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on sect. 3 of the act (a). The ninth count charged, that the prisoner stole a letter from the post-office at Dursley, containing the bank-notes; and the other counts varied the charge, by laying the property differently, and by stating the letter to be a packet. The last count charged the prisoner with stealing the notes in the dwelling-house of Mrs. Baldwin, the post-mistress of Dursley.
Jervis, for the prosecution, opened.—That the prisoner was a letter-carrier from Dursley to Berkeley, and that his wife was the sister of Mrs. Baldwin, who was the postmistress of Dursley, where he sometimes opened the mailbags and sorted the letters. That a letter, sent by Mr. Joseph Cox from Cardiff, and directed to Dudley, containing the notes in question, had been mis-sent to Dursley, from which place the letter and its contents had been stolen. He also stated, that a person named Baller had sent a letter, containing other bank-notes, from Lostwithiel to Uley, which would have to pass through the Dursley post-office; and that the notes sent in Mr. Baller's letter were taken out, and Mr. Cox's notes, to an equal amount, put into Mr. Baller's letter in their stead. He was proceeding to shew how Mr. Baller's notes would be traced to the possession of the prisoner.
Curwood, for the prisoner, objected to this being stated, as there was another indictment against the prisoner for stealing the notes out of Mr. Baller's letter. And he cited the cases of Rex v. Smith (6), and Rex v. Westwood (c), and a case in which the same point was decided by Mr. Baron Bolland.
Mr. Justice PATTESON.-On the part of the prosecution, they put it in this way:—they propose to shew, that the prisoner stole Mr. Cox's notes, because they were put into
(a) Set forth ante, Vol. 4, p. 573, n.
(b) Ante, Vol. 2,
633. (c) Ante, Vol. 4, p. 547.
Mr. Baller's letter in exchange for his notes, which must have been taken out by some one, and are to be traced to the prisoner's possession. In the case of Rex v. Ellis (a), it was held, that evidence of other felonies was receivable, where they were all parts of one transaction. I see, that in that case there was only one indictment; but still, I think that the evidence respecting Mr. Baller’s notes is essential to the chain of facts necessary to make out the case.
Curwood.— I hope that your Lordship will direct the other prosecution to be abandoned.
Mr. Justice Patteson.-I will see about that.
It appeared from the evidence of Mrs. Baldwin, the post-mistress of Dursley, that she employed the prisoner, at a salary of 14s. a-week, to carry the letter-bag from Dursley to Berkeley; and that she was allowed by the Postoffice, in her quarterly account, the sums she paid him; but she stated, that the prisoner never sorted the letters, or opened any mail-bag. There was no very distinct evidence to shew that Mr. Cox's letter ever was in the Dursley post-office; but the notes contained in it were distinctly shewn to have been put into Mr. Baller's letter, notes to an equal amount having been taken out; and evidence was adduced, with a view of tracing some of these notes to the prisoner; but the statements of some of the witnesses was by no means positive.
Mr. Justice Patteson, (in summing up). I think that the prisoner was a person in the employ of the Post-office, as his sister-in-law paid him 14s. a-week, which the Postoffice allowed her again. The evidence is, that he was not employed as a sorter, but as a letter-carrier from
(a) 9 D. & R. 174.
Dursley to Berkeley. I think also, that this letter cannot be said to have come to his hands “in consequence of his employment;" because he, as a letter-carrier from Dursley to Berkeley, would not have a letter addressed from Cardiff to Dudley come to his hands in the course of his duty. However, the 2nd section of the act of Parliament goes on “ whilst so employed.” The question, then, is, whether those words relate to time only, or whether they make it essential that the letter should come to his hands in the course of his duty. I am inclined to think that they relate merely to time; because the words " by virtue of his employment” are used in another part of the section. However, this is less material, as there is a count for stealing the letter out of the post-office at Dursley; and also a count for stealing in a dwelling-house, to the value of more than 51. ; and if the letter was stolen out of the postoffice, the prisoner may be convicted on either of those counts; and if he merely stole the notes, he may be con. victed of larceny. If the prisoner took the letter containing these notes from the post-office at Dursley, he will come within one of the capital charges; and, as they are all capital, it will not be very material to determine which.
Verdict-Not guilty (a).
Jervis, Campbell, Ludlow, Serjt., and Maule, for the prosecution.
Curwood and Justice, for the defence.
[Attornies--Peacock, and Blorsome & Co.]
(a) See the case of Rer v. Pearson, ante, Vol. 4, p. 572.
The prisoner was afterwards
tried on the indictment charging him with stealing the notes from Mr. Baller's letter, and acquitted.
Rex v. Harris.
Aug. 17th. INDICTMENT on the statute 9 Geo. 4, c. 31, ss. 11, If a pistol be 12(a), charging the prisoner with attempting to discharge gunpowder and a loaded pistol at William Watkins, by drawing the trig- balls, but its ger. In the different counts, the intent was laid to be, to plugged, so that murder, disable, do grievous bodily harm, and to resist possibility be
fired, this is not lawful apprehension.
" loaded arms," The prosecutor had been appointed a special constable within the stat
9 Geo. 4, c. 31, to execute a warrant of Mr. Ducarel, a magistrate, to take ss. 11, 12. the prisoner on a charge of riot. The warrant was both shewn and read to the prisoner, and he drew a pistol, which was loaded to within half an inch of its muzzle, with gunpowder, paper, and two ill-shaped balls. This the prisoner pointed at the head of the prosecutor, within four inches of his ear, and pulled the trigger. The lock went down, and the prosecutor saw a single spark proceed from it. No mischief was done, and the pistol was taken from the prisoner. There was no priming found in the pan, but it was proved that that might have dropped out in the struggle to take the pistol from the prisoner.
The prisoner said, in his defence, that the pistol was kept loaded for the protection of his house, which had been robbed, but that, to prevent his children from doing themselves mischief with it, he always kept a piece of paper in the pan, and another piece of paper twisted tightly, and run into the touch-hole, so as to prevent its being fired.
The prisoner's son was called to prove that the pistol had been in this state the day before.
Mr. Justice PATTESON, (in summing up).-If you think that the pistol had its touch-hole plugged, so that it could not by possibility do mischief, I think that the prisoner ought to be acquitted, because I do not think that a pistol
(a) Set forth Carr. Supp. pp. 236, 237.
so circumstanced ought to be considered as loaded arms,
[Attornics-Lucas, and Hulls.)
(a) See the case of Rex v. Hughes, ante, p. 126.
Rex v. ROBERT COLLIER, Gent, One &c. The practice
INDICTMENT for forging a county court summons. of issuing county court The first count of the indictment charged the defendant processes in blank, for the
with forging “a certain paper-writing, in the words and attornies to fill figures following;” (it then set out the summons verbatim), up after they have been is- with intent to defraud John Collier. The third count sued by the county clerk, is stated the instrument to be “a certain summons, purporthighly irregular. ing to be a summons sued out from the county court of that the filling David Ricardo, Esq., Sheriff of Gloucestershire." The up of a county court summons,
fifth count stated the instrument to be “ a certain sumor altering a distringas into a
mons, purporting to be a summons under the seal of the summons, after office of David Ricardo, Esq., the said D. R. then being issued in blank, Sheriff of Gloucestershire.” The second, fourth, and sixth is a forgery at
counts, were for uttering the summons, knowing it to be forged; and the seventh and eighth were for obtaining the sum of 7s. 6d. by falsely pretending that the instrument was a genuine summons.
The paper in question was a printed form of a distringas, which had had the words respecting the distraining struck through with a pen, and the word “summon" inserted instead. The whole of the filling up of the instrument was in the defendant's handwriting, and his name was to it, as the attorney who had sued it out. It purported to be a summons at the suit of a person named Allen. There was a seal to it, but whether this was the genuine seal of the county court or not, the witnesses could not state, as the