Sussex Advertiser newspaper
24th June 1845, page 2
EXTRAORDINARY ROBBERY of £25. – On Saturday last, a young man named John Levett, who has been for some time employee as a guard on the London and Brighton coach, which passes through Uckfield, was brought before H. BLACKMAN, Esq., and G. MOLINEUX, ESQ., at the office of F. H. Gell, Esq., charged with stealing £24 19s, the property of Mr Henry Cloake, the landlord of the Maidenhead Inn, Uckfield
The prosecutor stated, about a quarter past four on the afternoon of he 17th instant, I packed up a small parcel, in which £24 19s, consisting on one £5 Bank of England note, two £5 notes of the Lewes Bank, nine sovereigns, one half-sovereign, and nine shillings in silver. Having tied it securely with string, I delivered it, directly to Messrs. Molineux, Whitfeld, Dicker, and Molineux, to John Levett the prisoner, who was then going to Lewes by the London coach. I said to him, I wanted him to take it for me, and he said he would. I told him that it was money, and that he must go with it to the Lewes Bank immediately on arrival, as it was to advise a payment in London, and I was fearful the bank would be closed if it were not delivered immediately. In consequence of information I received yesterday from London, and also from Lewes, I set off for the latter town, and met the prisoner between Lewes and Uckfield, at a place called Clay Hill. On asking him if he had delivered the parcel, he said, “I gave it to a little boy at Mr Molineux’s house, as the bank was shut.” He told me also, that it was nearly seven o’clock when the coach got into Lewes. The prisoner went back with me to Lewes, and I went to Molineux’s bank, but found that the parcel had not been left there. I then went to Mr. Molineux’s house with the prisoner, and on his seeing the boy, he said, that is the boy; and asked him, “Did I not give you a parcel last Tuesday night, about seven o’clock?” The boy, as I understood, said “Yes, and I gave it to master.” I then went over to the bank, and returned with Mr Molineux to the house, and he asked the boy if had taken the parcel then. The boy said “No, I did not.” I said, “How came you to say then, you had given it to your master?” The boy replied “I said, if I received it I gave it to my master, as I do all other parcels.”
Mr Blackman—That is not evidence.
Mr Hobden—It is rather explanatory, sir.
The prosecutor continued—I afterwards gave the prisoner in custody to Superintendent Bolton, at the White Hart, and yesterday I asked him, where he had got new clothes he had on? He said, “Mr Kidder bought the coat for me at Maxfield and Smith’s.” Having made enquiries as to this, I repeated the question in the presence of Mr. Bolton, and he then said. He got it at Brown and Crosskey’s. On asking where he got the money, he said, he had picked up a purse between the Cock at Ringmer and the Old Ship last Thursday week, and that there were four sovereigns in it, and he threw the purse away.
Mr Blackman--The prisoner said, when the boy opened the door, “that is the boy I gave the parcel to,”—is that so?—Certainly.
And at the same time the prisoner asked the question, “Did I not give you a parcel some where about seven o’clock on Tuesday evening?”—Yes, sir.
Now you say, you understood the boy to say “Yes, I gave it to my master?”—Decidedly, sir.
Mr Blackman: You see the boy puts it quite in a different way.
On being asked if he had any questions to put to the prosecutor, the prisoner commenced a statement as to finding the purse, &c. but was stopped by
Mr Blackman, who said—That is not a question,—that is your defence.
Mr Cloake—It is only corroborating my evidence.
Robert Medhurst, a lad of 14 or 15, was next sworn—I am in the service of George Molineux, Esq., and always answer the front door; I am certain John Levett did not at any time since, leave any parcel with me for my master, or any other person. I don’t know that I ever saw him before yesterday, when he called with Mr Cloake at 11 o’clock. He said, “What did you do with the parcel I gave you?” I said, “You never left any parcel; if you did, I should have taken it to my master.”
The prisoner—When we first went, he said, “Yes,” when I asked him, and he said, “I gave it to my master,—wasn’t it a little white paper parcel?”
Mr Blackman (to Mr. Cloake)—Did the witness ask you if it was a little white paper parcel?—No, sir.
You are quite sure of that?—I never heard him, sir.