Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 29 September 2022), March 1888, trial of SAMUEL NEWSON (t18880319-412).

SAMUEL NEWSON, Deception > fraud, 19th March 1888.

412. SAMUEL NEWSON , Feloniously personating a voter at a Parliamentary election at Deptford. Second County feloniously applying to the Presiding Officer at the said election for a ballot paper in the name of Samuel Buckoke.

MR. GEOGHEGAN Prosecuted; MR. H. C. RICHARDS Defended.

HENRY WILLIAM SAUL I was Presiding Officer at Munson Road for both candidates at the Deptford Election—about 2.15 p.m. the prisoner came into my polling booth and asked for a voting-paper—Mr. Balderson, the agent for one of the parties, asked him his name and address, and he gave that of Samuel Buckoke, of No. 1, Faulkner Street, Deptford—at the request of Mr. Balderson I read the declaration to him—in answer to it he said he was Samuel Buckoke—I asked him the second time, and on oath he gave the same answer—I asked him four times in all whether he was Samuel Buckoke, and he gave the same answer—thereupon Mr. Balderson said "If I am acting up to my instructions I must give him in charge"—the prisoner was asked where he lived—he said he had removed to New Cross—after he was given into custody Mr. Balder son said to him that he had been to Mr. Buckoke's house several times, and found that he had removed to Berkhamstead, and that he had himself seen Mr. Buckoke, and knew that the prisoner was not the man—the prisoner said "Very well, then you know that I am not Samuel Buckoke"—I went with him to the police-station and saw the name that the prisoner gave on the charge-sheet.

Cross-examined by. I have never been returning officer before—the question as to name is generally asked in cases of inability to write—Mr. Balderson was Mr. Wilfred Blunt's agent—the prisoner was certainly confused—I would not swear that he was confused before I administered the oath—I did not see him bring in Mr. Wilfred Blunt's card—I would not swear as to whether he had a card in his hand—I knew Mr. Blunt's card, but as to which way a voter is come to vote that is very much open to doubt—I have not had much experience upon that matter; we looked his number up on the register—he said "I am not Samuel Buckoke, I am Newson," but that was some time afterwards—Mr. Balderson had the oath administered to other voters, who gave satisfactory explanations—there were four voters who could not read or write.

Re-examined. He said four times that he was Samuel Buckoke—after he was given into custody he said his name was Newson, not till then. ALFRED BALDERSON. I live at 18, Carlton Square—I am a clerk to a solicitor—on 29th February I was one of the personating agents for the Munson Street booth—my duty was to make myself acquainted with the voters in that district—I canvassed the house of Samuel Buokoke—I know that he was not present at the election—I saw the prisoner come to the polling-booth, and I heard him ask for a voting paper of Saul in the name of Samuel Buckoke, of No. 1, Faulkner Street—the register was referred to, and he was given a ballot paper—I challenged him as to whether he was sure he was Samuel Buckoke—he said "Yes, I am" I asked him three times—I saw the oath administered to him—he was asked the usual three questions, and he said that he was a voter

upon the register entitled to vote; that he was the person then referred to, and that he had never voted before in the borough—in answer to the Question as to whether he was Buckoke, he said "Yes, I am"—upon that I requested that the oath should be put to him, and then I said "Are you certain that you are Samuel Buckoke?" and he said "Yes, I am"—then I acted up to my instructions that he should be taken into custody—at the polling station the prisoner put the question to me "Do you say you know Mr. Buckoke?" and I nodded assent, and then he said "No, I am not Samuel Buckoke"—I did not go to the police station.

Cross-examined by. I made investigations with regard to the prisoner—I found him to be a perfectly honest and respectable man—I know nothing against him—what I found out has been in his favour—I agree emphatically with the last witness that he was confused when I put the questions to him, so he might have tumbled to my suggestions, but he stuck to his answers, and I was bound to act up to my instructions—I gave him a chance and he did not take it.

Re-examined. He seemed to understand the four questions put to him—he did not seem to be confused as to them.

EDWARD THORNTON WHITE . I am senior assistant clerk to the Dept ford Vestry—I produce the Revising Barrister's copy of the list of voters for the Parliamentary Borough of Deptford—at page 258, in alphabetical order, I find "Faulkner Street," and as a voter on the Register who has passed the Revising Barrister's examination, "Buckoke, Samuel, dwelling-house, No. 1"—I have looked over the Register, and do not find the name of Samuel Newson.

Cross-examined by. There are over 10,000 voters—I have not searched the whole of the Register—there have been several removals to my know ledge from what I have heard from the agents, canvassers, and so on—many of the voters who appeared before Mr. Mackenzie, the Revising Barrister, could not write.

Re-examined. If I had the prisoner's address I could find out whether he was a voter or not.

RICHARD WICKHAM (Policeman R R 40). I was on duty at the last Deptford Election, at the booth in Monson Road—I was inside the booth—I saw the prisoner—I heard him give the name of Samuel Buckoke, of 1, Faulkner Street—he repeated it twice, once after he was sworn—he was given into my custody—he said "That is not my name which' I have given"—I took him to the station and he was charged—at the station he gave the name of Samuel Newson, of 10, St. John's Road, Deptford—in answer to the charge he said "All right"—he was sober. Cross-examined by I have not been in Court during the present evidence—the prisoner might have been excited—there was a great deal of excitement that day—I am stationed in the borough—it extends to 10, St. John's Road—I do not know any fashionable people in that part.

Re-examined He told me his name after he was in custody.

The Prisoner's Statement before the Magistrate "I had had a little drop to drink A card was given to me by some one in a public-house, and I did not think I was doing any harm by voting."

The Prisoner received a good character.

The Jury being unable to agree, were discharged without a verdict, and the case was postponed to the next Session.

Before Mr. Recorder.