30th June 1825
Reference Numbert18250630-99
VerdictsGuilty; Guilty

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1148. EDWARD GIBBONS was indicted for stealing, on the 1st of June , sixteen bushels of malt, value 7 l. , the goods of Harvey Coombe and others, his partners; and JACOB HAMMERTON was indicted for feloniously receiving the same, well knowing it to have been stolen .

MR. ADOLPHUS conducted the prosecution.

THOMAS SHAW . I am in the employ of Messrs. Harvey Coombe, Delafield and Co.; they carry on business in Castle-street, Long-acre.

THOMAS HOWARD . I was in the employ of the prisoner. Hammerton; he is a barge-master . At the latter end of May he brought some malt from Kingston to London; I saw Gibbons come on board the barge, which was a-ground at Scotland yard; he was loading the waggon with the malt, to go to Coombe and Delafield's; I saw him take some malt out of two sacks; and another man who was with him, helped him to put it into a sack, which it filled, and they tied it up, and put it into the waggon - all the malt was put into the waggon, except eight sacks, which were left behind in the barge; Hammerton was in the barge at the time, but I cannot tell whether he saw it or not: the barge floated again about eleven o'clock, and we were waiting for the empty sacks to come back, to return to Kingston; they had the name of Richard Gally on them; Mr. Gally is dead, and his widow carries on the business; we had got the sacks back, and were going to Woolwich to get sand, when the officers came on board; a man of the name of Missen had come on board, and told me the eight sacks of malt had better be covered with a tarpauling, and Hammerton said I should do so; I said I had done it; the malt was not taken out of the sacks at the time of the last delivery - there was another delivery after Gibbons had gone away with the waggon.

COURT. Q. Did Hammerton hear what Missen said? A. Not to my knowledge - he was in the cabin, and said the tarpauling had better be pulled over, and I said I had done it.

Cross-examined by MR. CRESSWELL. Q. Is it not customary to carry empty sacks in your barge to empty damaged sacks into? A. Yes; I had seen Gibbons before in Scotland-yard.

Q. If he found a damaged sack was it not his duty to shoot it into another? A. Yes. Hammerton was in the cabin when Gibbons took the malt out. Sacks are sometimes short.

Q. In re-shooting the malt, is not some spilt sometimes? A. No, there are sacks placed all round and they are emptied into a measure, and returned into a sack: I cannot tell how many sacks we had on board - there were 380

quarters of malt; the malt taken out by Gibbons was put into a sack, and that was put into the waggon. We sometimes assist one another on the river - but I should not have taken any sacks on board, without my master's knowledge. I do not know whether he had given any orders for that malt or not.

MR. ADOLPHUS. Q. Suppose any sack of malt had been taken on board on the voyage, must you not have known it? A. I might not, because I was sometimes on shore - some of the malt was re-measured by meters, while Gibbons was there, before it was taken out of the two sacks.

Q. Were there any sacks on board marked

"Gally," that were not measured? A. Yes, they only measured four sacks. Gibbons and two other persons, whom I do not know, unloaded the malt.

THOMAS SHAW . I live at Messrs. Coombe and Delafield's. I received 390 quarters of malt from Mrs. Gally's barge - that was 780 sacks; when they came to the brew-house they were very slack - I examined them and saw that several sacks had been fresh tied - I cannot say how many - I pitched twenty-one sacks, all of which had been untied; I put them aside till I had unloaded the waggon; I then weighed them, and found them greatly deficient in weight - some of them 20 lbs. short.

Cross-examined. Q. Does not the meter take samples at the wharf? A. He takes samples of about four sacks - that would account for their being untied: I was not on the wharf at the time the meter took samples of these - the warehouse to which our sacks of malt are slung up is fifty or sixty feet high.

ALFRED TOMKINS . I am brewer at Messrs. Coombe and Delafield's. I saw the twenty-one sacks - they were all deficient in weight - they have been measured since by a meter, and were all deficient - they were sixteen bushels of malt deficient in the whole - in six sacks there was a deficiency of two bushels; I saw them measured at Scotland-yard, before they were loaded - they were then all correct - I think the meter measured three sacks which he took indiscriminately - the remainder were not measured - the twenty-one sacks appeared to have been all opened when we received them home. This grain was bought by our firm, but I do not know that it was paid for: Hammerton was captain of the barge.

ALEXANDER MITCHEL . I am a Thames-police officer. I went on board the barge Wellington on the 1st of June, with Mr. Gally's foreman and another man; she was shifted to the outside of the barges, ready to go away - I saw Hammerton on board, and asked if he was the master of the barge - he said he was; I had not then told him what I came about. I asked what he had got in the barge - he said empty sacks; I asked if all the malt was delivered - he said it was: I then proceeded to turn over a number of empty sacks, which laid in a bulk in the barge; while I was doing that, he said

"There are eight sacks of malt under that tarpauling;" I said

"You just now told me all your malt was delivered - how came you to tell me that?" he said he did not know; I asked him who it belonged to - he said he did not know. I then turned the tarpauling on one side, and under seven or eight other tarpaulings, I found eight sacks of malt, most of them marked Richard Gally, Kingston. I think one of them was different, but they were all in the name of Gally. I then took him and the malt, on board the police ship. I asked his name, his employer's name, and the barge's name; he said it was enough for him to be answerable for what he had done himself - that there were only four sacks of this malt that belonged to him, and for them he had paid the man who carried it out of the barge to the cart, to go to the brew-house, and the other four sacks were brought on board by Dick Missen, out of Downe's barge, that morning, and they had shifted them out of Downe's sacks into Gally's; Missen has absconded, and the other two men who assisted to carry the malt out of the barge. I then went to Battle-bridge, and found Gibbons in the Pindar of Wakefield, public-house. I told him he was wanted to go to the brewhouse about some malt being short: I put him in a chaise, and took him to the ship, where Hammerton was, and I heard Green, my brother officer, ask Hammerton, if that was the man he had given the sovereign to for the malt, and he said it was - Gibbons denied it, and Hammerton said

"It is useless denying it, the boy has told all about it, and you may as well tell the truth." Gibbons then said he had received a sovereign, but he did not know what Hammerton gave it him for.

CHARLES GREEN . I am an officer. I went with Mitchel to the Pindar of Wakefield - I got Gibbons out; I asked if he had been drawing malt for Coombe and Co. - he said he had; we went down to where Hammerton was, and there I heard the conversation which has been related: Gibbons said he had received the sovereign, but did not know what it was for - he said

"It is a bad job but we must make the best of it."

JOHN HORNE . I am in the service of Mrs. Gally, at Kingston. All the malt we make is for Coombe and Delafield; they have had all our malt for four years; these sacks of malt were all measured by one man, with one bushel, and one strike.

GIBBONS' Defence. I was obliged to shoot some bad sacks into good ones - some of the strings were broken, and we tied fresh ones.

HAMMERTON'S Defence. There were only six sacks short in my barge, and I am tried for twenty-one.

Three witnesses gave Hammerton an excellent character.



Transported for Seven Years .

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