ELIZABETH LEWIS, JAMES MERRICK.
15th June 1857
Reference Numbert18570615-719
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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719. ELIZABETH LEWIS (19) and JAMES MERRICK (21) , Robbery on Oliver Tomkins, and stealing from his person 1 watch, value 3l.; his property.

MR. DOYLE. conducted the Prosecution.

OLIVER TOMLINS . I am a porter, living at Collier's Row, Doctor's Commons. On the night of 12th May, between 12 and 1 o'clock, I was in Goswell Street, near the Church, on my way home from a club meeting in Oxford Street, Hoxton—I met the prisoners, and the female spoke to me, and used indecent language—I turned round, and Merrick knocked me down and gave me two black eyes—he fell with me on the ground, and took my watch from my waistcoat pocket; I missed it before he got off me, and said, "He has taken my watch away"—I had seen it safe about five minutes before—he ran across the road, and I picked up my cap and followed him, but lost sight of him—the woman ran along with him, and I lost sight of her—I got a policeman, and he took me to Little Arthur Street—I saw the prisoners there together, and said, "That is the man who has taken my watch"—I was a little the worse for liquor—I am able to say positively that Merrick is the man.

Cross-examined by MR. SLEIGH. Q. What time were you at this club? A. I cannot exactly say—it is a clothes club—I did not get jolly; I was a little the worse for liquor—Mr. Laney had been with me at the club; he was perfectly sober—we were all drinking at the club—there was not a fight going on in the street—there were not several people standing close to the place where I was knocked down, and scuffling and talking together—this was all the work of a moment; he took my watch, and made off as quickly as he could—we left the club at about half past 11 o'clock—we had stopped on the road, and went into another public house, but my friend had nothing—I cannot tell where that public house was, or how long we stopped—it was not between 1 and 2 o'clock before I gave information of the robbery—I have not been drinking this morning—it was not considerably after 1 o'clock when I spoke to the police constable—it was between 12 and 1 o'clock when this happened, but I was not sensible when I got up—I did not tell the policeman that the man wore a smock frock, nothing of the kind; I did not give a description of him at all—when I saw the prisoners

coming out of the court, I said to the policeman, "Those are the parties who robbed me"—I had previously told the policeman that it was a man and woman who robbed me—as soon as I got up, I picked up my cap and followed the prisoner, but they were out of sight—the policeman was the first person we met, and the first person I told that I had been robbed.

MR. DOYLE. Q. Were you very much confused after this struggle? A. Yes—I went immediately in search of a policeman—I cannot say what time it was.

WILLIAM LANEY . I am a labourer, of No. 5, Upper Thomas Street. I was with Tomlins in Goswell Street, on the night of 12th May, and when we were opposite the Church, between 12 and 1 o'clock, the prisoners were standing against the railings—the female spoke to Tomlins, but I did not hear what she said—Tomlins turned round, and they had a few words, and Merrick struck him three or four times, and he fell down—I turned round to pick him up, but I did not know whether Merrick was on hint or not—I cannot say whether Merrick fell, but as soon as I picked Tomlins up, he put his hand into his pocket, and said, "My watch is gone"—his chain was hanging out—Merrick ran, and the female followed him in the same direction; I saw them going across the road, and we followed them, and met a policeman, who said, "You follow me"—we went with him, and he took us to No. 1, Little Arthur Street—we watched there a few minutes, and out came Merrick and the female prisoner—I can swear he is the man—they were taken into custody—I had seen Tomlins' watch safe five minutes before.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you know the prisoners before? A. No—Tomlins and I left the club together—it was a little after 12 o'clock when we left Hoxton—I had only belonged to the club about four months, and had only been there three times—I do not know how far it is from where this took place; it may be a mile, and it may be two miles—we walked straight from the club to the place where he was robbed; we never stopped anywhere—we did not stop to have a little drop of drink—the female spoke to Tomlins, and they were jawing each other before he was knocked down—I was perfectly sober, still I cannot tell you how long we were walking from the club to the spot; I never timed it—it was several minutes after Tomlins was robbed that he gave the prisoners into custody—we left the club at 12 o'clock; I know that by their shutting up the public houses; they shut the club up, and would draw no more beer—I never looked after the public houses we passed, to see whether they were shut up, and never walked into one; I have no doubt of that—the moment the prisoners came out, Tomlins said, "Those are the people"—he had previously told the policeman that a man and woman had robbed him—he did not tell the policeman that it was a man with a smock frock; he described him to the policeman by his features, and he might have described him by his dress—I will not say whether he did or did not say that he had a smock frock on, and looked like a countryman—we were not talking to some girls in the street after the robbery; I spoke to nobody before I spoke to the policeman—I cannot answer for what my friend did while I was running after Merrick and before Tomlins—I did not call out "Police!" when Tomlins was knocked down, nor did he at that moment—when Merrick was given into custody he said that he was in the house with the woman, and that it was a mistake—I saw no people fighting in the street when Tomlins was knocked down—I decidedly did not go into a public house from the time I left the club; I walked straight home with my friend, side by side, till

this occurred—I mean to tell you that deliberately on my oath—if anybody says that we went into a public house, it is a downright falsehood—we did not make the policeman make some inquiries at the houses in the court—I did not hear him ask for a man with a smock frock, or for anybody.

MR. DOYLE. Q. Did your club meet at a public house? A. Yes, it is a good bit past the Church, but I am a stranger there—it is the Robin Hood, at Hoxton—it was 12 o'clock when we left.

MR. SLEIGH. to OLIVER TOMLINS. Q. What are you? A. I am in the employ of Mr. Spiers, of Bridge Street, Blackfriars—I was here yesterday—I remember speaking to two women outside the Court about this case—I did not go up to them, and say, "I will not appear against Merrick if you will pay me to stop away; I will not go before the Grand Jury"—(Two women were brought into Court)—those are the women I spoke to—on my solemn oath I did not say to them that I would not go before the Grand Jury if they would pay me to stay away, nor to anybody else.

MR. DOYLE. Q. Did you address them? A. No, they addressed me; they had been watching me—the young one spoke first; she said, "Is the case come on?"—I said, "I do not know; I expect we had better wait here all the morning"—she said, "Are you going to have something to drink?"—I said, "No," and would not stop with her—the father and mother came down to my place; they did not ask me not to go before the Grand Jury, and I said nothing about it to them.

GEORGE MATTOCK . (Policeman, G 162). On the night of 2nd May, about half past 1 o'clock, Tomlins and his friend met me by Bell Alley, Goswell Street—Tomlins said that he had been knocked down—(he was then about a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half from Hoxton Church, about half an hour's walk—I do not know the Robin Hood)—I took them into Little Arthur Street, and was listening by the door of No. 2, and the prisoners came up from Golden Lane, and were going into No. 1—they were inside the passage, and I said, "I want you," and called them back, and turned my lamp on, and Laney said, "They are the parties;" Tomlins also identified them—I told Merrick the charge; he said that he knew nothing about it—I did not hear what the female said.

Cross-examined. Q. Had you been on your beat for a long time? A. Yes—I thought this had occurred just at that moment; Tomlins was bleeding freely from the eyes—I did not search down that alley for a man with a smock frock—Laney said, the first moment I came up, that he thought the man had a smock frock on—I did not give them time to describe the hat of the person; I said, "You come with me"—Merrick did not tell me that it was a mistake; he said that he knew nothing about it—it was to the effect that he was not guilty, and had nothing to do with the matter—I searched him, but found nothing.

JURY. Q. When you saw them, were they coming in a direction from the place where the robbery happened? A. Yes, and towards the house where the girl lives.

(Merrick received a good character.)

NOT GUILTY .


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