Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 08 December 2023), October 1895, trial of WILLIAM BURCHETT (18) WILLIAM GROOM GEORGE WILLIAMS (18) (t18951021-804).

WILLIAM BURCHETT, WILLIAM GROOM, GEORGE WILLIAMS, Theft > burglary, 21st October 1895.

804. WILLIAM BURCHETT (18), WILLIAM GROOM , and GEORGE WILLIAMS (18) , burglary in the dwelling-house of John Parsons, and stealing a box of sweets his property.

JOHN PARSONS . I am a news-agent, of 49, Thomas Street, Limehouse—on September 28th, at 9.30, I locked up my shop and bolted it—it communicates with the dwelling-house—about twelve o'clock I heard the prisoners' voices in the street—I have known their voices for the last two years—they are neighbours—about a quarter of an hour afterwards I heard something, went down, went outside, I found the the window broken—a box of sweets had been taken away, which I found at the corner of the street—Groom came in next day and said that he thought his mother could prove that he did not do it—I had not accused him—Burgess Street is only about fifteen yards from my shop—before I opened the door I heard Mr. and Mrs. Harrison's voices.

JAMES BROWN . I live at 15, Chelsea Street, and know the prisoner—on Saturday night, September 28th, I was waiting for my father outside the Canterbury public-house; that is on the other side of the road from Mr. Parson's shop—I saw Groom take down the shutters and open the window—the others were looking out—they all ran up Selsea Street—when my father came I went to the station and told the police.

By the COURT. None of the prisoners' relatives have spoken to me since I gave evidence—I ran away when the police came to ask me to give evidence, because I did not like to come—my father is here; I went home with him—I said before the Magistrate: "I am waiting for my father to come home; I went to the Police-station and told them before I went home with my father; no one has asked me to conceal that—the police came to me two days this week to come and give evidence, and I ran away—I did not hear my father say that I was not at home.

Cross-examined by Williams. Jim Barlow gave me 4d. to say that I had been told to tell an untruth—he is a young man; I am 11.

THOMAS ROSE (176 K). From information I received I arrested Groom at his house, and told him the charge—he said, "I entered the shop, and

borrowed a bicycle, and let there at 1.30, at night, to met my father"—he did not say it was his shop; it was the shop next door—he said he knew nothing about it—I took Williams at 7.30 a.m., and told him it was for breaking and entering with two others—he used filthy language—the putty of the window had been broken and the glass removed.

Cross-examined by Williams. I wrote your language down at the time.

BENJAMIN MORGAN (408 K). I took Burchett on Sunday on this charge—he said, "I know nothing about it, I was indoors a little after twelve"—I had not said anything about the time.

Grooms statement before the Magistrate. "I can prove I was at the Iron Bridge at 12.30 a.m."

Witnesses for the defence.

SARAH GROOM . I am the mother of the prisoner Groom—I am married—I live at 16, St. James's Road, Roebuck Road, more than a mile from his shop—about six o'clock on Saturday my son washed himself and went out to meet his father and returned home at two o'clock.

B. MORGAN (Re-examined by the COURT). Burchett called his mother before the Magistrate—a message was sent to his father during these Sessions; I took it and the father told me he had left, and the same on Tuesday, but on Wednesday the father procured the boy, and I brought him her yesterday.

ELIZABETH BURCHETT . My husband is a painter and works for the London Dock Company—I am Burchett's mother—he was in bed on this night by 12.30—he came in with me about 12.5; he joined me at my door but he came from a public-house—I went into my bedroom about 12.15; I was partly undressed at 12.30 when I heard the smash of glass—I know the time by the clock, and I had a lamp—I lifted up the window, and I heard a man run by—I only heard of one window being broken that night—my son got up on Sunday morning, and after he had his breakfast a man came and told me something—I gave his name to the police; that is the policeman (Pointing to one)—I did not tell the Magistrate that I was at the public-house till closing time, and came home at 12.10—this is my signature to my deposition. (The statement appeared in the deposition).

GUILTY .—WILLIAMS then PLEADED GUILTY**to a conviction at the Thames Police Court on December 7th, 1894.— Discharged on Recognisances. BURCHETT and GROOM— Discharged on their own Recognisances.