Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 25 September 2023), May 1883, trial of JOHN THOMPSON (46) (t18830528-563).

JOHN THOMPSON, Theft > simple larceny, 28th May 1883.

563. JOHN THOMPSON (46) , Stealing a hat brush of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, and a coat of Robert Neaves.

MR. MEAD Prosecuted.

ROBERT NEAVES . I am porter at the Inner Temple and attendant at the reading-room—on 19th March, about 4.45 p.m., I was watching behind a glass door and could see the lobby, where I could see my coat on a peg—I saw the prisoner come in; he is not a member of the Inn and had no right to use the room—he went into the lavatory and took a hat brush, and then came back, took my coat from the peg, and hurried out—I followed him to the Mitre Tavern—he had some bear before him and was in the act of sitting down on my coat—I entered into conversation with him; he found I was watching him and went upstairs—I followed him—he went into the lavatory at the top of the stairs, taking the coat with him; he hung it up and was coming downstairs—I charged him with stealing it—he said "I have nothing of yours"—I called the barmaid, and then he took the hat brush out of his pocket and put it on the stairs—it is marked "Inner Temple" on the back—I got the police and he was looked up—this is my coat; it is worth 2l., and the brush 3s. 6d.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. I told you I was a clerk out of employ, but that was to put you off your guard.

ANNIE LAMBOURNE . I am barmaid at the Mitre Tavern—on 14th March I heard a noise on the stairs, and saw the prisoner and Neave—the prisoner took this brush out of his pocket and put it on the fourth stair—a policeman came afterwards.

GEORGE JENNER (City Policeman). I was called to the Mitre, and saw the prisoner and Neaves on the first-floor landing—Neaves charged him

with stealing this coat and hat brush—he made no reply—I took him to the station and found on him 21 pawn-tickets.

The prisoner, in his defence, contended that if Neaves had really seen him take the coat he would have stopped him at once.

GUILTY . There were seven similar indictments against the prisoner.— Nine Months' Hard Labour.