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REG.

SMITH AND
ANOTHER.

1852.

8. 3.

of Parliament does not speak of indictment, I think it clear that hat proceeding is the proper one. The section mentions the offence, and then with reference to the punishment, declares that the " offender being thereof convicted, shall suffer imprisonment for one half year.

That must mean “ being convicted thereof,” before some competent tribunal. If the statute had pointed out fraudulent some other means, for instance, on conviction before a justice of conveyancethe peace on a summary hearing, it would probably have restricted 13 Eliz. c. 5, proceedings to that particular course. It is true that the statute does mention a civil action, but that has nothing whatever to do with the half-year's imprisonment, but merely has reference to the recovery of damages by action, in any of the Courts at Westminster. It surely could never be contended that the meaning of the statute is, that when such a court has given judgment for the damages, it should proceed to award to the defendant the punishment of imprisonment for half a year. The humanity of our law has established a clear distinction between civil and criminal proceedings, and this act of Parliament cannot be supposed to sanction so anomalous a course as that. It is obvious that by some means or another, imprisonment is to be awarded after a proper conviction before a recognised tribunal. How then can that be done, otherwise than by indictment ?

Locke submitted, that, at all events it was intended that no criminal proceeding should be resorted to, until after the recovery of damages in a civil action, the words “and also” near the end of the section, seemed to point to such a construction.

MAULE, J.-I do not think so; those words do not necessarily so restrict the procedure, and there seems to be no reason why it should be so restricted. Then as to the second point. The case cited is one where persons were said to have conspired to do a thing not necessarily unlawful in itself, such as, for instance, preventing a person from having execution of a judgment. There is nothing unlawful in that. It is precisely what the learned counsel, and those who instruct him, are doing at this moment, seeking to prevent the operation of a judgment by arresting it. In the present case, the very words of the statute are adopted. What is charged therefore is necessarily unlawful, for the statute has made it so.

Judgment for the Crown.
James, Q. C., and Hawkins for the prosecution.
Locke for the defence.

OXFORD CIRCUIT.

STAFFORDSHIRE SPRING Assizes, 1852.

Stafford, March 13.
(Before Mr. Baron PLATT.)

REG. v. WHITEHOUSE AND OTHERS. (a)
Conspiracy to defraud lodging-house keepers and tradesmen— False

pretencesIndictmentEvidence. 1. An indictment alleged that the defendants 1. W., C. W. and J. W.,

being persons in indigent circumstances, and intending to defraud tradesmen who should supply them with goods upon credit, conspired to cause J. W. to be reputed and believed to be a person of considerable property, and in opulent circumstances, for the purpose and with the intent of cheating and defrauding divers persons being tradesmen, who should bargain with them for the sale to the said I. W., of goods, &c. the property of such last-mentioned persons, of great quantities of such goods, without paying for the same, with intent to obtain to

themselves money and other profits. Held, that this indictment was not supported by proof that the defen

dants C. W. and J. W. being the wife and daughter of the other defendant I, W., represented that they were in independent circumstances, their income being interest of money received monthly ; at another time, when engaging lodgings, that they were not in the habit of living in lodgings, and that they obtained various goods from tradesmen on credit

, under circumstances that shewed an intent to defraud, but no proof being adduced that those goods were obtained by reason of any

of those general statements. 2: Another count alleged a similar conspiracy to represent I. W. to be a person of considerable property and

fit to be trusted, and by means thereof to cheat and defraud persons who should let to the said I. W. lodgings for hire, of divers large sums of money, being the sums agreed to be paid for the hire of such lodgings. Held, that this count was not supported by proof of the representations

above mentioned, and that the defendants went to various houses taking lodgings, and quitting them without notice or payment; for, if an indictable offence at all, the object of the defendants was to obtain possession

of the lodgings, and not to deprive him of the price or profits of the 3. A count charging, the defendantswith conspiring, by divers subtle

means and false pretences, to obtain goods and chattels from H. B., a tradesman, without paying for them, with intent to defraud him thereof,

(a) Reported by J. E. Davis, Esq., Barrister-at-Law.

rooms.

REG.

WHITEHOUSE
AND OTHERS.

1852.

is supported by proof of overt acts, from which a conspiracy may be inferred, without proof of any such false pretence as is required in an

ordinary indictment for obtaining goods by false pretences. 4. Quære, whether a count charging a conspiracy by divers subtle

means and false pretences, to obtain goods and chattels from divers persons being tradesmen, without paying for them, with intent to defraud them of the same, is bad in arrest of judgment or otherwise, for not Conspiracy setting out the names of the parties defrauded or intended to be de- -—Indictmentfrauded, or making excuse for not doing so.

Evidence. Semble, that the ordinary form of indictment for false pretences,

which after stating the false pretence, alleges that, by means of which false pretence, the defendants obtained the goods or money, is sufficient, and that the substitution of the wordsby reason offor by means

ofis equally unobjectionable. THE defendants, Joseph Whitehouse, Caroline Whitehouse,

and Jane Whitehouse, were indicted for conspiracy. The indictment contained seven counts.

The 1st count alleged, that the defendants being evil-disposed persons, and in low and indigent circumstances, and wickedly devising and intending to defraud divers persons being tradesmen, who should supply them with goods and chattels and merchandize upon credit, on the 1st day of November, A.D. 1850, with force and arms, &c., did amongst themselves conspire, combine, confederate and agree together and cause the said Joseph Whitehouse to be reputed and believed to be a person of considerable property and in opulent circumstances, for the purpose and with the intent of cheating and defrauding divers persons being tradesmen, who should bargain with them for the sale to the said Joseph Whitehouse, of goods and chattels, the property of such last mentioned persons, of great quantities of such goods and chattels, without paying for the same, with intent to obtain to themselves money and other profit, to the great damage of such last-mentioned persons, and against the peace of our Lady the Queen, &c.

The 2nd count charged, that the defendants being persons in indigent circumstances, on the day and year aforesaid, with force and arms, &c., did amongst themselves conspire, combine, confederate and agree together, to cause the said Joseph Whitehouse to be reputed and to be believed to be, a person of considerable property and fit to be trusted, and by means thereof to cheat and defraud divers persons, who should let to the said Joseph Whitehouse lodgings for hire, of divers large sums of money, being the sums agreed to be paid for the hire of such lodgings, to the great damage of such last-mentioned persons, and against the peace, &c.

The 3rd count charged the defendants with conspiring, by divers subtle means and false pretences, to obtain goods and chattels from divers persons being tradesmen, without paying for them, with intent to defraud them of the same.

The 4th count was similar to the third, but charged the conspiracy to be, to obtain the goods and chattels from one Henry

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AND OTHERS.

1852.

Evidence.

Banks, a tradesman, without paying for them, with intent to

defraud him thereof. WHITEHOUSE

The 5th and 6th counts, related to the obtaining of lodgings with the intent, as in the 2nd count, to defraud the owners of

the hire of them. Conspiracy

The 7th count, which the grand jury ignored as to the two False pretences defendants Joseph Whitehouse and Jane Whitehouse, alleged - Indictment that the defendants on the 21st of February, 1851, unlawfully did

falsely pretend to one George Cooper, that the said Joseph White-
house was then a clerk in a police office at Wolverhampton, by
reason of which said false pretence, the said Joseph Whitehouse,
Caroline Whitehouse and Jane Whitehouse, did then and there
unlawfully obtain from the said George Cooper, a large quantity
of bread, to the value of one pound thirteen shillings and ninepence,
with intent then and there to cheat and defraud him the said George
Cooper, of the same; whereas in truth and in fact, the said Joseph
Whitehouse was not then a clerk in a police office at Wolverhampton.

Greaves, Q. C., and Hodgson for the prosecution.
Huddleston and P. M'Mahon for the defendants.

Greaves, in opening the case, said that the charge against the defendants, who stood in the relationship to each other of husband, wife and daughter, presented two shapes. First, a conspiracy to induce lodging-house keepers to let lodgings, and secondly, to cheat tradesmen

of their goods. The acts were themselves lawful, but the object was unlawful. The case was analogous in principle to a transaction which occurred a few years ago in Berkshire, where, on a turn-out of labourers, they went about begging in numbers to farm houses, for the purpose of intimidating the inhabitants to give them food and money, although they abstained from actual violence. The following is an outline of the evidence :

George Cole, the occupier of a house at Wolverhampton, stated that the defendants, Caroline and Jane Whitehouse, came on the 17th of November, 1850, and the first named engaged lodgings at seven shillings and sixpence a week, saying they would be required for a month or longer. On the 19th, the wife and daughter took possession, bringing with them merely a bundle and a small drum basket. They were followed soon after by the husband. The wife said their luggage was coming from Liverpool; but none arrived.

On the 26th of November, while the daughter engaged the witness in conversation down stairs, saying she was going to get her father's tea ready, the father and mother left the house, and did not return. They never paid anything for the lodgings.

Other witnesses proved similar transactions at Wolverhampton, in February and March, 1851, with regard to lodgings. On one occasion, the wife said they were going to take a public-house if they could get one to suit them; at another place, that they were in independent circumstances, their income being interest of money received monthly. She also said at one place, that as they had not been in the habit of living in lodgings, they wanted to be

REG.

WHITEHOUSE
AND OTHERS.

1852.

Evidence.

go,

comfortable, and engaged lodgings at ten shillings a week, to be paid monthly. The luggage was always represented as being expected the next day, by railway or carrier. The wife was the person who engaged the lodgings and made these statements, generally in the presence of her daughter. The husband did not appear to follow any occupation. On one occasion they left the Conspiracy lodgings at dusk, without notice or payment; at another place, False pretences tradesmen made applications for money, and Mrs. Bradney, the Indictmentlandlady, wishing to get rid of her lodgers, advised them to and they left, the wife saying she would pay on the following Monday. On cross-examination of this witness, it appeared that she did not let her rooms to the defendants until she had made enquiries from the husband's brother, a person in a respectable station of life.

Ebenezer Hunter proved that after the defendants left the last lodgings, the wife applied to him to become tenant of a house in St. Mark's Place, Wolverhampton, at the yearly rent of 181., and said her husband was in independent circumstances. An agreement was drawn up on the part of the defendants, but ultimately the landlord prepared one, which the husband, Joseph Whitehouse, signed. In a short time he expressed a wish to leave, saying, he was very much annoyed in the house. The witness consented, provided the defendant would get a fresh tenant.

In the mean time, however, the defendants were taken up on the present charges.

In order to show that the defendants did these overt acts in pursuance of a previous conspiracy, a witness was called, who stated that in September, 1850, the mother and daughter took lodgings at Birkenhead, in the name of Taylor, from September until Christmas, at the rent of thirty-five shillings a week. The mother said she had some luggage coming by railway, but none came, and in about a week they left, withoạt notice or payment. Upon an intimation from the learned judge, that, although this evidence might be admissible, it ought not to be given, it was not pursued farther.

With respect to the other branch of the case, a number of witnesses were called, who proved the order for and delivery of goods to the defendants.

Sarah Cooper, the wife of George Cooper, a baker, said that on the 21st of February, 1851, Caroline Whitehouse bought some trifling articles, and paid for them. She came again, and

asked to be supplied monthly. The witness said she would consider the proposition. Mrs. Whitehouse came again, and, in the presence of George Cooper, stated that her husband was a clerk at the police station in Garrick-street, Wolverhampton, and the money would be quite safe. Witness believed the statement, and let the defendant have bread on the credit of that statement, to the amount of 11. 13s. 9d., extending over a period of about a fortnight. The daughter, Jane, on another occasion, came to the shop, and in the course of conversation said that her father was a clerk at

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