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SERIOUS CHARGE OF WAREHOUSE BREAKING. LARCENY OF BEER. THREE MEN COMMITTED' TO QUARTER SESSIONS. The Court room of the Newtown Police Court was crowded on Wednesday, when Henry Owen, Skinners'-street, Newtown, William Hamer, Pool-road, Newtown, and William Colley, Crown-street, Newtown, were charged with breaking into the ware- house of Messrs Ind Coope and Co., and stealing two gallons of beer, value 2s. Messrs W. P. Phillips and Edward Morgan were the magistrates who heard the charge. D.C.C. Williams prosecuted Mr Martin Woosnam appeared for defendant Hamer, and Mr Richard E. George for Owen and Colley. Owen and Hamep had been brought up and charged on Monday, but on the appli- cation of D.C.C. Williams, they were re- manded until Wednesday. Colley was ar- rested the same day, and was allowed out on bail. MANY BARRELS: TWO TAPPED. Charles Arthur Hackett, the first witness called, said he was the agent of Messrs Ind Coope and Co. for the Newtown district. The warehouse where they stored their goods was situate at the back of Clifton- terrace, on the New-road. It was on the one side and at the back of a stable, owned by Mrs Davies, and it was sub-let to Mr Richard Hamer, carrier, who carried for Ind, Coope and Co. by contract. They stored their barrels in the building at the back of this stable. There was no entrance from the stable into the warehouse. There had once been a door, but a door which had divided the warehouse into two parts had been nailed back on to it. The keys of the stores were held by witness and the stores- man, Eagles. He left there on the Satur- day morning before the beer was stolen, and the door leading to the stable was closed up as usual and everything in order. There were many barrels in the store, but two had been tapped. One was empty and the other had some beer in. The storesman was supposed to take the key from the tap every night. On Sunday morning, in con- sequence of a communication received, he went to the warehouse about nine o'clock. He found the two gallon jar (produced by P.C. Thomas). It was nearly full, and he valued two gallons of beer at 2s. The door of Mr Richard Hamer's stable was burst open, as was the door of the store. These were two doors back to back, one in the stable and the other in the warehouse. Until then he did not know there was a door in the stable. They had been prized open both sufficiently wide to allow a per- son to get through. A HORSEY THEORY. Cross-examined: The doors were in a good state of preservation. It was impos- sible to open the warehouse door without any violence. Cross-examined by Mr George: Owen and Colley had a perfect right in this stable because they worked for Mr Hamer. By D.C.C. Williams: Defendant Hamer had previously been in the employ of Ind, Coope and Co., and knew the ins and outs of the warehouse. Re-examined: It would be impossible for the horse to rub against the door in the stable, and thereby open the one in the warehouse. Re-examined by Mr George: He saw a ooit on the stable door which seemed to have been used on more than one occasion. Charles Alfred Eagles said his duty was to look after the beer in the store. He had been in the employ of Messrs Ind, Coope and Co. for over eleven years. He was the last in the warehouse on Saturday, and he left at five o'clock. Besides a large number of barrels full, there was one empty, one tapped, and one filled with "finings." He took the key out of the tapped one, and put it in the usual place in the same warehouse. When he left there, the door leading into the stable was the same as it had always been for the last seven years. When he first went to work at the warehouse, he nailed it back on to the stable door. The nail which he used was six inches long, and he knocked it through the doors and between the joints in the bricks. Since then, as far as he know, the door had al- ways been kept closed. When he went there on Sunday morning about half-past ten the key was in the tap. Cross-examined by Mr Woosnam: The nail driven into the mortar would not be a very safe fastening, but it would require a good deal of force to pull the door open. If they happened to roll barrels against the door it would loosen the nail. The doors were old ones. The door was on the left side of the horse, which was very fond of rubbing. Cross-examined by Mr George: Colley had a perfect right in the stable. Richard Hamer had rented the stable since Sep- tember. He tapped the barrel a week last Tuesday, and had drawn about nine gallons. SUNDAY MORNING DISCOVERY. Thomas Prosser said he was in the employ of Mr Richard Hamer. He went to the stables on Sunday morning about seven o'clock. There was only one horse in this small stable where the doors were, and he went to this stable about 7-30. He did not notice any difference in the door leading into the warehouse, nor whether the bolt was shot into the staple. There was a lad- der outside. After feeding this horse, he went back to the big stable. Richard Hamer had rented the little stable since September fair, and he had never seen these doors open. No one came while he was in the little stable, but when he went to the big stable Henry Owen came there. When he went to the little stable the door was locked, and when he went to the other stable he left the key in the lock. Owen came to him, and after mixing the food for the four horses ,witness left him and went to the little stable. While he was there, Colley came and went to another stable at the back. Witness saw Hamer first at the bottom of the ladder, but did not know where he went. Cross-examined by Mr Woosnam: It was nothing unusual to see Hamer there. The door leading into the warehouse was on the left side of the horse, and if the horse rubbed against it, it was quite possible for the bolt to drop out of the staple. Cross-examined by Mr George: It was Owen's duty to clean out that morning. "CASN'T THEE OPEN IT?" P.C. Evan Thomas stated that on Satur- day last he concealed himself in Ind, Coope and Co.'s warehouse, at the back of Clifton- terrace. He was placed inside and locked in. He could see the outside of the building through a slit in the door and also through a window. About eight o'clock on Sunday morning defendant Hamer came down the entrance and went towards the stable, which was beyond where he was hiding in the warehouse. He heard him say Good morning to someone. Directly after de- fendant Owen came and joined Hamer, and they both came towards witness, and he heard them open the door of the little stable, which was to his left, a few minutes later. Colley came with a bucket of water from the big stable. He came out in about five minutes and fetched another bucket of water, and went to the other two defendants. He heard them talking together, and then he heard them pulling at the door leading into the warehouse. While this pulling was going on, Henry Owen went out towards the big stable. He came back, and as he was passing where witness was concealed he said, Casn't thee open it ?" By the time he had got to the little stable the other door inside the warehouse fled open into the warehouse. Witness walked behind this door, and saw Hamer come in with a jar in his hand. Hamer went to the store at the end of the warehouse. He could hear beer dropping on the floor as he was filling the jar. Directly, Hamer came back, carrying the jar. Witness stepped out from the door and met Hamer, and said, Is this what you are doing." He could see Owen run- ning out of the stable. Hamer said, This is the first time for me; Harry Owen opened the door." He took possession of the jar, which was full of beer, and was numbered 22,303. He took Hamer to where he got the beer from. The key was in the tap, and two big patches of froth were on the floor underneath the tap. He told Hamer he would have to lock him up, and he replied, No, I am not going to come I want to see Hackett." Witness locked the jar up, and took Hamer TO SEE MR. HACKETT, and from there to the police station. Wit- ness then charged him formally with break- ing into Messrs Ind, Coope and Co.'s ware- house and stealing two gallons of beer. Hamer replied, "I have nothing to say Harry opened the door, I am not the only one." Witness went back in search of Owen, and went to his house in Skinner's- street. He met him on the street, and said to him, You are arrested for the same as Hamer. You were in the stable." Owen said, Yes, I ran out when I heard you shouting to Hamer." Witness took him to the police station and charged him, and he said, I have nothing to say, only I was there, and why should I be blamed more than Colley, who was with us ? On Mon- day a warrant was handed to him for the arrest of Colley. He found him in the stable at six p.m. He cautioned him, and he replied, I did not break in. I was there with them, and I was carrying water." Cross-examined by Mr Woosnam: The door that opened into the warehouse flew back into the place it was made for years ago. Cross-examined by Mr George- He did not see Owen or Colley in the warehouse. Both of them had a perfect right to be in the stable as far as he knew. He saw Owen by the stables as he was taking Hamer away. There would be a great deal of trouble to get a warrant on Sunday to arrest Colley. In answer to the Bench, witness said he heard no sound of hammer and chisel when they opened the door. He had examined the door inside the warehouse. It was nailed to the wall, and it looked perfectly safe, but he did not try it. MR. WOOSNAM'S PLEA. At this juncture, Mr Woosnam asked the Bench to reduce the charge of warehouse breaking to that of larceny, which on be- half of his client he would not deny. After consultation, the Chairman said they had considered Mr Woosnam's suggestion, and they would have been most willing to fall in with it had not the evidence been so clear, and they were therefore unable to do so. Defendants were then formally charged. Mr Woosnam: As far as Hamer is con- cerned, I will reserve my defence. Mr George: My two clients plead not guilty. He was present to defend Owen and Colley, and he did not think any useful purpose would be served by reserving his defence. To begin with,' these two men were not on the premises of Messrs Ind, Coope and Co. In the second place, they had a perfect right to be in the stable of their master, and it was their duty to go there that morning to help to feed the horses. They were not there at any un- usual hour. They were charged with felon- iously breaking into the warehouse of Messrs Ind, Coope and Co. Looking at the actions, of these two men, where did the breaking come in ? The prosecution wished to say that these two men were principals in a second degree. P.C. Thomas admitted neither of these two men were in the brewery. Before going to this stable, Colley was carrying water, and Prosser admitted that it was quite possible for Colley to be taking water to this little stable. When P.C. Thomas arrested Owen, he said, "Yes, I was there." Why was it that they did not arrest Colley until Monday ? He was about the town all Sunday. The prosecu- tion took it upon themselves to issue a war- rant against Colley. He took that bucket of water for his master's horse, not for Owen to drink. As far as he could see, Colley had no more to do with it that he (the speaker) had. He asked whether the Bench would hear .their evidence. The Bench decided to do so. AFTER WATER, NOT BEER. Henry Owen said he was a married man with four children. He had been working for Messrs Hamer and Mills for two years, and since the dissolution of partnership he had worked for Mr Richard Hamer. It was usual for him to attend his master's horses. He went there on Sunday morning last about quarter past eight. He helped Prosser to clean out the big stable, and then he went over to Colley's stable and cleaned it out. Defendant Hamer very often came there on Sunday. Hamer came into his stable adjoining the warehouse. There was no arrangement between them that they should break into the warehouse or to take any beer. He saw that the door was ajar, and Hamer caught hold ot it, and it fled open. Then he saw that the door behind it leading into the warehouse was wide open. Witness did not put his foot on Messrs Ind, Coope and Co.'s premises. He kept on with his work, and Colley brought some water out of the pump in the big stable. After they had watered the horse, they both walked out. Colley went to the big stable, and witness went on to the New-road to look for Edward Tudor, who delivers Lloyd's News.' He did not run out of the stable. When he got back he saw P.C. Thomas, who asked for the key of the stable, and he told him he had not got it. The door of the stable was open when he got there. P.C. Thomas did not say a word about his having anything to do with it. He did not have any intoxicat- ing liquor that morning. About half-past twelve Thomas came to him, and said that he arrested him on a charge of breaking into Messrs Ind, Coope and Co.'s ware- house, but witness sa. he was not in the brewery at all. Thomas then said that he had opened the door, and he denied doing so, but he told him he had been in the stable which belonged to his master. He did not see Hamer break anything at all. FIRST SIGHT OF THE JAR. Cross-examined by D.C.C. Williams: Hamer came round there quite innocently, and did not bring anything with him, and he did not know where he got the jar from. Witness did not hide the jar in the straw in the stable. Both doors were open lead- ing into the warehouse. He did not see Hamer go through the door, because he and Colley went-out. He went on to the corner to get a paper, and not to watch if any- body was coming. He did not tell Hamer to go in to the warehouse, nor did he run out when he heard Thomas shouting to Hamer.. By Mr George: He would not have stayed at Clifton-terrace if he was a guilty man. By the Bench The first time he saw the jar was in court. Colley and he went out of the stable together, and he did not hear Thomas speaking to Hamer. He did not see Hamer go into the stores. Defendant Colley then gave evidence. He said he worked for Mr Richard Hamer. The evidence given as to his duty on Sun- day morning was quite correct. He did not go to the stable with Owen, but took a bucket of water to Owen's stable. There was no arrangement that they should break in or take any beer. He saw P.C. Thomas on Sunday dinner-time, and he asked him where Owen was, and if he (witness) had been in the stable. He replied, Yes, I did put my foot in the stable." On Monday evening he was arrested. It was not sug- gested to him until then that he should be taken in charge. HE KNEW NOTHING about the breaking in and entering. He saw Hamer by the stable door when he went there first. The first time he saw the jar was in a waggon in the yard. Owen was in the big stable then. Mr George: That is the defendants' case. The Chairman shortly afterwards an- nounced the decision of the Bench. He said: Hamer, as you know, you will be com- mitted for trial on this charge at the next quarter sessions. As for you, Henry Owen and William Colley, we have carefully con- sidered the remarks of your solicitor, and have listened to your evidence, but we are bound to take cognizance of the fact that you were present when this deed was com- mitted, and to our minds you possibly aided and abetted therein. Therefore we are of opinion that the charges should en- gage the attention of a jury, and you also will be committed to the quarter sessions. The three prisoners were then bound over for £10 each and a surety of Elo each. Mr Woosnam and Mr George made appli- cations under the Poor Prisoner's Defence Act whereby the defendants will have a counsel to defend them at the trial. The applications were granted.


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