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Old Bailey Proceedings - Trial Accounts
London's Central Criminal Court

24th April 1723
Charles Banner
Sexual Offences - assault with sodomitical intent divider

Charles Banner was indicted for an Assault, committed upon Nicholas Burgess , a Lad of 15 Years of Age, with an Intent to commit the Act of Sodomy with him.

The Prosecutor depos'd, that about 12 a Clock at Night, the 12th of March, the Prisoner fell into Discourse with him in the Street, as he was going about his Father's Business, and kiss'd him, and in Woodstreet run him up against the Gate of the Cross Keys, and unbuttoned his Breeches, and acted several indecent Things to him, and would have had him go with him to some Ale-House or Tavern, but he did not consent;

then he ask'd him to meet him again another Night; and that Night he having informed him, that his Father belonged to the Post Office, and that he was employ'd in carrying his Father's Letters every Post Night, at about 12 a Clock, the Prisoner came to the Post-House to him, and clapp'd him on the Shoulder;

and when he went to carry his Father's Letters, he having waited for his coming out, came up to him in the Poultrey, and went with him to Woodstreet, to the former Place, and there began to renew his former Indecencies with him.

But he having before acquainted his Friends, his Father, and some others, dogg'd them, came and seiz'd the Prisoner.

The Father of the Lad, and another, confirm'd the latter part of the Evidence, that having had Information of the preceeding Attempt, and of the Appointment, he did, with one or two more, dog the Prisoner and his Son, and at the Place mentioned came upon him on a sudden, and apprehended him, but probably a little too soon.

The Prisoner deny'd the Fact, and his ever having seen Nicholas Burgess before that Night that he was apprehended; and also, that he had been guilty of any Indecencies with him.

The Court were of Opinion, that the Evidence against the Prisoner was not strong enough to prove the Assault and Intention of committing Sodomy with the Prosecutor; yet, that the Obscenities he had sworn, and what the other Evidences had deposed of the Lad's having given Information of the appointed Meeting, and their having apprehended him at the Place according, as it seemed, to that Appointment, were strong Circumstances of the Truth of the Evidence.

The Prisoner being required to call Persons to his Reputation, called one Person (out of many he said he had ready) who gave him a good Character. And being ask'd by the Court, what the Prisoner was? said he was a School Master in Swedeland Court, near East Smithfield. And being ask'd by the Court, if any Body did trust their Children with him? He reply'd, That he himself did, and a great many others, who look'd upon him to be an honest, sober Person.

The Evidence not coming up to the Indictment the Jury acquitted him.



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