Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 20 July 2019), February 1851, trial of JOHN DENLEY (t18510203-528).

JOHN DENLEY, Theft > housebreaking, 3rd February 1851.

528. JOHN DENLEY , breaking and entering the dwelling-house of George Clapp, and stealing 1 dressing-case and other articles, value 34s.; his property.

GEORGE CLAPP . I keep a greengrocer's shop in Pindar-place, Gray's-inn-road. On Tuesday morning 28th Jan. I went out to market about six o'clock or a quarter past—I left my shop-door quite safe—I pulled it to by the knocker, pushed it with my hand, and then with my knee—it had a spring lock inside—I left the gas burning in the shop—a person going by could only see it through the key-hole; there was no glassdoor—I had seen a dressing-case that morning on the drawers in the backparlour before I went out; there were no clothes on the parlour floor then—there were when, I came back.

AUGUSTA SOPHIA CLAPP . I came down that morning about half-past six o'clock—my husband had gone out before—I went to the backparlour and saw some clothes lying on the floor—there were two men in the back-parlour; one was at the drawers taking the things out—the gas was lighted; partly turned up—one of the men had a long dark sleeve jacket—he was at the door—I could almost swear it was the prisoner—I did not see his face—he was dressed as the prisoner, and his appearance was the same—when I came into the back-parlour the two men ran into the shop and out at the front-door, which was partly open—I had seen the man packing the clothes in a red handkerchief; that was not the man like the prisoner; it was not my handkerchief—I ran to the street-door but could see nothing of the men—in about an hour I missed a dressing-case—the clothes were all about the back-parlour ready to take away—they had left the red handkerchief there with linen of different kinds in it—nearly every thing was taken out of the drawers—nothing was taken away except the dressing-case.

HENRY HEBARD (policeman, E 60). I was on duty in Cromer-street, and saw the prisoner, about a quarter-past seven o'clock, with a square bundle under his arm, like a work-box—I stopped him, and asked him what he had got there—he said, "I have got nothing"—I said it appeared like a work-box, and I asked him whose it was—he said, "It is my own"—I took him and the box—this is it (produced)—he was asked at the station in my presence about the box—he said he found it in Cromer-street—I found on him a bradawl and five duplicates.

GEORGE CLAPP . This is my dressing-case—I have had it seven or eight years.

AUGUSTA SOPHIA CLAPP . This is the dressing-case—I have known it five or six years—I gave the red handkerchief to the policeman—this is it.

Prisoner. I was not near the place; I had the box on me, but I picked it up in Cromer-street; the officer has known me ten or twelve years, and has known me to work hard for my living.

HENRY HEBARD re-examined. I have known him—he used to work,

but for eight or ten months he has got associated with some had characters, some of whom have been transported—for the last four or five months he has been continually with them almost all hours of the night.

GUILTY . Aged 23.— Confined Twelve Months.