Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 29 January 2023), September 1831, trial of THOMAS CLEMENTS (t18310908-98).

THOMAS CLEMENTS, Theft > pocketpicking, 8th September 1831.

1626. THOMAS CLEMENTS was indicted for stealing, on the 21st of July , 1 handkerchief, value 3s., the goods of a man unknown, from his person .

BENJAMIN ALLEN STONE . I live in Hosier-lane, and am a constable. On the 21st of July, at night, I was on Holborn-hill; I followed the prisoner and two others from Field-lane to the corner of Hatton-garden - the prisoner was attempting a gentleman's pocket all the way; I at last saw him take a silk handkerchief out of the gentleman's pocket - I had followed them two or three hundred yards; he gave the handkerchief to a lad in a blue jacket, who was one of his companions - I ran across the road, and tried to lay hold of both, but they got from me; the other dropped the handkerchief - I took it up, and seized the prisoner; this is it - I do not know the gentleman: if I had followed him I should have lost the prisoner - I should know the other lad again; I have inquired respecting the prisoner, and find he and all his friends were out of work - I believe the utmost distress drove him to it; I hear a very good character of him - he ran about one hundred and fifty yards.

The prisoner delivered in a written Defence, denying the charge.

GUILTY . Aged 17. - Confined Six Months .