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Theft of Personal Property

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Theft of Personal Property

Post by Karen on Sun 22 May 2011 - 15:57



Elizabeth Tanner, 45, described as a charwoman, was charged with stealing blankets, sheets, and a large quantity of ladies' underclothing, the property of Mr. Walter George Seamman, ladies' outfitter, 85, Newington-causeway. The prosecutor said he had employed the prisoner for the last two years as charwoman, and until lately he had the greatest confidence as to her honesty. Latterly, however, she had taken to drink, and a week ago he missed some articles of clothing from the warehouse, and as the prisoner was leaving they were found on her, and he gave her into custody. Pawnbrokers' duplicates were found on her relating to property (produced), worth upwards of 10 pounds. The manager of Mr. Matthews, pawnbroker, Newington-butts, produced nineteen parcels, containing blankets, sheets marked with the prosector's name, and underclothing pledged by the prisoner from November last and to the beginning of the present month for 2 pounds 19s. 6d.
Mr. Partridge strongly condemned the conduct of pawnbrokers receiving such property from a woman of the prisoner's description, especially as some of the articles were marked with the owner's name. Witness said the prisoner was asked if the goods were her property, and on her replying in the affirmative they were accepted. Several other pawnbrokers produced ladies' underclothing, a jacket, and bundles of linen, all of which Mr. Seamman identified as his property, and he valued it at upwards of 10 pounds. The prisoner pleaded "Guilty" to stealing the goods, and begged for mercy, as she had intended to redeem them and replace them, but for circumstances that unfortunately occurred in her family. She had been the chief supporter of an aged father, who died a short time ago and whom she had to bury. She had also supported a sick mother, and had sickness in her family. Mr. Partridge considered that there had been great carelessness on the part of the pawnbrokers, who, had they acted with common caution, would have checked the prisoner in her career. He sentenced the prisoner to three months' hard labour.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, August 24, 1879, Page 4

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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