23rd November 1880
Reference Numbert18801123-51
VerdictGuilty > pleaded guilty; Guilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment; Imprisonment > penal servitude; Imprisonment

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51. JOHN CAMPBELL (28), FREDERICK SCOTT (21), JOSEPH WICKHAM (46), and JOHN GURNER (50) , Burglary in the dwelling-house of Robert Edward Fisher, and stealing certain goods and chattels therein.


MESSRS. POLAND and MONTAGU WILLIAMS Prosecuted; and MR. KEITH FRITH defended Wickham and Gurner.

JOHN WOOD . I am one of the warders of Newgate—the writing in the corner of this letter (produced) is Mr. Smith's, the Governor's, and these are his initials in the other corner—the, letter went out of Newgate—it was written by the prisoner Wickham—it was detained.

JOHN NEATE . I am a picture-frame and window-blind maker, and live at Mr. Fisher's, 118, Strand, with my wife and family—we occupy the basement, and my wife acts as housekeeper—Mr. Fisher does not live on the premises—Mr. Stennett, Mr. Fishers foreman, his wife and family, occupy the fourth floor—the first floor is used by Mr. Fisher as a show-room, and the second and third floors are let as offices to Mr. Cooper, an engineer—the access to those floors is by a private door in Arundel Street—inside the shop there is a staircase, leading up through the show-room to Mr. Stennett's apartments on the fourth floor—there is no door out of the show-room on to the staircase leading up to the second and third floors—the entranoe in Arundel Street communicates with the shop as well as the private part of the house, but has no communication with the show-room—Stennett closes the shop at night—about last January Campbell came into my rooms to take possession as a broker's man under a bill of sale—he was paid out on the 12th or 13th January—I saw him two or three times in the street between then and October last—on the 18th October I was at home and received a message, in oonsequenoe of which I went out and saw Cambell standing in Arundel Street, and we went into a public-house in Arundel Street, where I saw Wickham and Scott, whom I had not seen before—Campbell asked me about some picture-frames—he then said, "If I were living in that place I would not be short of 10l. with all that stuff about"—I don't know that the others could hear—they were about three yards off, and he spoke in an undextone—he asked me as to the means of getting into the show-room, and

where the property was kept—I had some further conversation with him, and he made an appointment to meet him at the Artichoke public-house, Clare Street, Glare Market, at 8 p.m. on the 20th—I went out, leaving the three there—I had been there about three-quarters of an hour—I subsequently told my wife, and the next day I told my brother, and on Wednesday, 20th October, I told Mr. Fisher, and by his directions I went to Bow Street and saw Inspector O'Calliaghan, and received instructions from him—from that time I acted entirely under the direction of the police—on the 20th I went to the Artichoke public-house, where I saw Campbell with a strange man, who I have not seen since—he then took me to the Grapes public-house, Whitehorse Yard, Drury Lane, and had some conversation—he then took me to the Bird-in-Hand public-house, Long Acre; while there, Campbell's wife came in and spoke to him—we then all went to the George, Stanhope Street, Clare Market—Campbell left his wife there, and took me back to the Bird-in-Hand—while we were there, Scott and Wickham came in—I recognised them as the men I had seen in the public-house in Arundel Street on the 18th—Campbell spoke to them aside—he then called me, and said he had told them the plans—he said "They are friends of mine," referring to Wickham and Scott, and that I had agreed to let them in—there was some conversation which I did not hear—I said I would agree to it if I was kept out of trouble—Wickham was the principal speaker—he asked me "Is there any means of getting into the shop from the private door?"—I told him "No, unless you go through the foreman's room at the top of the house"—we then went to the Lamb and Flag public-house in Rose Street, near Debenham and Storr's auction rooms—Wickham then asked me what kind of goods there were there—I told him I did not know, but I thought they were very valuable—we then, after ordinary conversation, went to a public-house in New Street—he again asked me if there was any possible means of getting through by the private door—I said, "No"—he then asked me if there was any money kept on the premises—I told him I did not know, but I should think there was the money taken during the day—he said, "Yes; I should think there was; I should think we could get 200l. or 300l. worth"—I said, "I should think so, or more than that"—then an appointment was made to meet on the 21st October, at the Bird-in-Hand, between 8 and 9 o'clock, and we parted—Campbell only followed up what the others said—on the 21st October I went to the Bird-in-Hand, as arranged, and saw Campbell, Scott, and Wickham—Campbell asked me if I could get him an impression of the street-door key—I told him no, because my wife kept it in her pocket—he then said, "Can't you get up in the night and take the key out of your wife's pocket and get an impression?"—I told him I did not know, but I would try—Wickham then said, "If we have the key we can go in when we like"—Wickham then asked Campbell if he had got "that," and he said, "No; I will go and get it"—Scott and Campbell went away, and in a short time Wickham was called out, and they were away for some time, and I went away a short time and came back and found all three prisoners there—Wickham then said to Campbell, "Have you got it?"—he said, "Yes," and gave him a gimlet—Wickham said, "That will do"—they then had some conversation together, and I heard Wickham ask Campbell if he could manage to go over the premises—Campbell then asked me if I would let him go over

the premises to see which was the best way of getting into Mr. Fisher's shop—I told him I did not know; I would try and take him over—I asked Wickham, "What are you going to do with the gimlet?"—he said, "It saves a lot of trouble and time"—I said, "What do you mean?"—he said, "We bore a hole in the doors or shutters, and then place a waxed end through the hole and tie it to the lock or bolts"—we then left the Bird-in-Hand and went towards the Strand—Wickham and Campbell together told me they were going to do a job in the Strand—I saw them across the Strand towards the Lyceum Theatre—I reported all this to the police the same night—the next Friday I went to the Howard Arms, in Arundel Street, and met Campbell—I left him at the Howard Arms—I then went down to Fisher's and let Campbell in, and sent my wife out a few minutes after—we had some conversation about picture frames—I then took him up to the second floor and showed him the partition dividing off the show-room—after a short time he went out, after making an appointment to meet me at the corner of Newcastle Street—at the time I was showing him the partition there were two constables, Scandrett and Chamberlain, concealed—I then went out and met Campbell at the Spotted Dog, at the corner of Newcastle Street—we then went to Theobald's Road—we went from there to the Bird-in-Hand, Long Acre—we waited outside a short time—Wickham and Scott came up, and Campbell told them he had been over the place, and he explained the premises to them—while this was going on Scandrett passed us and went into the public-house—he was in plain clothes—we all four went into the public-house and had some beer—they were suspicious of Scandrett, and Wickham said to Scott, "Follow him and see what he is; I don't like the looks of him"—Scott went out, and shortly after returned, and called out Wickham—Wickham went out, and was gone about five minutes, and returned and said they did not think he was anything, meaning the police, he did not look like one of them, and I told them that if they thought it was a policeman I had better get away—they said, "No, it is all right"—I told them I felt very fidgety, and thought I would go home—after Campbell explained to Wickham, Wickham said, "Can you get us the impression or the room-door key, if you cannot, the street-door key?"—I told him I did not know, but would try—Wickham then said, "We trust you in everything, and if you put us away, what benefit would it be to you? you will ruin me, as I have been away before; I have been convicted in the name of Wilson"—I told him I should not put him away—he said if I did it would be the death of him—Wickham said, "I have been had up on suspicion of stealing Captain Bonham's jewels, about 10,000l. worth, and I knew nothing about them; we done a job some time ago at Stevens's, in the Strand, in the same line as Fisher, and there was 20l. reward offered for that, and they never found us out"—Campbell asked Wickham if he had any money to pay for a drop of beer, and he said, "No, but I will go and get a drop of beer, though," and he went into the Bird-in-Hand and got a quart of beer on credit—Wickham said, "We must do that house in Garrick Street, as we must have some money somehow or other; we are depending upon that for our Sunday dinner"—I made an appointment with Campbell to meet him at Garrick Street on Saturday at 12 o'clock, to give him an impression of the key, if I could get it—on Saturday I went to the Bird-in-Hand with Campbell, and met Scott there—Wickham

came in afterwards and asked me if I had got the impression of the key—I told him no, but I thought I could get it by night—he asked me what time, and I told him not before 9 o'clock, during the time my wife was cleaning—on Saturday night I met Scott at the corner of Rose Street, and we went to Garrick Street—Wickham and Campbell came' up and asked me if I had got the impression of the key—I said "Yes," and I gave it to Wickham, and he gave it to Campbell—Campbell said, "It will do first-class." (At this stage of the proceedings Wickham pleaded guilty as an accessory before the fact.) I had several conversations and meetings with Campbell, Scott, and Wickham before the premises were attempted to be broken into—during some of these conversations a man named Jingle was mentioned—he is the prisoner Gurner—I saw Gurner on Monday morning, the 25th, at about 12 o'clock, at the Bird-in-Hand—the landlord said to Gurner, "How are you getting on, Jingle?"—shortly after Scott came in and spoke to Gurner; shortly after him came Campbell—then I heard Campbell tell Gurner that "Joe" wanted to see him—Gurner said, "I thought he would be here"—he then went away—on Monday night I saw Gurner at the Bird-in-Hand with Campbell and Scott—I was introduced by Campbell to Gurner—Campbell said, "This is a friend of ours, he is all right"—Gurner said, "That is all right as long as I know who is present"—Gurner then said, "Do you Know if the job will go off straight?"—I said, to the best of my knowledge I thought it would—Gurner then said, "I hope it will, as I have done lots of jobs for 'Joe' before, and do not wish to get myself into trouble"—I told him I thought it would be all right—on Tuesday, the 26th, at about 12.30, I went to the Bird-in-Hand again, and saw all the prisoners—Gurner said to Wickham, "Do you know when you will want me?"—Wickham then said, "Meet me here between 6 and 7 o'clock without fail to-night"—Gurner then left—we met again about 4 o'clock at the Drury public-house in Catherine Street—Jingle did not come in—I saw Jingle again on Wednesday, about 6.10 a.m., at the corner of Wych Street—he was with his Hansom cab; they just came out of the public-house as I got there—Campbell and Scott were then in the custody of the officers inside our premises—I said, "Make haste, they are waiting at the door for you"—Wickham then said, "What the d—and hell are you out here for?"—I said that they were getting anxious—Gurner then said, "Have they got the things ready?"—I said, "Yes"—Wickham then said to me, "Go on indoors"—I then went indoors and took up a bag that had been prepared before by the police inside, and I placed it in the cab which had followed me down Arundel Street, two doors past ours—Gurner was driving his cab—I put the bag in, and Wickham went and rapped at the private door, and said, "Come out, you b—fools"—Scandrett and Gregory then ran up and secured them—directly I put the bag in the cab Gurner drove off towards the Embankment—Wickham said, in the presence of the other prisoners, the stuff would be divided—Wickham said if I got into trouble he would engage Mr. Keith Frith to defend me—during this time I was daily in communication with the police.

Cross-examined. During the preparation of this scheme Gurner was never present until the Monday to my knowledge—I do not know that

Gurner used the Bird-in-Hand public-house—I do not remember being in the house until I went with Campbell.

JAMES SCANDRETT (Policeman E). On the 20th October Inspector O'Callaghan gave me directions, in consequence of which I watched Mr. Fisher's house—a constable assisted me the first night—I also watched Neate, to see where he went—on the Thursday I saw him with the prisoners—I first saw Gurner on Thursday, the 25th—on that day I went to the Bird-in-Hand, where I saw Neate, Campbell, and Scott—about half an hour afterwards Gurner came in—I heard him talk to the prisoners, but I did not hear what they said—on Friday, the 22nd, I saw Neate and Campbell together in Mr. Fisher's house—I heard the conversation between them; Campbell went upstairs and examined the place and came down again, and I heard some further conversation—I saw Campbell in the evening in the Bird-in-Hand, when Wickham, Scott, and Neate were present—on Saturday, the 23rd, about 11 or 12 a.m., I saw Campbell and Gurner go to the Bird-in-Hand—I went into another compartment—I did not hear what they were conversing about—on Monday, the 25th, about 11 a.m., I saw Gurner in Long Acre and followed him—he joined Wickham, and they went together to the Bird-in-Hand—I remained outside; Wickham and Gurner went in—on Tuesday evening Chamberlain, Gregory, and myself concealed ourselves in Mr. Fisher's house—about 9 o'clock we heard a tremrndous crashing of wood; we were on the first floor—about 9.20 we saw a light shining in one of the show-rooms—the light came nearer, and then I saw Campbell carrying this lamp (produced)—I at once closed with him and secured him—I was struck on the forehead with this screwdriver (produced). which made me bleed—Gregory secured Scott—he struck Gregory with a chisel, which drew blood—we kept them in custody there the rest of the night—we examined the premises, and found a panel of the partition out right through—we remained quietly all night, and on the following morning about 10.30 I spoke to Neate, and he took a bag and went with the bag to the door—I heard somebody tapping at the door in Arundel Street, and I heard Wickham outside say "Come out, you b—fools; it is all right"—I at once went out and caught hold of him, and told him that I should take him into custody for being concerned with others in breaking into Mr. Fisher's house—he said "All right, you have got it up very nicely for me, and I will do something for you yet"—afterwards Gurner was stopped and taken into custody—on Wickham I found an apron and on Campbell some matches—this is the bag I gave to Neate to put in the cab (produced).

Cross-examined. I have seen cabmen at the Bird-in-Hand—I have seen Gurner in Long Acre.

JOHN ALLISON (Police Sergeant). I, with two other police sergeants, kept observation on Mr. Fisher's house on the night of the 26th October—at 5.10 a.m. on the 27th I saw Gurner on St. Clement's cab-rank with a hansom, No. 8037—I said to him, "Drive me to Shoreditch Church"—he said, "Take the first cab"—I said, "There is no hansom there"—he said, "I don't want a job"—on leaving him, I saw Wickham coming round by the churchyard on the west side of the church—I watched him and saw him go up to Gurner—Gurner got down from the cab, and they stood in conversation for about ten minutes—I then saw Wickham go round the churchyard on the north of Mr. Fisher's house—he returned some

time afterwards to Gurner, and they went to a public-house at the corner of Wych Street, leaving the cab behind—they remained talking some time outside—Wickham crossed the street, and Gurner went back to his cab—some time after I saw Wickham come out of Arundel Street and cross the road to the churchyard—shortly after he came back in company with Gurner, who was on his cab, talking to each other as they crossed the road—I went to the corner of Arundel street—Wickham said to Gurner, "Come on—come on"—I saw Gurner drive down a little below Mr. Fisher's private door, as far as the Temple Club—I then saw Neate run down with a portmanteau and throw it in the cab on the footboard—when he was running back towards the door I caught hold of him—he said, "Let me go, I am the housekeeper"—the cab went towards the Embankment with the bag—I called him to stop, but he did not stop till Gregory stopped him—I went up and took the portmanteau off the footboard, and told Gurner to get down, and that I was a police officer—when he got down I told him I should take him into custody for being concerned with others in breaking into Mr. Fisher's house—he said, "You have made a great mistake, I was called to the club"—at the station I saw Wickham sitting on a seat, and I said to Gurner, "Do you know him?"—he said, "I have never seen him before in my life"—I said, "I could prove that you were in his company for three-quarters of an hour"—he said, "I may have seen him, but I do not recognise him."

ROBERT EDWARD FISHER . I am a dressing-case maker of 188, Strand—Neate and his wife live in the basement of my house, and the foreman, Stennett, at the top—about the 18th October Neate communicated to me some proposition which had been made to him, and I sent him to the police-station at Bow Street, and he from time to time informed me what was going on—in the shop is the most valuable property—there are dressing-cases there of the value of £70 to £80, the value consisting in the gold and silver fittings—on the 26th October I was with the police, and saw the place where the panel was cut out—the shop communicated, so that a person could get to the show-room from the first-floor—the tools found do not belong to me.

Witness for the Defence.

JOHN CAMPBELL —[The Prisoner]. I have pleaded guilty to this indictment—I know Gurner by being at public-houses with him in the evening—the cabmen from one end of Lone; Acre to the other go to the Bird—I n-Hand—I never told Gurner that I wanted to carry away stolen property from Mr. Fisher's house—I engaged him to take some luggage to the Bail way Station—he asked me when—I told him "Late in the evening or early in the morning"—arrangements were made for him to be on the rank about 6 a.m.—I did not mention the station—he said he would take the luggage, and I said I would let him know when—he was to be at the hotel in Arundel Street directly after 6 o'clock, but he did not know what for—he was only there as a hired man, as an ordinary cabman would be—on Monday night I introduced him to Neate, and told him he was a friend of ours—he said "How is this job going on—are you going to have me straight or not?" I said "Yes, of course we will engage you," and he asked me when it would be—I told him it would be at six o'clock in the morning, when we arranged to take our things away—he was never present at any interview when the burglary was arranged—on my oath he did not know anything about it, nor was he promised any share of the proceeds.

Cross-examined. I was living at Holly Street, Clare Market—I am a brass moulder—I have known Gurner for some years, but personally for this last 12 or 15 months; I knew where he lived—we were going to try and bring a little property out—it would not have done to have carried it through the streets in our hands, so we had a cab from the hotel entrance—I was not going to take the property to my place—I decline to say where we were going to take it—the property was to be taken in boxes and portmanteaus.

Re-examined. The mail train starts about that time.

By the JURY. Gurner was not paid any fare.


SCOTT and WICKHAM also PLEADED GUILTY to having been before convicted, Scott in June, 1879, and Wickham in May, 1871.

CAMPBELL— Two Years' Imprisonment.

SCOTT and WICKHAM— Five Years' Penal Servitude.

GURNER— Twelve Months' Imprisonment.

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