Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 30 November 2022), December 1887, trial of ALFRED MEDLICOTT(33) JOHN TAME (t18871212-144).

ALFRED MEDLICOTT, JOHN TAME, Deception > fraud, 12th December 1887.

144. ALFRED MEDLICOTT(33) and JOHN TAME (), Unlawfully obtaining, by false pretences, from Adolphus May, 45l., with intent to defraud.

MESSRS POLAND, MEAD, and PARTRIDGE Prosecuted; MESSRS. POLEY and FIRMINGER defended Medlicott.

ADOLPHUS MAY . I am a traveller, of 14, Bishop's Road, South Hackney—in September last I saw this advertisement in the Daily Telegraph: "Traveller. Wanted a gentleman to call on an established connection. Proprietor's own round. Knowledge of trade not absolutely necessary, but applicant must be of good address. Horse and trap found to suitable party who would study employer's interests. Salary and commission, 3l. a week. Applicants must be able to invest cash security of 100l. Address," &c.—I applied and received a reply, signed "Ross and Co.," which I have searched for, but cannot find—it was addressed from the Pied Bull Granaries, and stated I had omitted to mention whether I was prepared to invest 100l. cash—I called the following morning, 20th September, at 172, Holloway Road—I saw the prisoners, and said "I have called upon you in answer to a letter I received last night. I am not in a position to place 100l. as security with you. I will hand 50l. to you, and work 12 months for 2l. a week and commission, instead of 3l. a-week and commission, which will leave you of the other 50l. at the end of the year'—they considered for a few moments, and Medlicott turned round to Tame and said, "Well, Tame, what do you think? I like Mr. May's appearance. Shall we take him?"—Tame said "Well, I don't know. I think we might as well"—Tame took off a file two or three pieces of paper which I could not read, saying they were large contracts for supplying forage, &c.—then Medlicott said "We have had to give up the travelling on account of having so much work to do; it is necessary that we should remain indoors to attend to the orders," and that was the reason they engaged a traveller—I said

"I have 45l. which I will place with you now," and Medlicott immediatly went to his clerk, and had a receipt written out for it"—I said "I will try and get the other 5l.; I have only got enough to keep my wife and family for the week until I am earning money"—that was all the money I had in the world—Medlicott proposed that the money should be placed in the business, for which they would give me five per cent.—I said "I object to place the money in the business but if you will place it in a bank in our joint names I have no objection to leave it with you," so that neither party could touch it—Medlicott said "Yes, I will place it in a bank but you won't expect any percentage on your money"—I said "Certainly not"—I said "Why do you want this Money?"—I said "Because you will collect bills for us"—the money was to be paid in on the following Thursday—I paid him the money, and this is the receipt, signed "G. Ross and Co."(produced)—I left, and was to go to work on 3rd October—I returned in the afternoon and saw Medlicott, and told him I did not feel safe about my money—he said "Oh, it's all right; we have a large business; your money is quite safe"—we then arranged that I should commence work on the 26th September instead of of 3rd October—I accordingly went at 9.30, when they packed a bag of samples for me, and gave me a list of customers to call upon—I asked Medlicott when he would go to the bank, and he said the following Thursday—I worked for them Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and met with little success—no customers seemed to know Them as being in business for themselves, but there were a few who knew Medlicott as traveling for some firm—I worked on to end of the week, and got about 10l. worth of orders—I called on the Thursday morning as usual for my list of customers, and said to Medlicott, "Are you going to the bank to-day?"—he said "No I am too busy; I can't go"—he turned to Tame, and said "Can't you go to the bank with Mr. May?" and he said no he was too busy—I said "When are you going to put the money in the bank?" and he said "Oh, we will do it next week"—on Saturday Medlicott said he would be back at 1 o'clock to pay me—I was there till 7, when I got my 2l. salary and commission of 4s. or 5s.—I observed a stranger in the place, and on inquiry I found it was a Sheriff's officer—I said to Medlicott "What is a Sheriff's officer doing here?"—he said "It has nothing to do with our business; Mr. Tame's father has put him in to keep other people out"—I went down the following Monday and returned my samples, and asked for my money, and said if he did not return it to me I should take proceedings against them—Medlicott said "I cannot give you the money; I have not got it, but I will pay it by instalments if you wish it"—I said "What instalments will you give me?"—he said "I can give you 10s. a week"—I said "That won't do; I have a wife and family who are simply starving; I must have the money back"—he said he could not pay me back the money, and I threatened him with legal proceedings—he told me then, as he had told me before, that if I prosecuted him I should get nothing at all—I was thoroughly destitute then, and living on charity—I got back 2l. 6s. in different amounts—I waited four weeks, and then laid an information before the Magistrate at Clerkenwell Police-court, and they were taken into custody on 3rd November and charged.

Cross-examined by MR. POLEY. I had not been in the trade before—I have been out of employment for some time—I was employed in travelling in Plymouth for about two months; before that I did nothing for eight or nine months—ten months previously to that I came from India—I have had experience as master of a ship, in chartering my own steamer, and so on, which gave me an idea of mercantile work—I have not had experience in selling goods—I insisted on beginning work a week earlier because I could not afford to wait doing nothing, they having my money—the place had the ordinary appearance of a granary, and had the appearance of business—there was a clerk in the office receiving 10s. a week—I don't know what rent they paid—they did not decline my offer of 50l., I taking 2l. a week instead of 3l—I paid the money as a guarantee of my fidelity, and on the understanding that it was to be put in the bank in our joint names—I cannot say whether such an arrangement would defeat their object—I think my commission was 10 per cent and 5s. a week for travelling expenses in lieu of horse and trap, the horse being supposed to be sick—an agreement was to be drawn up at the time of paying in—I never saw the horse and trap; there was a horse there but not a gig horse—I found little or nothing there on the Saturday—there was a machine of some sort there but I never saw it working—I was there every morning, and sometimes in the evening—I saw a cert there; I don't know what it was used for, I never saw it loaded—I don't know that they kept two vans and horses—it was not on the Friday previous to Monday, the 26th, that I first mentioned paying the money into the bank in our joint names—I am certain the first occasion was on the 20th—I thought I was dealing with an honest man—I thought the receipt enough to hold him to his word—the contracts they referred to they called Government contracts, not railway contracts—I called on about 16 customers on the Monday at Tottenham, Wood Green, and Stamford Hill—I got an order from Garraway—I am not sure whether I called on Waddington—I returned the book to the prisoners when I returned my samples—I can't remember the names at the customers, it is so long ago—on the Tuesday I called on other customers in the same district—I called on about 100 corn and hay people in the week—I could take you to them, but do not remember the locality—I know it was under 10l. worth of orders that I took—on the following Monday I refused to go on with my work because I could not get my money back—there was no agreement to return the money—Medlicott did not tell me he was temporarily pressed but hoped to tide over his difficulties—he offered me 10s. a week, which I said I could not accept—he paid me 2l. 6s. in different sums, during which my wife and children were starving and living on charity—he gave me some rice and a fowl—I saw him with a gold chain; I had to pawn mine—I gave him three or four weeks before I applied for a warrant—I have not been round to the customers since—I do not know that Medlicott had 100l. due to him—the customers did not know him as carrying on business for himself, but they knew him as a traveller—he told me he had been in business—I can tell you from the list those who did not know "Ross and Co."—Brett of Clapton, Bailey of Upper Clapton, and Gibson or Joslin of Essex Road did not know the name—the list of articles had the name of Boss and Co. on it.

Cross-examined by Tame. You wore sitting on the desk when I handed

Medlicott the money—you did not mention the London and County Bank.

Re-examined. I did not know what bank theirs was, but they led me to believe it was somewhere in Westminster—I was for seven years a ship's master, not the owner—the 50l. was part of my savings while I was at sea, and I was in India for 12 years—I found Thompson, of 47, Copenhagen Street, instead of being a forage dealer, was a tailor—it was some days before I found his name was Medlicott—I believe my wife is here—I am now looking after a ship—I did not go to Reading to find if they had a brunch, business there.

AUGUSTUS FREDERICK OUTRAM . I am accountant at the Pentonville Branch of the London and County Bank—the prisoners were customers, on 29th March in the name of Ross and Co.—the balance was then 3l. 6s. 8d.—the account has not been operated on since—our charges are 17s. 6d., leaving a balance of 2l. 11s.

Cross-examined by MR. POLEY. The account commenced on 30th July, 1886, 150l., the balance at the end of 1886 was 119l. 2s. 11d., the turnover was about 1,100l.

Re-examined. I don't know where the 150l. came from.

LOUISA MAY . I am the wife of Adolphus May—in consequence of a communication made to me by him as to Ross and Co., I went to see the prisoners several times about the money, which was mine—I got 7s. on one occasion—I asked them why they did not return our money—Medlicott said "We paid away 17l. of it ten minutes after your husband gave it to us to pay for some boots that were lying in the doorway he came in by"—he promised we should have it—he said he had got no money—my husband discovered a Sheriff's officer in possession on Saturday, 1st October; I told Medlicott we had not a farthing in the house, nor had we at that time; that was the 22nd October—I made him kill me a fowl, as I had nothing for my children; he gave me some rice, Tame gave me part of the 7s.—they said they began without capital, and that if my husband had given them the money they wanted at first they would not have been in that strait—I told them we were starving, and had parted with everything, and they said they were in the same condition.

Cross-examined by MR. POLEY. I went on the premises; I did not see crushing implements there, they had not a light—I don't know whether they expressed themselves sorry for what had occurred, I was too excited—I told them I had come for my money which my father had left me—it was in reply to my inquiry why they did not pay the money into the bank—when they said they paid it away ten minutes after I said "Why did you not give it to my husband when he went back a quarter of an hour afterwards'"—I did not give this evidence at the police-court; no one asked me—I went there every day; I did not break into the premises, but I told them I would—I was leaning against the wall outside, and would have stayed there till 12 o'clock to see them—we had not anything in our house to eat.

----TARGET (Detective Sergeant Y). I received a warrant for the arrest of the prisoners, and met Medlicott on the 3rd November at Highbury Corner, Holloway Road—I said "Good morning, I have a warrant for your arrest"—he said "What case is it?"—I said "For obtaining 45l. from a man named May; have you seen Tame?"—he said "Yes, I am going to meet him here in a few minutes"—I said "Very

well, I will wait"—I waited there with him, and we saw Tame coming down the road—I placed Medlicott in a cab with another officer—Tame came up—I told him I had a warrant for his arrest, and I took him into the cab and read the warrant to him—Tame said nothing—Medlicott said "It is a false warrant, I paid him back 10s. of the amount"—they were taken to the station and charged—I went to the Pied Bull Granaries and took possession of the books, which I gave to Mr. Wontner—I found a diamond ring on Tame worth I should say about 18l., 9s. in silver and 4d. in bronze—on Medlicott I found 14s. 6d. in silver, 2d. in bronze, a post-office order, a silver watch and brass chain—I went down to Reading and inquired at the police-station and post-office, but did not find any busmen of the prisoners' there.

Cross-examined by MR. POLEY. I believe Medlicott was in partnership with another man named Hancock in the Roman Road—he afterwards carried on business at Pied Bull Yard, Holloway Road, and then removed to Pied Bull Granaries, for which they paid 2l. a week rent—I went to the Granaries with Inspector Dodd—I got these books from James's father at 172, Holloway Road. (A bought journal, ledger, and larger ledger, produced)—I did not look through all the papers—I did not go to any of the people in these lists—I don't know what was on the premises before—I don't know what the Sheriff's officer took away—I saw a cart in Pied Bull Yard with "Ross and Co." upon it—I am not sure about the name being on the stables—there were no horses or traps—I went to Sulhampstead, near Reading, and found that Tame's father had lived there and farmed 50 or 60 acres.

Medlicott received a good character from hit solicitor's managing clerk.

Tame in his defence said he was not in partnership with Medlicott, and that he was not in the office when May paid over his money, and that he bought forage of a man in Bethnal Green Road in his own name during the time Medicott represented him as his partner.

GUILTY . Tame then PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction of felony at the Quarter Sessions, Great Yarmouth, on the 13th October, 1884.— Fifteen Months' Hard Labour. Tame was ordered to pay the costs of the prosecution.