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DARING GAROTTE ROBBERIES AGAIN…

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DARING GAROTTE ROBBERIES AGAIN IN LONDON. James Lessy, a notorious thief, underwent a length- ened examination at the Westminster Police-court, on Friday, charged with two daring and serious garotte robberies. This is the first prosecution since the passing of an Act of Parliament which empowers the authorities to order the public whipping of the offender, in addition to other punishment. Mr. W. M. Ansell, solicitor, conducted the prosecution. Mr. Parsons, of 21, Margaretta-terrace, Chelsea, builder, said that on the evening of the 21st of last June, he was returning from Clapham, and was in the Queen's-road, Chelsea, at eleven o'clock at night, crossing from Paradise-street, walking leisurely, with his hands in his pockets, when he was suddenly attacked and robbed. He was violently seized from behind by thethroat, and the knee of his assailant being pressed in the middle of his back, he was dragged backwards, while another man came in front and robbed him of his gold watch and guard chain, after which he was thrown on the ground. He distinctly observed the face of the man behind him while being dragged back, and as he lay on the ground he saw the men before they ran away, and could distinctly sweur that the prisoner was the man who had seized him. His Albert chain, which had been attached by a key to the button-hole of his waistcoat, had been seized with such Violence that the key had been broken off. He wa3 so much injured by the violence with which he was grasped that he could not speak nor make any noise, and although he followed the thieves to the corner of Robinson-street, where he again had a full view of the prisoner's profile, he could not, owing to ihe injuries he had received, get any further. The key was afterwards found near the spot where he was attacked. He at once identified and picked the prisoner out on Friday morning from a number of other persons in the police yard attached to the court. Prisoner,' on being asked whether he wished to question the prosecutor, observed: You say I was behind you when you first saw me, and then you saw me again as you lay on the ground, and I got several yards ahead of you before you could see me again, and you were exhausted; and I say it is wrong of you to say that you can identify me. Prosecutor said that there was a lamp near where he was at- tacked that he saw the prisoner distinctly and clearly, and could positively swear that he was the man. Prisoner: It is a hard thing to swear against me in that way. I think he has taken a false oath, your worship. Mr. Jonathan Peel, a gentleman upwards of sixty years of age, stated to be a relative of Sir Robert Peel, said he resided at 1, Emos-terrace, Chelsea, but was at present staying at South- ampton. At about a quarter to ten en the night of Tuesday, the 30th of June, he was in Turk's-row, walking by the Chelsea Hospital ground in the middle of the street, when he was suddenly seized violently by the throat from behind, and in a few minutes rendered completely insensible, and while in that state he was robbed of a chronometer value L-20, and a gold chain, but was not aware from his unconsciousness that any one had been in front of him. He had once suffered allthe pangs of return to consciousness from drowning, but it was nothing to the pain he momentarily felt that night, and he expected in a second or two to have died from strangulation. His mind was preoccu- pied by some painful circumstances which he had witnessed that night, and which, being observed, probably invited the attack. Miss Flavina Hazeldine said that on the night of this robbery she was passing the corner of Turk's-row, near the Royal Military Asylum, when she saw three men together. It was a very light night. She saw two suddenly run away and leave one. Prisoner was one of those two; Mr. Peel was the gentle- man left behind, and stated that he had been robbed of his watch and chain. In answer to a question from the magistrate, the witness said she had repeatedly seen prisoner before, and was positive that he was the man. Rosa Minnie, an intelligent little girl, said that on the night of the robbery she saw a gentleman walking along the middle of the road, followed by three young men, one of whom directly afterwards lagged behind. One of the two remaining men put his arm round the gentleman's neck. It was the prisoner. She knew him well, and had long known him. Mr, Selfe requested the witness to show the court how the attack was macie. The second usher was the person selected for the illustration, and the little girl standing close to his right side, threw her right arm tightly round his tteroat. Mr. Peel said that the mode in which he was attacked pre- cisely corresponded with the illustration. Mr. Selfe inquired what was known of the prisoner. Gadland referred to a paper, and stated that there were seven- teen convictions against him, eight of which were for felony, the rest for desperate assaults and other offences. Prisoner: If a fellow wishes to reform and get an honest living they won't let him. Of course I know I've been wrong-, but that's no reason why I should not reform. If there's anytning wrong done in Chelsea they are sure to say it was me. Mr. Selfe: A man with seventeen convictions against him is not unnaturally an object of suspicion. Prisoner: Although it has been proved that I've been bad, there's still some reform in me. The depositions were then prepared and read over. To the first charge prisoner said he was innocent; to the second he made no reply. He was fully committed for trial on both charges at the Central Criminal Court.

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