Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 05 February 2023), April 1886, trial of DANIEL CLEARY, (t18860405-468).

DANIEL CLEARY, Theft > pocketpicking, 5th April 1886.

468. DANIEL CLEARY, Stealing a watch, the goods of William Thomas Tranter from his person.

MR. DYSON WILLIAMS Prosecuted.

WILLIAM THOMAS TRANTER . I live at Fownall, Hereford—on 8th March I was staying at 7, Bridgwater Square, and about 20 minutes past 11 I was in Tranter's Temperance Hotel, and went out with three or four others to look at a fire in Aldersgate Street, near the Manchester Hotel—I noticed the prisoner and two other men near me—the prisoner put his hand across his coat—not suspecting anything, I went to button up my coat and saw the prisoner's hand go directly from my pocket—I looked down and saw my chain hanging in front me; the swivel was broken and my watch gone—I have not seen my watch since—immediately I saw his hand go away I turned to the proprietor of the hotel, and Murphy, a gentleman standing near, and said (the prisoner could hear me) "I have had my pocket picked of my watch, and that man has it"—my friend said "Get a policeman"; the prisoner and the other man moved off immediately and went and spoke to a constable who was keeping the crowd off—an inspector went across the street and they were taken as they were going down Aldersgate Street together—I never had my eyes off the prisoner.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. I was standing between the hotel and the Metropolitan Station in the middle of the road, there was no one between us within a distance of 20 feet—I never had my eyes off you from the time I lost my watch till the time you were taken—the other prisoner was discharged—the detective told me he knew you were an old hand.

ERNEST KIDNER . (City Policeman 163). About half-past 11 on the evening of 8th March I was on duty at a fire in Aldersgate Street—my attention was called by the prosecutor to the prisoner and another man named Bryan, saying "I will give them in custody for stealing my watch"—" I and policeman 191 took them into custody—Bryan said he had never seen the prosecutor before—when taken to the station Bryan said he did not know Cleary, he had never seen him before—he was discharged at the police-court, no evidence being offered against him—when I took the prisoner he said "I know nothing about it; I have never seen the prosecutor before"—nothing was found on him.

The prisoner in his defence argued that it was impossible that he could have got rid of the watch.

GUILTY .

He then PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction of felony in April, 1884, in the name of George Pritchard, at this Court.— Twelve Months' Hard Labour.