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

4th December 1751
Richard Noke
Violent Theft - robbery divider

33. (L.) Richard Noke, was indicted, for that he together with a certain person unknown, on the 15th of November on John Burk, did made an assault, take and detain, falsly charging him with perpetrating the crime called sodomy; and demanding money with intent to rob him.

John Burch. I am servant to Mr. Samuel Wilson and Son, in Cannonstreet. On Friday the 15th of November, about seven in the evening, coming from Mr. Alexander's in Woodstreet by Swordblade-coffee-house, in Change-Alley, I was stopped by another man, who d---nd my body, and said I was a very pretty fellow, what did I mean?

I asked him what he meant? (he was a very ugly looking fellow) said he, you offered to commit sodomy with this man, meaning the prisoner, whom I had not seen till he spoke. He came up and said yes, d--n my precious limbs if he did not: and that they would have me before Alderman Ironside.

I was very much frighted and desired them to let me alone, then the prisoner told me he fancied I was of some character, and that he would not blast it. And if I'd make him some satisfaction, they would let me go about my business and say no more about it.

Q. Who said so?

Burch. They both said so, but the prisoner in particular. Then I told them I believed they were two rogues; and offered to run, from them then they knocked me down several times.

Q. Who did?

Burch. They both did. I saw nothing in their hands, I believe it was with their fists, but I was so afrighted I hardly knew what they had. Then I called out for help, and murder, &c. then Mr. Dimford and one Ward, were coming by; there were several people, coming by at the time they did not interrupt or assist me, the prisoner and other man curst and swore a great deal, the other got off but we secured Noke.

Isaac Dunford. On the 15th of November, about seven in the evening I was going home, going up Lombardstreet about 15 or 16 yards behind me, I heard some blows like men fighting. I heard the word sodomite, there I saw two or three men in a fray, I went to them, I saw the prosecutor receive a violent blow on the side of the head; after that he made towards me.

He knowing me, he call'd out, You know me, I did not know him at first, but upon his second time calling I knew him. I said what is the meaning of all this? to the prisoner and the other man. How dare you use a man in this manner? One of them said D--n him he is a sodomite.

I said I believed him to be a very sober, honest man. They swore a pretty deal he was. I said you look to be two very suspicious fellows, and I shall know who you are. They said they had never seen one another before. There were many people then gathered together, presently the other was missing. Said I to the prisoner, I think you have a very ugly look. He talked of bringing several gentlemen to his reputation, and amongst-the rest one Mr. Heath in Crooked-lane. We secured him and took him before my Lord-Mayor and he was committed.

It not appearing to be a felony he was Acquitted. And a second indictment lodged against him, upon which he is to be tried next Sessions for a Misdemeanour.

See No. 490. in John Blachford 's Mayoralty.

[Verdict: Not Guilty - fault]

Note: This verdict resulted in the defendant being acquitted because there was an inaccuracy in the way the indictment was written or the offence was charged.



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