Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 02 October 2022), April 1911, trial of STEER, Edward (27, carpenter.) BONNER William (25 tailor) WORDSLEY, Arthur (24, tailor) (t19110425-59).

EDWARD STEER, WILLIAM BONNER, ARTHUR WORDSLEY, Violent Theft > robbery, 25th April 1911.

STEER, Edward (27, carpenter.), BONNER William (25 tailor). and WORDSLEY, Arthur (24, tailor) , robbery with violence upon William Hill and stealing 11s., his moneys.

Mr. W. Erninck prosecuted; Mr. Si. John Macdonold defended Wordsley; Mr. Huntly Jenkins defended Steer.

WILLIAM HILL , 27, Percy Street, W. I was coming along Howland Street, Tottenham Court Road about 1 p.m. on April 13. I saw five men; prisoners were three of them. I know Wordsley well by his being pointed out as a barred man and being a terror to the neighbourhood. He calls himself one of the 10 terriers of London. There are 10 of them altogether. I got the police to eject him from the institute at Percy Street, where I am manager. He had no business to be there; he was a barred man. On April 13 he asked me for money for drinks; I gave him 6d.; they used an expression and said it was not enough and all five set about me and kicked me unmercifully. I have an arm I shall never be able to use again. Steer struck me first with his fist; Wordsley kicked me in the stomach; Bonner caught hold of this arm and twisted it and stopped me from defending myself. I got up half dazed; then Steer put his hand in my pocket ana took 11s. out of it. I blew a whistle after they kicked me; they ran. I informed the police at Tottenham Court Road Police Station. They asked if I would go and find them. We found them in the "Adam and Eve" public-house. I pointed out the three prisoners to the constables. This would be about three-quarters of an hour after the attack.

Cross-examined by Mr. Huntly Jenkins. I have no grudge against Steer, nor he against me. I had not known him before. It all

happened in about two minutes. The blow Steer gave me was not severe. He kicked me as well.

Cross-examined by Mr. Macdonald. I was speaking to a woman who asked me where the Charity Organisation Society was about a second or two before the attack. It was not in consequence of anything I said that the trouble was caused. I did not say to Wordsley, "Why have you winked at this woman?" or anything of the kind. He has demanded money from me before. I do not owe Wordsley £10, nor any money. I had not had any drink myself; I seldomtouch it.

Cross-examined by Bonner. I do not know you. You got hold of my arm and twisted it. I did not know the woman andhave not seen her since.

Detective ALFRED DYER , D Division. When I saw prosecutor he was very much exhausted and bleeding from the mouth; he had a bruise on the left side of the jaw and complained of pains in the ribs and likewise his arm. Hepointed out the three prisoners to me and other officers. When they were arrested Wordsley said, "What, pinch 11s. from him; he never had it." On the way to the station Bonner said, "It was I who done it on him; he deserves all he has got." At the station they made no reply to the charge.

Detective GEORGE KING , D Division. When I arrested Wordsley he said, "I am not the only man who has hit that bastard. As for taking the money we have not taken a penny from him."

Police-constable WALTER WIRE , D Division. I arrested Steer. On the way to the station he said, nodding to prosecutor, "Is that dirty bastard going to do it on us for 11s." He made no answer to the charge. He was searched in my presence. 9s. silver and 1s. 0 1/2 d. in bronze were found on him.

(Defence.)

EDWARD STEER (prisoner, on oath). I am manager to my mother, who carries on a theatrical costumier's business at 22, Maiden Lane, Strand. she paid me my wages early this day, about 10.30 or 11 a.m.; Iintended going away for the week-end. I went home first, gave my wife 35s., and came out with the intention of buyingsomething. I had a lot of drink and met these people in Tottenham Court Road. We had just come out of a public-housein Whitfield Street and on the corner prosecutor was talking to a woman. I had got by him and looked round and saw Wordsley was speaking to him. I heard some angry words between them and saw Hill take his hat off and strike at Wordsley with it. Wordsley hit him and there was a general scrimmage. Hill kicked Wordsley on the leg, and Bonner ran across and hit him. Then Hill ran across into a shop and blew a whistle. I was not nearer than six yards off all the time. They walked off. I went to another public-house and had another drink. I did not hit Hill at all. There was no money taken from him. When I said to the officer, "Is he going to do it on us for 11s.," I meant "Does he mean

to charge us with stealing 11s. from him." I was so indignant at the idea that he should charge us with stealing 11s. When the scrimmage took place I think there were three men there; there may have been four.

CECILIA STEER . Last witness has been my manager for about four years. I pay him 50s. a week and commission on orders; he has been very fortunate with orders. On April 13 I paid him early so that he might get home to take his children for a holiday.

WILLIAM BONNER (prisoner, on oath). This seems to be an old row between Mr. Hill and Wordsley. Coming out of the public-house I saw Wordsley having an argument with Hill. It appeared Hill went to strike Wordsley; I am not sure of that; I had had a lot of drink, but I saw they were having a fight. Hill made a kick at Wordsley, wherefore I went in the road, and that was all I done. At the police station Hill said Wordsley held his hands, I struck him and Steer went down his pockets. Then again he contradicted himself and said I held his hands, Wordsley struck him and Steer went down his pockets.

ARTHUR WORDSLEY (prisoner, on oath). I was rather inebriated. I remember what happened most decidedly. I have known Hill two years. There have been several business transactions between us. He owes me close on £10 through bets. There is no truth in the statement that I demanded money from him, that he offered me 6d, and I refused it. We were coming out of the "Carpenter's Arms" at the corner of Howland Street and Whitfield Street; on the opposite corner Hill was standing talking to a woman. As I passed he said, "What are you winking at her for?" I said, "What do you mean? You always try to pick a row with me." He took his soft felt hat and hit me across the mouth. I struck him. He made a kick at me. Then one of the prisoners came across and said, "You cowardly dog," and struck him. I do not know which one it was. Hill ran across the road into a small shop. He blew his whistle or made an attempt to do so. I was talking to him, telling him what I thought of him. I did not want to renew the fight; I was quite satisfied. We walked away then.

Cross-examined. The row arose two years ago. I am almost positive I cross-examined Hill about the woman at the police court. My story there was the same as to-day.

Verdict, Guilty.

Numerous convictions were proved against Bonner and Wordsley. Steer was bound over in his own recognisances on February 10, 1909, at North London Sessions for being in possession of housebreaking implements by night.

Sentences: Bonner, 21 months; Wordsley, 20 months; Steer, Nine months; all with hard labour.

BEFORE MR. JUSTICE GRANTHAM.

(Saturday, April 29.)