Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 09 December 2023), April 1911, trial of SMITH, Wm. (31, labourer) (t19110425-62).

WM SMITH, Deception > forgery, 25th April 1911.

SMITH, Wm. (31, labourer) . Forging and uttering, knowing the same to be forged, a banker's cheque and order for £90 15s. 5d., with intent to defraud; altering the said cheque with intent to defraud.

THOS. S. GRAHAM , cashier, Barclay's Bank, Fleet Street, E.C. On March 30 prisoner presented a cheque for £90 15s. 5d. drawn by the Society of Apothecaries in favour of Messrs. Wodderspoon or order. It was an open cheque. I asked prisoner what he wanted; he said he wanted the money in gold in a bag. I looked at the cheque carefully and handed it to Mr. Adams, the manager. I then gave certain instructions to the porter at the door, then the police were communicated with.

EDWARD R. ADAMS , manager, Barclay's Bank. I said to prisoner, "This cheque has been altered; where did you get it from?"He said he had been sent by Mr. Wodderspoon, of 75, Greek Street, Soho, to get it cashed. I then asked him to wait while I went to the directory. I found there was no such number.

EDWARD MORPETH , accountant, Society of Apothecaries. I drew a cheque for £1 15s. 5d. in favour of Messrs. Wodderspoon, 6, Gate Street, Kings way, on March 28. I crossed it with a rubber stamp "& Co. Not negotiable."This is the cheque I drew; it has not the impression of the stamp upon it.

WILLIAM T. CHAMBERLAIN , porter, Society of Apothecaries. I posted all the letters that were in the box on March 28. I do not know if there was one addressed to Messrs. Wodderspoon.

REGINALD H. MAT , partner, Wadderspoon and Co., printers, 6, Gate Street, Kingsway. There was an amount of £1 5s. 5d. owing to my firm by the Society of Apothecaries on March 28. The endorsement on this cheque was not made by our firm or with our authority. I do not know prisoner.

Inspector HERBERT HINE, City Police. I was called to Barclay's Bank, Fleet Street. I said to prisoner, "You know me?" He said, "Yes." I then showed him the cheque and said, "How do you account for the possession of this? "He replied, "I saw a man at two o'clock to-day in Greek Street; he said he was Mr. Wodderspoon; he gave me thecheque and told me to take it to Barclay's Bank,

Fleet Street, and get it cashed and take the money back to him at 75, Greek Street. He did not tell me to take it back at any particular time."I then told him the cheque had been altered and that he would be charged with forging anduttering it. He was then taken to the station. When charged he made no reply. I afterwards asked him if he wished to giveany description of the man that he said he received it from. He said, "I had been drinking with the man in the 'Hercules Pillars.' He is a tall, dark fellow like me; I do not know where he lives. I have known him a few weeks; he looks like an Italian." I went to Greek Street and found the highest number was 60. He was further charged with stealing the letter containing the cheque, and replied, "I never stole no letter at all." He was sober when arrested.

WILLIAM SMITH (prisoner, not on oath). I was coming across Soho Square. At the corner of Greek-Street I saw this gentleman. I have known him about three weeks. I do not know his name. He took me in the "Hercules Pillars "and treated me. He took me into the urinal there and showed me this cheque knowing I was hard up, starving. I went in the bank with it. I could not see nothing wrong with it, the urinal being in the dark. He said he had received it the same as it was. He said he had it off a man in Martin's Lane; he had just been inside buying some horses. He said, "There is nothing wrong with it." He told me he would give me £2. I received it off him just the same as it was when I took it into the bank.

Verdict, Guilty.

Previous convictions were proved, one being in respect of forging and uttering a bill of exchange for £400 odd, at this Court, on April 5, 1910, with a sentence of 12 months' hard labour.

Sentence, Three years' penal servitude.


(Monday, May 1.)