Albert Goring

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 6.0, 15 October 2011), December 1884, trial of ALBERT GORING (13) (t18841229-237).

Dated: 29th December 1884.

ALBERT GORING (13) , Feloniously placing an iron railway chair across a railway, with intent to obstruct an engine, carriages, and trucks then using the railway. Other Counts, for attempting to injure the engine, carriages, and trucks.

MR. HORACE AVORY Prosecuted.

OSWALD MILTON PROWSE . I am employed in the engineers’ department of the South-Western Railway. I prepared this plan (produced) of Clapham Junction, showing what is called the Kensington siding. The plan is correct.

WILLIAM COTTON . I am a carriage examiner in the South-Western Railway Company’s service. About ten minutes to three on the afternoon of 17th December I was crossing the line from the Windsor line to the Kensington siding. I saw the prisoner on the outside road of the Kensington siding, where goods traffic was being shunted. He placed this chair (produced) on a rail similar to this on the line nearest the embankment. I saw him do it. Before I could remove it a Great Northern approached and 15 vehicles passed over it, with the driver, fireman, and 32 head. I tried to stop it, and could not. As soon as the boy had placed it there he ran down the embankment in the direction of Lothair Street, where he lives. I was about 28 yards from the boy at the time he put it on. I saw a railway policeman, Kelf, between 9 and 10 o’clock. At the time he was about 41 yards from the boy. I called to him at once. It was a miracle the wagons did not go down the embankment. Each wheel was raised off the line and came bump down afterwards. It was only two roads off the Windsor main passenger line. Kelf went after the prisoner. I took the chair to my superior. The prisoner was the only boy near this spot on the bank.

ALFRED KELF . I am a policeman in the service of the South-Western Railway Company. About 10 minutes to 3 on the afternoon of 17th December I was near Kensington siding, and heard Cotton call out, and I saw the prisoner doing something on the line of the Kensington siding nearest the embankment. He was leaning down as if he had got something heavy. I was about 40 yards from him. I saw the Great Northern engine shunting with wagons. I could not get over at once because an up passenger train was approaching between me and him. After that had passed I went over towards where the obstruction was put on. I saw Cotton, looked at the chair, and then walked along the embankment; I knew the prisoner had gone over it. I saw Yinney 60 yards farther on, and in consequence of something he said I went to 68, Lothair Street, which is about 80 yards from where I had seen this boy. I went into his house. He was in the back room, ground floor. I brought him out to the light and told him I should charge him with placing a chair on the line. He said it was not him. The door of the house was open when I got there.

ALFRED VINNEY . I live at 9, Lothair Street, Battersea, and am 13 years old. The prisoner lives in Lothair Street, I do not know the number. On the afternoon of 17th December, about 10 minutes past 3, I saw the prisoner on the railway line nearest me; I was in my yard in Lothair Street in the swing. I could see the line from the swing. I saw the prisoner placing something on the line, I could not see what it was, and then he jumped off the bank and ran into his house. Not long after that I saw a policeman.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. I was not up there at all; I came up to the policeman on the railway and told him.

Re-examined. I had seen the prisoner five minutes before I saw him on the line near my house; he had some wood and coal in a pail; I asked him for a bit of wood, he said no, and I took a little bit. I then went indoors and made the fire up. I did not then see where he went to. I was not on the line or embankment after I had taken the piece of wood. There was not one other boy there.

FRANK WARNER (Policeman V 415). I received the prisoner into custody from the South-Western police shortly after 6 o’clock, and told him he would be charged with placing a chair on the line. He said, “I have been on the line this afternoon picking up coal, but I placed no chair on the line”  This iron chair was given me next day by Kelf.”

The prisoner in his statement before the Magistrate said that he was on the line picking up coal, and Vinney came up and wanted to take his wood and coal, and that he ran down the bank to prevent him, and that there were men measuring wood who threatened to lock them up if they did not get off the line; And that a lot of bigger boys were on the line, and that when he came off he went to get potatoes for his father.

GUILTY .   One Month’s Hard Labour and to be soundly whipped.