Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 07 December 2021), May 1863, trial of JOSIAH SHEEN (28) (t18630511-683).

JOSIAH SHEEN, Royal Offences > coining offences, 11th May 1863.

683. JOSIAH SHEEN (28), was indicted for a like offence. MESSRS. COOKE and CRAWFORD conducted the Prosecution.

EMMA ROWLEY . My husband keeps a tobacconist's shop, at 1, Upper park—place—one Sunday early in April, the prisoner came in and asked for half an ounce of birdseye—he gave me half a crown, and I gave him 2s. 4d. change, and put the half—crown in the till—there was no other there—the prisoner then went away—about an hour afterwards, my husband went to the till, took out the half—crown, and showed it to me—on 14th April the prisoner came again, asked for a pennyworth of birdseye, and offered me a two-shilling piece—I saw it was bad and told him so—my husband then took it out of my hand—the prisoner wished it to be returned to him, and not to be defaced, as he should be the loser, for he had just taken it of his governor—my husband would not give it him, and he tried to take it—he paid me for the tobacco with good money—he was then given into custody.

Prisoner. Q. On the Sunday previous, when you say I came into your shop, how was I dressed? A. Respectably dressed—I did not notice what you had on—decidedly not, the same as you have on now—you are dressed now as you were the second time, but without a coat.

WILLIAM ROWLEY . On 14th April I saw the prisoner served by my wife—I saw her examining a coin, and she said it looked queer—she went to try it in the detector, and I saw the prisoner reach his hand over to get it away from her—I immediately went and took the florin from my wife—I had been looking for the prisoner—I had seen him in my shop about a week before—on a Sunday evening about dusk, when a half—crown was passed to my wife—I kept that by me—when I took the florin from my wife, I put it in my pocket, and told the prisoner I should keep it—he said I was not to do that for he should be the loser, his governor had just given it to him—I said, "Send the governor up to me then"—he said, "I shall," and left the shop—I followed him and gave him into custody, and gave the policeman the half-crown and the florin.

Prisoner. Q. Had I hat or a cap on when I came on the Sunday previous? A. I cannot swear which, I was looking through the glass partition at the time—I saw your face—I saw you once at the Gloucester Arms, from the time I suspected you.

COURT. Q. After the Sunday, and before the two—shilling piece was offered? A. Yes—it was in the Gloucester I gave him in custody.

Prisoner. Q. Had I not plenty of time to go away? A. Yes; I was quite surprised when I saw you dressed so differently—you came into my shop like a cab—washer, and in five minutes afterwards you were at the Gloucester Arms dressed quite different, with clean boots, a pipe in your mouth, and a coat on—had I not looked at you and pointed you out, I should hardly have known you.

MR. COOKS. Q. Have you any doubt about him now? A. Not the slightest.

GEORGE COLTHURST . I am a butcher, at 35, Upper Park-street—about three weeks before he was given into custody the prisoner came into my shop and purchased some meat which came to 4d., and gave me a bad two—shilling piece—I bent it and told him it was bad—he said he knew where he had taken it, for he had come direct from the Boston Arms, and it was there—he told me not to bend it much—I gave it him back—he paid me in good money and left.

Prisoner. Q. Did not I often come Into your shop? A. Not very often—I have only seen you once or twice before, I think—I knew you by sight.

JOHN CASTLB (Policeman, D 278). I took the prisoner into custody—I produce a half—crown and florin given to me by Mr. Rowley—I searched the

prisoner at the station, and found two shillings, a sixpence, and fourpenny-worth of coppers, good money.

WILLIAM WEBSTER . These coins are both bad.

Prisoner's Defence. I had plenty of time to get away. I have worked at the mews for years, and never had a stain on my character before.

GUILTY .— Confined Twelve Months.