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DEFRAUDING LONDON TRADESMEN. A Singular Conspiracy. At the Manchester Assizes last week, Dorothy Field and James Owen were indicted for having conspired and fraudulently attempted to obtain goods from a number of tradesmen, including Messrs. Morley, J. S. Smith, and other London firms, from whom goods were obtained to stock a shop in Corporation-street, Man- chester, lately opened by the female prisoner. When the firms who supplied goods required a guarantee, they were referred to a Mr. J. N. Williams, at Abergele, and further to Mr. James Owen, at Tyn-y-maen; and it was alleged by the prosecution that the male prisoner went to Wales at the time, got the letters which were sent to those addresses, and then forwarded the replies, on the faith of which the goods were then sent to the female prisoner. Mr. Leresohe and Mr. Jordan appeared for the prosecution; Mr. Cottingham for the defence. The first witness called was- Detective Bateman, who said, on the 25th of July last he went with Detective Russell, of London, to Corporation-street, where he found the male prisoner. He was taken to the police-station, and he said, in reply to the charge, It is a most infamous charge they are making against me." On their proceeding to the female prisoner's house she was at tea, and when the warrant was read to her she made no reply. Russell asked her for the private letters, and she told him they were upstairs. Some letters were found in a drawer, which had been put in evidence. Among the letters referred to were the following :— Monday Morning. My dear Wife,—I received two letters from you this morning. I am glad to find that the London goods have arrived. If you have written to the other houses, and sent my address, I may expect a letter from them on Tuesday or Wednesday, consequently I must stay in this place until then. At present I can do no more good with this present address than at home, and you are to let me know when I had better be home. It is a very quiet place, and dull, but still business must be attended to, other- wise I should have gone away to-day to Tyn-y-maen. I find it would be useless for me, and expensive besides, to run by rail every day twenty miles for my letters. I have also pressed on Willy to stay here a few days longer; you never saw such a change in your life; he is quite another man; eats for breakfast large basin of milk and bread, then cup of coffee, &e. good dinner, also two eggs for tea, &c.; supper; and milk and rum first thing in the morning. I think it's the "sea air" is doing a good deal of good. If he will continue so he will soon have coinage enough to pop the question to some of the fair maids of Wales; then we shall have "A bidding in Wales," as the picture repre- sents. Now, about myself-I am getting fat and corpu- lent, and fear you will have no chair large enough, besides, the bed will be too small; but you had better not change them till my return. Tell Miss Smith to write sharp to J. E. Smith and Co., London, about the remainder of his order. Also tell Emma to get all the papers from the other house; not to leave any whatever Now, my dear Dora, be careful not to weary yourself, and ndt to walk too much and fret When you can send me a little money by P.O. to Abergele do so; yet I am not without a few shillings. Good-bye, dear Dora-God bless you. With love to all, yours ever, IAGO. Abergele, North Wales, Saturday, three o'clock. Dear wife,—I am happy to say Willy arrived here safe this afternoon Willy will stay with me till Monday. I wish to goodness he had not gone to Liver- pool. He met with some low fellows on board the steamer, and of course they drank the bottle ef wine for him, not mentioning his spree in Liverpool after I left him. I gave him 10s. in Liverpool, and I believe he is without money now To-morrow, I think, we shall have Civ. Iar for dinner. Dear Dora, please let me know how they are getting on at the shop, as I am very anxious; and I trust you have written to London, then, on Tuesday I will get their letters. I am certain the country will soon bring Willy round; he is in very good spirits, and com- menced drinking buttermilk.—Tour husband, JAMES, Tuesday morning. My dear Wife.-I am happy to say that Willy and self are enjoying very good health. I bought four chops at Rhyl and got them cooked at our lodgings, and I assure you Morris did ample justice to two of them, and I did to the others. No London letters this morning Had I not better stay here for a few days longer, in case want more J references ? George ILassell, sergeant In the London detective force, was the next witness. He went to Abergele and to Tyn-y-maen in connection with the case, to trace J. N. Williams and James Owen, and he had also to inquire about any property Mrs. Field had there, especially about a farm called Tyn-y-roedyn. He did not find any such persons, or any such farm. He afterwards put himself in communication with the Manchester police. Cross-examined: He was in- structed by Messrs. Reid and Phillips, solicitors, who were acting for Messrs. Morley and others, who had been defrauded. Did not know that a proposal was made to Mrs. Field to make an assignment for the benefit of her creditors. Mr. Cottingham, who was engaged for the defence, set up the olaim that the female prisoner should be released on the ground of her being the wife of the male prisoner and under his control. His lordship would not stop the case on this point, but would leave it for the jury to decide. Mr. Leresche then summed up the case for the prosecution, and said with regard to the point of marriage which his friend had set up at the last moment, the jury were now asked to believe Mrs. Field was that which she had sworn she was not. He apprehended they would use their own common sense with regard to that, and would require at least oath against oath to believe that she was married now. Mr. Cottingham having addressed the jury for tie defence, His lordship summed up, and asked the jury whether the parties had pursued the course it was stated they had done with the view of bolstering up the credit of one of them, and with the intention, when the goods ) were in their possession, to do what they pleased with them. If the jury believed this they, as ordinary men of the world, would place their own construction upon it. With reference to the alleged mamage, with the female prisoner's oath before them, that she was not married, and no proof having been given that they were, he should ask the jury to find specially whether the parties were married or not, because, if they were, there could be no conspiracy, and they must be ac. quitted. They would also consider whether the parties had oonspired, and to enable them to de- cide in so important a commercial case—which was so important that he was surprised that it had been sent intothatoourt—he should read over theevidence and the letters; but, before doing so, as the council for the de- fence had thought proper to assail Miss Smith he must say that he had never seen a fairer or a better witness. The result of the present case had been brought about by the honesty, firmness, and good sense of Miss Smith. Her lettera had shown a good deal of ability and her oondact had shown a good deal more. His lordship then read through the evidence, and nearly the whole of the letters, numbering about thirty, and in conclusion simply said the jury would have to con- sider their verdict on each of the three counts. The jury, after an absence of a quarter of an hour. found the prisoners guilty on the three counts, and they also found that the parties were not married. His lordship, in passing sentence, said the prisoners had been tried with an amount of patience which could scarcely have been exceeded, and the counsel for the defence had performed his duty with an assiduity which could hardly be exceeded. They had also been found guilty on the count which charged them with conspiring to defraud as many people as would trust them with their goods. The evidence had not only satisfied the jury, but it had abundantly satisfied him. The whole of the proceedings had been carried out with an ingenuity the equal to which it had never been his lot to see. That the property so obtained had not been disposed of was attributable to the prompt and judicious oourse of conduct taken by Miss Smith, by means of which the police were put upon their track. He should sentence the prisoners to eighteen months' imprisonment with hard labour, and order them to pay a fine of 6d, to her Majesty.




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