Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 02 October 2022), August 1880, trial of ALFRED HENBACH (42) (t18800803-457).

ALFRED HENBACH, Deception > fraud, 3rd August 1880.

457. ALFRED HENBACH (42) , Unlawfully attempting to obtain a quantity of hats by false pretences.

MR. PURCELL Prosecuted.

CHARLES HAGAN (Police Inspector). I took the prisoner at the Cafe De L'Etoile, Windmill Street, and told him I had a warrant against him for obtaining goods from Leon Kay—he said, "What of that? I can return the

hats, but I shall first have to make inquiry where they now are."—I took him to the station and found on him 2s. and some halfpence—He gave his address as 55, Eversleigh Road, Battersea—I went there and found that he had a room there at 2s. 6d. per week—I found there a quantity of correspondence and this hat (produced.)—the papers are headed "G Paull & Co., musical string manufacturers, 17, Surrey Bow, Blackfriars. To Mr. Leon Kay," &c.—the correspondence extends for six years back, and it is with various firms, ordering goods and showing that goods have ten sold—complaints have been made by Paull & Co., and I have made inquiries about it.

FRANCOIS GAUTIER (Interpreter). I am agent to Leon Kay, of Paris, a bat manufacturer—I received this post-card, marked A (This being interpreted was a request to send some sample hats to G. Paull & Co.)—we afterwards received this letter, asking for specimens of white hats with plush edges—we had not sent any letter before that was received—we then receded this letter of the 24th June (Acknowledging receipt of samples and complaining that they were damaged in part and would be returned, and ordaring some other hats and 33 dozen feathers)—after hat I came to London with about 40£ worth of samples—I went to 17, Surrey Row and found no one there—I did not leave the goods—the value of the goods ordered was 2,000l.—I gave information to the police—these goods (produced.) are part of the samples sent—I afterwards received this letter.

(This woe from the prisoner, stating that he did not intend to defraud, and was quite ready to return the samples if his expenses were paid for the carriage.)

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. The first post-card was addressed to Mr. Kay's traveller, Mr. Frego—I am not Mr. Frego—You didn't know the name of the firm, and therefore you sent the post-card to the traveller, who brought it to the firm, but all the other correspondence was in the flune of Kay—we sent the goods because we believed your house was nlrent—some time ago there was a house of Paull & Co. in London, who did a great deal of business—I never saw you in France—we sent you the goods at 30 days net—we wrote to you saying that the agent would cell at your place, to whom you could return the samples—I am the agent; I called two or three times and could not find you—I did Hot leave any message, because the landlord told me that you had left the last three years.

Re-examined. I believe that Paull & Co. were a genuine firm, and were buyers in hats, and that the house was solvent.

HENRY STONE . I am a bill-poster and army accoutrement maker, of 17, Surrey Row—I have known the prisoner five or six years—he lodged with me about three years ago in the first floor front room, and paid 4s. a week—he remained a month or five weeks—he left because the room was not large enough, but I gave him permission to have his letters sent there—letters and parcels of toys used to come—he received a letter and a postcard, which was returned—he said he expected a parcel, and Home hate came.

Cross-examined. Your wife's name was Paull—she has been dead about three years—you received the last goods about 12 or 18 months ago—you did not instruct me to say that you had gone, but I did say so—that was on the Sunday, and we do not do business on she Sunday—I was at

dinner, and was annoyed—I should have lent you money if you had asked me.

Re-examined. I saw a Frenchman who came and declined to do business on Sunday—he asked whether Paull was in the way; I said he had gone away, and I did not know where he lived—this letter is in my writing; "Dear friend, I received your letter and order for 9s. There has been four parties of Frenchmen called on me for the name of Paull. I said I know nothing of you. There was a workman came about music strings for you. Yours, H. Stone"—I bent that to the prisoner—when he sent me an order there was a stamped envelope inside, and I put my letter into it.

HERBERT HUMBERT . I am a hat manufacturer, of 58, Red Cross Street—I have known the prisoner five or six years—he worked for me and sold hats—about the beginning of July he brought me two parcels of hats and asked me if I could give him an order for them. I said no, they were not good enough—he asked me, to let him leave the parcel there as it was raining, and he did so—I did not see him again—these post-cards are in my writing—Inspector Hagan afterwards came with the hats.

Cross-examined. The hate were brought to me merely to order there—there was nothing irregular in that—you told me that you had written to Paris for them to be taken back, and were waiting for the agent's address, as you had been with them to several warehouses and not got an order—I would trust you up to 15l. or 20l., but not for 70l. or 80l.—I have done business with you for some time, and you have always paid—no agent need have a warehouse—you are also a musical teacher—I knew you an Paull as well as Henbach—I trusted you as Henbach.

Re-examined. He and I have not been on intimate terms—Gautier called on me with some Frenchmen—he did not ask whether I had got the hats, or speak about hats, but I had got them on my counter—I did not know they were his—I knew the prisoner carrying on business as Paull and Co.

CHARLES HAGAN (Re-examined.). I searched the prisoner's lodgings, and found about 100 pawn-tickets relating to watches, chains, and other articles, down to flat-irons and chemises—I found three diaries showing that he had been pledging nearly every day for three years, from 220 yards of silk at 17l. 10s. down to very small articles—I also found correspondence from several parties on the Continent, showing that he bad been obtaining goods from them, and this letter from the last witness. (This stated. "Don't go to Surrey Row, as I know inquiries were made yesterday, and I shall feel myself compromised. Further particulars verbally.—H. B.")

Witnesses for the Defence.

WILLIAM BLAESER . I am a baker, of 278, Waterloo Road—I have known the prisoner three or four years—my real name is Klishmidt, but I go in the name of my stepfather, Blaeser—I accompanied you to the police-station when you were taken—You asked me to go the first thing next morning, 13th July, to 58, or 59, Redcross Street, to Mr. Humbert, and fetch two boxes of ladies' hats which was there in your name, and bring them to the police-court—I went there, hut could not find Mr. Humbert—I came to the police-court without the hats—on the 15th July, when you were remanded, you told me to go round to Mr. Humbert because you did not want him to get into trouble, and get the hats—you told me to go to a tavern in Jewin Street, where I could find him at lunch in the bar.

Cross-examined. This printed form (produced.) is not signed by me—it is an order for a milk churn—I think it is the prisoner's writing, and is signed in my name—I did not authorise him to write it—I did not carry on business at 207, Waterloo Road as a tin and metal worker.

The prisoner in his defence stated that he had sent out post-cards to various firms in Paris, and received an answer from Mr. Kay, offering him goods, from whom he afterwards received samples, but was unable to sell them, and declined to keep them, and wrote for the address of the house in london where he might deliver them up, which was never sent.

GUILTY .— Five Years' Penal Servitude.