19th November 1883
Reference Numbert18831119-14
VerdictGuilty > pleaded guilty; Guilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > penal servitude; Imprisonment > penal servitude

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14. CHARLES ROUSE (31) and GEORGE SMITH (20) , Stealing a bale of cloth of the London and North-Western Railway Company. Second Count for receiving the same.


MR. GRAIN Prosecuted.

JAMES WATSON PARTING . I am a finisher in the employ of the Banbury Cloth Company, Limited—on 22nd Oct. I packed six pieces of cloth, each containing 54 yards, in one bale—this (produced) is one of the pieces—it was packed in the usual way, and addressed to Messrs. Hitchcock, Biggs, and Willett, Paternoster Row, London, plainly written on a card—I delivered the bale to the North-Western carman at Banbury that day—the value of it was 68l. 18s. 7d.

FREDERICK WELLS . I live at Banbury, and am carman to the North-Western Railway Company—on 22nd October I received a bale from the last witness, and delivered it at the station in the same sound state as I received it.

JOSEPH JONES . I am a checker at the Banbury Station—on 22nd October I received this bale, and sent it on in good condition loaded on truck 7,333 for Broad Street Goods Station.

JAMES GOODMAN . I am a checker at Broad Street Goods Station, London—on 23rd October I checked from truck 7,333 a bale addressed to Hitchcock, Biggs, and Willett—it was sound and in good condition—I sent it to No. 8 Arch to be loaded for delivery.

JOHN FREDERICK BORRINGTON . I am a checker at Broad Street Station—on 23rd October I was on duty at the station at about 6.15 a.m.—I received this delivery sheet—I put on the prisoner's van a bale addressed to Hitchcock, Biggs, and Willett, Paternoster Row—on the afternoon of the same day the prisoner came back after his round, and he told me there was a bale not on the load—I asked him whose it was; he said "Hitchcock and Biggs's"—there was only one bale for them on the van that day—I had helped to put it on the van myself—I told him I was sure it was on the load—he was net present when the van was loaded, he came up afterwards; he was the driver—the van had then been loaded about three hours.

ALBERT KELSEY . I was van boy with the prisoner on 23rd October, employed by Pickford and Co.—I recollect leaving Broad Street Station about 8 that morning with a loaded van, the prisoner driving—our deliveries were in the City—on that day I saw Rouse—I had seen him before that day round St. Paul's Churchyard with the prisoner with our van—I saw him on this day; he spoke to the prisoner—we delivered all our load except one large bale—I did not notice how it was addressed—we went to Pearce's coffee-house, near St. Paul's, where I saw Rouse; I don't know the name of the street—we went into the coffee-house—the prisoner asked me if I would have a pennyworth of coffee; I said "Yes"—he called for a pennyworth, and so did I—the prisoner said

"Stop there till I come back;" he then went away—I remained at the coffee-shop—he said he was going to deliver the bale—he came back in about half an hour; I got in the van and he drove away—there was no bale in the van then, it was empty—we then went back to Broad Street—I saw the prisoner in the stable two or three days after, and he said he had heard something about a bale being missed, and said "I know I did not have it on my load"—I said "Was that the bale that was in when I went to the coffee-shop?" he said "Oh, that is nothing."

Cross-examined. It was a large bale; it was heavy—I could not move it.

THOMAS RIDD . I am warehouseman to Hitchcock and Co., of Paternoster Row—on 23rd October I was expecting a bale from Banbury containing six pieces—we have never received it—the van would stop in Paternoster Row—the goods entrance is in Warwick Lane.

CAROLINE ROUSE . I live at Thomas Street, Blackfriars—my husband is manager of a coffee-shop—on Tuesday, October 23rd, about 12 o'clock, Rouse came to our house; he is my brother-in-law—he brought six rolls of cloth into the house—this is one of them—they were taken possession of by the police, who took Rouse into custody.

CHARLES ROUSE (In custody). I was formerly in the employ of Pickford's as carman—I have pleaded guilty to receiving this bale of cloth—when I was at Pickford's the prisoner was also a carman there—on the morning of 23rd October I was near St. Paul's Churchyard—I had been to look after a job—I saw the prisoner there with his van—I spoke to him; I forgot now what I said; it was something about the bale of cloth—he had got a bale in the van, which he said he would let me have—he had got a lot in the van when I first saw him—he said "You can have this bottom one when I have delivered all the others"—I said "All right"—I kept about with him while he was delivering—I afterwards saw the van empty with the exception of this one bale—that was in Farringdon Street, where Pearce's coffee-shop was—the prisoner and the boy brought the van there; I was waiting for them—the prisoner told me to follow up; Smith got up and drove as far as Blackfriars, and I jumped on behind and drove to near 38, Thomas Street—I took the bale in there—Smith stopped at a public-house near till I came back—I sold a portion of the goods to some Jews in Houndsditch—I was afterwards taken into custody at my sister-in-law's house—after selling the goods I gave the prisoner 4l. 13s. 6d. in Three Colt Lane, Bethnal Green.

Cross-examined. I have a licence as a tram conductor, and I used to stand at the corner where the trams stop to get a job—I have not been waiting for you every time the van came out—I did not on this morning say to you "Have you got anything on your van that you can give me?"—I did not ask you to have a drop of beer; you treated me to half a pint once or twice.

WILLIAM WALLER (Detective Sergeant). On 30th October I went with Inspector Pearson of the North-Western police to Tapp Street, Bethnal Green; I there saw the prisoner; I said "Is your name George Smith?"—he said "Yes"—I said "We are police officers, and are going to take you into custody for being concerned with a man named Rouse, who is in custody, for stealing a truss of cloth on the 23rd of this mouth"—he said "Me steal a truss of cloth! I never stole any cloth; I lost a truss of cloth for Hitchcock and Co., and when I got back to the station I reported it,

and if Rouse says I stole a truss of cloth he is telling a lie; I have not seen him for a fortnight"—I took him to the station, and when he saw Rouse he pointed to him and said "That is the man that stole my cloth."

JAMES HENRY PEARSON . I am one of the chief inspectors of the North-Western Bail way Company—I took Rouse into custody, and took down in writing what he said to me voluntarily—I subsequently read it over to him—this is it: "About a week ago I saw Pickford and Co.'s carman, George Smith, at St. Paul's Churchyard; the van boy was not present, I believe he was in a coffee-house—I and Smith drove to a public-house in Thomas Street, Blackfriars; I left him there, and I brought the truss and the van to my brother's house—I cut open a truss in the van and carried the rolls upstairs—the truss contained six rolls; I sold three to a Jew last Saturday for 8l.; I met him in Houndsditch; I took the three rolls the same day to the Jew's; I don't know his name nor where he resides; I took the cloth away on a costermonger's barrow the same night"—when I read that to Smith he said it was not true.

Prisoner's Defence. All I can say is that Rouse stole the truss off my van in Cannon Street.

SMITH— GUILTY .— Five Years' Penal Servitude. ROUSE— Seven Years' Penal Servitude.

It was stated by Mr. Coppin, of the North-Western Company, that Rouse had endeavoured to induce various carmen to commit similar robberies.

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