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At the R.M. Court yesterday, Edward Lee was brought before his Worship charged with the larceny of a watch and chain from one John Symons, on Tuesday last. Constable Smart arrested the prisoner ip the bar of the Somerset Hotel about 8 p.m., last Tuesday, and charged him with the theft. On arriving at the lock-up, prisoner said he had not got the money, but another man had it. He said the man who took the money wore a long coat. John Symons, sworn-I am a laborer, residing in Ashburton. On Tuesday evening last I was sitting in the bar of the Royal Hotel. I had, as nearly as I can recollect, about L4O on mo, including a cheque for L 29, which was in a purse in my right-hand Housers pocket, I had a roll of twelve LI notes, also in my pocket, and some silver loose in my left-hand waistcoat pocket. I had a silver watch and steel chain, the bar of which was attached to my button-hole. [Watch produced, which witness identified]. I value the watch at about L2 10s. The prisoner, who is a stranger to me, was in my company. We had a glass or two of drink together. Up to one o’clock of that day I had the watch and money in my possession. I was partially intoxicated on that occasion, hence I cannot remember the last time the watch was in my possession. I had occasion to go to the back of the hotel, but do not remember prisoner following me out. It was between half-past four and five o’clock when I missed my watch and some notes. On coming into the bar I wanted to shout some drinks, and on putting my hand into my pocket found only L2 remaining. I do not know how the other money was taken out of my pocket. I never gave the prisoner any permission to take care of the watch. It was about .five o’clock when I missed it. On a qonstable coining to the hotel, I gave ray cheque and other money to John Toppin. The cheque was for L 29, and there was also two single notes. I cashed a cheque at Mutch and Mcl£enzie’§ for L 39 odd. James Leesou, sworn—l am a wheelwright, residing in Ashburton. Iremember being at the Royal Hotel on the 25th May. I saw prisoner outside the bar door. Prisioucr said he had got another man’s watch and chain, and he knew that the man had ten pounds more, and he was “ going for it.” He said he would give me five pounds to say notiiing about it. A person,, sitting with his head down, was in a corner of the bar. Prisoner was crouching down on the right hand side of this individual, with his arms crossed, but I cannot say whether he was touching the oilier person. This was after prisoner had told me he had got the watch—about three o’clock. I then gave information to the police. Adam Stevenson, gave corroborative evidence. John Toppin deponed—l am barman at the Royal Hotel, Ashburton. I saw Symons and prisoner at the hotel last Tuesday, drinking together. I saw Symons take a roll of notes out of his

left-hand trousers pocket to pay for some drinks. I also saw a watch chain on Symons at dinner time. Prisoner handed over a watch and chain to ms about four o’clock, saying it belonged to Symons, and he did not want to see him robbed. I do not know whether prisoner had been outside before this. It was after Leesnn and Stephenson came into the bar that prisoner gave me the watch. Sjnnons was under the influence of drink, but prisoner seemed sober. Between 7 and 8 o’clock Symons gave me a cheque for L 29, two notes, and some silver James Leeson, re-called, was examined by prisoner—l never was acquainted with you, and don’t know how you came to make such an observation to'me as you did. James Stephenson, also re-called— Prisoner is a perfect stranger to me. Prisoner was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment with hard labor.

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Bibliographic details

THEFT OF A WATCH AND CHAIN., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 106, 29 May 1880

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THEFT OF A WATCH AND CHAIN. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 106, 29 May 1880

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