26th October 1803
Reference Numbert18031026-75
VerdictsGuilty; Guilty
SentencesTransportation; Transportation

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779. JOSEPH BENNETT and MARY SMITH were indicted, the first, for feloniously stealing, on the 21st of October , three yards of carpet, value 12s. seven yards of printed cotton, value 21s. four yards of check for bed-furniture, value 6s. and ten pounds weight of bed feathers, value 30s. the property of Edward Foxall and James Fryer ; and the other, for receiving the same, knowing them to have been stolen .(The case was opened by Mr Watson.)

JAMES FRYER sworn. - I am an upholsterer , in partnership with Edward Foxall , in Old Cavendish-street ; the prisoner, Bennett, has been our porter since last February; I received some information, in consequence of which I measured some check, and found that a part of it was gone, about four yards, or four yards and a quarter. Our foreman, Edward Pettifer , brought a piece of check which corresponded exactly with that which remained; I then missed some cotton and some carpeting; in consequence of a search-warrant, we found some cotton and some carpeting at the house of the prisoner, Smith, which exactly joined the place from which they were cut off; we also found a quantity of down feathers, about ten pounds weight, of the same quality with those I had in my feather-room; they are of a particular sort; I am positive they are mine.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. Have you any other partner besides Mr. Foxall? - A. No.

Q. You are in a considerable way of business? - A. Yes.

Q. You had not taken stock for some time before this? - A. No.

Q.Supposing your foreman and you were out, have you any body else who would serve in the shop? - A. Yes, my clerk and my partner.

Q. Are they here? - A. No.

Mr. Watson. Q. Has it been your habit to sell such pieces of carpeting as this? - A. Only when it is made up; if any body that we know in the same way of business wanted a remnant, we should let them have it.

JOHN STEVENSON sworn. - I live in Marybone-lane, about thirty or forty yards from the prisoner, Smith's, on the opposite side of the way: On Tuesday, the 18th of October, I saw the prisoner, Bennett, go into Smith's house, about a quarter past eight o'clock in the morning, with a bag of feathers; he gave it to Mrs. Smith, and she put it on the stairs; I heard her say, I expected you would have brought them before. On Thursday, the 20th, I saw him again, about ten minutes past eight o'clock in the morning; he had on a brown great coat, buttoned up; I had a suspicion of him, and watched him; he went in very quick; he came out again in about ten minutes, with his clothes unbuttoned, both coat and waistcoat, and an apron loose; I followed him into Oxford-

street, and there I lost sight of him; I came back past Mrs. Smith's door, and saw her opening some check; in about ten minutes after, Mrs. Smith's little girl brought some cotton and some check to my house for sale, but I sent them back, having first measured the check; I did not measure the calico; I afterwards gave information to Messrs. Foxhall and Frver.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. What are you? - A. A cabinet maker and joiner, and fell brokery goods.

Q. You keep an old iron-shop? - A.No, a broker's shop; I make new furniture, and from people that I work for I take old furniture in exchange.

Mr. Gurney. Q. What shop is Mrs. Smith's? - A. An old iron-shop.

ANN WILSON sworn. - I live next door to Mrs. Smith; I have seen the prisoner, Bennett, go into Mrs. Smith's almost every morning for three months; the most that I have seen visible was horsehair; about a fortnight ago, I saw him carry in a carpet; at other times I have seen him carry in nails, and small pieces of bed furniture; I have seen him go in four or five times a day frequently; I gave information of it to Mr. Fryer.

Mr. Knapp. Q. What shop do you keep? - A.- A. I sell tobacco, snuff, and old clothes.

Stevenson. Mrs. Smith's little girl took back the check; I sent for it the next morning, and Pettifer had it from my house; it was cut so that it was very visible it came off the same piece.

EDWARD PETTIFER sworn. - I received a piece of check from Mr. Stevenson; I took it home, and matched it with some check in the warehouse; I found it had been cut off that piece; I then returned it back to Stevenson, and then took it to Mrs. Smith's; I told her I was the person who wanted to buy that check; she said she could not take less than four shillings, and I gave her four shillings for it.

RICHARD LOVETT sworn. - I am a Police Officer, and went with a warrant to search Mrs. Smith's house, on the 21st of this month, and found two pieces of Turkey-pattern carpet, and two pieces of Scotch carpet; she made no objection to my searching.

JOHN WARREN Sworn. - I am an officer, and was with Lovett; I found three pieces of cotton, a pillow-case, which appears to have had feathers in it, a quantity of feathers, and the key of the feather-room in his pocket.(The articles produced, and identified by the prosecutor.)

The prisoner, Bennett, called four witnesses, who gave him a good character.

Bennett, GUILTY , aged 29.

Transported for seven years .

Smith, GUILTY , aged 32.

Transported for fourteen years .

Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Thompson.

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