16th September 1824
Reference Numbert18240916-137
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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Middlesex Cases, Second Jury, Before Mr. Sergeant Arabin .

1379. WILLIAM SPARKS was indicted for stealing, on the 19th July , at St. Mary, Mattellon alias Whitechapel , one gelding, price 5 l. , the property of Daniel Hewitt .

DANIEL HEWITT . I am a rope-maker , and live in Albion-street, Commercial-road. I had a black pony, with a bald face - it was blind with one eye, and had a wall eye on the near side, and was eleven hands high. I had had him sixteen months. I turned him out at the back of the London-hospital, in an open field , where they are building. I turned him out there on the 18th July, and on the 19th I left him safe at half-past ten o'clock at night, and mis- it next morning about five, and have not found it - it was worth 5 l. I have made all the search possible for it.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Do you know the prisoner's brother Thomas - A. Yes.

Q. Did you see him on the 16th of this month - A. I was coming by, and he called me. I did not offer to take 5 l. and give up this prosecution; he asked me what my loss was, I said, about 7 l.; he said

"Will you make it up." I said it was gone too far, and left him.

Q. Did you not say,

"If you will give me 5 l. I will make it up," and he said his brother was innocent, and he would have nothing to do with it - A. No; he said his brother was innocent, and his father could give nothing towards it; he called me to him as I was passing, I did not go to him. It was in an open field where there are several ponies.

EDWARD LEHUPE . I am a watchman. My beat is facing this field; between eleven and twelve o'clock, on the night of the 19th July, I was on duty there, and saw the

prisoner - I knew him before personally, and cannot be mistaken in him. I saw him with a black poney - it had a bald face, and was about eleven hands high - it had a full eye and a wall eye; he had a birdle on it, and was leading it - he was in Green-street, three hundred yards from this field, leading it from the field, towards the New-road. I did not speak to him. I did not know whose pony it was, and have not seen it since; when I heard of the prosecutor's loss I told him.

Cross-examined. Q. You never saw it before - A. No. It was dark; I put my lantern up, and looked at the poney, so that I could pick it out from a thousand.

Q. Why not speak to him - A. His father and brother are in the habit of buying horses, I did not know but what it might be his.

Q. Why did you notice the poney - A. I knew him to be a suspicious character.

Q. Then why not instantly say

"Where did you get this poney" - A. I knew him well; I did not know whether it might be his or not: I did not speak to him. He came right past me, and I put my light right upon it as it passed by - he never stopped; my light shewed it as plain as possible. I did not know whether it was his or not, but I considered it my duty to take notice of it, in case it should be stolen.

Q. The prisoner's father could keep a poney in the field if he chose - A. Yes.

COURT. Q. What light had you - A. A bull's-eye light, which is a very strong light; the horse brushed me - I was close to it. There is a bar across the road, and he brought the pony on the foot-path; he knew me very well, and saw me.

MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Had he not time to put it back again before morning, as he saw you. A. He had - when I heard the horse coming, I hid my light, so that he did not see me till he came up; I thought it strange for a horse to come along there, as it is not a public road.

JURY. Q. Which side was the wall eye - A. On the near side.

RICHARD PLUNKETT . I am an officer of Whitechapel; I apprehended the prisoner on the 28th July, at the Black Dog public-house, Mile-end; I cannot find the poney.

Cross-examined. Q. He was quite publicly about. A. No; he was out of the way; he lives a quarter of a mile off.

COURT. Q. When did you hear of the robbery - A. Two days after - I was looking for him, but could not find him before - I do not know where he lives - he worked with his father; I could not find him there; I only went once, which was to enquire about the horse.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 22.

Recommended to mercy by the Jury, supposing him to have a good character, and that it was his first offence .

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