WILLIAM SHARKEY, ALFRED DOUGLAS.
31st May 1910
Reference Numbert19100531-63
VerdictsGuilty > unknown
SentencesImprisonment > hard labour

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SHARKEY, William (21, fitter), and DOUGLAS, Alfred (21, stoker) , both breaking and entering the warehouse of George Paxton and others, and stealing therein about £9 10s. in money, some postage stamps and other articles, their goods; Sharkey, breaking and entering the warehouse of Frederick-Schultze and stealing therein five combs, one knife, one pen and other articles, his goods. Prisoners were tried on the first indictment.

Mr. Nicholson prosecuted.

GEORGE PAXTON , 195, Great Portland Street, W. My premises were left safe on May 2. When I arrived next morning I was informed of the burglary by the caretaker. I afterwards saw the inspector and caretaker examining the back. When I went in I found the place very much upset, our work strewn all over the place. Entrance had been effected through a fanlight. The burglars had broken open a drawer, taking £8 or £9 in sovereigns, and cleared a drawer of stamps. I identify Exhibits 1 to 6 as my property. The penknife belongs to one of our girls.

WILLIAM TAYLOR , caretaker, 195, Great Portland Street, W. It is my duty to see the premises as properly closed. At 7.20 p.m. on May 2 every door was locked and bolted. At 6.15 next morning I found things lying all over the place and sent my wife for a constable. All the drawers had been ransacked in four rooms.

Sergeant GOODCHILD, Y Division. On May 12 I was with Sergeant Page. I arrested Douglas in the "Pindar of Wakefield," Gray's Inn Road. He was with Sharkey. I said to him, "We are going to arrest you for committing a burglary at Curry and Paxton's, Great Portland Street, on the night of May 2." Douglas said, "You will not find anything on me." I took him to Somers Town Police Station, searched him, and found 2s. silver, 4d. bronze, and Exhibits 1 to 6. They were in different pockets. I said, "Where did you get these from?" He said, "They are mine." Later in the day I told him the property had been identified as part of the proceeds of a burglary

committed at Curry and Paxton's. Douglas said, "If you can prove it I will plead 'Guilty,' but I am going to say now that a man gave me the property in Rowton House, King's Cross Road, this morning. I do not know his name or where he lives. I shall call Sharkey as a witness, and he is going to say the same thing. No one saw us on these premises; I am going to plead 'Not guilty'; I shall take my chance. Don't go to my mother's." Prisoner was charged and made no reply.

Sergeant FRANK PAGE, Y Division. I took Sharkey to the station. I told him he would be detained and would probably be charged with breaking into Curry and Paxton's premises. He said, "I don't know anything about that Curry's job; the kid" (meaning the other prisoner) "is going to say a man at Rowton House gave him the property to mind and he is going to call me as a witness." I searched him and found in his possession £1 10s. gold, 7s. 6d. silver, and 2 1/2 d. bronze. I asked him to account for it and he said he won it at gambling. I also found on him a penknife. I told him subsequently it had been identified by Curry and Paxton's people and he said, "That does it, but you can get on with it." When charged he made a reply that did not concern this case. I remember May 2 at about 9.30 p.m. I saw these two men together at the "Wheatsheaf," Camden Town, and they got on a bus going towards the West End.

(Defence.)

ALFRED DOUGLAS (prisoner, on oath). That evening Sharkey and myself left his place about 8.30, proceeded down Hampstead Road, as Sergeant Page has said, went into the "Wheatsheaf," came out a little after nine, walked down to the Camden Hippodrome; we saw Detectives Butters and Goodchild talking to two young fellows outside. We then walked on. I noticed it was 12 past 9. I said to Sharkey, "We had better be getting on, otherwise I shall be late for my lodging. We walked down Hampstead Road and said good night at the corner outside Fred. Watts's. We separated there. I then noticed it was about half past 9 or 20 to 10. I went straight down to King's Cross, up Caledonian Road, towards the "Nag's Head." I was walking slowly. It was 20 to 12 or half past 11 as I passed the "Nag's Head." I went down Seven Sisters Road and turned down a road called Campbell Road. I found I had no money for lodging and, feeling tired, I sat down on a doorstep, and went to sleep. I woke about quarter past five next morning.

Cross-examined. I do not know whether Sergeant Page knows me; I had never seen him before. He is correct in saying he saw me with Sharkey. It was an empty house where I slept on the doorstep in Campbell Road, on the left-hand side. It is a good step from the "Wheatsheaf." I went there, as I had nowhere else to go to, to see if I could get some lodging money. I used to know some fellows that lived in that street. I remembered afterwards the fellow I was going to see was in prison. His name is Ashton. I know Curry's warehouse in Great Portland Street. A man gave me these things at Rowton House, who or what he is I could not say. I had never seen him

before in my life. He asked me to mind them while he went into the reading room just as a favour. I suppose he knew they were stolen property and wanted to palm them off to me. It did not strike me at the time. It was the morning of my arrest. I said to Sharkey, "He has left this stuff there, and he has not come back yet; I will see what it is." I opened this paper and found these things that are here. Sharkey did not say, "All right; I will say someone gave them to me. I did not tell Sergeant Goodchild I would call Sharkey as a witness. I shall call him. I asked Sergeant Goodchild not to tell my mother I had been arrested because I got into trouble once before and did not wish her to know. I did not say "They are mine" when they were found on me. I did not afterwards say, "I am going to say now a man gave them to me in Rowton House." It is an invention on the officer's part. I did not know the man who gave me them; I never saw him before I said at the station I knew this man by sight. I would know him again if I saw him. I said I was not going to plead guilty. I did not say, "I shall take my chance." I gave a description of the man to Sergeant Page at the police station.

WILLIAM SHARKEY (prisoner, on oath). I got in the "Wheatsheaf" at about 9 p.m. on the night of the burglary; we had a drink there and walked round by the Bedford; they were coming out; we walked back into Camden Town. At the Hippodrome we walked by Detectives Goodchild and Butters and two other fellows. Then we walked as far as the corner of Euston Road and Tottenham Court Road, where Douglas said good night. He said he was going to Campbell Road to see if any of the boys would give him lodging money. I retraced my steps. Detective Page says he see me going into a bus going towards where the burglary was committed. All the buses do not go near that place; you would have to change buses at Euston Road to go there. In Rowton House next morning I was charged. Douglas and myself had breakfast there, and a tall, fair chap came up and put these articles in the front of us. He said to Douglas, "Mind this for me; I won't be long; I am going to the reading room to write a letter." We waited a quarter of an hour and never see him. Then Douglas opened them and picked out this penknife. I said, "I want a penknife; I think I will keep this one, as he has not come back for them." So I put that in my pocket. We could not see this fellow and we walked from there past the police station, went into the public-house to have a drink, when in came Detective Page. I says "Good morning," he walked out and in came Detective Goodchild and Butters. I says, "What do you want me for?" He says, "You will know why." We went to the station. They never told me what I was charged with or nothing. He never charged me with this burglary till he found this penknife. He never recognised that till a long while after he recognised the other things.

Cross-examined. I suppose the reason the man left this property was because they were stolen. I do not know whether or not I said to Detective Page, "That's done it." I do not recollect. I generally do say things like that. I said, "Get on with it," when he told me he would charge me with the burglary. That means "Charge me."

I had 33s. 6d. on me. I won it at gambling. I was out of work at the time. I am a motor-car fitter. I could not say what time I parted from Douglas; I lost count of the time after 9 o'clock.

Verdict, both Guilty.

Previous convictions were proved against both prisoners.

Sentence, each Nine months' hard labour.


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