Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 25 February 2021), September 1772, trial of JOHN GEAREY (t17720909-24).

JOHN GEAREY, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 9th September 1772.

629. (L.) JOHN GEAREY was indicted for that he on the King's highway on Dove Rainer did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person a cane, mounted with silver, value 10 s. the property of Dove Rayner . August 31 . ++

Dove Rainer. I am a watch-maker . On the 31st of August returning home out of the city from my club, going down the Minories on the right hand, I saw the prisoner and another man whispering together; I walked as fast as I could; I did not like them; when I came a-breast of them, going to pass them, one, to stop me, struck me a violent blow on the stomach; the prisoner laid hold of my arm, both d - d me, and bid me stop; and the prisoner immediately snatched my cane; both blasted my eyes, asked me how much money I had, and bid me bundle it out quick; I desired them to behave with civility, and I said they should have my money. I observed a watchman's lanthorn a little way off; I had a mind to save myself from being pilfored; I had some watches about me on commission; I was unwilling to be robbed of them, so I broke from them, and run into the highway; they jumped upon me, and said, is that your jig? I broke from them and run up the Minories; a person coming up. I told him what had happened to me; he offered to go with me to assist in asking them; we went after them; going up the Minories, we found the prisoner beating a woman with my cane; I got a person to go to the watchman; he brought him; as soon as the prisoner saw me, he burst from the woman; we pursued, and took him, and my cane was found under him broken; ( produced, and deposed to, by the prosecutor.)

John Mill . I am a watchman in the Minories; about this time at night I saw the prisoner and three men in the street; the prisoner had the cane in his hand; one of them took hold of it; the prisoner said, I bought this cane to-day, it is mounted with silver; soon after that, I heard a great uproar in the Minories; the prisoner was beating a woman with this cane; I was told he robbed a gentleman of it; I went up; before I could get to him, he jumped a cross the way to run off; a man threw himself down; in consequence of which, the prisoner fell over him, and the cane was taken upon him.

Jones confirmed this evidence in every particular.

Prisoner's Defence.

The occasion of my having the cane in my hand at all, was, I went down the street; the prosecutor struck me a-cross the shins with the cane; I asked him what he meant by that, snatched it out of his hand, and hove it a-cross the street; a man picked it up, and bid me give it to the watchman; I would not; we walked up the street together, there we met a woman that had taken my money from me, and I beat her with the cane; the watchman came up; the other man had the cane, and I fell down; I am a seaman; I was born in America ; I have no friends here to appear for me.

Guilty . Death .