A Young but Artful Swindler, transported to Botany Bay for Fourteen years for cheating a Young Lady
NUMEROUS as have been our reports of the tricks and shifts of swindlers, this youth, had he not been checked in early career, might have proved as dangerous to society as the greatest adept in this species of robbery.
At Middlesex Sessions Richard Turner, a very young man, was tried for fraudulently obtaining from Miss Stratford, the daughter of a respectable gentleman in Hatton Garden, the sum of two pounds, in the following artful manner. His father being a postman at Clapham, he got access to letters sent by post. He opened one letter sent by a young lady named Burford, a teacher in a school at Clapham, directed to Mr Stratford in the common course of correspondence; he suppressed the same and wrote out a copy, interpolated with paragraphs of his own invention, particularly one in which Miss B. was made to say that the bearer was the son of the gardener, and begged Miss Stratford to send by him two pounds, to pay for articles which she had purchased in Bond Street. The prisoner carried the letter, and received from Miss Stratford the money and some articles of dress, which he, instead of bringing to Miss Burford at Clapham, gave to a common prostitute, whom he kept company with in Lambeth. It also appeared that a letter written by Miss Burford to a Miss Cooper in Shrewsbury had been opened in the same manner by the prisoner, and a surreptitious one sent in its stead, desiring an answer to be returned to Miss White, St George's Fields. This circumstance came to Miss Burford's knowledge; and an explanation having taken place between her and Miss Stratford, a Bow Street officer was sent to Miss White's lodgings, in Felix Street, Lambeth, who said he had a letter from Miss Burford. The prisoner appeared to receive it, was immediately taken, and confessed the whole fraud. He was found guilty, and sentenced to fourteen years' transportation.