Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 23 May 2018), September 1789, trial of ELIZABETH CHANCE (t17890909-12).

ELIZABETH CHANCE, Theft > pocketpicking, 9th September 1789.

585. ELIZABETH CHANCE was indicted for stealing, on the 4th of September , a watch, inside case made of base metal, outside case silver, value 20 s. the property of William Voucher , privily from his person .

WILLIAM VOUCHER sworn.

I am a hair dresser ; I was coming along Oxford road between one and two; I met the prisoner, and being rather in liquor, I went with her into Bentick-street , and in a little while she broke from me all at once, and I missed my watch; I called a watchmanto take her, and in the scuffle the watch fell to the ground; I saw it on the ground, but I did not see or hear it fall; I was rather in liquor; I did not intend to go home with the prisoner.

Court. Had you any money in your pocket? - None; I do not recollect she asked me for any.

Did you feel any thing like the prisoner's pulling it out of your pocket? - No, I did not.

RICHARD HARRIS sworn.

I am a watchman, on Friday last I was called, there was another woman who said she was waiting for a young woman, and at that instant the prisoner came running down, I stopped her, and she had the watch in her hand; I saw it in her hand; she went to give it to another woman; I caught hold of her hand to take it from her, and she dropped it, and I picked it up; and I gave it to the young man, and advised him to let her go; he was much in liquor, and very obstinate, and he would not; the girl swore pretty much, and said he wanted to use her ill for the property; but he was not come up then, for his breeches were loose about his heels; she said he had no money; I kept the watch ever since; I gave it to the young man, and it was returned to me at the Justice's.

Prosecutor. This is my watch; I know it by the maker's name and number; I have had it five or six years.

Court. Was not you so drunk as not to be sure whether that is the woman? - No; I knew what I was after; this is the woman.

PRISONER's DEFENCE.

I met the man in Oxford-road; he asked me where I was going? I said home; he asked me to go with him a little way; I went with him, and asked him for some money; he had only six-pence; I would not go with him; he ran after me, and the watchman says the watch fell between the other girl and me; I had not the watch in my hand.

NOT GUILTY .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice GROSE.