Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Not Guilty
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Was you sober? - Yes; these men and another came and laid hold of me, and asked where I was going? I told them I was going home; and then Burrows asked me what I had got? I told him nothing; he put his hand into my pocket, the other two ran before him, and he knocked me down; I struggled for my money, but he got it before he knocked me down.
Had either of the other two spoken to you at all? - Yes, they were accusing me, and calling me all they could call me.
What were they accusing you of? - They were calling me many names; it was the prisoner Burrows that asked where I was going; the other man did not speak; they were speaking to him; I do not know what they said, but they went off; none of them touched me but Burrows.
What sort of a night was it, light or dark? - I think it was about twelve o'clock; it was a dark night; it was not very clear; I struggled with Burrows some time, till I got assistance, and he ran through a narrow passage; I called for the watch, and kept hold of him, he knocked me down and took my hat, and another man seized me by the collar directly; that was after we got down the passage; the passage was a thoroughfare, the street is called the Amby; it was so dark I could not distinguish the faces, except of the man that I caught hold of; the other went off; I held him by the coat till he knocked me down the second time, and I got help; I never missed him; he never was out of my reach or sight, till the watchman and another man came to my assistance; the prisoner was taken and carried to the watch-house; he was in soldiers clothes; the other was taken about a quarter of an hour after; that is the other lad in the red coat: I gave information of three; the prisoner was not searched till he came to the watch-house; the prisoner Burrows came and snatched the hat from the other prisoner, and ran off with it; I saw him; that was before we got him to the watch-house: I saw no money found on him when he was searched; the struggle was some time; they had all bayonets hung in their belts, but used no arms to me.
Mr. M'Nally, Prisoner's Counsel. What business are you? - I am a porter.
Are not you a waiter at a public house? - No.
What house are you porter to? - A gentleman in Ely place.
What gentleman? - Mr. Brodie.
Were not you then, or are not you now waiter at a public house in Holborn? - No, I was not.
What is Mr Brodie? - A wine merchant: I was at a friend's that I have in Westminster, the soldier came up to me, and asked me directly where I was going.
What conversation had you before this? Not much; they asked me where I was going? and I told them I was going home; and in the mean time they had their hands in my pocket; there was no conversation but them words; when this lad had his hand in my pocket; that was Stroud, I saw him putting his hand in my right hand waistcoat pocket.
It was dark? - Yes, it was not moonlight; it was dark; I was a great deal frightened.
Was you near a lamp? - I cannot exactly say.
Was there sufficient light for you to distinguish one man's countenance from another? - Yes; I recollect the countenance of the lad in brown; I do not swear to the countenance of the man in red; the one
Was not the blow by which you lost your hat a blow in the man's defence, when he was pursued? - He gave me a blow down, he took off my hat and knocked me down after taking it off.
Was not you fighting at the time he took off your hat? - I was struggling to hold him, he was not struggling to get from me, he took off my hat and knocked me down and went forwards.
I am a watchman in the Ambry, just before one in the morning, the 15th of August, watch was called; watch! watch! I am robbed of my hat! I ran up and there were three soldiers with their side-arms on and the prosecutor on the ground, when I got up the prisoner Burrows had his hat in his hand; I was going to take hold of Burrows and Richard Stroud took and pushed me away; another man came to my assistance, and I took Burrows as soon as I recovered myself, Stroud snatched the hat out of Burrows's hand and ran away, I ran a little way after Stroud but he got away with the hat, immediately I secured Burrows.
Did you ever see these soldiers before? - I never saw them with my eyes before, we have so many soldiers, it was a dark night; I ran up and held my candle and lanthorn right in their faces to see whether I could swear to their faces again.
That could be only for a short time? - No, Burrows never quitted me.
To Prosecutor. I want to ask you upon your oath and you will be cautious whether in that very short time you had such a view of the face of Stroud as that you can swear he was the man that snatched off the hat and run away? - Yes, and I saw him again in about a quarter of an hour.
To Curtis. Then he called out watch, watch, I am robbed of my hat? - Yes.
That was all he said? - Yes, he did not say he was robbed of any thing else, he was on the ground, he complained of nothing but the loss of his hat, he did not mention any money that I heard till he got into the watch-house.
I had been over in the Borough on some business of my master's, it was twelve o'clock, and I went in to have some oysters for my supper, and I saw there three soldiers and David Mackintosh sitting all together, as if they had been of one company; they were sitting quite quietly together, and appeared to me as it the, had come out of the court which comes out of Tothil street into the great Ambry; some conversation passed between them but I did not hear it; presently this young man in the brown coat snatched his hat off his head and pushed him down or shoved him down, he fell, he said we will have this, I immediately made after him, and he did not run above two roods, and I caught hold of him, hat was Stroud; I did not hear any cry out till I had hold, he never spoke after he was on the ground, then I hallooed out for the watchman, and as he was coming up the other young man pushed him aside, and he got up again and made after him, but I called him back, and said let us take this and deliver him to the watchman, and that is all know of him, I never saw this young man before.
From this slight view of the man in the red coat, how can you be sure that is the same man? - I saw the face plain before any thing of this happened; they were all sitting together.
Then they were not one going one way and the others pursuing? - No, not till this hat was snatched off as I saw, I lodged the prisoner in the watch house, I know no more.
Mr. M'Nally. They appeared to be persons sitting in a friendly manner? - They did.
I am one of the patrole; I saw the two watchmen taking a man to the watch house, I followed them; I heard this man giving
I was constable of the night, this Curtis and another brought in Burrows, and Mackintosh came and gave a charge, and said he had been robbed of six shillings and sixpence and his hat; I searched Burrows but I found nothing upon him but some halfpence and his black collar; by the time that was done a woman came to the watch-house door and threw in a hat, and said there was the hat and that the other party was in the Broad Sanctuary; and in about ten minutes after Stroud was brought in; in the hurry I forgot to search Stroud, but I searched him immediately after he was locked up, there was nothing found upon him except halfpence.
Jury. Was Mackintosh sober when he came to give the charge? - He appeared to me to be the same as he is now.
Court to Prosecutor. You are quite sure you are not a waiter at a publick house in Holborn? - No.
Never? - Never.
Had you or had you not any acquaintance with either of these two prisoners or with the three soldiers before you saw them that night? - No.
Have you ever seen any of them before? - Not to my knowledge.
You said that they abused you and called you names? - My lord, it was the name when Stroud laid hold of me, they said knock him down, that was the very name that they said and ran off.
But that is not calling you names? - No more; they were talking to themselves, but I do not know any thing more, the other men stopped and Stroud was behind, then they stood, and Stroud came and I laid hold of him, and says I give me my own; and he knocked me down, and I called for the watch.
Was not you afraid to attack three soldiers that had bayonets? - I was afraid.
How came you to follow them? - To get some assistance; I always had hold of Burrows by the coat, and these other men did not come to his assistance, but they stopped till I took the hat out of his hand.
PRISONER BURROW's DEFENCE.
We were coming home and met this Mackintosh in the Ambry with some girls, just against this dark passage, and I heard Mackintosh say he had lost five shillings and sixpence; we were standing by, and that is all I know about it.
Prisoner Stroud. I have nothing to say in my defence.
Court to watchman. You was near this passage? - My box is within one hundred or one hundred and twenty yards from it, I was at my box when I heard the cry.
Court to Wilson. Did you see any girl about the place at that time? - No, I did not take any notice of any such thing, I did not see any.
Did you observe that any one had hold of the others coat? - I did not observe any such thing, the first thing I observed was the snatching of the hat.
BOTH NOT GUILTY .
Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice WILSON.