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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1828, Sunday, April 10, 1831

Old Bailey Sessions.

These Sessions commenced on Thursday, before the Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor, Recorder, Sheriffs, and other authorities of the City, who ordinarily attend upon such occasions. Lord Chief Justice Tenterden and Mr. Baron Garrow are the presiding Judges.

John Broach, aged 29, was indicted for stealing in the dwelling-house of John Patteson, two bracelets, and other articles his property.

Capt. Pattesen stated that in the month of October last he resided in Cadogan place. On the 7th of that month his wife, and subsequently the remainder of his family, left London. He had known the prisoner for some time previously, and had formed a high opinion of his character. He left the prisoner in the care of his house. On his return to town in December he found a key in the lock of one of his drawers which attracted his attention. It was one that did not belong to any member of his family. The circumstances induced him to cause a general search, when a gold watch, a pair of bracelets, and some other articles of jewellery were missing.

The Lady of Capt. Patteson proved the loss of a variety of other articles in addition to those named in the indictment.

Mary Ann Dale stated, that in the month of October last she went to take care of the house of Captain Patteson, and remained there, until the month of December; the prisoner had keys of the house; witness went in search of him when Captain Patteson returned, but could not find him. On one occasion afterwards she heard a door unlocked, and on going up stairs saw the prisoner coming out of her master's bed-room; witness told him she had been looking for him, but he made no answer; he always left the house (to which he had constant access) without the knowledge of witness.

John Taylor, a bookseller in High Holborn, proved that the prisoner offered him some books for sale, which were part of the stolen property; witness afterwards gave them up to Woodberry, an officer, to whom he admitted that he had left them with Mr. Taylor, and said they were his own; but subsequently stated that he had taken them from Captain Patteson's closet.

John Healey, a pawnbroker's shopman, stated, that the prisoner pledged a, pair of bracelets with him for 7l., and two gold chains and a pair of ear-rings for 5l., but they were redeemed by him on the 22d of December; the prisoner redeemed the bracelets on the 24th of December.

Mrs. Patteson re-examined.—The books produced were left by me in my library; the bracelets were worth 151., and the chain 10l.

This closed the case for the prosecution.

The prisoner upon being called upon for his defence, denied all knowledge of the robbery. He admitted, however, that he had taken the books for the purpose of reading them, and on afterwards noticing there was one volume deficient, he left them with Taylor the bookseller, in order to have the set completed. He admitted also that he had pledged some articles of jewellery for a lady who owed him some rent. He concluded by stating, that bankrupt as he was in character, in consequence of the present charge, he cared little for himself, but felt deeply for his wife, whose health had been materially impaired from the anxiety she felt for his situation.

One witness was called who gave the prisoner, a good character.

Mr. Baron Garrow summed up the evidence, and the jury without hesitation returned a verdict of Guilty.

The prisoner was again indicted for stealing in the dwelling-house of Count Alphonso Morrell, three gold watches and other articles his property.

The Countess Morrell stated that she and her family had occasion to leave town the latter end of the year 1824. Messrs. Bywaters the auctioneers were left in charge of her house. The watches and other property were deposited by her in a drawer in her drawing-room before she left town, and on her return they were gone—(the articles were, procured and identified by the witness as part of the property she had lost.)

The prisoner, in defence, denied that he had ever been in prosecutor's house.

Mr. Baron Garrow summed up the evidence, and the Jury again returned a verdict of Guity—Death.

There was another indictment against the prisoner for stealing in the dwelling-house of Earl Amherst, a silver tea-pot, and other articles, value 300l. his property.

Mr. Baron Garrow, however, said, there was no occasion for with the case; and directed the pawnbrokers in attendance to give up the property to the prosecutor.

The above trial excited considerable interest from the respectability of the prisoner, and the confidence that had been reposed in him by several persons of distinction.