3rd January 1853
Reference Numbert18530103-196
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown; Guilty > unknown

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196. GEORGE PIKE and BENJAMIN SAMUELS , stealing 1 sack, value 2s.; the goods of the Eastern Counties Railway Company, the masters of Pike.

MESSRS. BALLANTINE and ROBINSON conducted the Prosecution.

THOMAS HOWARD . I know the premises of the Eastern Counties Railway Company—I was in the service of Mr. Bass, who had some ale stores adjoining, but he has now given them up, and they belong to the Company—on 2nd Dec. we were moving Mr. Bass's property out, and the Company's grain was being brought in at the same time; between 8 and 9 o'clock I saw the prisoner Pike bring a full four bushel sack out of the ale store, and put it on a hand truck—I believe it was Samuels who was with the truck; I had never seen him before—I had seen the truck in the yard at half past 7 o'clock, and Samuels was walking in the yard—as soon as the sack was in the truck, Samuels dragged it out, and Pike went off to his work—on the following Monday inquiry was made, and I described the truck to the policeman—the same truck was afterwards shown me by Puddiford at the police court.

Cross-examined by MR. PARRY. Q. You mean it is like the truck? A. Yes; I could swear to it if I saw it—trucks are very much alike—we begin work at half past 7 o'clock; Tom Davis was working with me when I saw this—it occupied about a minute or two.

Pike. Q. Was it before or after breakfast? A. Between 8 and 9 o'clock; I do not know whether you had had your breakfast.

MR. ROBINSON. Q. What did you notice particular about the truck? A. It had the "T" that goes across the pole broken off, and there was a piece of iron along the side—the truck I saw at the police court had the same peculiarities—I gave that description to the policeman before it was shown me.

THOMAS DAVIS . I was employed at Mr. Bass's ale store, at the Eastern Counties Railway; on 2nd Dec., I was at work with Howard, and saw Pike carry a sack out, and put it on a truck—I think the person who was with the truck is Samuels, but I only saw his back then; I had seen Samuels outside the gate before I came in, I saw his face then—he was thirty or forty yards from the gates, and the truck was there, and no one else with the truck—directly the sack was off Pike's back, the person, who I believe to be Samuels, drew it away in the truck.

Cross-examined by MR. PARRY. Q. You are not positive that it was Samuels with the truck, but positive you saw him outside? A. I think he was the man who brought the truck out.

MR. BALLANTINE. Q. Was Pike the man? A. I swear to him—I never saw Samuels before, but I believe he is the man—I noticed the truck; I can swear to it.

GEORGE DYSON . I live at 33, Buckingham-street, Islington, and am employed by the Eastern Counties Railway Company, at their warehouse; we received a quantity of grain, on which I put tickets on 2nd Dec.; they were all correct then—on the 6th I missed one sack of wheat, three barley, and one beans—of late Pike has been a sweeper, and a man who looks after the sacks and has access to the sacks in the course of his duty—I did not authorise Pike to take any sacks out on the morning of 2nd December.

Cross-examined by MR. PARRY. Q. Was there any other person than you from whom he could receive orders? A. Only from Mr. Crisp, he is here.

Pike. Q. Have you not seen men go out with sacks over their shoulders when it is wet? A. I have seen them go out so, but I never gave them authority.

MR. ROBINSON. Q. Would they have authority to take full sacks out? A. Not without orders.

GEORGE CRASKE . I am one of the foremen at the Eastern Counties Railway; on 6th Dec., I asked Pike if he had taken any sweepings from the "D" floor, he said, "No"—I then asked if he had taken from "M" or "N," which are the next to "D," and the floor from which these sacks were missed—he said, "No," he had not been in there since last Friday—I did not give him any authority on Friday to take any sack out—I then asked if he was certain he had not put a sack of grain on a hand cart—he said, "Certainly not"—I told him to be sure about it—he said he had no business to put anything on a truck without my sanction, and he had not done it—this conversation was between 10 and 11 o'clock, and when he went to his dinner I watched him to Robin Hood-lane, which is a quarter of a mile, or more, from the Company's premises; I saw him go into a yard there where the prisoner Samuel's premises are—I left him there—I cannot say how long he remained there, he came back to his work at the usual time—he was taken into custody on the same day, a short time afterwards.

Cross-examined. Q. When did you see him go to Samuels'? A. On the Tuesday, the robbery was on the Friday; no one gives orders for the removal of goods, but me or Dyson—I cannot swear what this sack contained.

Pike. Q. Have you not known that we take sacks on our shoulders when it is wet? A. I have known it, but you never asked me for a sack.

MR. ROBINSON. Q. Supposing they ever put a sack over their shoulders, would it be their duty to bring it back again? A. Yes; a full sack would not be likely to keep the rain off their shoulders.

WILLIAM GAVIN . I am an inspector on the Eastern Counties Railway. On 8th Dec., after the examination at the police court, I went with Puddiford to a room I was told was occupied by Pike's wife—I have not heard Pike say where he lived—I had the address from the charge sheet.

GEORGE CRASKE re-examined. I know where Pike lived, but I forget the name of the street—it is No. 81, not far from Gravel-lane—I have only lived six months in London—the street is not far from the Tower, and runs parallel with the dead wall of the docks, which is on one side—Gravel-lane runs into the street, it was the address he had given at the police court—I heard him give it, and saw it taken down.

WILLIAM GAVIN continued. The house I went to was No. 81, Pennington-street, which has houses only on one side, and a dead wall on the other—Gravel-lane runs into Pennington-street at one end, and Ratcliffe Highway at the other—when I opened the door I was followed by Puddiford, and I called his attention to the state of the floor which was covered over with sacks lald edge to edge, and in some places secured to the floor, to form a

carpet—I found this sack among them (produced), it is marked, "T. and W. E. Coote, St. Ives"—I went to the top of the house, and found this new plain sack (produced) lald down by the side of the bed—the room was occupied by a lone woman—in the back yard I found a quantity of sacking cut up, and in the back kitchen I found a large box containing two or three bushels of oats.

JOSEPH PUDDIFORD (policeman, K 276). I went with Gavin to Pennington-street, in a little back room I found this sack (produced) doubled up, it is marked, "Eastern Counties Railway Company. "On 7th Dec., about 7 or half past 7 o'clock in the evening, I apprehended Samuels at a beer shop in Robin Hood-lane—I told him, I took him for receiving a sack containing grain from the Eastern Counties Railway warehouses—he said, "I do not know where they are"—I said, I meant the old pepper warehouses that used to belong to the East India Dock Company—he said, "I do not know where they are"—I said he must go to the station, he said, "I am your humble servant"—he is a corn dealer—I searched his premises, and found oats, beans, and I think a few peas—I received a description of a truck from Mr. Craske; I searched for it, but it was gone then.

Cross-examined by MR. PARRY. Q. Do you know how long Samuels has lived in that neighbourhood? A. About two years.

GEORGE CRASKE re-examined. This sack belongs to the Eastern Counties Railway Company, it has their mark on it—I found the truck at the back part of Samuels' premises—I had my attention directed to the peculiarity of the truck, by Howard and Davis—there were other trucks there, but I took this one because Davis was with me.

Pike's Defence. I have been nine years in the company's service, and always took sacks home to keep me dry, and nothing was ever said; I took these sacks home wet, and they were not dry when found.

(Samuels received a good character.)



Pike was further charged with having been before convicted.

JAMES EVES (policeman, H 14). I produce a certificate of Pike's conviction (read), it is dated 3rd April, 1843—he was ordered to be imprisoned two months—the prisoner is the same man.

GUILTY. Aged 59.— Confined Twelve Months.

(There was another indictment against Pike.)

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