This is an old, and most shameful mode of plunder. It is a crime comitted through the basest treachery, cheating those by whom the thief is, in a certain degree, protected. Thus the base inmate, without fear of detection in the commission of his ungrateful villainy, at leisure, and little by little, strips the apartment, unsuspected by the owner. It is therefore difficult to convict a thief of this description;—but, when once convicted, we should not be sorry to find a severer punishment awaiting him, than being sent beyond the seas.
The trial of this woman brought to light a double deception; and in the practice of these kinds of cunning, we are sorry to say, our pages oft show that females are more expert than men. She cohabited with one Samuel Whitelock, and such a connection alone, though acquitted of participating in robbing their lodging, was sufficient to blast his character.
This infamous couple were indicted at the Old Bailey in the October sessions 1810, as man and wife, and she pleaded thereto as Hannah Whitelock. It appeared in evidence that they took the lodging above alluded to, very decently furnished; and that in a few days it was stripped of every article which it contained; even the lead was torn from the roof and carried off. It farther was proved that the woman prisoner was not married to the man—on the other hand they had been but a very short time connected, and that she assumed his name—in fine that she, in conjunction with a soldier in the ranks of the Guards, her most favoured lover, committed the robbery in Samuel Whitelock's absence. Of course he was acquitted—the soldier escaped—and the woman, the sole contriver of the base crime—was sent to Botany Bay.
At the same sessions MARGARET SHIPLEY was tried for stealing a watch from a young man of the name of Copeley. The evidence went to show this to be one of those cases where very incautious young men are decoyed into dens, which the worst of prostitutes infest. The consequence whereof was, that he was robbed of all the cash he had, and his watch into the bargain. The jury, without a moment's hesitation, found her guilty; and, being recognized as an old offender, she was also sentenced to transportation.
DIANA JENNINGS, a noted thief, was convicted of stealing pots, the property of Mr. Burnet, a publican, in Tichfield-street. When apprehended there were several pots belonging to other publicans found concealed about her. Imprisoned.
MARY FRENCH was next tried for stealing in the dwelling-house of Mr. Foster, in Old Gravel-lane, several small articles. The only novelty in this case was, the exhibition of a Jewess of the name of Levi, who presented herself in the two-fold capacity of witness for the prosecution and for the prisoner, in the first instance, to produce the property stolen, which she did; and, in the second instance, to prove that the prosecutor had accepted 5l. not to proceed against the prisoner, in which she failed.
The jury found the prisoner Guilty; and it turned out, that she had been tried in this Court for various acts of theft, within the last three years, several times. Transportation.