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Colonial Cases

R v. Bailey, 1870

[receiving stolen goods]

R. v. Bailey

Supreme Court of China and Japan
14 May 1870
Source: The North-China Herald, 19 May 1870



SUPREME COURT            .

Before Sir E. HORNBY, and a Jury.

May 14th, 1870.

R. v. G. BAILEY.

Receiving stolen goods.

   Mr. STRIPLING, Inspector of Police, conducted the prosecution, and Mr. Eames watched the case on behalf of the prisoner.

   The following jury were empaneled: - Messrs. Payne, Hill, Morton, Wheelock, and Pardon.

   Prisoner pleaded not guilty; and the following evidence was led.

   RICHARD WILKINSON, sworn, deposed - Was lately steward of the Bq. "Vidette." On the 23rd of March, was at the Rotunda, where I saw Chamberlain, and told him of $400 in the captain's room.  He told me to go on board and get it, and he would conceal it.  I did so, and returned about 11 o'clock.  Chamberlain told me to take off my shoes going upstairs, for fear Mr. Ford should hear me.  I remained concealed in Chamberlain's room under the bed all day, and that night slept with him.  I gave all the money to Chamberlain except $11 which I took out.  Next day I went towards Woosung.  I came back and asked Chamberlain for money, which he said he could not give me till her had seen Bailey.  He went and brought Bailey, who gave me $20 and afterwards $25, because I wanted it.  I saw Bailey the next night and asked him for money, which he went down to the Sailors' Home and got.  He asked for what I wanted it, and I told him to pay a Chinaman who was concealing me.  I said I was going to give myself up as a deserter, and Bailey told me I was a fool to do so, for he would stow me away in a brig going to Yokohama.  After I had been released, I asked Bailey if he would give me money to go to Yokohama, and he said he would go and see Bailey.  We went, and Bailey said I might go as soon as he could get the money.  He said the money was buried, and he would fetch it.  He went away with Chamberlain, and then they returned saying they would see me righted.  I did not get the money, and I said I would go and give myself up.  I asked him frequently that day for money, and told him to be sure not to forget it.  I conversed with him on the verandah, and there asked him to give me the money.  Mr. Ford was present.  Bailey said he would get the money at dusk.  I asked him at dusk, and he said he would get it at dark.  Chamberlain said to him in my presence to give me the money if he could.  There was nothing said about my going to one of the ports.  Altogether, I got, with what I took at first, $54.

   By Mr. EAMES. - It was on the 27th or 28th I said I was going to give myself up, and previous to this I got $40.  Believe Bailey said he had buried the money.  Ford was present only on the day we were walking on the verandah.  He was near enough to hear; and no concealment was made.  Don't know why Chamberlain gave the money to Bailey.  Don't know either where he put the money when I gave it to him first.  It was in the head of the bed during the night, and, in the morning, Chamberlain took it downstairs in a handkerchief.  Chamberlain said I would be foolish to give myself up, because, if I kept concealed, I could get away when the thing blew over.  Ford knew nothing up to this time.

   By his Lordship. - I don't remember if, on the two occasions I saw Bailey and Chamberlain, anybody else was present.  When Bailey came back from the Sailors' Home, there was a Chinaman present, and Bailey threatened him if he made any bobbery about it.

   By Mr. EAMES. - I did threaten the prisoner.  I told him he had better get me the money, but I had no weapon.  After dusk, when I saw him, we both drew knives, but I could not say which drew first.

   WILLIAM CHAMBERLAIN, sworn, deposed - Was formerly bar-keeper of the Rotunda, and know the prisoner.  Had a conversation with Wilkinson about money, on the 24th March.  He said the money was on board the ship.  I told him to bring it on shore.  I offered to take charge of it, and to conceal it and him.  This was about ten in the morning.  He left; went on board, and returned bringing $400, which he gave to me.  I put him upstairs into my own room, where he remained and slept that night.   The following morning he handed me the money, and I went and buried it.  He first took out $10 or $11.  I saw him that night or following day outside the house.  He called for me and asker for some money.  I went to Bailey and asked him to lend me $25, which I gave to Wilkinson, and Bailey came across to the Rotunda and gave it into my hand.  This was not in the presence of Wilkinson, but I gave it to him.  I had the money buried all the time.  Saw Wilkinson the following night.  He again asked me for money, and I gave him $15, which I also got from Bailey.  Saw last witness next night, and again gave him $10, borrowed from Bailey.  The money was still buried underneath the house.  On the following morning the steward came to me and told me he was going to give himself up as a deserter.  I said, all right.  He did so.  I bought $9 worth of clothes for him, with money I took out of the package.  I saw Bailey a day after.  Told him nothing but that the cook and steward was going to give himself up as a deserter.  I asked Bailey how much I owed him, and he said about $51.  I gave him no money on any subsequent occasion.  While Wilkinson was in prison I spent all the rest.

   His lordship referred to witness's former evidence, which in some points differed from his present statement.

   Witness said the present account was the true one.  He was so much excited that he formerly did not know what he said.

   GEORGE FORD, sworn, deposed - Am proprietor of the Rotunda.  On the 21st April, about 11.30 p.m., Wilkinson said to me he could make my hair stand on end.  I asked him what he meant, and he told me the $400 stolen from the barque were hid in my house for four days, and that he, too, had been concealed there for a day and a night.  He said if Chamberlain would give him money, he would embark on the American mail.  Of course, I did not believe a word of it, my lord.  I left him. On the next day, about half-past two, Wilkinson and Bailey were on the verandah of the rotunda, and I heard some conversation pass.  Bailey then told Wilkinson that he had nothing to do with the money; but he knew where $200 of those $400 were buried, and he would go at dusk and show where it was.  I went out that afternoon, and returning home about 5 or 6 o'clock, I saw Wilkinson draw a knife on the prisoner.  And, of course, Bailey drew a knife upon him.

   His lordship - Of course, eh?

   Witness - Yes, my lord, in self-defence.  Wilkinson chased Bailey with the knife.  Wilkinson said he was going to give himself up, and I said it was the best thing he could do.  The same night, between 8 and 9, Inspector Stripling came to my house, and asked if I heard Bailey say there were $200 buried.  I said I did.  During the conversation between us, I heard Chamberlain go to Bailey's house.  I told Inspector Stripling at the time that Chamberlain was going in, and he asked me to take him to Bailey's room.  We went there, and I asked prisoner to open the door.  When he was about to do so, I heard the bolt go down again, and Chamberlain tried to escape by the opposite door, but was met by detective Yeoman, who had a revolver.  Chamberlain said he took yeoman to be the cook and steward, and rushed back right into my hands and into Mr. Stripling's, and broke the door.  That is all I know about it.

   By Mr. STRIPLING. - There was something s aid on the verandah in which the word "Ningpo" was mentioned.  Bailey said he knew where the money was buried; and Chamberlain, when he was arrested, said there was nobody had anything to do with it but him, and that he had spent the lot of it.

   Mr. EAMES could see no case to go to the Jury with.  He supposed the two first witnesses were not quite was was technically called "infamous"; but when a man went into the witness box, and deliberately confessed his guilt, it required some more respectable testimony on which to go.

   His lordship observed, in summing up the case to the Jury, that it was one which showed how evil communications corrupt good manners.  Unquestionably, it was through mixing himself up with people like the first witnesses, that the prisoner was there in the dock, and in great peril; and if the Jury acquitted him, as his lordship supposed they would, he hoped the prisoner would take to heart very much, the painful position in which he stood.  His lordship had no doubt the two first witnesses had deceived the police.  The only evidence they had which could be depended upon was that of Mr. Ford, and it only connected the prisoner with a guilty knowledge of the money.  This guilty knowledge was in itself criminal.  No one possessing it is free from d anger - if a man associates with criminals, there is little difference between him and them.  He thought this would be a lesson to the prisoner.  The Jury, under the circumstances, might return a verdict of not guilty.

   The Foreman - We find under your lordship's direction a verdict of not guilty.

   The prisoner was discharged.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School