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


19th November 1907

Hans Werner

Theft - extortion


WERNER, Hans (30, waiter); feloniously accusing John Conrad Rahder of the infamous crime of buggery, with intent to extort from him certain moneys.

Mr. Elliott and Mr. Fitch prosecuted.

JOHN CONRAD RAHDER, 7, Neville Court, St. John's Wood. I am a naturalised Englishman. In the spring of 1900 I was in Kohn at the time of the carnival, where I was introduced to Mr. Kogson, who told me he was joint proprietor of the hotel in Neuweid, on the Rhine, where I stopped a few days and was well treated. I then want to Switzerland. I saw nothing more of Kogson till February or March of this year, when he called on me at my business in Regent Street (Gerard and Co.) with prisoner.

I desiring to return his hospitality invited him to dinner, and included prisoner. We dined together, and then went to the Euston Music Hall. I made an appointment with Kogson for the next day, but did not keep it, and have not seen him again. Prisoner was arrested on October 11. I had not seen prisoner again till about a fortnight before when he called at my business place. I did not know him.

Then he said "I am Mr. Kogson's friend, and I have come from him for a loan of 50s. for him to return to Germany." I was surprised, as I thought he was well off, or could send to his mother in Germany, who has an hotel there. I said if Kogson called himself and explained why he wanted it I would be able to let him have the money. I gave him no money, and he left.

I next saw him at Oxford Circus at nine a.m. on October 11. My sister pointed him out. He called that day at 11 a.m. He said, "This time I have come to ask you for a loan on my I.O.U. for myself," because he wanted to go back to Germany. I said, "This is the second time you have been here. I will on no account let you have any money. Will you kindly go down?" He would not go, and followed me to my private office. I said, "I should like to know why you insist on asking me for money?" He said, "You know very well why."

(Witness then related how prisoner imputed to him the commission of an abominable crime with Kogson and another man.)

I said I should call at once for the police. He said, "Fetch the police. I have nothing to lose - you have, I don't care what you do." He shouted it very loudly, and was very excited. He drew a revolver and pointed it at me and said, "Here is something for you - you must give me some money or otherwise I will shoot myself." I thought I had better get rid of him quickly, and I went up to him and said, "You are very desperate - I will do something to help you." He had told me he was a waiter, and I said, "I will go at lunch time to one of the restaurants where I lunch and will try to get you a situation there."

I said I would meet him at six o'clock at the Tube Station, Oxford Circus, and if I did not get him a place I would perhaps 1st him have some money. I did not want the publicity of getting the police there so I did all I could to calm him. He calmed down and cried. Immediately he went I went to Scotland Yard and was referred to the inspector aft Bow Street. I kept the appointment at six o'clock with Inspector Bower and Sergeant Mercer at the Tube Station. Prisoner was there.

I said, "You are early," and the moment I said it he was in the hands of the police. I saw the revolver taken from him. He was taken to the police station, where he said to me, "If you say I pointed the revolver at you I will take my revenge when I come out of prison." At the police court he said to me in German that he should have me up for the offence he had alleged against me. On October 16 I received a letter from him dated the 15th from Brixton Prison. There is no truth in the prisoner's charges against me.

Cross-examined by prisoner (by interpretation). You did dine with me. You did not say directly you would shoot me, but you said, "Here is something for you, and if you don't give me some money I will shoot myself." I did not give you 2s. 6d. or any money.

Re-examined. I have done all I can to find Kogson, and sent my solicitor, Mr. Matthews, to Neuweid and to Kohn to find him, but could not.

Inspector ELIAS BOWER, C Division. Mr. Rahder called on me at Vine Street on October 11, and I went with him and Sergeant Mercer at six o'clock to the Tube Station, Oxford Circus. Mr. Rahder, on seeing prisoner, went up and spoke to him. I seized him by the right arm and Mercer by the left. I told him he would be charged with threatening to accuse Mr. Rahder of an infamous crime with the view to extort money from him. We walked out of the station, and Mercer put his hand in prisoner's left hip pocket and took from it this revolver.

He handed it to me, and at the police station I examined it. It was loaded in three chambers and in perfect working condition. A pull of the trigger would have exploded a live cartridge. It was not protected as it could have been by putting the ram-rod in one of the chambers. He made a long reply to the charge in German, which was taken down and translated. (The statement in question containing the accusations against prosecutor was then read.)

Police-sergeant GEORGE MERCER. I assisted in taking prisoner as stated by the last witness and took the revolver from him. I saw Inspector Bower take the live cartridges from it. The next pull of the trigger would have struck a cartridge. It was not protected. He gave his address at Mrs. Hoffman's, Great Titchfield Street. I want there the same evening, where he occupied a back room. I found a box of white powder and rouge, a box of Vaseline, a bottle containing white face cream. I found a halfpenny on prisoner.

WILLIAM HERNY PARKER, assistant warder, Brixton Prison. On October 15 I received from prisoner this letter marked A. I was present when he wrote it.

WILLIAM HUGH TWIGG, assistant warder, Brixton Prison. On October 14 I received this letter marked B from prisoner, for which I supplied him with writing materials.

HUGO MEYES, interpreter, 6, Greek Street, W. I went to the Marylebone Police Station at 6.30 p.m. on October 11, and interpreted the charge to prisoner. I took down the statement he made and translated it. This is a correct translation. I also translated the letters A and B. They are correct.

PRISONER (interpreted). I asked Mr. Rahder to oblige me with some money to enable me to travel back to Germany by giving him a promissory note for the money he would give me, and he laughed at me and my impudence in coming to him.


HENS WERNER (prisoner, on oath) repeated the narrative given in evidence, and referred to the charges that he alleged he could bring against prosecutor.

Verdict, Guilty.

Sergeant MERCER, on being recalled, stated that from the property found in prisoner's possession and certain letters he was believed to belong to the most despicable class of men.

Sentence, Five years' penal servitude.

Mr. Justice Ridley. At the close of the five years I shall recommend that the Home Secretary send you back to Germany.


(Wednesday, November 20.)

[Verdict: Guilty - Punishment: Imprisonment - penal servitude]



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