Hawkins Genealogy Site
The Somerset County Gazette 12 Oct 1867
Page 2 Column 4
POLICE COURT, Friday. - (Before S. FOX, Esq.) - Wm. SPARKS, fish-dealer, of Taunton, was brought up in custody of P.C. PAYNE, on remand, charged with stealing a purse containing two sovereigns, two half-sovereigns and some coppers, the property of Robert FOURACRE, a labourer, of Kittisford, on the previous day. - Jane FOURACRE deposed that about one o'clock on Thursday she bought two dozen of pilchards of the prisoner in the street, and paid him with money which she took from a purse. He gave her change, and she left him, carrying the fish and purse in her hands. She went into Mr. HADDON's shop, and then missed her purse. She went after SPARKS, and told him he had her purse. He said he had not seen it. She said she had witnesses to prove that he had picked it up, but he still denied having done so, and drove on. The purse she described as a long portmonnaie, with one partition in the centre. - James RIDGE, of Taunton, deposed that as he passed, the prisoner in the High-street he saw a woman buying fish, and when he overtook him he (witness) saw a purse lying at his feet. Witness said, “Bill, there is a purse by your feet; is it yours.” Prisoner said, “Yes,” and picked it up. Witness did not see what he did with it. Witness said the purse was a rather long one, with a bright steel clasp. - Herbert BURROW, a little boy, eight years old, son of Mr. J. BURROW, jeweller, deposed that he was sent by his mother to buy some fish, and while doing so he saw a man in a cart stop and point to a purse in the road. The man said, “Halloa, Bill, whose purse is that?” The fishman (the witness identified the prisoner as being the man) then turned round and picked it up, and put it in his pocket. - Mrs. BURROW, mother of the last witness, deposed that she saw the prisoner selling fish, and sent her boy to get some fish, she standing at the door the while. While there a man drove by in a fish-cart, and pointed to something in the road. The prisoner stooped and picked it up. - Jane TROAKE deposed that she was going to the National School and heard the poor woman crying because she had lost her money. She heard her ask SPARKS if he had seen it, and he replied that he had not. Witness suspected the man had it, and watched him up the street. Just as he got near the church he took something out of his pocket and looked at it. Seeing that witness was looking at him he said to her, “I hope the woman will find it.” Witness replied, “That she won't.” This being the whole of the evidence, the prisoner was cautioned in the usual way, and in defence he said he had not seen the money or the purse. - Mr. FOX committed him for trial at the next Quarter Sessions, but admitted him to bail, himself in £50 and his father in a like sum.
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