Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 10 December 2022), March 1890, trial of WILLIAM HALBART (39) (t18900303-275).

WILLIAM HALBART, Theft > burglary, 3rd March 1890.

275. WILLIAM HALBART (39) , Burglary in the dwelling-house of Charles Isaac Wakeman, and stealing a tray and thirty-three rings, ins property.

MR. SANDS Prosecuted,

CHARLES ISAAC WAKEMAN . I am a jeweller, of 447, Commercial Bond East—my shop is part of my dwelling-house—we commenced to close the shop at 9.30 on the 24th—I was sitting in a room behind the shop; a porter rushed in and said something to me—I went out at the side as quick as I could, and saw a large hole in the window, large enough for a man to put his arm through—a tray containing thirty-two rings, value £129, was gone from the window, but I did not miss it till I saw it brought back—I also missed three gold bangles, one of which was handed to my wife in the crowd; I also saw the tray handed to her, and there were eleven rings short; I also missed one ring out of another tray—this bag of stones was inside the shop in front of the counter; I showed it to the constable.

REBECCA JANE WAKEMAN . I am the prosecutor's wife—I was with him in the back premises on 24th February, and heard a crash of glass; I went out, and saw the window broken, and this bundle of stones (produced) lying in front of it—a bystander handed me a gold bangle, which I identify.

ERNEST MARKS . I am out of work—I live at 48, Heath Street, Commercial Road—on 24th February I was near Mr. Wakeman's shop, about 9.30, heard the crash of a window, and saw the prisoner running from the shop, about twelve yards from it—a man standing two yards from me said, "Go it, Bill"—I gave chase, and caught the prisoner about thirty yards from the shop—he said, "Oh, I am caught"—another man caught hold of him, and then a policeman, and he dropped this tray of rings; a boy picked one up—I gave them to Mrs. Wakeman.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner, I had hold of your left arm, and you had jour right arm like this, and as the constable laid hold of your right arm the rings dropped; I saw you drop them.

FREDERICK RICHARD BARBER . My father is a publican at 15, Harding Street—on 24th February I was close to Mr. Wakeman's shop, heard a crash, and saw Marks chasing the prisoner, he caught him, and I saw this tray of rings fall from his coat out of the tray—I picked them up and gave them to Marks.

HARRY STUDD (Policeman 498). I was on duty nearly opposite Mr. Wakeman's shop, heard a crash of glass, and saw the prisoner leave the window, running towards Jamaica Street; I gave chase, and when I got to Bermuda Street he was detained by Marks, and a plain clothes con-stable assisted in taking him to the station—I went to the prosecutor's Shop; he gave me this bag of stones.

JAMES ANDERSON (Policeman H. 159). On 24th February, about 9. 15, I was in plain clothes in the Commercial Road, heard a crash of glass, and saw the prisoner and Marks running—they turned a corner, and I went round and saw them together on the road to the station; the prisoner said, "I did not do it, they threw it between my legs."

GEORGE HENRY DIXON (Police Inspector H). I was in charge of the station when the prisoner was brought in—when the charge was taken he said, "The other man who threw it ought to be here, and not me"—I examined the bundle; the bottom of it was splintered, with plate glass adhering to it—next morning I examined the shop; the plate glass window, 54 inches by 45, and five-eighths of an inch thick, was broken, the aperture was thirty-two inches in diameter—it must have been done by throwing something against it with great force—it was splintered in all directions, and pieces went four or five feet into the shop.

Prisoner's Defence. I was passing and saw a crowd, and went to have a look; and seeing persons running I ran as well, and these rings were thrown down. I am perfectly innocent. I am the victim. I have never been locked up in my life.

GUILTY Twelve Months' Hard Labour.