27th June 1887
Reference Numbert18870627-730
VerdictGuilty > unknown

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730. THOMAS WILSON (20) , Stealing a watch and chain, value 100l., from Jabez Spencer Balfour.


JABEZ SPENCER BALFOUR . I have offices at Winchester House, Old Broad Street—about 11.5 p.m. on 13th June, I was in Oxford Street, near the Princess's Theatre, with my son—we crossed from the theatre side of the road to the other side, to avoid the people coming out; some man lurched against me—I put out my hands and said "Stand clear;" he said "I beg your pardon," and at the same time made a grab at my chain and pulled it off and ran away—he used so much violence that he tore out both pockets and my button-hole—I gave chase with my son—a policeman then ran across, and in the confusion the man was lost, the policeman being run over, and we had to help him into a cab—soon after I saw the prisoner in the custody of two constables—I was shown my watch next day, this is it, the value of the watch and chain is nearly 100l.—in the confusion I cannot say who the man was who lurched against me.

JAMES BALFOUR . I am the son of the last witness—I was with him and saw the prisoner about 12 yards from us, rolling about as if he were drunk—he came rolling up against my father and said "I beg your pardon, Sir"—I saw my father shove him off, and he made a snatch at my father's watch-chain and ran off with it—he walked a little, but when we turned to follow him, he ran up Oxford Street and down a turning; there were two constables at the bottom, and when he got nearly to them he turned round, and when he was near Oxford Street again he slipped over an area grating—I then saw a crowd round the constable, who was on the ground, and saw him put into a cab—I saw the prisoner four or five minutes afterwards in the custody of two constables—about half an hour later I went with a constable to the grating exactly where the prisoner had slipped, and the constable turned on his light, and the watch and chain were at the bottom—that was the exact spot where the prisoner had slipped.

WILLIAM JACKSON (Policeman C 168). About 11.15 I was at the corner of Charing Cross Road and Oxford Street—I heard a cry of "Stop thief," and saw two men and the prisoner coming along, I made a grab at one of them but was not able to catch him—they turned down Charing Cross Road, running very fast; I followed them, one of them ran into Falkenberg Court, and the prisoner and another man turned up Sutton Street, and the prisoner ran into Crosse and Blackwell's gate; I seized him, and he said "What have you got me for? I did not do it"—I told him he must come back with me, and a Mr. Hart said "That is the man who snatched something of the gentleman up Oxford Street"—I did not hear the prisoner say anything to that—he became very violent on the way to the station, and it took three of us to take him, and he said what he would do for us—about half an hour afterwards young Mr. Balfour took me to the corner of Oxford Street and Soho Street, and pointed out an area to mo, I turned my light on and there found this watch and chain (produced)—the prisoner gave his address at the station 3, Rose Street, Soho.

WILLIAM SNELL (Policeman R R 44). On 13th June I was on duty in Hanway Street, and about 11.15 I heard a cry of "Stop thief"—I ran across Oxford Street to the corner of Soho Street and caught a man, who

was running, by the collar; the prisoner then came up to my side and caught hold of the man's arm to try and get him away, and carried me right into Oxford Street—I stuck to my man and he threw me intentionally right under the head of a cab, and then ran away—when the horse began to tread on me I was obliged to let go; the horse trod on my head and chest, and the wheels went over my legs—I was picked up and taken to the Middlesex Hospital, and I have been off duty ever since—I afterwards went to the yard at the back of Marlborough Street Police-station and picked the prisoner out from eight or nine others—I am sure he is the man.

ROBERT BARRY (Police Inspector). I was at the station when the prisoner was brought there, he gave his name and address as Wilson, 3, Rose Street, Soho Square, and said he was a labourer.

WILLIAM DIXON . I am a gold-beater, of 3, Rose Street, Soho Square—the prisoner does not live there, I know nothing about him.


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