18th September 1843
Reference Numbert18430918-2618
VerdictGuilty > unknown

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2618. WILLIAM GROOM was again indicted for stealing, on the 30th of Aug., I window blind, value 4s.; 4 account books, 4s.; 1 glue pot, 1s.; 62 harp strings, 10s.; 1 table cover, 1s. 6d.; 5 boards, 3d.; 2 wroppers, 1s.; and 200 pieces of wood called veneers, 3s.; the goods of John Norman, his master.

JOHN NORMAN . I searched the prisoner's premises last Monday fortnight, and found a window-blind, some account-books, a gallipot, harp-strings, table-cover, a wooden board, some wrappers, pieces of veneer, and solid wood—I can speak to some from their general resemblance, and I can positively swear to the account-books—I had lost one blind from Judd-street, and one out of my cellar in Cloak-lane—I believe the blind produced is mine, and the wood at the bottom of it is the wood that was on the blind in my cellar, but the canvas belongs to the one stolen from Judd-street—to have done that he must have taken both—I missed a box, containing 120 or 140 harp-strings—the prisoner had access to it—I asked him if he had seen it—he said no—some time after I inquired about it, and he said he should not wonder if we lost all the things in the house, if we kept that girl Elizabeth in the house—I spoke to the girl; her boxes were searched, but nothing found—a week or two after we lost two or three napkins from up stairs, and discharged her—this table-cover was in my care, and was lost from a sale at Tottenham-court-road—I had an allowance to make for it—the prisoner told me he was sorry to say he had taken it from there—here are a quantity of pieces of mahogany and veneer—this is a parcel of mazephyr, or unrated wood—it was not in the tariff, and escaped the duty at the docks—I am not aware of any parcel of this wood imported into this country, except what I had—I never sold any of it, only as manufactured—I missed veneers from time to time—I have upwards of a hundred pieces of this wood, some of it very small—I have every reason to believe all these articles are mine—the account-books were warehoused with me by Parrington and Co.—they were in a large cupboard, which he had access

to at times—I found some of the veneers and mahogany in a box under the prisoner's counter—he has a small shop in Dog-row, Bethnal-green—I know some of this wood as well as I should know the features of a person—here is a box made out of them, a zephyr wood—it has only been polished with wax—this is the wood I first missed, and discharged a man for—it is valuble, and is called snake wood—I lost eleven veneers of it, and it was said my foreman had stolen it.

Cross-examined. Q. What articles do you positively swear to? A. These three account-books—I have another, which I can swear to the writing on, but have no memorandum of the number of it, being in my possession at the time—I have sold about two cwt. of books, by private contract, to one Joel, but neither of these four, I am certain—the last sale to him was about two years ago—these ledgers are never parted with—I had a man named Bruce in my employ—I swear the veneers on this box are mine, but not the inside nor the banding—I swear to the sides, and believe the two ends are mine—here are a number of pieces of wood I can swear to—I missed veneers of snake, and think I may venture to swear to these—the bark is the same width as a piece I have brought—the top of the box is mazephy, but it is in three pieces fitted in—it is uncommon wood—the prisoner did not say the table cover was the refuse of a sale—he might—I allowed 2s. for it—the sunblind is worth 5s. or 7s.—I missed part of the blind the day the prisoner left—I discharged him for that, but did not tell him why, I only said he had been doing what was very wrong—I found it in the passage of his house.

HENRY MONTAGUE (policeman.) I took the prisoner in charge.

Witnesses for the Defence.

WILLIAM REEVE . I am a carpenter. The prisoner was apprenticed to me, and worked for me afterwards—he left me thirteen months last April—while with me he had two pieces of wood similar to the two long sides of this box—it was pieces of wood my son bought in London—he brought a great lot home—he is now in America, and I gave the prisoner what was left, as I should not use it—if I must say, I believe this to be the same; it is much like it—he made it into a little work-box like this—it is more than two years ago, and I should think this box has been made that time.

COURT. Q. You only speak to the sides? A. Only to the sides—I do not know the name of the wood at the ends, but there was some in the bundle I gave him similar to it, and like some that is down here; I mean this (the snake wood)—there was some of almost all sorts of fancy wood—there was some like this; I do not know what you call it—I have not seen the prisoner since he left me—both my sons are in America, and have been there three years and a half—they had the wood a little while before they left—I never made fancy boxes myself—there was not so much wood as is here—the prisoner's father works for me now—we are not related—I cannot swear to any one of these pieces, it is so long back—I did not examine them closely, or work any up—I cannot swear there was a single piece of this mazephyr wood in England three years ago—my sight is not good—I cannot see this wood well—not having spectacles, I thought it was mahogany (the mazephyr.)

PETER BRUCE . I have been employed by the prosecutor—I was there at the same time as the prisoner, off and on, and attended sales which Mr. Norman had—after every lot is cleared we sweep up the premises, and if there is a bit of wood or old phial we reckon it our perquisite, and master never said a word against it—I saw a sun-blind at the sale in Judd-street—the prisoner had that—he had worked at the sale as head porter—he asked if I would take the blind home for him—he made no secret of it—I remember a quantity of books being sold to Joel eight or nine months ago—I heard the prisoner

tell Joel he should like to have a book or two, and Joel handed over to him four or five books of this description as near as possible—this is one of them; I know by the writing inside, belonging to Mr. Parrington, it is the very book that Joel gave the prisoner—I do not think there was a dozen with this sort of cover—I have not the least doubt in the world of it—as to the others, there was a green covered book, and one or two white-covered—they were similar to these—I firmly believe they are the same—I have heard Mr. Norman say, in reference to sales, if there was any pieces of wood, old iron, rags, bones, &c., the men might sell it, and get a pot or two of beer; if it would raise a drop of beer we might have it—it is what is called the clearance—we had a sale at a large linen-draper's in Tottenham-court-road—Mr. Norman gave a man named Lillycrop, who is now dead, leave to take about two cwt. of rags—I firmly believe it was done with Mr. Norman's leave—I did not hear him give leave.

COURT. Q. Then, the sun-blind you took off the premises? A. No; I said I would not, as I had to go to the Strand—I do not know whether it was sound; I did not see it open—I did not know how he came by it—Joel lives in Petticoat-lane—I saw him last week, but did not mention this to him—I speak to the book by the form of the writing on the top leaf—I merely know the writing and the outside covers.

HENRY BRUNSAY . I live next door to the prisoner—I have seen this sun-blind at his house—I first saw it within two or three months—I was in the habit of assisting his wife to put it up outside his shop window.

COURT. Q. Where does the prisoner live? A. In Cambridge-road, a mile and a half from the prosecutor's—it was old—I cannot say it was not a serviceable one; it answered the purpose.

MR. NORMAN re-examined. The whole of the original writing in this book which the witness has looked at, has been cut out, and the writing which he swears to knowing as Parrington's is the prisoner's wife's writing, and was not in it when I lost it—it was a perfect book, and never sold.

GUILTY . Aged 31.— Confined One Year.

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