Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 07 October 2022), January 1844, trial of ELIZABETH MUNRO (t18440101-435).

ELIZABETH MUNRO, Theft > simple larceny, 1st January 1844.

435. ELIZABETH MUNRO was indicted for stealing 22 yards of gimp, value 9s.; the goods of Matthew Howitt.

MR. WILKINS conducted the Prosecution.

WILLIAM GEORGE TUNNICLIFF . I am in the service of Mr. Howitt, linendraper, High Holborn. On the 13th of Dec., in consequence of what my employer said, I went in pursuit of the prisoner who I had seen in the shop—I followed her about a minute after she left, and was attracted by some parties looking down a passage—I went down Gate-street, and saw the prisoner standing in a private yard, with this board in her hand, which had had the gimp on it—the gimp was in her pocket, or in her dress, partly concealed—I saw a part of it hanging out of her pocket, or out of a hole in her dress—I said she was a foolish woman—I took the board from her, and asked her to return to Mr. Howitt's—she made no answer—I took her back—she was given into custody—the gimp was worth about 9s—we never sell gimp on the board—I had seen her drag this gimp out of the shop—there was a ticket on it—she trailed it out when she was leaving the shop—I am quite sure I had seen this identical piece of gimp in Mr. Howitt's hand.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. Is this the first time you have ever said any thing about seeing the prisoner dragging or trailing it out of the shop? A. No, I mentioned it before, on my deposition being taken—I believe the prisoner had been in the habit of dealing with us for a long time—she had a parcel of things she purchased that day—she had bought two sheets of wadding—if she had wanted this gimp she would have had credit for it—I believe she bears a good character—she was not carrying the gimp loose in her hand—when she came back to the shop she took it from her pocket, and had it in her hand then.

MR. WILKINS. Q. Have you power to give her credit? A. I dare say she might have had it—this gimp was not folded at all, but taken off the card—I saw her take it out of the shop on the card.

CROWN VASS . I was in the prosecutor's employ—the prisoner came, and bought some wadding, and lining—there was no gimp sold to her to my knowledge—she laid out about 2s.

Cross-examined. Q. You were not before the Magistrate? A. No—I had seen the prisoner once or twice before—I showed her a good deal of gimp, and was pressing her to take some—I was not more pressing than usual—she wanted a particular pattern, and at last said that these would not suit her—she then took up her parcel, and went away.

WILLIAM GEORGE TUNNICLIFF re-examined. Q. When the prisoner was accompanying you back to the shop, did she say anything? A. Not till she got to the shop, she then said she intended to have taken it to show to a lady, and to have returned it.

EDWARD CHATFIELD . I am the principal assistant to Mr. Howitt—the prisoner came to the shop on the 13th of Dec.—I was not standing by during the early part of the time while she was there—I was when she inquired about some gimp—she did not buy any—Mr. Howitt called my attention to her as she was going out—Tunnicliff went after her, and brought her back—when she came back I was gone to the other shop, and when I came back the gimp was there, and I believe in possession of the policeman—the prisoner said she had taken it to show a lady, and intended to bring it back—she offered to pay for it.

Cross-examined. Q. You were not before the Magistrate? A. No—I believe the prisoner was admitted to bail—I knew her as a customer for nine or twelve months—I have since heard from other customers that she is a respectable person—if she had asked for gimp to show to a lady, I should not have trusted her.

MATTHEW HOWITT . I carry on this business. I was in my shop when the prisoner was making inquiry respecting gimp—I seated her at the counter, and called a young man to serve her—in consequence of what I said, Tunnicliff went after her and brought her back—some gimp and a board was produced, which I knew—I had seen it trailing under the prisoner's cloak, or under garment, on her leaving the shop—there was a ticket on the gimp—it had not been sold to her.

Cross-examined. Q. What is the meaning of Howitt, Brothers, over your door? A. I have younger brothers with me, to whom I pay salaries at present—I design to bring them into the business—the prisoner stated she took this for a lady to see, and would have returned it—I should not have trusted her—she refused to give her name and address.

JOHN SMITH ( police-constable F 75.) I was called to apprehend the prisoner—she said she had not taken it with, intent to steal it, but to show a lady, and intended to return it in the evening.

NOT GUILTY .