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And Got Gaol Afterwards


(From "Truth's" Christchurcb Rep.)

A plea of not guilty was tendered by William Janles Edgar, charged withbreaking arid entering the premises of F. H. Green and Co., Ltd., on 20th November, and stealing itherefrom 83 hams and 13 rolls of bacon, valued at £i2O Bs. Mr. Hunter defended accused. It was alleged by the prosecution that Edgar and three other men broke into the warehouse and stole the hams wilth the object of getting the enhanced price for them obtainable at Christmas time. A number of the hams had been sold to one, Denny, for which Edgar had been paid £10 on account. Later on the police called on Edgar. No hams were found on his ipremisees, and he denied being concerned m the sale of the hams. Edward Martin Hands, moulder, said he knew accused, also a man called Chick, and another called Cleary. They and witness met together one nighit. They went to the factory and witness had an augur and Edgar a bracing ibit. They bored through me panel of »th& door and got inside. Witness took put [ two hams j he was top drunk to shift any morei. He was told next morning there wer& 48 taken — a dozen apiece. Witness woke up m the morning' in the gutter. Witness sold 7. 'or 8 of tha hams to Denny. 'The whole of the hams were taken to Chick's place. He was to get £7 6s for them. Edgar told him he had seen the detectives at Den-, nys shop, and said: •WE'RE UP..TBR." . ; He asked witness to see Denny and tell him bo get rid' of the hams. Witness said: "Never m your life." To Mr. Hunter: He had pleaded guilty, to the charge of stealing the hams. He sltill said Bill Hendry was present when the theft was planned* He was at Hendry's place bn the night of the robbery. He was drunk at the time. On the morning following tha ham-stealing exploit (Sunday), be ask-

Ed Hendry for 2s to get drink. He had made a statement contrary to what he said now. He made a voluntary statement before Mr. Raphael withdrawing any charges against Edgar. This he had done to "shield a cobber," but now he intended to speak the truth. He was not influenced by any hope of getting off lightly. He was drunk on the night of the theft, and fell off his bicycle when he was carrying off two v hams. He was drunk when he made a statement to the police that Edgar was with the mob. He say* Mr. Raphael and told him Edgar was not present at the robbery. Replying to Mr. Donnelly, witness said he was to get £25 for making the statement to Mr. Rapuael that Edgar was not concerned m the theft. He refused the money. Thomas Edward, Lane, engine-driver, m the employ of Green and Co., said it was his duty to lock up the premises. He described the state of same after,, the robbery. The managing director of the firm, Richard Green, .said he found 83 hams missing, and 13 roll*, of bacon. They were valued at £120. He could say that the hams were not sold toy his firm because they were not trimmed. Evidence was given oy Thomas Denny, who said he worked along with Edgar and Hands at "WaddeH's Foundry, Sockburn. He also kept a greengrocer's shop. He bought some hams from Hands. He got six or seven from Chick. When "at Chick's place, he saw Edgar, who asked him if he was "set," meaning HAD HE THE HAMS. For the first lot of hams he paid £7 5s to Hands. He arranged with Edgar to buy some more hams, which were to be got at Chick's place. The price was fixed at Is. a lb. He got ten hams and paid £10 for them, paying the money to Edgar the next day at his shop. Witness did not know where the hams came from. He had no suspicion that the hams were obtained dishonestly. To Mr. Hunter: He did not ask Edgar to give the £10 to Chick. Accused went into the witness box and denied having met. Hands, Chick and Cleary for the purpose of breaking into Green's factory. He had no lot or part m the enterprise. He had 'been paid £10 by Denny and told to give it to Chick. He did not say what it was for. This was at the foundry. Witness handed over the money. To Mr. Donnelly: He had not seen Hands at Chick's place after the robbery. Hands told him of the robbery at the foundry. He said: "I have done a bit of a possy last night; keep your mouth shut." He understood him to mean he had broken into Green's place. Hands afterwards told him he had sold the hams to Denny. When witness handed the money to Chick, the latter told him it was for some hams. To Mr." Hunter: He offerijH. no money to Hands for making the statement that he (Edgar) was not concerned m the theft. ■ ■ Henry Joseph Raphael, barrister, said he was instructed by Mrs. Edgar to go to Paparua Prison to see Edgar. He did so and took down a statement from Edgar, Hands, Chick and Cleary. Hands told him that Edgar was not '

present, at the robbery, and haa no parti m it. Hands subsequently called on wit-* ; ness and made a statement contradicting; his statement to the police that Edgar was connected with the robbery. I William Hendry, contractor, denied Hands' statement that he was present when the robbery was planned. He had seen him on the night of the robbery, between % and 8 o'clock. He was . ' "FULLY HALF DRUNK, PERHAPS J£ORE." John William Cleary said he nad pleaded guilty to 'being concerned m the robbery. Edgar was not present at; the burglary, nor at the meeting 1 when, it was planned. , To Mr. Donnelly: The robbery was planned by Hands, Chick and himself. To the ' Bench: The statement he hack made to the police was false. He was now on oath and telling the truth. Frederick George Ghick also admitted; having pleaded guilty to .the theft of the hams. Edgar was not present when the hams were stolen. When. Edgar . handed ■ him; the £10 he said : "This is £10 benny^giEi.Ve me for you." Witness drew Benny's attention to tha brand on the hams; and he said: "It is not very plain."- . . ■ To Mr Donnelly: It was Hands' suggestion that they .should break into* Green's place. Harids ; got the augur; and the bjt-from. his house. ■'■ For the defence Mr. Hunter suggest ted that Denny had., a motive m sui>-: porting the Crown's case because he w&a liable; to be prosecuted fro receiving stolen goods. That being so his cvi- ' dence could; not; be relicd 1 on toy tthe jury. Nothing had been found on thei premises of Edgar by the police. Both, 1 Cleary and Chick .had sworn that Ed-< gar had not ibeen present at the robbery. . \ , . The summing up of the Bench was. adverse to prisoner, and the jury found a'verdict of not guilty. THE GANG SENTENCED. Prisoner was .remanded for sentence. John William Cleary, who had been found guilty of receiving the hams which were stolen property, and had pleaded guilty to being one of a gang who .had broken into a ham factory, was represented by Mr. Raphael, who pleaded for leniency on account of his family. He had not been m trouble be-? fore. On behalf of William James Edgar; an accomplice! of Cleary's. Mr Hunter, said his .wife was m delicate health, and ft would be- impossible for her tot keep the home going if her husband was sent to prison. Frederick George Chick and Edward Martin Hands, who had pleaded guilty, to the theft, of the hams, were also brought up for sentence. ; , On behalf of Hands Mr. ThpWs said he was not a 'criminal m the ordinary sense. He was .under the influence of drink when. he. committed the offence, and had confessed the truth to the police. He asked for probation. The Judge said he' could not extend leniency to any of the gang. Edgar, was pi*obably the leader, and, m effect, had committed the crime of perjury! . He would ibe sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labor. In regard to Hands, he would take into con-, sideration Ithe fact that 'he had. told thei truth and sentence him to six months jail, with hard labor. In the case of Cleary, he could not grant probation, but would sentence him to two years reformative detention, a like sentence being 1 imposed on Chick, for whom Mr. Alpers appeared. In ..the' second charge against Cleary, that of receiving stolen goods, a con-, viotion was recorded. .

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Bibliographic details

RAID ON A HAM FACTORY, NZ Truth, Issue 798, 26 February 1921

Word Count

RAID ON A HAM FACTORY NZ Truth, Issue 798, 26 February 1921

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