7th November 1911
Reference Numbert19111107-48
VerdictsGuilty > unknown; Not Guilty > unknown; Guilty > unknown
SentencesImprisonment > penal servitude; Imprisonment > preventive detention

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LEE, William (36, greengrocer), and HAGAN, Chris (31, green-grocer) , both stealing 1,846 rings, 970 pairs of earrings and other articles, the goods of Lawson, Ward and Gamage, Limited ; both stealing one horse, the goods of Lawson, Ward and Gamage, Limited .

Mr. Walter Frampton and Mr. H. Du Parcq prosecuted; Mr. Eustace Fulton defended Lee; Mr. Purcell defended Hagan.

ERNEST WILLIAM WEDGE , 72, Trinity Road, Wood Green, traveller to Lawson, Ward and Gamage, Limited, Clerkenwell Road, jewellers. On September 5 I left my firm's premises with a brougham, jobbed from Brookman, Limited, and driven by Booker, containing a large quantity of jewellery, value £3,200. I had about 1,700 gem rings, 600 brooches, 1,000 pendants, 100 ladies' guards, a number of long guards, 600 or 700 bracelets—all of 9, 15, or 18 carat gold. I made two calls, and arrived at my house, 72, Trinity Road, Wood Green, about 1 p.m. I left Booker in charge of the brougham and horse. I next saw it at Wood Green Police Station at 3.30 p.m., quite empty. Some days later I was shown four leather cases and a few articles of jewellery of very small value.

GEORGE BOOKER , coachman, employed by Brookman, Limited, Goss Street, Gray's Inn Road. On September 5 I drove the last witness to Trinity Road. I had a glass of milk in Trinity Road, drove the brougham opposite the "Prince of Wales" public-house, had my lunch, and drove to a public lavatory on Jolly Butchers' Hill, which is about 20 yards from an undertaker's shop, at which I left the brougham, locking the wheel with a padlock and chain. I went into the lavatory and returned in about five minutes; the brougham had gone. It was afterwards found by the police—the chain was broken and the spoke of the wheel damaged.

EMMA BUSE , wife of William Francis Buse, 178, Westbury Avenue, Wood Green. On September 5, at 2 p.m., I saw from my garden a traveller's brougham, driven by a man in livery, a short man sitting beside him. It stopped at the corner of Boreham Road and Westbury Avenue, the short man got off, crossed the road and the brougham drove on and returned, passed my house and disappeared. I identify the driver as Hagan. A four-wheeled cab then passed; the short man put up his finger, it stopped, he got in, and the cab drove on after the brougham. The next day I read of the robbery and gave to the police a description of the three men. On September 19, at Wood Green Police Station, I picked Hagan out from a number of others.

Cross-examined by Mr. Purcell. I described the driver as a red-haired man. I did not notice any-other red-haired man except Hagan in the row of men put up. I also picked out another man who is not charged.

Detective-sergeant ALFRED GROSSE, stationed at Hornsey, proved a plan of the locality. Mrs. Buse's house is 56 yards from the corner of Boreham Road.

ROSETTA MAUD MURRAY , 27, Sand ford Avenue, Wood Green. On September 5, at 2 p.m., I was on Jolly Butchers' Hill, when I saw a traveller's brougham opposite the lavatory. I also saw a short dark man with a straw hat on, and another man, the driver, in a greenishblue livery, with light metal buttons. The short man gave something to the driver, who drove off towards Tottenham; the short man then entered the lavatory. I heard of the robbery and gave information. On September 19 at Wood Green Police Station I picked out Lee as the short man.

Cross-examined. I knew that a short dark man was one of the men wanted. I looked for and identified the man I had seen.

ANNIE MORAN , servant to Dr. Taylor, 2, Stanley Villas, Boundary Road, Wood Green. On September 5, between 2.20 and 3 p.m., I was in the dining room in the front of the house with my mistress when I saw a traveller's brougham standing in Boundary Road; presently a four-wheeled cab came along past the house from the direction of Westbury Avenue, came back again in a minute or two and passed the house very slowly. I spoke to my mistress; she stood up and came to the window. A man wearing kid gloves was walking on our side of the road with the cab; the cab then drew up behind the brougham on the opposite side of the road; the cabman got down; I saw the man

who had been walking, mount the cab and put into the cab cases (produced), which he took out of the brougham. My mistress, who had left the window, returned to it. Then the man who had been walking got into the cab; it drove away, leaving the brougham in the road. The next day we saw a report of the robbery, communicated with the police, and I made a statement. On September 20 at Wood Greer Police Station, I picked out Lee from a number of other men as being the man I had seen walking on the pavement.

Cross-examined by Mr. Purcell. I was unable to pick out Hagan.

Cross-examined by Mr. Fulton. There are curtains in this window all the way down. The cab took about from five to eight minutes to pass the window. It took from five to eight minutes to remove the cases from the brougham to the cab. Our road is very quiet and when I saw this brougham and the cab I thought there must be a funeral or a wedding. The man who was driving the cab had a bowler hat and a collar; the other man had a dark suit, a straw hat, and a pair of kid gloves. There was a description of a man wanted in the paper, but that did not agree with either of the men I saw. I saw no description of Lee before I picked him out. I should think there were two or three men in the row shorter than Lee.

MARY ANNE TAYLOR , wife of Victor Beresford Taylor, M.D., 2, Stanley Villas, Boundary Road. On September 5 I was sitting in the dining room when Moran spoke to me; I looked out of the window, saw in Boundary Road, which is usually very quiet, a cab very slowly pass the house from the direction of Westbury Avenue, it turned round, passed the house again, and I saw a man on the pavement keeping pace with the cab; the cab then stopped behind a brougham which was standing on the opposite side of the road; the man who had been walking on the pavement crossed the road in front of the brougham. I then turned away from the window, but shortly after wards my maid, who had been standing there the whole time, spoke to me again, and I looked out of the window and saw the man, who had been walking on the pavement, stepping into the cab with a case like one of those produced in court. After he had got in with the case the cab drove quietly away, the brougham being left there. The next day I read a report of the robbery and communicated with the police. Inspector Scholes called and in my presence my maid gave him a description of the men, which I agreed with. On September 20 I went to Wood Green Police Station and picked out Lee from a number of other men as the man I had seen on the pavement.

Cross-examined by Mr. Fulton. The cab passed my window the second time about a minute or two after it passed the first time; it took about a minute or less to pass before it got to the brougham. When the police came next morning they asked me no questions; my maid spoke and I assented. I saw no description of Lee.

Re-examined. There was one other small dark man in the row besides Lee when I picked him out. I have no doubt he is the man.

Mrs. MARY ANNE BANNELL, widow, 7, Redvers Road, Wood Green. On September 5 I was looking out of the second floor bedroom window

of 175, Westbury Avenue, where I was then living, when I saw a brougham driven by Hagan, followed by a cab coming along Boundary Road towards me from the direction of Westbury Avenue. Both vehicles stopped at the corner of Westbury Avenue; Hagan got down and conversed with the driver of the cab, whom I cannot recognise, but who was short, wore a straw hat, and looked like a gentleman. Hagan took a box out of the brougham; they put it in the cab, conversed together, did something to the wheel of the brougham; then both mounted the cab and drove away, leaving the brougham standing in the road. That night I heard a robbery had been committed and the next morning I made a communication to the police. On September 20 at Wood Green Police Station I picked Hagan out from a number of other men. Box produced in court is like the one I saw in Hagan's hand. Hagan was dressed in blue livery with silvery buttons.

Cross-examined by Mr. Purcell. This occurrence lasted a very shout time. When Hagan was removing the box from one vehicle to another he had his back to me. I am not going to talk about whether there were many red haired men there when I went to pick Hagan out. I said at the police court, "Prisoner Hagan is like the man; I do not say I should like to swear he was the man." I walked up and down the row of men, looked at them about three times, and said, "That is the one," not "I think that is the one." I had never seen Hagan before. I told the police the day after the robbery about his height and his fair hair.

AMELIA CANTLE , wife of Edwin Cantle, 46, Canonbury Road. My sister is prisoner Lee's wife; they have no children; they occupy two rooms in the basement of 53, Oakley Road, Dalston, where I assist them in the housework. On September 5 I was sent home and had a holiday and came back next day at 10.30 a.m. As I usually do, I went into the front room and noticed a dozen or 20 gold pendants in a saucer on a table. I have never before or since seen such a thing in the house. Inspector Neil received from me a piece of cloth (produced) which my sister had given me a week before. After September 6 Lee bought a new suite of furniture, some rugs, overmantel, clocks, bronzes, etc.; Lee had a new suit, my sister had a new costume, and went away to Yarmouth on the following Monday with Lee's mother. My sister came back on the following Friday and prisoner's mother came back on the following Sunday night.

Cross-examined by Mr. Fulton. This piece of cloth is just as I received it. I was not afraid of any charge being brought against me. I knew my brother-in-law was charged with stealing a quantity of jewellery; when the police searched my house they said they were searching for a piece of cloth—not for jewellery. My sister and I have not exactly quarrelled, but we are not very good friends. I only had one day's holiday and I remember that day was a Tuesday; I know it was September 5 because there was a sale at a house which a friend of mine was caretaking. I never told the police I saw pendants, they told me; they said I saw pendants and I said, "Yes, a dozen or 20."

My sister has given me lots of things; she gave me that piece of cloth to make clothes for my children. I did not hear of my brother-in-law having won some money on a horse.

Re-examined. I was on good terms with my sister up to the time of Lee's arrest. I told the police about the cloth in answer to inquiries they made; I do not think they would have known if they had not asked me the question. (To the Court.) That is the whole of the cloth I received.

JACOB WORTMAN , 308, Kentish Town Road, tailor and costumier. I make liveries. Cloth produced consists of certain parts of a black or blue-Mack livery coat. The whole of the coat is not here. The coat would fit a man 30 inches round and 5 ft. 6 in. to 5 ft. 10 in. high. The coat must have had some wear.

Cross-examined by Mr. Fulton. Livery cloth is a strong kind of cloth; it is also used for ordinary overcoats, but not for ordinary coats.

Police-constable JOHN HALL, 83 Y.R., stationed at Wood Green. On September 5 at about 3.20 p.m. I was patrolling through Westbury Avenue, when I noticed a horse and brougham unattended in Boundary Road. The window in the door on the off side of the brougham was smashed, the chain and a spoke were broken. I took it to Wood Green Police Station, and it was identified by Wedge and Brooker.

Police-constable ARTHUR SMITH, 539 J, stationed at Victoria Park. In the early morning of September 7 I was on Hackney Marshes when I noticed some leather cases and a black japanned box lying on the Marsh with some small articles of jewellery lying around (produced). The jewellery had tickets on them.

Divisional-inspector ARTHUR NEIL, Kentish Town. On September 5 the loss of a brougham and jewellery to the value of some £3,000 was reported to me; as the result of my enquiries I went on September 19, at about 11.30 a.m., to 53, Oakley Road, Dalston, and found Lee in charge of Tanner. I said to Lee, "I am going to arrest you on suspicion of being concerned in stealing on the 5th instant a brougham containing jewellery to the value of about £3,000, from outside a lavatory at the foot of Jolly Butchers' Hill, Wood Green, where it was said it had been left a short time unattended by the coachman." Lee said, "All right." I told him that I should search his room. He said, "You will find nothing here." I found nothing relating to the charge, except that the room was furnished with a large quantity of new property consisting of furniture, clothing, clock, ornaments, new oil cloth, etc. I asked Lee if he could account for his possession of this furniture, or if he could show me receipts. He said, "My mother has them and they will be produced at the proper time." I pointed out to him that it would be to his interest to show me the receipts to prove the time the goods were purchased, but he declined. In the cab on the way to Stoke Newington Police Station he said, "I suppose some kind friend has put me away, if I am identified I am innocent, I have been working." I said, "For whom?" He said, "Mr. Hagan is my governor, he is a greengrocer." I then said to

him, "Where does he live?" He said, "I shall not tell you now, I shall want him to prove I was working for him that day." I said, "If you like to tell me where he lives I will see him and make enquiries." He said, "No, I shall not give you his address." When we arrived at Stoke Newington Police Station I sent instructions to Police-constable Tanner, whom I left at Oakley Road, and at 2 p.m. he arrived with Hagan in custody. I told Hagan he answered the description of one of the men concerned in this robbery, which I described to him. He said, "I know nothing about it, I am innocent; I know Lee." I then told him Lee was also in custody and he said, "He has been doing odd jobs for me, but not regular. We were together last night driving, but we got the worse for drink; I left him somewhere in Goswell Road; we were going to Bishopsgate Street, but we never got there." I told Lee Hagan had been arrested; he said, "Oh, he is a straight man, he had nothing to do with the job." They were then conveyed to Wood Green Police Station where Hagan was identified from 17 others by Mrs. Buse. On September 20 Lee was identified from 14 men by Mrs. Taylor and Annie Moran; Hagan by Mrs. Bannell. I told them they would be charged. Hagan said, "I am innocent, I know nothing about it." Lee said, "All right." When charged neither made any reply.

(Tuesday, November 21.)

Detective-sergeant TOM TANNER, J Division, stationed at Hackney. On September 19 I was at 53, Oakley Road. Lee, his wife and Mrs. Cantle were there. At 11.30 Hagan called and spoke to Mrs. Lee. He had a greengrocer's trolley, and a basket on his arm. At 2 p.m. I saw Hogan in Balls Pond Road with the trolley. I said, "I am a police officer, you answer the description of a man wanted for being concerned with a man named Lee and others in stealing a horse brougham and a large quantity of jewellery from Wood Green in the early part of this month. You will have to come with me to Stoke Newington Police Station and see Inspector O'Neill." He said, "Do not say that. You will ruin me. Bill Lee has been jobbing about with me—in fact, we were on the booze together yesterday. I hired a trap, we had this pony, and we had a drive, but I am innocent of being concerned in stealing anything." I took him to Stoke Newington Police Station, where he was seen by Inspectors Neil and Scholes, and subsequently to Wood Green Police Station, where he was charged on September 20. He made no reply to the charge.

Detective-inspector ALFRED SCHOLES, Y Division, Wood Green. I arranged for the identification of the prisoners on September 19. Twelve others men were brought in from an adult school, some of medium height and some tall. The prisoners were asked if they were satisfied; they made no reply and took up their position. Mrs. Murray picked out Lee.


WILLIAM BENTON LEE (prisoner, on oath). On September 5 I was living at 53, Oakley Road with my wife; I have no children. My sister-in-law, Mrs. Cantle, used to come and assist as my wife was very ill. On September 5 I left home at 5.30 a.m., went to Spitalfields Market, got one or two jobs, and left about 9.30 to go to Whetstone to see a former employer. I then went to Barnet Fair and stayed about three hours, got back to Whetstone about 6.30 p.m., and came home by tram, arriving about 9 p.m. On August Bank Holiday I won £22 backing horses with Alfred Davis, a bookmaker. I purchased out of that money the furniture, clothes, and other new articles which have been mentioned. I also paid for my wife to go to Yarmouth for a few days.

Cross-examined. I do not know whether I told Mrs. Cantle that I had won £21 10s. racing. I bad spent nearly all the money when I was arrested. I bought a second-hand suite of furniture costing £3 14s., a suit of clothes £2 9s., two rugs about 18s., a clock 25s., overmantle 2s., two imitation bronze horses, I think, 18s. Two weeks before I won this money I had been earning 32s. a week for about 13 weeks for a Mr. Ashton demolishing houses. I had no clothes suitable for that work; I destroyed my old mole-skin trousers because they were worn out. I have also done odd jobs for Hagan. On September 5 I went to Spitalfields Market and I have since heard that Hagan was there, but I did not meet him there. I also went to Barnet Fair for amusement that day; I went round having drinks and also met a man named Bartlett, whose address I do not know, but who has a stall somewhere in Chapel Street, Islington; I just passed the time of day to him, that is all, but he recognised me. I did not see Hagan that day at all. When Inspector Neil arrested me I said, "I suppose some kind friend is getting this up for me," meaning that someone was trying to get me into trouble; "I have been working." When Inspector Neil asked me for whom I had been working I mentioned Hagan at the time, because he was the last one I had done a job for. I did not mention Ashton. I said, "Mr. Hagan is my governor; he is a greengrocer." I did not say I should want Hagan to prove I had been working for him that day; the inspector must have made a mistake. I did not ask him any questions at the police court about that because I reserved my defence, but I pointed that mistake out to my solicitor. I refused to give Hagan's address because I did not think I should want him as I did not thing the case would become so serious; Neil told me he had a lot of witnesses to call for identification and so I would not want him that day. The only time that I have been out with Hagan drinking was the day before my arrest when we went down to the City together. Hagan treated me and when we got to the City it was too late. I did not buy any jewellery with the £21 10s. I won; there were one or two pendants in my house. Cantle is wrong about the pendants.

ALF DAVIS , 28, Alton Road, Islington, musical instrument maker and bookmaker. On August Bank Holiday I saw Lee, whom I know by sight, at Sandown Park Races. He betted with me in the name of "Tich." I entered them in book produced and the result was that he won £21 10s. Prisoner started by laying out 10s.

CHRIS HAGAN (prisoner, on oath). I live at 190, Balls Pond Road, am a greengrocer. For the last six years I have been employed by Colonial Governments in England at fruit shows as an apple expert and have had large sums of money belonging to other people passing through my hands. This is the first time that any criminal charge has been made against me; I come of a highly respectable family. I have known Lee for three years; I have given him work. On September 5, at 5 a. m., I got up, went to the market, loaded my van; I then went on my round along the Holloway Road, Fairmead Road, Yarbury Road, starting my round at 8.45 a.m., and got back to my stables about 12.45. I then refilled my baskets, went back to Holloway Road, and had a conversation with Alice Peasland, the cook, of 37, Lorraine mansions at about 1.30. I do not know Jolly Butchers' Hill, but I suppose Wood Green would be about an hour's drive from Lorraine Mansions. I then served Mrs. Turnbull at 149, Inglefield Road, came home and had my dinner at about 2 p.m., took my trolley which I do my rounds with home, and at 4 p.m. I took my wife out for a drive to Barnet Fair. I was not at the Jolly Butchers' Hill, Boundary Road, or Westbury Avenue that day. I had nothing whatever to do with this robbery. When Mrs. Buse picked me out I was the only red-haired man there. The Holloway round takes about half an hour on a week-day. I do not go my round everyday, but I never miss Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, which are market days. Lee has worked for me as a casual porter at the market. On the day before the arrest I was driving down Essex Road towards the City, when I met Lee and asked him to come with me; he did so, and we drank together and were too late for the business I was going to the City for. Lee was not working for me at all on September 5. When Sergeant Tanner arrested me for stealing £3,000 worth of jewels, I laughed, I thought it was silly; he said, "You know Lee"; I said I was in his company the day before.

Detective-inspector SCHOLES, recalled. (To Mr. Purcell.) It takes 25 minutes by tram to get from Lorraine Mansions, Holloway, to Jolly Butchers Hill; it is about three and a half miles.

Mrs. ANNIE TURNBULL, 149, Inglefield Road. I have known Hagan for four years and have dealt with him for four months on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. In September on Barnet Fair day on a Tuesday Hagan called at about ten minutes to two; I know the time because the school bells were ringing. I took my vegetables from him and we stood talking; he said he was going to take his wife to Barnet Fair and would I like to go on his trap; his trap was small, and he only said it was a joke.

Cross-examined. I knew Barnet Fair was on before he told me because it is generally in the papers. I have never been there and it

did not interest me. He never comes to my house except on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. My sister, Rose Vesley, saw the prisoner on that day.

ALICE PEASLAND , cook to Mr. Cooper, 69, Lorraine Mansions, Caledonian Road. Hagan supplies greenstuff to my mistress. On September 5 he called and delivered greengrocery. I remarked to him, "How smart you look." He told me he was going to Barnet Fair. It was the second day of the fair. My master, mistress, and their little girl also went to Barnet Fair on that day.

BENJAMIN GEORGE GOGAY , horsekeeper to Mr. Cooper. On September 5, the second day of Barnet Fair, I went there with my master. On that day about 1.20 I saw Hagan, he asked me to have a drink. I said I could not as I had to get off to Barnet Fair. Peasland said, "Is not he made up to-day," and referred to his going to Barnet Fair.

JAMES SAVARY , 161, Copenhagen Street, horsekeeper. On September 4 I saw Cooper at Barnet Fair; he exchanged a horse which I had to take from Lorraine Mansions to Hoxton on the following day, bringing back the horse in exchange to Lorraine Mansions, which I did, arriving there at 1.30 p.m. I saw Hagan with his trolley delivering greenstuff. I said, "You are made up. Are you going to Barnet Fair?" He said he was. I left at about 1.35. Hagan was dressed in a grey suit and brown boots.

On the suggestion of the Common Serjeant that Hagan had made out a good alibi Mr. du Parcq withdrew the case as against him. Verdict (Lee), Guilty; (Hagan), Not guilty.

Lee confessed to having been convicted on January 19, 1909, at Newington Sessions of being found in unlawful possession of housebreaking implements.

Prisoner was then indicted for that he is a habitual criminal.

Detective-inspector ALFRED SCHOLES proved the service of the statutory notice.

Sergeant CHARLES GOODCHILD proved the following convictions: August 1, 1902, Guildhall, Westminster, 3 1/2 years' penal servitude and 3 1/2 years' police supervision in the name of William Burton; released June 10, 1905. On April 22, 1907, 20 months' hard labour for burglary as William Blackwell; released September 2, 1908. On January 19, 1909, County of London Sessions, 3 years' penal servitude for possessing housebreaking implements as William Lee; released April 13, 1911. At Wood Green Police Station he was asked by Inspector Neil if he had been working for anybody. He said, "I will let you know that next week." The following week he stated that he had been working for Mr. Ashton, 87, Westmoreland Place, City Road. Ashton told me the prisoner had been working for him during the summer pulling down houses near Chancery Lane from April 19 to May 29 and from June 2 to July 14—about eight weeks. Lee has also been convicted: On February 18, 1896, Clerkenwell Police Court, six weeks, frequenting, as William Lee; March 31, 1896. six weeks at Mansion House for stealing. January 15, 1897, four months' hard

labour, stealing; released May 1, 1897. May 18, 1897, nine months and nine months at North London Sessions for housebreaking; released November 2, 1898. February 7, 1899, six months for stealing; released August 5, 1899. November 7, 1899, North London Sessions, twelve months for burglary; released September 23, 1900; January 21, 1901, Worship Street, nine months, prevention of Crimes Act; released September 1, 1901; then follow the 3 1/2 years' police supervision already mentioned. October 12, 1906, Nottingham, three months' hard labour for loitering; released January 2, 1907. Then follow the two other convictions mentioned.

Divisional-inspector ARTHUR NEIL. Prisoner's sentence on April 22, 1907, was for burglary at a jeweller's shop of a most daring character. Lee was born in 1876. He is regarded as one of the most daring jeweller's shop thieves.


JOSEPH ASHTON , 87, Westmoreland Place, City Road. I demolish houses for the L.C.C. Lee was employed by me from April 19, to May 29, and from June 5 to July 15.

Verdict, Guilty.

Sentence, Three years' penal servitude, to be followed by five years' preventive detention.


(Monday, November 20.)

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