett, a pawnbroker, of 319, High Holborn—I have known the prisoner for ten or twelve years, during which he has been in the habit of offering things in pledge, and sometimes pledging—in January, 1888, he pledged this chain (produced); it is marked "15-c.," that means 15-carat—I looked at it, and lent him £3 upon it—it has been tested; it is only 9-carat, and of the value of about £2 5s.—on March 30th last he came and presented this single stone diamond ring, and asked £5 on it—I refused to advance it, being gaslight at the time—he then produced this chain, and said "Lend me £6 on the two"—I asked him if it was gold—he said "I bought it as 15-carat gold"—I then communicated with Mr. Barnett—I tested the chain, and found it was base metal, or" mystery gold," that is a term used in the trade—I handed the chain to Mr. Barnett—he asked me to weigh it; I did so, and told him it was 14 dwts.—Mr. Barnett had some conversation with the prisoner which I did not hear.

Cross-examined. I knew the prisoner as a dealer in jewellery; the 15-c. is stamped on one of the links of the chain—I saw him frequently during last year—he was not given into custody for that—I did not speak to him about it—it became an unredeemed pledge, and we looked, it up for sale, and then discovered what it was—I weighed it when I took it in, and presumed it was correct; it took me in—I have had a good deal of experience—the correct weight would be 14 dwts.—it had a very good appearance—it stands the test of nitric acid—I don't know what mystery gold is composed of—we cannot tell whether it is real gold or not unless we apply the test—to the outside public there is no means of testing it—the diamond ring is worth £3—I don't think he

said he had paid £9 for it—giving a false name and address is an offence under the Pawnbrokers' Act, punishable by a fine of £10—I have never given a person into custody for that; 25 persons out of 100 give false names when pledging.

BARNETT BARNETT . I am a pawnbroker, at 319, High Holborn—on 30th March I saw the prisoner in the shop—he wanted to pawn this ring and chain, and said he would take £6 or £7—they were both on the counter—it was 6 or 7 in the evening, and it was very difficult to judge of things of this kind—I asked him if it was gold—he said, "Yes"—he said he bought it in Hatton Garden—I said, "Is it 15-c. or 9-c.?"—he said, "It is 15-c."—I offered him £5 on them—he said the stone was a very white one—I asked his name; he said, "Frederick Stanton, 198, Strand"—I said, "Do you really live at that address?"—he said, "Yes"—I said, "What are you?"—he said, "I am on the staff of the Illustrated London News"—I said, "I thought you were a dealer"—I had known him as a dealer—he afterwards said his uncle was a great chess player, the great man Stanton, on the Illustrated London News—I was not satisfied, so I sent for a policeman, and gave him in charge for giving a wrong name and address—this chain is of no value—the ring is a common article—£3 is its outside value.

Cross-examined. I went with him and the policeman to Bow Street station—I gave him in custody for giving a false name and address under the 34th Section of the Pawnbrokers' Act; next day I charged him with attempting to obtain money—I had not seen my solicitor, Mr. Attenborough, in the interval—I was not sure about the chain until I saw it by daylight—dealers congregate in Hatton Garden, and sell diamonds and jewellery among one another—if a man gives a false name and address I should not take in the goods—I should cross-examine him, and if I found it was false I should give him into custody—I have done it repeatedly; since I have been in business in London I have given three persons in custody for it—if they do give false names they do it against the law—I could tell next day by daylight that it was mystery gold; it depends on a man's judgment and experience—Caudell is experienced in some things, fairly well in gold chains—this was a fraud on the face of it—it is not of the specific gravity of gold, it is lighter; it would not deceive me—I have seen the prisoner very often in the shop, and the goods he offered were worth so much less that I did not take anything in from him—we often advance more than is asked—there are scores of men who make a living by pawning goods and living on the profit—I think he said he was the nephew of Mr. Stanton.

WILLIAM RICHARD COOMBS . I am Secretary to the Art Editor of the Illustrated London News, 198, Strand—I have been there a little over three years—during that time the prisoner has not been employed there in any capacity—I do not know him at all—no person named Stanton has been employed there during that time.

Cross-examined. A Mr. Stanton, a great chess player, was formerly chess editor—I do not know that the prisoner is his nephew.

HENRY JARRY . I am assistant to Messrs. Johnson and Matthey, assayers, of Hatton Garden—I have not assayed the mystery chain—I have assayed the supposed 15-carat—it is 9 3/4—the mark 15-c. on it is a forgery—it would pass for a 9-carat chain offhand.

Cross-examined. It is not a bad imitation—I have no experience of mystery gold.

FRANK HANN . I am assistant to Mr. Tyler, pawnbroker, of Gray's Inn Road—to the best of my belief I have seen the prisoner in our shop; he has offered things, but not to me—this albert chain was offered to me by a person answering the prisoner's description, but I cannot swear to him—there is a file mark on this mystery chain, which I put on about two months back; it was produced to me with a diamond ring—after filing it and finding it was not what I thought it was, I gave it back to the person—I can't swear to the ring, I can to the albert.

Cross-examined. I was not examined at the Police-court—a police officer came to me about this matter about three or four weeks ago—I know the prisoner as pledging things—the mark of the file is on the second link—this looked so much like gold that I had to file it to find out the value.

HENRY COLLINS (Detective E). On March 30th I was at Bow Street, when the prisoner was brought in about a quarter-past seven—I searched him, and found two pocket-books, in which were these 48 pawn tickets, with about a dozen different names and addresses on them, for various amounts, amounting altogether to £286, pledged at different pawnbrokers' shops—I also found on him four diamond rings of the same pattern as that tendered to Mr. Barnett, a silversmith's brush and magnifying glass, and £4 10s. in money—he was wearing this gold watch and chain—he was charged with giving a false name and address—he said, "It's an acknowledged thing in the pawnbroking trade to give a false name and address when pledging"—the charge was afterwards altered to one of attempting to obtain money by false pretences—he said, "I exchanged the ring away for the chain with a man to-day, in Hatton Garden, whom I know"—I said, "Can you produce the man?"—he said, "Yes"—I said, "You will have the opportunity of doing so before the Magistrate."

Cross-examined. These 48 tickets relate to articles pawned in every quarter of London—I have been to the 48, and made inquiries—none of them prefer any charge against the prisoner; the pawnbrokers are apparently satisfied with the securities they have—they have seen the jewellery, and they all say it is genuine—Inspector Darling took the charge of giving a false name and address—the prisoner was detained on that charge, because at that time Mr. Barnett was not certain about the "mystery" gold chain—he was detained the whole night on that charge—that is not usual; I never heard it done before.

Re-examined. Inquiries have been made as to the prisoner's dealing with these tickets.

MR. GEOGHEGAN submitted that the false pretences alleged had not been substantiated. MR. JUSTICE GRANTHAM considered that although there might be some evidence, it was not strong enough. The Jury, being of that opinion, found the prisoner


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