Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 01 March 2021), December 1908, trial of HILL, Charles (24, labourer) (t19081208-39).

CHARLES HILL, Violent Theft > robbery, 8th December 1908.

HILL, Charles (24, labourer) ; robbery with violence upon Anton Ollikka and stealing from him the sum of 18s., his moneys.

Mr. J. Harris prosecuted; Mr. Cornes defended.

ANTON OLLIKKA . ship's fireman. I am a Finn. On November 17, 1908. I was paid off from my ship and went to the Scandinavian

Home, Poplar. On the 18th I got there after 12 p.m., too late to to admitted, and went down West India Dock Road looking for a place to sleep. In Three Colts Street I met a young woman, who took me into a house, which I did not like the look of, and I left there in about 10 minutes. I had then between 18s. and 19s. in my trousers' pocket. After walking about a minute along the street I saw two men running behind me with a third man. The prisoner was in front. He shouted after me. I stopped to look round. Prisoner came up and struck me in the face and behind the ear, knocking me down. They took all my money. A policeman came up. My trouser pocket was torn. Prisoner said to the others, "Come on, I have got it," and ran away. My head was cut and was dressed by the doctor.

Cross-examined. Only one man hit me. When paid off I drew over £4. I paid an old debt; when I went out on November 18 I had about £2, bought some things, had two glasses of beer—a few drinks—five or six; I had been in four or five public-houses; I cannot say how many drinks I had had. I was a little drunk—not much. This happened between one and two a.m. The night was a bit dark. I had not seen any of the men before. When I left the house I had a half-sovereign and eight or nine shillings in silver. I did not give the woman anything. Prisoner had no overcoat on.

Re-examined. Prisoner is the man who knocked me down. (To the Recorder. I saw prisoner sitting down in the police station, 10 minutes after I was attacked, and recognised him.

Police-constable GEORGE REED , 880 K. On the early morning of November 19 I, with Police-constable 381 K, was on duty in Three Colts Street, when I saw prisoner, two other men, and a woman together at the bottom of Three Colts Court. Shortly afterwards two women came out of the court and spoke to them. Prosecutor had previously gone alone out of the court, walking up Three Colts Street towards Commercial Road. Prisoner and the other men followed in the same direction. I and Police-constable 381 followed, thinking there was something wrong. We got within 40 yards of the prisoner, when we saw them strike prosecutor, knock him down, stoop over him, and apparently rifle his pockets. We ran up. When we were within five or 10 yards the two others ran away down Three Colts Court; prisoner started to run up Three Colts Street. When the others shouted, "This way," and prisoner followed them. We blew our whistles, followed within five or six yards, without losing sight of the prisoner. He was stopped by police-constable Kent, 652 K, in Gill Street, as they were running out of the court, and taken to the station. Prisoner is 6 ft. 0 1/2 in. in height. We never lost sight of prisoner. He had no overcoat on.

Cross-examined. We did not see prisoner pass anything to the other men. If he had done so I should have seen it; I never lost sight of them.

Re-examined. I saw prisoner and the other two rifling the prosecutor's pockets. I did not see who got the money.

Police-constable KNIBBS, 381 K. About 1.45 a.m. on November 19 I was with Police-constable 880 K in Three Colts Street, when I

saw two men and a woman talking at the top of Three Colts Court. Prosecutor came out of the court and proceeded up Three Colts Street towards Commercial Road. Two women then came out of the court and spoke to the men, who went after prosecutor. Prisoner was one of them. Thinking there was something amiss, 880 K and myself followed up Three Colts Street. When near the Limehouse Church Institute I saw prosecutor on the ground, the three bending over him, rifling his pockets, and then running away. The other two ran down Bell Alley. Prisoner was going past, when the others called out, "This way." He then turned and followed them. We blew our whistles, followed, and found prisoner in the custody of Police-constable Kent at the end of the alley. I returned to prosecutor, whom I found lying on the ground with a cut on his head; he went to the station with me. Prisoner had no overcoat on; one of the others had. I never lost sight of prisoner.

Cross-examined. I was five or six yards from the three men as they ran. When they started running they were 40 yards off or more. It was dark, but the street was well lit with electric lamps.

Police-constable THOMAS KENT , 652 K. In the early morning of November 19 I was on duty in Gill Street, when I heard a police whistle, and running in the direction of the sound I saw prisoner and another man rush out of Fire Bell Alley. I stopped the prisoner. He said, "It was not me who did it—I have only just left Wally Rutland." I had said nothing to him. I took prisoner to the station.

Cross-examined. Prisoner had no money upon him. I did not see the robbery.

Prisoner's statement before magistrate. "Last Saturday evening I was at Wally Rutland's house with his wife. About 12.30 I said I would go home, and he came along with me to Three Colts Street. At the corner of Three Colts Court, I said, 'I will leave you now.' Then a man walked out of the court and passed me; three or four minutes afterwards another man came running down and went up Three Colts Street. I wished my friends 'Good night,' then trotted off home. I saw two men fighting; one knocked the other down; I called the man a coward; he ran down the court. I rushed after him and heard a police whistle, when a police-constable caught hold of me. When I was charged, I said, 'I know nothing about it.' The prosecutor said I had his money, but they found none on me."


CHARLES HILL (prisoner, on oath). I am 24 years of age. I have never been in trouble for any serious crime. Four years ago I was fined five shillings for being drunk. I am a dock labourer, and was doing that work on the day I was arrested. I work four or five days a week, according as I get work on a ship, sometimes all day and night. On November 18 I was at Wally Rutland's house all the evening. I cannot remember the name of the street where he lives. About 12.30 I left him, and was going towards home. He and his missis came with me as far as Three Colts Court. I shook hands with them, aid was running home when I saw prosecutor and another

man outside the public-house fighting. The other man was using obscene language, which drew my attention to them. The other man knocked prosecutor down. Seeing prosecutor was drunk, I said, "What do you want to knock the man down like that for? Oh, you coward." He said, "What is that to do with you?" and rushed at me and then ran down the court. He did not hurt me. I then heard a police whistle and ran after him. (To the Recorder.) I did not pick up the injured man. When I got to the bottom of the court, Policeconstable Kent caught hold of me. The other man went round the corner. Another constable came up and said something to Kent. He took me to the station and charged me with knocking a man down and robbing him. The prosecutor came into the station, looked at me, and said nothing. One of the constables whispered to him and he said, "That is the man." I asked the inspector what I was there for and prosecutor said, "I charge this man with knocking me down and robbing me." I live at 16, Peer Street, Stepney, my father's house, half an hour's walk from Colt Street. I am single. My father works for Richardson's, the iron people. When prosecutor charged me I said it was not me. I was then searched, nothing was found on me, and I was taken to the cells.

Cross-examined. My name is Charles Hill. Linaski is supposed to be my father's name, but I understand he was married twice; he is known as Linaski. I have always gone by the name of Charles Hill. I have worked for the New Zealand Shipping Company. I did not give their name to the police, because I thought if they went there to make inquiries it would stop my getting work. I last worked for that company three months ago. I have since worked for my father, who is foreman at Richardson's, the iron people. I know Luke Osborn. He was not with me on November 18. He has been convicted. He was not assisting me in this—I did nothing at all—he was not there that I know of. He was not one of the men I was speaking to with Rutland. I left Osborn when I was going to Rutland's house. I first spoke of seeing the men fighting when I came up on remand. The two policemen in uniform were standing there when I wished Rutland "Good night." They were not following me when I saw the prosecutor Knocked down. I heard the whistle and ran to catch the other man. The police-constables mistook me for the other man.

Re-examined. I ran after the other man; he struck me.

Verdict, Guilty. Sentence, 12 months' hard labour.