Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 08 December 2022), February 1839, trial of CHARLES WHICHER (t18390204-529).

CHARLES WHICHER, Theft > embezzlement, 4th February 1839.

529. CHARLES WHICHER was indicted for embezzlement.

MR. PRENDERGAST conducted the Prosecution.

GEORGE DREKE. I am clerk at a sugar refinery at Ratcliff. I employed Mr. Rutherford as my medical man—I owed him a bill of 5l. 14s., which I paid on the 21st of February, 1838, to the prisoner, in Mr. Rutherford's shop—he wrote "Settled" on the bill.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. Have you any recollection of the transaction of paying him, except from the memorandum on the bill? A. Yes, I remember going into the shop, and paying him, and his writing the memorandum.

HUGH FRANCIS . I live in Ratciff-highway. I was a patient of Mr. Rutherford's and owed him a bill of two guineas, in March, 1838—I paid two pounds to the prisoner in Mr. Rutherford's shop, on the 2nd of March, 1838, on Mr. Rutherford's account—the two shilling were not asked for—the prisoner wrote this receipt on the bill in my presence—"Settled, Chas. Whicher."

SNAMUEL RUTHERFORD . I am a surgeon and apothecary in Ratliff-highway. The prisoner was in my employment from June, 1836—he occasionally received money on my account—in 1838, I asked him occasionally if certain persons had paid, and he said No, but they would pay at Christmas—on the 15th of November, 1838, I made some discovery, and went over, with him, a list of patients who owed me money—I asked him whether he had received Mr. Drake's account—he said No he had not—I asked him the same about Mr. Francis—he said No, he had not—he was in my service at that time, but left that afternoon—he never acknowledged having received these two sums—on the contrary, he said he had not received them.

Cross-examined. Q. Who was with you when you questioned him? A. Mr. Holmes, a neighbor and friends of mine—never offered not to

prosecute the prisoner if I got the money—not in those direct terms, but is a letter which I wrote to his sister I made an offer—he acknowledged having received 20l., and said that was the utmost he had received—on the 15th of November, being pressed to send for an officer, the prisoner begged me not, and produced a bond, but I never had it in my possession—Mr. Holmes had it—I insisted on the prisoner giving up the bond, or I would send for an officer, and he gave it up—I believe it was a Portuguese boad to the amount of 40l.—Mr. Holmes went into the City to see if it was genuine.

MR. PRENDERGAST. Q. Did the sum of 20l. he said he had received, include these two sums in question? A. No, I had not discovered them at that time—he denied having received more than the 20l.—I then agreed, that if I received the 20l., I would not prosecute him—I gave the bond to my attorney on the 1st of January, and it has been returned to its right owner, who is a young lady.

LAWSON HOLMES . I am a grocer, and live in. Ratcliff-highway. On the 15th of November, I was present when Mr. Rutherford spoke to the prisoner about these two sums—the prisoner said he had not received them.

Cross-examined. Q. We understand from Mr. Rutherford, that the prisoner at that time admitted the receipt of 20l.; A. He did—he said it was all he had received—he never admitted the receipt of 40l.—Mr. Ruther-ford did not agree to take the bond, if it was found to be genuine—I went into the City to see what it was worth—it was worth 40l. at that time in the market—I believe it was a Portuguese bond for 100l.—Mr. Rutherford did not require him to give it up to cover that demand, or any other that might be behind in his account—I proposed that he should leave the bond for the 20l.—we knew of nothing else at that time—he said he should be able to pay the 20l., and said that he had a wife and three children—Mr. Ruther-ford said to me, "Very well, hold this till he pays the 20l."—he found out afterwards, that he had got nearly 100l. from him, and then he said, "I must prosecute, for this man's deception."

RICHARD CROUCHER . I am a policeman. In consequence of information I apprehended the prisoner on the 31st of December, about seven o'clock in the evening, at Stepney—I said, "Mr. Whicher, you must consider yourself my prisoner on account of your master, Mr. Rutherford; you have been receiving money on—his account, and I must take you to the office"—he said, "I know I have received money on his account, but I did not intend to defraud him"—in going along I said, "What money do you suppose you have received on Mr. Rutherford's account?"—he said, "Not more than 100l. or 120l.," but he had got a list of the whole, and he intended to pay him—be said at first he should not go with me unless I showed him some authority—I told him I was an officer, that I apprehended him for embezzling Mr. Rutherford's money, and showed him my staff—he said, "I don't care for that authority, I shall not go with you"—he resisted a bit, but I mastered him, and got him down to the office.

GUILTY . Aged 55.—Recommended to mercy.

Confined Twelve Months.