Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 17 October 2021), April 1886, trial of MORRIS PHILLIPS (30) MOSS WOOLF (16) JACOB LEVY (30) (t18860405-419).

MORRIS PHILLIPS, MOSS WOOLF, JACOB LEVY, Theft > stealing from master, 5th April 1886.

419. MORRIS PHILLIPS (30), MOSS WOOLF (16), and JACOB LEVY (30) , Stealing 14 lb. of meat of Hyman Sampson, the master of Phillips and Woolf.

MR. CLURE Prosecuted; MR. MOYSER appeared for Phillips, MR. BLACK for Woolf and MR. GEOGHEGAN for Levy.

SAMUEL BACON (City Policeman 941). I received information from my inspector, and on 10th March, at 6.15 a.m., I was watching the prosecutor's shop—Phillips came up to the door and knocked, got answer, and went away—about two minutes afterwards Levy came out at his shop door, which is next door, a post divides them—he knocked at Mr. Sampson's door and went back in at his own door, came out again in a minute or two unscrewed the bolt of his shutter bar, and then looked round and knocked at Mr. Sampson's door again; there being no answer he went down the street 10 or 12 yards to the corner of Stony Lane—Phillips joined him; they conversed and went back to Mr. Sampson's door—Phillips knocked, and Levy went in at his own door—the door was opened; Phillips went in and turned up the gas—Levy came out of his shop and went into Mr. Sampson's shop, where he had a conversation with Phillips—he came back in about a minute and went into his own shop, where I saw Woolf, who brought a piece of meat from the back of the shop to the door, and hung it on a hook just inside the door, and then came out on the footway, looked round, took the meat off the hook, and took it quickly in at Lewis's door, and gave it to Lewis; he then returned to Sampson's shop—I ran into Levy's shop, caught hold of him with the meat in his hand, and asked what he was going to do with it—he said "We are only having a lark, I am going to weigh it"—I said I did not believe it, I should take him to Mr. Sampson, which I did, and then took him to the station, where he repeated that it was only a lark—I found 32l. 10s. 9d. in his pocket—the meat was 14 lb. of beef—I had been watching since 5.15; it was perfectly light outside at 6.15, but not inside Levy's shop, there being no gas.

Cross-examined by MR. BLACK. I was in some buildings opposite, lying among some bricks and rubbish, but not within hearing distance—I could not see who opened the door, as the shutters were not down, but Phillips turned the gas up afterwards—we were both in plain clothes—Woolf sleeps on the premises.

Cross-examined by MR. GEOGHEGAN. I cannot say whether these men are rival butchers; they are both Jews—when he said that he did it for a lark Mr. sampson said "You will be locked up for it"—he valued the meat at 6d. per lb.—this is Petticoat Lane, and there are other butchers in the street—it was about the time a man would go to market.

JAMES JONES (City Policeman 935). I was with Bacon; I have heard his evidence and corroborate it—I went into Sampson's shop, and saw Phillips und Woolf; I told them I was a police officer, and should take them in custody for stealing a piece of beef—Phillips said "I know nothing about it I came from the back of the shop—Woolf said "I know nothing about it"—I took them to the station.

Cross-examined, by MR. BLACK. Woolf did not say "I know nothing about it," I correct myself, he made no reply.

Cross-examined by MR. GEOGHEGAN. I did not go into Levy's shop, nor did I see in, as the shutters were up—there may have been a quantity of meat in the background.

HYMAN SAMPSON . I am a butcher of 35, Middlesex Street—Phillips and Woolf were my servants; Phillips about three months, and Woolf about two or two and a half years—I had spoken to the police, and on 10th March about 5 o'clock I went to market—I was sent for, and came back and found the three prisoners in custody—the policeman asked Levy what he intended to do with it, he said that the boy brought it in for a lark, and then said "Mr. Sampson, you are not going to do anything with me"—the meat was worth 7s.

Cross-examined by MR. MOYSER. Phillips slept at the shop on Wednesdays and Thursdays, this was Wednesday morning—he would sleep away from the shop on Tuesday nights.

Cross-examined by MR. BLACK. I discharged Woolf once and took him back again—I had a place in Goldstone street for nineteen years—I know Binwell, a butcher, I took Woolf from his employment—I never asked for a character, he was only a little boy—I have never found fault with him before.

Cross-examined by MR. GEOGHEGAN. Levy was there before I came—he has not taken customers from me—I have no animosity against him—I have met him out of business hours—this was not the best meat at 6d. a pound, I have some at 11d.—Levy has never chaffed me and said that his meat was better than mine, he buys from the same killer as I do—I sell more expensive meat than he does, but there has been no joking about it, nor did we ever bet about it—the Jewish authorities will not give a man a licence unless he has an excellent character—I have accused my wife of robbing me—I did not find out that she had a separate banking account—I did not accuse her before Phillips came into my service—I may have said at the police court that I accused her 12 months ago—I have not said that if Levy would leave his shop I would not carry on the prosecution against him—I would not let him off for 10,000l.

Re-examined. At 6.15. a.m. my five employees were on the premises.

Levy received a good character.

PHILLIPS— NOT GUILTY .

WOOLF— GUILTY Recommended to mercy by the Jury.— .— Four Months' Hard Labour.

LEVY— GUILTY of receiving.— Twelve Months' Hard Labour.