Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 08 December 2022), June 1882, trial of WILLIAM WOOD, Unlawfully (t18820626-723).

WILLIAM WOOD, Royal Offences > coining offences, 26th June 1882.

723. WILLIAM WOOD, Unlawfully uttering counterfeit coin.

MR. POLAND Prosecuted.

WILLIAM JOSEPH SUMMERS . I keep the Gloucester Arms, Bolls Road, Bermondsey—on 30th May, at 11.55 p.m., I served the prisoner with a glass of mild and bitter ale, which came to 1 1l. 2d.; he gave me a bad half crown—I said, "How many coins have you got like this?"—he said, "I have just changed a half-sovereign"—he showed me a good half-crown, two florins, and 1s.—I took the shilling, and gave him the change—he was moving towards the door, and I jumped over the counter, stopped him, and gave him in charge—I heard something drop, and another bad half-crown was picked up.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. I had to go to the other end of the bar to draw the ale, but you put down the piece before I went; I took it up when you came back—you did not then say, "That is not mine; you should be careful not to take other people's money up before mine "—you did not say, "I am quite certain that does not belong to me "—you were very saucy—you did not say where you changed the half-sovereign.

ARTHUR WOOD (Policeman M 117). On the night of 30th May I was sent for to the Gloucester Arms, and met the prisoner coming out in a hurry with the landlord hanging on to his coat-tails—he took his right hand out of his trousers pocket, and I heard a coin drop, and Riley, who was with me, picked up a half-crown—I found on the prisoner two florins, two shillings, three sixpences, and 13 pence, all good—Mr. Summers gave me this half-crown—going to the station the prisoner said, "I did not do it; I cannot help other people putting money down in front of mine," and at the station he pulled out his money and said, "Here is my change of a half-sovereign"—he had lit. 1d. altogether.

Cross-examined. You said at the station that neither of the bad coins belonged to you.

WILLIAM RILEY (Policeman M 116). I was with Wood, and saw the prisoner draw his hand up; something fell, and I picked up this bad half-crown; it rolled, and I stopped it with my foot about 3 feet from the house.

WILLIAM WEBSTER . These half-crowns are both bad.

Prisoner's Defence. There is no evidence to prove that either of these coins was ever in my possession. I never placed that shilling on the counter. My shilling was taken up, and I received the right change. It was Whit Tuesday, and I had been to see a publican, and was not sober. I have two excellent characters here.

WILLIAM JOSEPH SUMMERS (Re-examined). He tendered the first half crown before I left his presence; I served him, and then took it up; I am sure it is the same—I had to turn my back while I drew the beer.

GUILTY . He was further charged with a previous conviction

JAMES BOLTON . I am a warder of Holloway Prison—I. produce a certificate of the conviction of William Wood of felony at Middlesex Sessions in July, 1879—he was sentenced tonine months' imprisonment—the prisoner is the man—I was present at his trial—it was for stealing 40 spoons and other articles—he was transferred from Coldbath Fields to Holloway, where he was my own cleaner.

The Prisoner. I deny it totally; I was employed quite differently; it is a case of mistaken identity; I was never convicted of stealing 40 silver spoons in my life.

Witness. You have had notice of this—I was sworn at the police-court, and proved the conviction in your presence.

WILLIAM RILEY (Re-examined by the Prisoner). 1 heard the Sessions warder prove this conviction against you at the police-court—you were pointed out by one of our detectives.

GUILTY.— Two Years' Hard Labour.