SARAH WILLIAMS, ELIZABETH DAVIS, Theft from a specified place, 10th May 1841.
Reference Number: t18410510-1409 Offence: Verdict: Guilty Punishment: Imprisonment
1409. SARAH WILLIAMS and ELIZABETH DAVIS were indicted for stealing, on the 27th of April, at St. George, Hanover-square, 83 yards of lace, value 8l., the goods of Joseph Hard wick and another, in their dwelling-house.
JOSEPH HODGSON CUMPSTON . I live with Mr. Hardwick, in New Bonds street—he is in partnership with his son. On the 27th of April, between two and three o'clock in the afternoon, the prisoners came into the shop, and Williams asked for some mouslin-de-laine—I showed her some—they purchased two yards and a half, which came to 6s. 3d.—Williams then asked to look at some lace, and had two yards cut off, at 2s. a yard—I observed her laying some whole pieces of lace towards Davis—they sat close together—Williams then asked the price of another piece of lace, holding it up away from Davis—when I looked back again I missed some lace off the counter, as she had drawn my attention in the direction she was holding the other piece, and when I looked again I missed some lace off the counter—I could not tell whether it was one or more pieces—she laid the lace aside two or three times, and it was taken off—after doing this once or twice, she made another purchase of two yards more, at 2s. 6d.—she did it again a third time, in the same manner, handing pieces of lace towards Davis, and then drawing my attention to another piece, by asking me the price again—they sat facing each other—Williams had her back to the window, and Davis her face to the window—she held it up towards (he window—I then cleared the counter of all the remainder of the lace, and requested them to walk with me into the counting-house—Davis asked what I wanted in the counting-house—I told her I should let her know when we got there—they got up from their seats, and Davis dropped a quantity of lace on the floor—I heard it drop, but did not see it—it was not on a card, it was in parcels—I came round the counter, and saw it on the floor—I walked with them to the counting-house—I called Simmons, a policeman, leaving them in charge of Mr. Hardwick—Simmons took them into custody, but before he left the counting-house, he pointed out two pieces of lace under the desk there—I took it up, and gave it to Simmons—we do not keep lace in the counting-house, and it was all squeezed into a heap, not as it is kept—the cut lengths are kept on cards, and the whole pieces as we have them in, not wrapped round any thing at all—one of the young men picked up the pieces of lace in front of the counter, gave them to me, and I put them in paper—I saw him take them off the ground before I went into the counting-house—he said he gave me the same pieces—he is not here.
Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Have you always given the same account of this? A. Yes, to the best of my recollection—I have said that Davis let the pieces fall from under her shawl—she put her hand under her shawl, and let something drop—I did not see them drop—it was in different pieces—I will swear I heard them drop—the floor of the shop is carpeted with a good thick Brussel carpet—when I accused her, she asked what I wanted—she said nothing else that I am aware of—she had a shawl on—I believe she said, "I beg your pardon, I was not aware my shawl had swept these things down"—they did not fall at the time she got up—I did not mention that, because I did not think it had any thing to do with it—I did not forget it (I did not think it necessary to state it) if you had asked me the question, 1 should have told you—I should not have said it if you had not asked me, because I did not think it had any thing to do with it—(it was after she said, "What do you want?" that the lace fell)—it might be important in your view of the case, but not in mine—I did not keep it back in order that they might be convicted—there were perhaps three or four shopmen in the shop—we have five shopmen—none of them are here.
Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. Who paid for the things Williams purchased? A. Nobody—we did not give her time—I believe this is the first time I have said any thing about the removal of things towards Davis, and Williams engaging my attention on three several occasions—I never mentioned about the window before, as I was not asked.
COURT. Q. You say the things did not fall at the time; they got up? A. Not till they got up—they got up because I wished them to go into the counting-house—after they got up, Davis asked me what I wanted—I told them I should let them know when I got them into the counting-house—I then saw her put her hand under her shawl, and heard something drop—that was about a minute after they got up—then she begged pardon for her shawl having swept the things on the floor.