Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 27 September 2020), June 1867, trial of WILLIAM THOMAS COX (26) (t18670610-560).

WILLIAM THOMAS COX, Theft > mail theft, 10th June 1867.

560. WILLIAM THOMAS COX (26) , Stealing, whilst employed in the Post Office, a letter containing 122 postage stamps, the property of her Majesty's Postmaster-General.

MR. METCALFE conducted the Prosecution.

JOHN GARDINER . I am one of the senior clerks of the General Post Office—the prisoner was a letter-carrier—his district was in Goswell Street—in consequence of something that occurred, I made up a letter, on 30th May, addressed, Mr. Baker, bookseller, 20, Goswell Street, into which I put 122 penny postage stamps, 120 in one sheet, and two together—I marked them and gave the letter the same day to Smee, an officer of the Post Office—it should in the ordinary course of business have been delivered by the prisoner

on the morning of the 31st, between eight and nine o'clock—about half-past twelve on 31st, in consequence of information, I told the prisoner that a letter containing postage stamps, addressed to Mr. Baker, bookseller, 20, Goswell Street, was missing, and asked him if he knew anything about it—he said, "No"—I asked him where he lived—he said, "15, Upper Ashby Street"—I desired Rumbold to go and search his lodging—he returned in about an hour, and in the prisoner's presence produced a pocketbook, containing 122 postage stamps, which he said he had found at the prisoner's lodgings in the pocket of a coat, which he produced, and which the prisoner now has on—I said to the prisoner, "These postage stamps have been found at your lodging by the police-officer; where did you get them from?"—he replied, "I am very sorry, but I must plead guilty"—I identified the stamps (produced).

WILLIAM SMEE . I am an officer of the Post Office—about 7.30 p.m. on 30th May I posted the letter Mr. Gardiner has spoken of at the chief office in the same state as I received it.

JOHN CLEGG . I am inspector of letter-carriers at the General Post Office—in consequence of a communication, I went to the letter-box on 30th May, and took out, amongst others, the letter spoken of—on the following morning I stamped it and sorted it, among other letters, to go to Gogwell Street—it would come into the prisoner's hands in the ordinary course—he should have delivered it between eight and nine that morning.

HENRY RUMBOLD . I am a constable attached to the General Post Office—on 31st May I went to the prisoner's lodgings and found in a drawer the coat he is now wearing, in the pocket of which I found a pocket-book containing stamps—the prisoner took off his uniform coat and put on the one I found.

THOMAS BAKER . I am a bookseller, of 20, Goswell Street—I did not receive the letter of which I have heard.

Prisoner's Defence. I hope you will give me another chance to regain my character. I have a wife and three young children, and one is dying of heart disease.

GUILTY .— Five Years' Penal Servitude.