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Theft of a piano - the trial

Source: Aberystwyth Observer 05/01/1861       Date: 1861
Copyright:       Type: Newspaper

Antony Martin, an Italian, was then put up on a charge of stealing a musical instrument, called a hand piano, of the value of £ 6, the property of another Italian, named Antony Brackey.
Mr. George Morice Attorney, and Mr. J. M. Davies Counsel for the prosecution. It appeared that this prisoner in this case had hired the instrument which he was charged with stealing, at 2s. 8d. per week and his washing, engaging to return to prosecutor's house every evening. In the course of the second week after the engagement he decamped, carrying the instrument with him. He was pursued by prosecutor, who overtook him in Carmarthen, and gave him into custody. He had previously sold the piano to Mr Lewis Lewis, of the Neptune, Aberystwith, for £3. The instrument was produced and identified. The jury found no difficulty in finding prisoner guilty; and he was sentenced to three calendar months' imprisonment, with hard labour. By Mr. Lewis Lewis's evidence it appeared that he was induced to buy the instrument on the representation of the prisoner, who said he wanted to return to his country to join the Garibaldian army. The chairman considered that Lewis had been very imprudent in buying it of such a person as the prisoner, as he must have well known that such instruments were generally let on hire. On the application of counsel, the stolen property was ordered to be restored to prosecutor.
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