12th April 1809
Reference Numbert18090412-48
VerdictGuilty > theft under 5s

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356. ALICE BUNTING was indicted for feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Thomas Gibbs , no person being therein, about the hour of four in the afternoon, on the 1st of March , and stealing therein a bonnet, value 7 s, a cloak, value 2 s. a gown, value 4 s. four caps, value 2 s. six habit shirts, value 1 s. and a plated caddie spoon, value 6 d. the property of Thomas Gibbs .

THOMAS GIBBS . I live at No. 23, Woodbridge-street, Aylesbury-street, Clerkenwell , I am a painter ; I live in a lodging house belonging to Mr. Harrison, he lives in Aylesbury-street; the prisoner lodged in the next room to me.

Q. Who lodged in the room with you - A. Nobody but me and my wife; the prisoner's room adjoined mine; the rooms were separated by a partition and a door which was nailed up; the nails were of the prisoner's side.

Q. How long had she been in possession of this room - A. Four days. On Wednesday the 1st of March I went out about half after two o'clock, my wife was out, I locked the door and took the key with me; I came home alone, about half past four; I found my room door locked; I unlocked it; on my going into the room I found my wife's box on the bed, I left it by the side of the door under another box, it had been wrenched open; it was left locked; there were two pictures, a child's cap, and a shirt left in it; I found a bonnet and a red gown gone from the great box, that box was not locked.

Q. Before you examined the box what observations did you make about the room - A. When I entered the room I found the box on the bed; I examined the other box, and then I turned round and found the door between her room and mine open.

Q. Was there any lock upon that door - A. It was only nailed up with six or seven nails; the nails had been wrenched, and a bit of the wood cut off; I went through the door into the prisoner's room, she was not there.

Q. When did you see the prisoner afterwards - A. In about ten days after I met her in Beech-street.

Q. Had you been acquainted with her at all - A. I had been laid up with the rheumatism seventeen months - one night I laid myself down on the chair by the wainscot; I heard a moan, I said to my wife who is that, she said the young woman in the next room; I said go and see what is the matter with her; she went, she was laying on the boards without any thing over her; she brought her in; I gave her victuals, and kept her till eleven o'clock at night, thinking she was in distress. I met the prisoner in Beech-street, I said are not you a pretty creature; she said she would not run away. I brought her home to my wife, my wife asked her if she could tell her any thing about the things, she said she knew nothing at all about them; after keeping her from six o'clock to eleven, I went to Mr. Stanton the officer, he searched her, I saw two caps found upon her, a caddie spoon, two housewives, and one piece of gown.

Q. Did you ever find any of the other things - A. No.

MARY NEEDIS . Q. You and your husband live in the same house with Gibbs - A. Yes. On Wednesday the 1st of March, between three and four o'clock in the afternoon I saw the prisoner come down stairs with a parcel before her; she went out of the house and went towards Clerkenwell-green.

Q. Was that the same day that you heard of this room of Gibbs's being broken open - A. Yes.

MARY GIBBS . Q. You are the wife of Thomas Gibbs - A. Yes. I left my lodgings at seven o'clock in the morning; when I went out I left all my things in my box, and when I returned I missed all the articles that are mentioned in the indictment; this was on the 1st of March, and on the 10th she was found; she denied knowing any thing of these things; I told her that the cap she had on her head was mine; she immediately pulled off her bonnet, took the cap off, and chucked it in the window. After my husband was gone for the officer, I asked her what she had done with the things; she said after she got out in the street she did not know what she had done with them.

ROBERT STANTON . Q. You are the officer that was sent for - A. Yes. On the 10th of March I went to Mr. Gibbs' room; I found the prisoner there, I begged her to draw her hand out of her pocket hole; and in drawing it out she dropped a cap; she seemed unwilling for me to search her pocket; I told her I must. I took from her pocket a caddie spoon, two housewives, and a piece of old gown.

The property produced and identified.

The prisoner said nothing in her defence, nor called any witnesses to character.

GUILTY, aged 20.

Of stealing to the value of four shillings only .

Transported for Seven Years .

Second Middlesex jury, before Mr. Baron Thompson .

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