151. JOSEPH FISHER (33) , Unlawfully obtaining by false pretences 30s., the moneys of Our Lady the Queen.
MESSRS. POLAND and MONTAGU WILLIAMS Prosecuted.
WILLIAM SHAW . I am a sergeant of the 4th Battalion East Surrey Regiment—I was stationed at the Winchester Tavern, Great, Suffolk Street—on 13th November the prisoner spoke to me in reference to an advertisement in Lloyd's newspaper—I said that it referred to men who had previously served and had been discharged with good characters after twelve years' service—I told him if eligible he would receive 30s. on being attested at Southwark Police-court, and he would have to re-enlist for four years—he said that the conditions suited him, and handed me this' parchment certificate—I told him I expected an officer up that morning, and I would show him the certificate (This certified the prisoner's discharge on the termination of his first period of limited engagement, having served five years abroad in the Zulu war and at the Cape, and that his conduct had been good. Signed, J. Heneage, Colonel; Major Mears, Commandant)—in about an hour I received notice from my officer that he was not coming up, and told the prisoner so, and that I doubted the genuineness of the certificate—he said that if I wanted any reference there was his pocket ledger, pulling it out of his pocket—I took him before tha medical officer, and he was attested, and I paid him 30s., which I should not have done if he had been an indifferent character—he would not have been eligible—the certificate was returned to me with authority to apprehend him.
Cross-examined by the Prisoner. When you were out on bail you sent me a letter asking my advice about going to the Adjutant and trying to arrange it—I told you it was in the hands of the civil authorities, and there it must remain—you told me you had got two certificates of dis—
charge, and had made away with the first as it ought to have been better than "indifferent," and wrote "good."
BOLTON MORSOM . I am Major of the 2nd Yorkshire Regiment—I was Commandant at Gosport between September, 1882, and June, 1884—during that time I signed a discharge for private Joseph Fisher, of the 2nd Northamptonshire Regiment—his character in the original discharge was "indifferent"—I know no commanding officer named Heneage or Meurs—the prisoner's commanding officer at that time was Colonel Bond—no one was authorised to sign discharges at Gosport at that time but myself.
Cross-examined. I believe the body of it to be the writing of one of the clerks in my office, but I do not recognise the signatures.
JOHN WHITWILL (Policeman G 329). On 19th November, about six p.m., I took the prisoner in Chelsea, and took him to Southwark Police-station—he was charged with forging a document and obtaining money by false pretences—he said "I put the first name I thought of on that paper"—I have served on him in prison a notice to produce his original discharge.
Prisoner's Defence. On my discharge I came to London, and when I received my proper discharge, which I acknowledge burning, I received this parchment, and it was not filled in—I felt aggrieved at the discharge I received, and filled that paper up, as I thought I might be stopped as I had been seen about in soldier's clothes, and I must plead ignoranon between "indifferent" and "fair"—I thought they wanted men who had completed their time and bad left without a bad character, and, foolish like, I took the certificate, which I had signed for my own protection—if I had not shown it they would have written to the depot and known all about it—I gave my proper name and address—I did not try to evade the law, and I am very sorry for what I have done.
GUILTY (He had served twelve years in the Army, and had a medal).— One Month's Imprisonment.