Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 08 August 2022), October 1826, trial of WILLIAM ATKINSON (t18261026-13).

WILLIAM ATKINSON, Theft > pocketpicking, 26th October 1826.

1806. WILLIAM ATKINSON was indicted for stealing, on the 26th of September , 1 canvas bag, value 6d., and 27 ozs. weight of silver, value 6d. 10s., the goods of Henry Deacon , from the person of Joseph Sandland .

HENRY DEACON. I am a watch-case maker , and live in Upper Clifton-street. On the 26th of September, I gave Sandland, my servant , five sovereigns to go to Collings and Co., in Jewin-street, to get some silver, also a piece of silver called bottoms, which weighed 7 ozs., to leave at the Flatting Mills in Bunhill Row; he had it in a bag. He was brought home about three o'clock, by Gray, an officer, without any of the property.

JOSEPH SANDLAND. I am thirteen years old. My master sent me out at twelve o'clock, with some silver to be flatted, and five sovereigns to get 20 ozs. of sterling silver. I got the silver from Collings, in Jewin-street; I had then 27 ozs. in my bag, and was taking it home; the prisoner came up to me in Little Moorfields , and asked if I would go on an errand for him - I asked where it was; he said, "You will get 6d. for going, and if you take that bag, you will break what is in the bundle you are going for." I was to go about thirty yards down the street; I gave him the bag to hold, and went a little way, then looked back, and saw he was gone; I returned without going to the house, but could not find him - I have never found the silver; I am certain of his person; I saw him again about a fortnight ago, in a court in Wood-street, as I was going to Goldsmith's-hall. He came up to me and said, "I think I know you." I said, "Yes, and I know you; it was you who stole my silver." He was then sneaking off, and said to two boys, "Hold him while I run away;" - they struck me, and almost knocked me down, but I pursued, calling Stop thief! and he was stopped. I am quite sure he is the person.

WILLIAM SMITH . I am a constable. I received the prisoner in charge on the 13th of October, just after he was stopped - the witness brought him to me, and was very positive of his person.

Prisoner's Defence. I was playing at top in a court; he came up and said, "Halloo, was not you the boy who stole 27 ozs. of silver?" I said, No; - he said, "I think you are;" - I was going away; he hallooed out, Stop thief! I ran, and they stopped me.

GUILTY . Aged 15.

Transported for Life .