A Couple of Swell Pickpockets

From the Daily Post, Friday 26th February 1858

A Couple of Swell Pickpockets.- For some time recently Bull Street has become a more than usual resort of daring and successful conveyancers of the above line, and the Chief Superintendent has caused extra attention to be paid to this locality by his officers. To-day, two very well dressed persons were placed at the bar, giving the names of James Powell and Eliza Allsop. Detective Spokes stated that on the preceding evening he saw and watched the two accused for some time in Bull Street. Going to various shop windows where ladies stood by, the female got close to them and he distinctly saw her, (Powell, standing near) put her hand under a lady’s shawl; but when she had withdrew her hand she had not succeeded in taking anything. She made subsequent visits to other groups of females, and at this time, going into the Coach Yard, Spokes caught the eye of the male prisoner, who came to see who it was. The officer then took him into custody, and Powell shouted out “Eliza” (Allsop) and Spokes soon after took her. At first they denied all knowledge of each other, but subsequently admitted they were acquainted, and it has been found that for some time past this pair has been living together in Park Street as man and wife. Detective Kelly stated that a few days previously he had seen the two prisoners in company in Bull Street, and they then followed the same course as just described by Spokes. Seeing him (Kelly), they quickly made off. The girl had been up before; but Powell, her mate, had hitherto kept himself off that. The Court said there was not the slightest doubt of their object being picking pockets, as detailed by Spokes, and they must go to the House of Correction for six weeks each. From their dress and appearance generally (both young) they would not readily be suspected as bad characters. A second woman, Mary Smith, who was in Allsop’s company was also taken, but she was discharged. 


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