8th December 1908
Reference Numbert19081208-4
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceNo Punishment

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PRINCE, John (20, servant) ; stealing one telegraph money order of the value and for the payment of £10, the property of Thomas Frederick Bayfield, his master.

Mr. Morris prosecuted.

THOMAS FREDERICK BAYFIELD , M.D., Russell Priory, Russell Square. Prisoner has been my servant for three or four years. On October 14 I expected to receive a telegraphic money order for £10. As it did not arrive, I made inquiries at the West Central Post Office, New Oxford Street, and as the result of what I heard returned home to get some papers to that I could be identified. I was shown a telegram at the post office. Prisoner can neither read nor write. I have no other servant except prisoner. I have not received the money.

To Prisoner. I did not give you the paper to go to the post office and cash it.

ROBERT ENGLAND , Clarendon Street, Somers Town, 11 years of age, On October 6 prisoner saw me in the street and asked if I would write a letter for him to a young lady, which I did; he gave me 3d. On the following Thursday he again saw me and showed me a £10 money order, which he said was his two months' wages—that his master gave him £5 a month—that he would change it to-morrow and asked me to write his master's name on it. It was payable to Dr. Bayfield, and I wrote that name on it. He then asked me to change it for him. I said, "No, the Post Office people might think I had stolen it." This conversation was in English; I do not understand the West African dialect. On Saturday, October 17, at 7.30 p.m., I went with prisoner to the post office. He went in and I stayed outside. He then came out and said the post office people had told him to go to New Oxford Street, as that was not the right post office. He had the telegram in his hand. We went there; I stayed outside, and after about two minutes prisoner ran out, the post office clerk running after him. I saw him next at Gray's Inn Road Police Station. I believed what he told me. I wrote the note produced asking the post office to pay.

Prisoner stated he told the boy to write the order because his master gave him the cheque and told him to get it changed.

GEORGE HICKMAN , clerk at the New Oxford Street Post Office. On October 17, at seven p.m., prisoner presented a note (produced) purporting to be signed by Dr. Bayfield, "Please cash this cheque by the boy." He also presented a telegraphic order for £10 signed "T. F. Bayfield." I asked prisoner if he could tell me the name of the sender; he did not appear to understand me. I then asked him if he would sign his name on the back of the order. He appeared to understand that and went to the writing desk. I went round the counter to see if he was doing so, when he ran away, taking the order with him, leaving the note behind. I ran after him. I had seen Dr. Bayfield about an hour previously, and in consequence recognised the order, of which I produce the letter of advice received on October 14.

To Prisoner. I have some recollection of asking you if that was your name and your saying "No."

Re-examined. If the bearer of the order had no authority from the payee we should refuse payment.

Police-constable, WILLIAM GARDNER ,408 E. On October 17 I took prisoner into custody at Dr. Bayfield's flat, Russell Priory. He said, "I have not got the cheque; I have thrown it away." He spoke English. He was charged at the station with stealing the cheque.

Dr. BAYFIELD, recalled. I occupy a flat at Russell Priory. I have no other servant except prisoner. He would receive letters which he ought to put on my table. I never received this letter. I never gave prisoner any order to change. I never received the telegram.

Cross-examined. I did not tell prisoner to write the note—he cannot write.

WILLIAM WARREN , telegraph messenger, New Oxford Street Post Office. On October 14, at about 3.30, I delivered a telegraphic money

order at prosecutor's flat, Russell Priory, to the person who opened the door. The passage is dark, and I did not see the man's face.

Prisoner's statement before the Magistrate. The small piece of paper my governor gave me to keep—the pink piece of paper.

Prisoner. My master gave me the post order, and if he denies it now I have got nothing to say. It was in the presence of Dr. McKinnon.

Dr. BAYFIELD again stated that he never gave prisoner the order. He paid prisoner wages at the rate of 30s. a month.

Verdict, Guilty.

Prosecutor gave prisoner a good character. He is a British subject who had been taken into prosecutor's employ in West Africa and brought to England. It was stated prisoner could obtain employment as stoker on a steamer from Liverpool.

Sentence postponed to next Sessions, the Court missionary to be communicated with.

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