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1864: Unfortunate embrace

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Two tramps, who gave the names of George Legg and Catherine Longate, and stated that they had been cohabiting as man and wife, were charged on Wednesday, before W Sergison, Esq. by Supt. Akehurst, with stealing a watch from the person of Wm. Steele, gardener to Mr Robinson, of the Rectory Place. It appeared on evidence that prisoners were at the Half Moon on Tuesday afternoon, and had been drinking, when a row arose, most likely for the purpose of effecting a robbery, and the woman was hustled, or, as she said, knocked by some one into the passage, where prosecutor was standing, and fell, or pretended to fall, into his arms.

He had some trouble to release himself of the woman's unlooked for embrace, and as soon as he did so went home, but did not discover that he had been robbed until he got there, when he missed his watch and tobacco box, He obtained the assistance of Mr Comber, parish constable, and went in pursuit of the man and woman, who they found lying beneath a hedge at a short distance from the Station Inn, to which house they took them, and searched them, but found nothing or them. The watch, was however, discovered at the spot where they had been lying, and the tobacco box was tossed into the fire by one of them.

They were then given into the custody of PC Overton, who brought them to Cuckfield . The woman said the prosecutor accompanied her down the road to the spot where the watch was found for an improper purpose. This was contradicted, and the woman was was committed for trial at the assizes.

The Sussex Advertiser, 17 December 1864

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

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