4th March 1889
Reference Numbert18890304-324
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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324.— HENRY LATHAM , Stealing six pairs of boots and three pairs of slippers, of Joseph William Baxendale and another, his masters.

MR. BEARD Prosecuted, and MR. TOWELL Defended.

JAMES RICHARDS I am manager of the Boscawen Road depot of Pickford and Co.—the prisoner was a carman there—it was his duty to go into the City twice a day—he would back his cart against the shed, and he and his boy would take the horse into the adjoining yard and come back and assist in unloading the goods—among the parcels checked off his van was a parcel of boots on the night in question, about 12.15—I was coming through a little wicket gate which could be got over then, but it has been altered now—I saw the prisoner running with a parcel under his arm on the other side of the road and into a stable, which has two doors which open outwards into the yard—he opened them and went in—I went on into the other yard where the men were at work, and called the watchman, who came back and brought me this parcel of boots—I sent for a constable and went with him to find the prisoner, but could not—I gave the constable his address and a full description of him.

Cross-examined. I know a boy named Hall; I did not see him on February 9th—I went to his house on the following night—I did not ask him what Latham was doing with the parcel, nor did he say, "I do not think he meant to steal it"—the prisoner said at the station that he did it for a lark with the watchman.

Re-examined. The gates were all locked—he could only get out by getting over the top of the gate.

WILLIAM HANMAN . I am a watchman at the Deptford depot of Pickford and Co.—on February 9th, about 11.20 p.m., the prisoner brought a van there; it was unloaded and the parcels checked off—he had taken his horses into the stable before that—he left the yard at 11.55 with his van boy, and I barred the gate securely after them—later on Mr. Richards called me and gave me instructions, and I went to the stable and found this parcel which had come off the prisoner's van.

Cross-examined. It is my duty to watch the yard at night to see if any body comes in—the prisoner once said to me, "How easy it would be to get over these gates without anybody seeing"—I said, "It would not be so easy as you think of"—one of the boys who came in after him was in the act of unharnessing his horses when he put the parcel down.

FREDERICK HORNBEAM . I am in Messrs. Pickford's employ—on 9th February I checked the defendant's van—this is the sheet on, which 11.50 is marked as the time the prisoner left—I did not see him leave the yard—this is one of the parcels which came off his van; there were 119.

JOHN FARMIN (Policeman R 9). I went to the prisoner's lodging, and told him he would be charged with stealing a parcel from his employers—he said, "That is the fruits of having a lark with the watchman, I ought to have gone at the time and told the governor all about it."

CHARLES HOWLETT . I am a van guard in the prosecutor's employ—on 9th February I was in the stable putting my horses away, and the prisoner suddenly ran in with this parcel—he put it down by the side of the corn-bin, and said, "He has seen me"—the watchman took it away.

CHARLES MULLETT . I am a clerk to Pickford and Co.—the prisoner has been in their employ since 1857—we had a good character with him.

Cross-examined. After finishing work inside the yard, the watchman let out the prisoner and Hales, his van boy—they wished each other good night, and parted—on the Tuesday following, Hales told the general manager, in my presence, that Latham told him a fortnight before that he was going to have a lark with the watchman—the boy left of his own accord.

Re-examined. The prisoner was let out on bail after the first hearing, and also after he was committed for trial—my conversation with Hales was after he was out on bail—they were together on the Monday—he was with Carter, Paterson's three months before he came to us, and eight years with us.


Before Mr. Common Serjeant.

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