Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 24 March 2023), July 1847, trial of JOHN FREEMAN (t18470705-1574).

JOHN FREEMAN, Theft > pocketpicking, 5th July 1847.

1574. JOHN FREEMAN was indicted for stealing 1 handkerchief, value 2s., the goods of a certain man whose name was unknown, from his person.

GEORGE SCOTT (City police-constable, No. 560.) I have been in the force about seven years—about half-past six o'clock, on the 24th of June, I was on London-bridge, in plain clothes, and saw the prisoner take a handkerchief out of a gentleman's pocket, put it into his breast, and run across the road—I followed, and took him into custody—(I had previous to that seem him attempt to pick several gentlemen's pockets)—I took the handkerchief out his breast—this is it—it is the same colour as the handkerchief I saw him take—the gentleman went down the steps, or into some house, I gave the prisoner into custody to another officer, and ran after him, but could not find him—I have not been able to find who he is.

Prisoner. Q. Why did not you take me into custody when I picked the gentleman's pocket? A. Because you ran across the bridge—no policeman was near me at the time—I gave you in charge to anther man.

Prisoner's Defence. Does it stand to reason I could pick a gentleman's pocket in daylight, and no one but the officer see me? I bought the handkerchief down the lane on the Sunday morning, for 15d.; he said at the station-house he did not know whether I took the handkerchief out of the gentleman's pocket or not; I was going home to my sister's; the policeman was

six yards before me; I saw him; if I had taken the handkerchief I should have run away.

GUILTY.** Aged 20.— Transported for Seven Years.