MICHAEL FENTON, FREDERICK COLLINS, JOHN MURPHY.
2nd July 1849
Reference Numbert18490702-1489
VerdictGuilty > unknown; Guilty > unknown; Guilty > unknown
SentenceTransportation

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1489. MICHAEL FENTON FREDERICK COLLINS , and JOHN MURPHY , burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Thomas Weir, and stealing 245 yards of woollen cloth and other goods, value 105l.; his goods.

MR. CAARTEEN conducted the Prosecution.

THOMAS WEIR . I am a linendraper, of 125, London-road, in the parish of St. George the Martyr, Southwark; it is my dwelling-house—my shop

runs from the front to the back of the premises, it is under the same roof with the dwelling-house—on the night of 4th June, I fastened the shop up-a window opens from the back of the shop into a yard—I fastened it that night—it was safe at half-past eleven o'clock—the next morning my servant told me something—I went down rather before six—I found that window was open, and one of the hinges of the shutters was broken—I examined my shop and missed a quantity of articles, amounting to 100l. or 105l.—I went for the police—I found this cloth and silk at the station-house, between seven and eight; it is mine, and part of what I lost.

Cross-examined by MR. PARRY. Q. Is not the name over your shop "Thomas Weir and Co."? A. No—I know a person named Moseley, a coach-smith, his place of business is at the back of my shop, in another street—it does not adjoin my shop.

Cross-examined by MR. PAYNE. Q. Which way would the parties have entered? A. From the back window—I do not think they entered through Moseley's, but there is little doubt but they took the property that way—Moseley had been in my premises four or five nights before—anybody that came into the shop could see how the way was fastened that led to his premises—I had suspicions about Moseley that morning, but he gave us every information—my property was found in a cab.

HARRIET LANGSTON . I am servant to Mr. Weir. On the morning of 5th June I went into the back-yard, about half-past five o'clock—I saw that the window from the shop to the yard was wide open—I informed my master.

Cross-examined by MR. PARRY. Q. Was it not half-past six o'clock? A. No, I heard the clock strike six afterwards.

Cross-examined by MR. PAYNE. Q. Are you sure it was not seven o'clock that you heard strike? A. Yes, I counted it—I have no watch in my room—there is a clock on the stairs—I was walking down stairs when it struck.

JOHN MOSELEY . I am a coach-smith, 2, Mansfield-street, Borough-road—the back of my premises comes within a short distance of Mr. Weir's—I have a workshop and stable adjoining my house—Mr. Weir's premises can be reached by going over the top of the shop adjoining my house. On 5th June I got up about five o'clock, and went to work—I had an old cabriolet there, I brought it out of my workshop, and placed it in the street at my front-door—in about five minutes afterwards I was told something, and missed it—I went in pursuit, and found it in Kennington-road, in about ten minutes after I lost it-there was no one with it then—we opened the door, and found in it this property of Mr. Weir's.

Cross-examined by MR. PARRY. Q. How long had you this cab there? A. A fortnight or three weeks—I was not charged with having anything to do with this matter, but there were several came to search the place—I haw been there eleven or twelve months—I occupy a house next door to the shop—a person might have gone over my shop or through my shop, and reached Mr. Weir's premises—we drew the cab out, because we could not work with it in the shop—it was for sale—"For sale" was on the back of it—we drew it out every day—I had drawn it out so soon as five o'clock before—I do not always get up at five, six is our general hour—I and my striker were up at five that morning—my mate's name is James Black well, or Bracknell—I call him Jem—he is not here—the cab was about twenty yards from where I was at work—it was taken away without my notice—when it was taken I was gone into the house for a match to light my fire;—these things could haw been put into it, and a lot of men have come and dragged it away without my hearing it—my shop was searched by the police three or four months ago.

Cross-examined by MR. PAYNE. Q. Where do you sleep? A. In the house—there is a door from the shop to the stable, and from thence to our house—my man Jem said to me that that cab was as heavy as the old one—I did not look to see what was in it—I had been in Mr. Weir's premises a few nights before, from ten till eleven o'clock—after the robbery, Mr. Weir said he thought I had been concerned—two men work with me—there are two forges—I let off part of the house and one forge—I do not lock the shop myself—Mr. Weir has one key, and I generally give my mate Jem the other, to open the shop and call me up—Jem came that morning exactly as I came down.

THOMAS GARDNER (policeman, M 79). On 5th June, shortly after five o'clock in the morning, I was on duty, and saw the prisoners and two other men at the corner of Pearl-row, which is about 130 yards or 150 yards from Mr. Weir's—Fenton, Collins, and a man not in custody, left the other two at the corner of Pearl-row—Fenton pulled his jacket and cap off, and threw them into 39, Pearl-row, where he lives, and said to some one inside, "Why don't you keep the door open?"—he and Collins then turned down James-street—I and another officer took Murphy about half-past ten next morning, at Mr. Simmonds's, the Surrey Coal-hole—I told him it was for being concerned with three others in stealing a cab and a quantity of doth, at the back of the London-road—he said, "You are mistaken; where was the caiman at the time?"—I said that would be explained afterwards.

Cross-examined by MR. PARRY. Q. What time was it when you saw these five men? A. About ten minutes after five o'clock—Pearl-row is on the opposite side to Mr. Weir's, a little way further down.

Cross-examined by MR. BIRNIE. Q. How long were you watching them t A. Two or three minutes—they could see me—I knew the prisoners—the Sorrey Coal-hole is a place where thieves resort.

THOMAS NUTT (policeman, M 81). I was on duty at half-past five o'clock in the morning of the 5th June—I saw the prisoners and one other man at the corner of Mansfield-street—they were all drawing a coo to the turning up Earl-street-1 suspected it was Mr. Moseley's, and I went and told him—he and I went after it, and came up to it, in what I believe is called Vauxball-road—I then saw three men making their escape, but cannot swear that Murphy was one—he was one who was drawing the cab—I ran after the men—I lost sight of them—I saw Fenton taken.

Cross-examined by MR. PARRY. Q. How many were drawing the cab?—A. Four—there was not a person walking by the side at the time I met them—I have not had a good deal of talk with Gardner—I believe he swore to five men being together previously—it was rather better than half-past five o'clock when they were stopped; it was broad daylight—I was close to them when f first saw them.

Cross-examined by MR. PAYNE. Q. Did you see any men fighting in the road early that morning 1 A. About four o'clock two men were quarrellingt the top of the Borough-road—Collins was one who was drawing—I knew them perfectly well—I had seen several more in company with them previously—there was not a man walking by the side who appeared to be giving directions to them—there was no other near them—I never saw more than four with the cab—they were all at work at it.

Cross-examined by MR. BIRNIE. Q. You cannot say that Murphy was one running away? A. No, but I saw him with the cab before—when I got 10 it again he was gone.

JOHN EDGAR (policeman, L 70). On 5th June, at half-past five o'clock,

I saw four persons with a cab—Fenton was one, he was behind it pushing it—Collins was between the shafts, in his shirt-sleeves, drawing it—I overtook the cab in Vauxhall-road—Fenton and Collins, and one who is absent, were with it then—directly I stopped the coo they ran away—I found these articles in it.

Cross-examined by MR. PARRY. Q. Where were you on duty? A, In Bird-street—I saw the cab about five minutes before I stopped it—it passed by me—I expected that some accident had taken place.

Cross-examined by MR. BIRNIE. Q. Did you see Murphy? A. No.

GEORGE DUNGATE (policeman, L 44). About half-past five this morning I was on duty in Vauxhall-road, and saw Mr. Moseley's cab drawn. by two men in the shafts and one behind it—Fenton and Collins were two of the men—Edgar came up and stopped the cab, and the men ran away into Walnut-tree-walk—I ran after them—I lost sight of them—I came up with Fenton again in West-square—I took him into custody in a water-closet at the back of 20, London-road—I had to get over a wall and a shed to get to him.

Cross-examined by MR. BIRNIE. Q. Was Murphy one? A. I cannot swear to him.

HENRY FOX . I am a painter and undertaker, of Newington-causeway. On the morning of 5th June I met a cab coming across the London-road—on the back of it was a paper, "For sale"—I saw Fenton and Collins drawing the cab, I had seen them before—I informed the policeman—I went after Collins.

WILLIAM FARRANT (policeman, L 167). I met Fox, and from what he told me I went into West-square, and saw Fenton—he said, "You b----r, if you come near me I will serve you out"—I followed him to Union-street, and saw him go into the passage of No. 3—he was taken in a water-closet near there.(George Nowland, a hawker, gave Collins a good character.)

FENTON— GUILTY . Aged 24.

COLLINS— GUILTY . Aged 20.

MURPHY— GUILTY . Aged 25.

Transported for Ten Years.


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