CHARGE OF RECEIVING STOLEN JEWELLERY
At the Central Criminal Court, on Friday, William George Smith and Jane Smith, man and wife, were indicted for receiving a quantity of jewellery knowing it to be stolen, and for receiving and harbouring the thief. The prosecutor, a man named Judge, was a small manufacturing jeweller in Granby-place, Drury lane. He was in the habit of calling to do business at the shops of jewellers. His son, a boy of 15, induced him to put his whole stock-in-trade, consisting of gold and silver watches, chains, rings, brooches, lockets, bracelets, and other articles, to the value of £370, into a bag and go with him on his rounds. The father went into a shop to call on a customer, leaving the son outside with the bag. The young scoundrel, Francis Judge, who was arraigned and pleaded guilty to the robbery, took the opportunity of decamping, and found his way to the house of the prisoners, by whom he appears to have been sent to some of their relatives in Ayrshire. The prosecutor, having suspicions, went to the house of the prisoners and made inquiries about his son. The woman told a falsehood about the son having gone to America with a black bag before even the robbery was committed, and denied any knowledge of the property. Prosecutor afterwards saw the male prisoner, who told the truth about the place the son had gone to and also offered to give up some of the property and some duplicates which the boy had left there. Prosecutor then went and had a gold watch and a number of duplicates restored to him. A detective officer being communicated with, the prisoner Francis Judge was brought up from Scotland, and a large quantity of the property, amounting to over £200, was recovered from the prisoners, and from various jewellers and pawnbrokers to whom the articles were sold and pledged. The prosecutor and police officer agreed that the male prisoner had acted in a straightforward manner, apparently giving all the information in his power, and there did not from the evidence appear to be any case against him. The female prisoner was proved, however, to have pawned a quantity of the jewellery a day or two after the robbery. The jury, therefore, acquitted the male prisoner, and found the female prisoner guilty. The prosecutor recommended his son to mercy, on the ground that he had been led away by some of the Smiths, there being sons of his own age with whom he was in frequent communication. The boy was stated to have been, neglected to such an extent as to be unable to read or write. He was, sentenced to be imprisoned, for one month and then sent to a reformatory for four years. The woman Jane Smith was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment with hard labour.
Source: The Brecon Reporter - 9th March 1867