Echoes from the Law Courts
21 November 1876
NEW COURT Tuesday, November 21st, 1876.
Before Mr. Common Sergeant
HENRY SIMPSON (32) , Unlawfully obtaining from Hermann Loog, a sewing machine, with intent to defraud, upon which Mr. F. H. Lewis for the Prosecution, offered no evidence.
NOT GUILTY .
27 February 1882 BLANCHARD EDWARDS, Deception > fraud
Blanchard Edwards , unlawfully, while employed in the service of the Loog Company, Limited, making certain false entries in a cashbook, and also omitting to enter certain sums, with intent to defraud.
Messrs. Besley, Grain and Tickell , Prosecuted; Mr. Fulton Defended.
GUILTY — Twelve Months' Hard Labour.
1 April 1885 Important case under the hire system
At the Southwark Police Court, Mr. Abraham Hyams, pawnbroker, 160, Blackfriars-road, was summoned by Herman Loog (Limited), of London Wall, for unlawfully detaining a sewing machine alleged to be their property. Frederick Collier in the service of the complainants, said that some time ago one of their improved Singer machines was sold to a man named Loftus Bantry, at Redhill, the value of which was £4 19s. Five shillings was paid on the delivery of the machine, and the remainder was to be paid weekly, under an agreement of the hire system. The purchaser was, shortly afterwards convicted of embezzlement, and since then no money had been paid, consequently the machine became invested in the firm. Inquiries were made, and the machine was found in the possession of the defendant. As he refused to give it up, witness was instructed to take the present proceedings. Witness handed in the agreement signed by Bantry. Mr. Attenborough contended that the machine was supplied on credit, and if people thought proper to trade on those terms they should place a distinct mark upon them that they were hired goods. In his opinion it was a false system of credit. His client acted in a proper manner in the whole transaction. When the machine was brought to him he asked the party if it belonged to him, when he said it did and said he had paid for it. He produced one of the complainant's bills for the machine, receipted in full. The learned gentleman here handed in the receipts, on which was written 5s. paid on account and £\ 14s. due, signed Herman Loog (Limited). Mr Collier here said that was a forged receipt. They had only received 5s. Mr. Bridge was of opinion that the pawnbroker had acted in a bona-fide manner all the way through. He therefore ordered it to be given up on payment of 25s., the sum for which it had been pledged.
1 June 1885 AN INGENIOUS CANVASSER
At the Borough Quarter Sessions, Gravesend, on April 17, Henry Ramsey was charged with obtaining by false pretences a musical cabinetto from the local branch of the Hermann Loog Company. Prisoner had offered to get orders on the 15 per cent, (half down) principle, the remainder when a certain sum was paid ; on January 19th he handed in a form filled in with the name, Cornelius Townsend, Galley-hill, Swanscombe (employed by Messrs. Bazley White & Co.), and would pay 10s. on delivery, and 2s. 6d. a week afterwards ; prisoner thus secured a three guinea cabinetto. Cornelius Townsend deposed to not giving the order, and not knowing the prisoner, who was thereupon sentenced to six months' imprisonment with hard labour.
1 September 1885 A HIRING CASE
In the City of London Court, on August 15th, before Mr. Commissioner Kerr, an action was brought by the Hermann Loog Company, limited, sewing machine manufacturers, of 127, London-wall, E.C., to recover £4 8s., the balance for the hire of a sewing machine from July 31st, 1884, to July 27th, 1885, from the defendant, Mr. Isaac Guymer, clerk in the employ of the Guildhall School of Music, Aldermanbury, E.C. Mr. Tattersall, solicitor, represented the defendant. The manager to the plaintiffs said they supplied the machine to the defendant. They had two or three complaints with regard to it, and they had had it returned to their premises on more than one occasion. The first complaint they had made to them was eight or nine months after the defendant had the machine. It was not a month after, as the defendant had contended. When they went to repair it they found that the defendant had the front of the machine taken out. It was in a filthy dirty condition, and that no doubt was the cause of it not working. If it was not, it must have been on account of the defendant's incompetency. Another witness was called. He had seen the defendant at Aldermanbury, and he had asked them to take the machine back. They had since had the machine back and repaired it. For the defence the defendant was called. He said a month after he had the machine the screws became loose. He made complaints, and a lady was sent to repair it. Five other representatives of the plaintiff company called on him to do something to the machine. It never was any use to him, and it was not now, as he could not work it. The learned Commissioner : I see that the machine was supplied in June last year, complaints were made in August, and yet the defendant continued to pay in September. That will not do. Plaintiffs Manager : It is a subterfuge for non-payment. I wrote and told the defendant so, but he would not answer my letter. The learned Commissioner : He was quite right not to answer it if you told him it was a subterfuge. Thirty years ago, when I was a young man, they would have treated such a matter very differently. However, I must find for the plaintiff . Judgment was then entered for the plaintiff, with costs.
1 October 1885 A DISPUTE OVER A SEWING MACHINE
Loog v. Eliza Bunker.—Plaintiff, a sewing machine dealer of Stoke Newington, sought to recover from the defendant, a domestic servant, of Moss Hall Lodge, North Finchley, N., the sum of £1 on account of the alleged hire of a sewing machine for two months at 10s. a month. Mr. Avery appeared for the plaintiff and Mr. Vennell, barrister, for the defence. Plaintiff on being examined, deposed that on the 29thof May last one of his agents named Barton supplied a sewing machine to the defendant, who agreed to hire it on the usual terms, viz., 2s. 6d. a week. She paid 15s. on account of the machine, and for that payment a receipt for £1 was given her by Barton, and a duplicate receipt was subsequently sent to her by post. An application was afterwards made to her for a sum which had become due for the hire of the machine, and she then alleged that she had bought the machine from Barton and paid him for it. She produced a receipt purporting to prove this statement, but at that time Barton had absconded, and he had not been heard of since. The agreement for the hire of the machine was in writing, and it bore the signature of Eliza Bunker. (The agreement referred to was formally put in). Cross-examined by Mr. Vennell—It was Barton's duty to enter into agreements for the hire of the machines, and to accept the first payments on account of them, but beyond those payments he had no authority to receive money on my behalf. It was an exceptional thing for us to give a receipt for £1 when only 15s. had been paid, but we did it in this case. We did not communicate with the defendant until after Barton had absconded. The document produced—(purporting to be a receipt for the sum of £4 19s. in full settlement as the purchase price of the machine in question)—is in Barton's handwriting. Re-examined by Mr. Avery—Barton had no authority to sell any of our machines out and out. We allow a discount when such sales are effected. One of our collectors warned the defendant not to pay Barton soon after the first payment was made. Frederick Austin, a collector in plaintiff's employ said he called on the defendant in June last in reference to the payments to be made respecting the machine alluded to. She then told him she would pay him in the following August, and that he was not to trouble her again until then. He said to her, " Don't pay any one else but me," and she responded, " Then don't trouble me again until August." Cross-examined—She did not tell me she had bought the machine and should pay for it in August, but I told her she had hired it, and would pay for the hire monthly. I did not call again till the 7th of August, when I asked her for the payment due on the machine. She then said she was going to make the payment in one lump sum. I asked her to give the money to me, and she said she was going to pay it to Barton on the next day. Re-examined—I then told her not to pay it to Barton upon any consideration. This was the whole of the plaintiff's case. Mr. Vennell submitted that there must be a nonsuit on the ground that the alleged agreement for the hire of the machine alluded to had not been proved. His Honour said he should not nonsuit in this case unless there was very strong evidence for the defence, because he had entered nonsuits in one or two more important cases than this, and the Court above had always upset his decision in such cases. Mr Vennell then said his defence to the action was that the machine in question was never hired but was bought out and out by the defendant who paid Barton for it, and now produced his receipt for the payment of the full value of the machine less the discount which, as plaintiff said, was always allowed to purchasers of these machines, in the event of their being paid for within three months of the purchase. No doubt Barton had absconded after receiving the money paid by the defendant, but surely the defendant could not legally be made to repay the defalcations of the plaintiffs servant. The defendant, on being sworn, gave evidence to the effect that she had bought the machine alluded to from Barton, and had paid him for it. She produced a receipt signed by him in order to prove this staetment, and added that although Austin, the plaintiff's collector, wanted her to pay the money due to him she thought it best to pay Barton as she had bought the machine from him. She paid Barton on the 8th of August last. Nothing was said to her about the machine being hired, and she would swear that the signature to the agreement which had been put in was not hers, but was a forgery. Rose Woolford, a fellow servant of the defendant, desposed to the fact of her purchasing the machine and paying for it as she had stated. Witness knew the defendant's signature and was sure that the signature on the agreement produced was a forgery. At the request of His Honour the defendant wrote her name on a separate slip of paper in order that it might becompared with that on the agreement. After hearing some remarks from Mr Vennell and Mr Avery as to the extent to which Barton was authorised to act as the agent for plaintiff, His Honor decided to reserve his decision until a future sitting of the Court.