The Times, Friday, Aug 04, 1826; pg. 3; Issue 13037; col E


                              CARLISLE, TUESDAY, Aug. 1.
                    CROWN SIDE. - (Before Mr. Justice PARK.)
    
Richard BAILEY, John THOMPSON, and Mary COOKE, were indicted for a highway
robbery, committed by them upon the person of John M'MASTER, at three o'clock on
the morning of the 18th of March last. From the evidence of M'MASTER, it
appeared that he had been drinking at a house some distance from his own home,
with a man named STUART, and another person, and that when he was about to
return, STUART's friends begged him to take STUART, who was very drunk, under
his protection; that he did so; but just before they got to the streets in which
the two courts are situated, STUART burst away from him, and ran up to a bad
house, from whence, however, he speedily retreated, having had some water thrown
at him. The two men and the woman then rushed upon prosecutor, who was left
alone in the streets, and while the men beat him, the woman snatched his watch
from his pocket with such violence, as to tear that side of the pocket;
prosecutor afterwards got a watchman, and had them apprehended.

In giving this evidence, and on his cross-examination, the prosecutor spoke so
much of not stretching his conscience, that Mr. Justice PARK at last remarked
that he often thought those people who talked the least about their consciences
minded them the most. The prosecutor swore that STUART was very drunk, but that
he himself was perfectly sober.

STUART, on being examined, varied a little from M'MASTER's statement; and, from
his testimony, it hardly seemed possible that the prosecutor could have been
quite sober.

A boy named REED, who had been brought up by Habeas Corpus from the city gaol,
in which he was confined under a sentence passed on him at the sessions, behaved
with great impudence. He swore that he was present on the morning in question,
and saw the prosecutor beaten by the two male prisoners, and that afterwards the
female prisoner told him to call upon her the next day at two o'clock, but that
he called at eight in the morning, when she showed him a silver watch, and told
him that he might do what he pleased with it; that he took it and told several
people about it; that this watch afterwards proved to be the prosecutor's, and
that when the constable came to him (REED), and asked whether he had such a
watch, he said yes, and gave it up at once. The constable, on the contrary,
swore, that REED denied any knowledge of the watch, and that he took it from
REED by force. When REED was cross-examined by Mr. D. F. JONES as to his
occupation, and the places where he had lately resided, he prevaricated grossly,
and used every effort to elude the questions. He was finally compelled to
answer, and then it appeared that he had been four times confined for stealing
watches - three times in this county, and once in Northumberland. In making
these acknowledgements, he always answered sullenly, frequently attempted to
evade the questions, and sometimes refused to answer them, till the Judge
interposed; and even then, when he had given his answers, he would add, in a
muttering voice, "There, take that;" and at the close of his cross-examination,
he muttered, half in a tone of triumph, "I am not going to tell you every
thing." On being questioned by the judge, he said the robbery took place about
three in the morning; he could not give any particular reason for being out at
that hour.

The prisoners severally denied the crime with which they were charged, and said,
that they had been disturbed by the prosecutor's companion knocking at the door,
and had been compelled to drive him away.

Mr. Justice PARK having summed up the evidence, told the jury that they must be
assisted in determining this case, by observing the manner in which the
witnesses that had been examined had given their testimony. If (as he feared was
the case) they saw reason to believe that the boy REED had been prowling about
for prey, and seeing the prosecutor and his companion much affected with liquor,
and had followed them, till the noise and disturbance made by STUART at the
prisoners' house had offered him an opportunity to commit the robbery, and that
he had then taken advantage of the confusion to steal the watch, they would
acquit the prisoners. If, on the other hand, they thought they could rely on the
prosecutor's statement, they would give a verdict of guilty.

The Jury deliberated for about five minutes, and then acquitted the prisoners.