THOMAS BENNETT, Theft > housebreaking, 4th December 1828.

Reference Number: t18281204-55
Offence: Theft > housebreaking
Verdict: Not Guilty
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Before Mr. Baron Hullock .

56. THOMAS BENNETT was indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of John Follett , on the 1st of October , and stealing 1 cloak, value 42s; 2 dresses, value 26s.; 3 shawls, value 42s.; 1 scarf, value 10s., and 1 gold pin, value 5s., his property; 4 coats, value 4l.; 1 waistcoat, value 5s.; 2 pairs of trousers, value 25s.; 4 shirts, value 10s., and 1 pair of stockings, value 6d. , the goods of Thomas Andrews .

JOHN FOLLETT . I live at No. 16, Great Ormond-street . I was out of town when this happened.

THOMAS ANDREWS. I lodge in Mr. Follett's house - I am related to him. On the 1st of October I went out not later than seven o'clock in the morning - I returned at a quarter to nine in the evening, and in consequence of information, I made search, and missed four coats, two waistcoats, and the other property stated as mine - I had seen the shirts and part of the linen in the morning, when I put them into my drawers, and had worn one of the coats on the Sunday previous; as far as I can remember all the clothes were then safe - they were kept in drawers in my bed-room, which is the back-attic; the drawers were not locked.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. Did you leave any body in the house? A. Yes, all my family, who reside there.

SARAH TERRELL . I am servant to Mr. Follett. On Wednesday, the 1st of October, in the evening, nobody but me was at home; I had occasion to go up stairs about half-past seven o'clock, and in mistress' bed-room I found the bed-side carpets very much disordered and tumbled - I had a candle with me; I then went into the front-attic, and found the window open - it is an old fashioned casement-window; it was taken off the hinges, and put on the parapet - I had been in the room at a qurater-past six o'clock that evening, and fastened that window; I came down stairs, and went out at the door to call for assistance - I saw Lipscomb, the constable, passing the front of the house; I called him, and we examined the house together, but did not miss the property at that time - while we were searching, Medlycott, another officer, knocked at the door with my mistress' wearing-apparel; I went to the back-attic, and found Mr. Andrew's bed very much disordered, and the lock of a writing-desk had been forced - I had been in that room also at a quarter-past six o'clock, and left the bed smooth; it appeared to have been disturbed by the desk being put on it to be forced.

JAMES MEDLYCOTT . I am an officer of Bow-street On the 1st of October, in the evening, I was in Great Ormond-street on duty, with Wells and two other officers; I was going up the street about a quarter before eight o'clock- a man passed me on the same side of the way; the back of his coat being white attracted my attention - I looked over the way, and saw the prisoner carrying a bag; it was dark, but there was light from the lamps - I went after him, and when within four or five yards of him, at the entrance of Queen-square, he threw the bag down and ran away; I pursued - he got over the iron railing into the enclosure of the square; I got over also, and pursued - he ran once or twice up and down the garden; I was close to him, but could not lay hold of him - he got over the rails again, and over some more rails into a gentleman's private-garden, at the north end of the square, and was within a yard of the further railing to get into Guildford-street when I laid hold of him; I had got over; I never lost sight of him from the time the bag was thrown away - the prisoner is the person I seized; I speak most positively to his person - I found the bag in possession of a man named Cox, after I

took the prisoner; I cannot say it was the same - I took the prisoner to a public-house at the end of Ormond-street and searched him - and found a pair of Wellington-boots, one in each coat-pocket; the soles were wet, as if they had been recently worn - on further searching his trousers, I perceived something white fall from some part of his dress on to the ground, and found it was a garnet-pin, stuck on to a piece of paper, with the name of Follett on it; I picked it up immediately, at his feet - it has remained on the paper ever since: I found Cox and another officer, standing with the bag, very near the spot where I saw him throw it away- neither of them are here; it appeared to be the same bag- I had not seen them take it up; we all went to the watch-house together, with the prisoner and the bag - it contained the articles in the indictment. I had no conversation with the prisoner, except when I was locking him up; he asked me to give him some water.

Cross-examined by MR. BRODRICK. Q. The person you took to the watch-house escaped, did not he? A. He did; I described his person to the solicitor of the parish, and he was re-apprehended on the 30th of October - I described him as having a dark complexion, with dark whiskers, dark eyes, and dark hair; he wore whiskers at that time - he had a dark coat on, but whether blue or black I cannot tell. An advertisement was put into the papers, I suppose from the description I gave, but I had nothing to do with correcting it; I described him as having a black waiscoat and black silk handkerchief - I took particular notice of him at the watch-house, and knew him by his features - I gave the description from my observation of him.

COURT. Q. You took him within a yard or two of the rails, how did you get him out of the garden? A. The gates were opened by the servant; I took him to the public-house, and never let go of him - Wells had hold of him with me; he might have been in the public-house a quarter of an hour - I partly opened his clothes; his coat was not taken off - I found in the morning that he had escaped through the roof of the watch-house; I am quite certain of him; he at that time wore whiskers, and with running I suppose his complexion altered - he was hot with running: I entertain no doubt whatever of him - I gave the description of him four or five days after.

JAMES WELLS . I am a Bow-street patrol. On the 1st of October, I was on duty in Great Ormond-street, with Medlycott, about a quarter to eight o'clock, and saw the prisoner at the bar carrying a bag, on the opposite side to me; I crossed over to him to look at the bag, and saw another one cross to him - he met him half-way in the street; I came back to Medlycott, and went up to the man again to take hold of the bag - he dropped it at my feet, ran down Queen-square, and got over the rails into the corner; Medlycott pursued him - I took the property and gave it into the care of Cox the conductor, who was with us, and went to assist Medlycott: the man was then in the gentleman's private garden - I got over, and came up soon after Medlycott apprehended him; I handcuffed him - we took hold of him, one on each side and took him to a public-house in Great Ormond-street - I had an opportunity of seeing his face as I went along; he was searched at the public-house- that occupied ten minutes or a quarter of an hour; his hat was taken off - I saw the pin picked up between his feet, but did not see it dropped: I accompanied him to the watch-house, each of us holding him as before, and there we left him; the prisoner certainly is the man - he has had his whiskers taken off since; I had never seen him before -Cox followed us to the watch-house with the bag; he was not half a dozen yards behind - I left him at the corner of the square while I pursued, and found him at the same place when I came back; I had been absent about ten minutes - I knew the bag by the state of it, and the colour, which was a dirty brown; I have every reason to believe it is the same - there are some holes in it, which I noticed at the time; Medlycott took the pin - it was produced at Bow-street.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. It was dirty? A. Yes, but not with mud, by what I could see - it was not a dark night. I saw an advertisement in the "Hue and Cry," and was with Medlycott when he gave the description - he gave it principally himself; I do not know that I said any thing: I heard him describe him as of a dark complexion - he is not a fair man; he has not got dark hair - I do not know that he was described as having dark hair; he described him as having dark eyes - his eyes are not dark; I have seen many fairer men than him: Hatton was the constable of the night - he was not there when we took him; he came afterwards, but did not see the prisoner, to my knowledge; there was only a woman there - Medlycott locked him up himself; neither Hatton, Cox, nor the woman were examined by the Magistrate, but a man was who assists in locking up - he was there when we called afterwards; he is not here: he was asked if he was the man, and said he did not know him - he had no opportunity of seeing him; what he said was not taken down.

EDWARD HUGGLESTON . I am a Bow-street patrol. I was at the watch-house in Eagle-street about half-past eleven o'clock that night, and saw the person whom Medlycott had taken, and from the view I had of him I consider the prisoner to be the man; I will not swear positively to him, because I only put the light in his face, and looked at him, but it was a month afterwards that I saw him again; I apprehended him afterwards at a china-shop in James-street, Oxford-street, taking down the shutters - I told him he was my prisoner, for felony; I did not say what - he told me to let him take the shutters in; I said I would not- it was about half-past seven o'clock in the morning; I was passing the door: I had been looking about for him a good while - I seized him by the collar, and he held tight by the shutter; I pulled him away, and we fell into the kennel together - another man came to my assistance, and we took him straight to the watch-house - I took him, considering him the man I had seen in the watch-house, and who had escaped.

Q. What induced you to consider him the man? A. By information I had received; he had black whiskers on in the watch-house - they were shaved off when I took him.

Cross-examined by MR. BRODRICK. Q. You put the light in his face, I suppose, that you might know him again? A. To see if I had seen him before, and I remarked that I had not - I looked at him that I might know him again; I took him as much from my recollection of his person as any thing - I had received information, and when I saw him I considered he looked like the man, or I should not have taken him; he had no whiskers, but there was the mark all down where they had been, and they were

growing again - I have no doubt they had been shaved off just before; I consider that his hair is dark, (it is not light) and that he is of a dark complexion; I did not describe him as having a blue coat - I think there was a blue coat in his house when I searched it; I never told the Magistrate there was no blue coat - we brought no clothes away; Hatton was in the front-room of the watch-house when I went to look at the man - he did not go with me; his assistant was there, and at Bow-street, but was not examined - I do not believe he was asked a question by the Magistrate.

Q. Do you mean to swear no person asked him at the office, if the prisoner was the man who was at the watch-house, and he said he could not tell? A. He might, but I did not hear it; there were about fifty people in the office, and I might not hear it - I did not see Cox there; I saw Wells there, and was there all the time with him.

COURT. Q. You were at the watch-house on the night of the apprehension, about half-past eleven o'clock? A. Yes; Wells and Medlycott were there then - Hatton was in the outer-room; I do not know whether he went into the place where the prisoner was: the assistant opened the door for me - we did not continue there a minute.

WILLIAM WENTWORTH . I am a green-grocer. I was at the corner of Devonshire-street between seven and eight o'clock on this night, and heard an alarm - I ran down the square, towards the cry, and saw a man getting over the rails, and the officer after him; several persons were on the other side of the square - I got over, and assisted in the pursuit; he ran towards the top of the square, and then to the bottom - he was taken at last in Mr. Bainbridge's garden; I got into the garden, and he was taken - I assisted in taking him back; I took hold of his coat - he was taken to the public-house; I continued there all the while he was searched, and am certain the prisoner is the man - I held the candle while the officer searched him; I particularly took the candle to look at his face, to see if I knew him, and am quite certain of him - his face is not in the same state now; his whiskers have been shaved off: I call his hair dark, and his eye-brows dark, and a very full eye - his appearance corresponds with the description of the man I saw in the public-house; he is the man - I never saw him before, nor afterwards, till he was at Bow-street; I knew him there immediately.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. Did you see the advertisement in the Hue and Cry? A. No; I know the officers had given a description of him: I was not asked to describe him for the advertisement - I saw the officers the morning he escaped, but did not talk with them about his description; I have never been consulted about it- his complexion is dark; his hair does not appear so dark as when he had his whiskers on, but he had a hat on - when we began searching him the officer took it off, to examine him, but I did not notice his hair then; I noticed his whiskers more than his hair, and looked at his face: Medlycott called on me, and said he had the man in custody who committed the robbery, and I went to see him -I cannot say when that was; it was on the day of his second examination.

JAMES MEDLYCOTT . I produce the pin,

SARAH TERRELL . I know this pin to be my mistress' - I had not seen it for some time before, but it was stuck into this small piece of paper, which is a green-grocer's bill; it was on this bill the last time I saw it, and had been on it for two or three years.

The property contained in the bag was here produced and identified.

Prisoner's Defence. I am innocent, and have people to prove I was at home on the night of the robbery.

MARY RAWLINGS . My husband is a hair-dresser, and lives at No. 4, James-street, next door to the prisoner, who keeps a china-shop, and sells earthenware. On the afternoon of the 1st of October my husband was gone out, I saw the prisoner in the act of putting down one of his pans, and I spoke to him, and mentioned to him that my husband was gone to a sparring benefit, as I was very angry at his going, as it was a very busy day in the shop- it was a little after dark when I saw the prisoner; he was taking in his things - I told him where my husband was gone; he did not seem to answer me, but went in, and I did not see him again that night - I cannot say what time it was, but it was after dark; I never missed him from his business after that - I was in the habit of going out in the morning, and saw him in his business.

COURT. Q. At what time does he shut up? A. About ten o'clock; his wife also attends to the business.

DAVID BURTON . I have been in the army, and receive a pension on the first Wednesday in October, which was the 1st. I owed the prisoner 3s. 6d., and gave my wife a sovereign to go and pay him for a dozen plates, on the 1st of October.

MARY BURTON . On the 1st of October I went with my husband to receive his pension, and received a sovereign from him to pay the prisoner for some plates; I went the same night, and saw him in his own place, in James-street, about nine o'clock, and paid him - I found him in the shop.

COURT. Q. How long had you known him? A. Between six and seven months as a neighbour; we live next door - my husband is always paid on the 1st of October.

JAMES HUGENS . I am a coach-plater, and live in Craven-street, Soho. On the 1st of October, I bought some glasses at the prisoner's shop, and here is the bill of them- I bought them of him about a quarter-past eight o'clock in the evening: there is a receipt on the bill.

COURT. Q. How happens it that you recollect it was on the 1st of October? A. Why, I went to see a particular acquaintance, who lives in James-street, and went and bought the glass; I only know it was the 1st of October by that date being on the bill - I bought two cut tumblers; I never bought articles of him before - I received the bill at the time I bought them.


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