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

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6th September 1910

Septimus Mills

Sexual Offences - sodomy - Theft - housebreaking

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MILLS, Septimus (30, fitter). Attempted buggery with Gilbert Harold Gregory; committing an act of gross indecency with Gilbert Harold Gregory, a male person.

Verdict, Guilty.

Prisoner was further indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Mary Cross and stealing therein two dishes and other articles, her goods, and feloniously receiving the same.

MARY JANE CROSS, Jernyngham Road, New Cross. At 7.15a.m., June 14, I found my morning-room window open; the screws had been taken out of the catch and entry made into the passage, dining and drawing-rooms; a cabinet for silver opened and the greater part of the contents taken but; some taken away and others left on the morning-room table. The value of the things stolen is 15 to 16. I identify the articles produced as mine.

GOLBERT HARRY GREGORY. Prisoner showed me these silver articles at his house, Mulberry Street, Whitechapel, last June. He said, "You little think while you are abed and asleep I am doing these little moonlight jobs. I am sorry to tell you I am a professional burglar. This is my third year. I am going to take the dishes and pig over to Clapham Common and do them into a 'fence'."

We went next day to Clapham Common and he went to the shop. The man was at dinner, so we came back and went to a coffee-shop. Prisoner left me there while he went to sell them. When he came back in a quarter of an hour he had not got them. He saw me speaking to a young man at the coffee-shop. He asked me what he had been saying. I thought he meant about him and said he had said nothing. We had a row. I called him a thief and said I had heard all about him from the coffee stall. I asked him to forgive me for saying it. They used to talk about him at the coffee-stall and that gave me a light on it that he was a burglar.

Detective THOMAS EVANS. On July 6 I arrested prisoner on another charge. Subsequently he was charged with housebreaking and receiving these articles. I said to prisoner, "Do you wish to give any information respecting the disposal of the trinkets?" He said, "I sold them to a jeweller at Clapham Junction near the public-house where the 'buses stop. He gave me 11s. for them as old silver." The jeweller has gone to Brussels on some legal matter. The business is still being carried on.

Prisoner's statement before the magistrate. "I have read the statement of the boy Gregory. It is not all true. As regards the jewellery and trinkets which he speaks of I bought them two or three weeks ago from a man in Aldgate for 10s. I do not know the man's name or address. He was a big pugilistic fellow. Gregory was working for me. I found him out in dishonesty. I remember stating to him I was a professional burglar, but that was in a jocular way. I told him that he had better leave my company. I told him since I was out at night on private way if he was a 'leg' I wished to have nothing more to do with it. He kept away a fortnight, when the mother wrote to ask me for 12s. That is what brought us together again. I have read this statement and it is true."

Detective ALEXANDER OTWAY. When I told prisoner that he would be charged with breaking into Mrs. Cross's house on June 14 he said, "All right; you had better prove that." When charged he said nothing.

SEPTIMUS MILLS (prisoner, not on oath). My landlady is willing to come and testify to my always being in and keeping my time. I have never been later than 11 or 12 at night. If I have been coming in later than 11, I have always told her. She is only a poor worker and not able to wait here every day. There is no evidence that I broke into this lady's house. Had I known they were stolen I should not have told the police where they were.

Verdict, Guilty of unlawful possession.

Previous convictions were proved.

Sentence, Six months' hard labour on each indictment, to run consecutively.

[Verdict: Guilty - Punishments: Imprisonment, hard labour]

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andrej@andrejkoymasky.com


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