Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 30 September 2022), October 1856, trial of CHRISTOPHER HORNE JOHN HALL TIMOTHY CARTER (t18561027-1026).

CHRISTOPHER HORNE, JOHN HALL, TIMOTHY CARTER, Theft > burglary, 27th October 1856.

1026. CHRISTOPHER HORNE, JOHN HALL , and TIMOTHY CARTER , burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling house of William Geaves, at St Mary, Islington, and stealing therein I timepiece, and I case of surgical instruments, value 2l.; his property.

MR. ORRIDGE. conducted the Prosecution.

WILLIAM GEAVES . I live at No. 2, Charles-street, Caledonian-road. On the night of 22nd, or early in the morning of 23rd Aug., my house was broken into; two desks, with their contents, a number of letters and documents, a timepiece, a case of surgical instruments, and a joint of meat were taken away—I saw the timepiece and the case of surgical instruments some weeks after—they were brought to my house—on the night of the burglary I went to bed at half past 10 o'clock—I fastened up the house myself.

CHARLES BILLITT . I live at No. 26, Bingfield-street, Caledonian-road.

In Aug. last I was lodging at Sntton-gardens—Timothy Carter, Christopher Horno, and a man named Jenkins lodged in the same house—nine weeks ago I heard Carter and Home come home in the morning—it was about 4 or 5 o'clock—they had a timepiece, a case of surgical instruments, two cases, and some other things with them—by "cases "I mean desks—they did not bring the timepiece home with them first—they said that there was a timepiece on the shelf, and they would go home and fetch it—they went back and fetched it, and sat down—John Hall came and fetched the things away—I did not hear anything that passed between Hall and the other two men—it was Hall who took the things away.

COURT. Q. Was anything said about any price? A. I would not be sure, but 50s. was mentioned—there was only John Hall came, and I think he was to pay 50s.

Cross-examined by MR. PAYNE. Q. How old are yon? A. Fifteen—I get my living by working with my father—I am working with him now—Timothy Carter enticed me away from home—my father did not turn me out—I will swear that—my father and mother did not accuse me of stealing their property—I cannot say for certain how long I lived with Carter away from my father and mother—some weeks ago Carter, Horne, and a man named Jenkins came in in the morning—I was left in the house that night—they came in between 4 and 5 o'clock in the morning—I looked at the clock and the surgical instruments—I did not take them in my hand.

Cross-examined by MR. SHARPS. Q. Had you any quarrel with any man in the house? A. I had with Jenkins—not with any of the others.

Q. You said just now, in answer to my Lord, that you heard something about 50s. having been offered for these articles—first you said, "I could not hear what Hall and the other men said, "and afterwards you said something about 50s.; Of.; how do you reconcile that? A. I do not know—it is not true that I was turned out by my father for six months—I have been in the habit of getting my livelihood by working with my father—I have been to the theatre sometimes—I paid for admission; my father used to give me the money—I never had money in any other way—I never picked gentlemen's pocketeI never was brought up to that—I cannot say what day in the week it was when they came in at 5 o'clock in the morning, nor the month—I did not first give information to the police—they came to my house and asked me—I was working for my father—he had just come home from dinner when they came—I have not been kept by the police for the last month—my father has been supporting me—I went back to my father the day the robbery was committed.

COURT. Q. How long were you away from your father's altogether? A. About six weeks.

ROBERT GOULD . (policeman, N 466). From information I received Iwent with another constable to the White Swan beer shop, in Maiden-lane, 4th Oct., and found a timepiece—Hall was not there, he was in another beer shop—as we were all going back we went in there, and Hall called out, j "That is my clock"—I took the timepiece into the beer shop where Hall was—I said, "Can you swear to it?"—I took it close to him, and told him I should take him into custody for feloniously receiving it—he said that to could swear to it, and that it was his clock—I afterwards went to to lodgings in Adam's-place, Holloway—I found a quantity of silver spoons and patent spoons and forks, a case of surgical instruments, a tortoise shell box, and other articles—the articles now produced I found in his lodgings.

Cross-examined by MR. PAYNE. Q. How long have you known this boy?

A. About six weeks—I have not had the care of him since he has been a witness—he has been living with his father at home—I found him at his father's house—his father is a respectable hard working man—I never knew the boy before this occurrence—I never had him in custody—he was once in custody for throwing a stone at a dog, and was fined 1s.—I never saw him in any other trouble, or for picking pockets.

Cross-examined by MR. SHARPE. Q. Was there not some woman or girl examined before the Magistrate? A. No, the Magistrate would not hear her evidence; she offered to give evidence against the prisoners, but the Magistrate would not listen to it.

HENRY REDSTALL . (policeman, N 381). I was with the last witness when Hall was taken into custody. I saw him take this timepiece to Hall on the Monday following that I had charge of Hall—he said that the timepiece was his, he bought six years ago at a sale at Stamford-hill.

WILLIAM GEAVES . re-examined.. The timepiece and the case of surgical instruments now produced were safe in my house at 10 o'clock on the night before they were stolen.

MR. SHARPE. Q. The case of instruments, I think, is not an ordinary one? A. No, it fell into my hands six years ago, and has lain in a cupboard ever since—I gave the name inside, to the police before it was opened, the name of Evans, and there is a particular tear in the case and and particular spots on one of the instruments.

Carter's Defence. Those things were never in my place; I never saw them in my life before.

The prisoner Home coiled

THOMAS HOBSON . I live at No. 6, Muggle-street, Highbury. I have two houses—I have known Home five years or better—I have employed him as a bricklayer, and for that time, on and off, he has worked for me—I have always considered him a sober, steady, hard working man—if he had been disposed to rob me, he has had the opportunity of doing so.

ROBERT GOULD . The prisoner Home was in custody before—he was found on a jeweller's shop in the Holloway-road, with intent to commit a felony—Hobson gave him a good character, and he got off with six weeks' imprisonment.

COURT. to THOMAS HOBSON. Q. You gave this person a good character, did you know of his having been tried last December? A. I spoke as far as my personal knowledge, and I know nothing against him—at the moment I spoke, I did not give it a thought—I appeared for him, knowing him so long, and knowing nothing against him—knowing he was in trouble, I came forward to speak of his character, and the Magistrate at the police court held him to bail—I did not think of naming it, as it did not cross my mind—he worked for me, and I spoke as I found him—I had heard that he had heen found on a jeweller's shop, but what his intentions were, I cannot take on myself to say—he was convicted.

(The witness was committed to Newgate for the remainder of the session).

Hall. When I was taken into custody, I was at work with my father, and it was proved that my father bought the articles I was charged with stealing.

HORNE— GUILTY . * Aged 26.— Four Years Penal Servitude.

HALL— GUILTY . ** Aged 29.— Confined Twelve Months.

CARTER— GUILTY . Aged 22.— Six Years Penal Servitude. (See page 925.)