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Extortion Case

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Extortion Case

Post by Karen on Sat 23 Apr 2011 - 23:47

CHARGE OF ATTEMPTING TO EXTORT 500 POUNDS.

Benjamin Judge, aged 61, of 2, New North-street, Theobald's-road, was charged at Clerkenwell police-court yesterday with sending to John Arthur Kendrick certain letters demanding money with menaces and without reasonable or probable cause.
Mr. St. John Wontner, solicitor, appeared to prosecute, and said that the prisoner had been arrested only that (Saturday) morning by Inspector Swanson, of Scotland-yard. He was charged with extorting money by menacing letters written in 1883, and subsequently, to Mr. A. Kendrick, a justice of the peace for Edgbaston, and he (Mr. Wontner) would ask that the information should be read, and the prisoner be remanded.
The information, sworn by Mr. Kendrick, J.P., at Edgbaston, Birmingham, stated that he resided at Barrow court, Birmingham, and in July, 1883, he received a letter signed "B. Judge," addressed from Lower Park-road, Old Kent-road, saying that the writer had been commissioned by the widow of a stockbroker to dispose of her collection of "facetiae" and curios, and enclosing a catalogue. He replied, and seeing that the books and prints described were apparently obscene, he determined to obtain some of them, for the purpose of submitting the matter to the Society for the Suppression of Vice. He sent a cheque for 40 pounds to the address given, ordering at the same time a number of the books and some photographs. He also wrote to the society, but on receiving the books, &c., he was so horrified at them that he destroyed all except one. The society not caring to prosecute he communicated with Scotland-yard, and afterwards handed the book to Inspector Swanson. The deponent did not, however, further personally interfere, not wishing to be mixed up with such a matter. A man named Judge was subsequently convicted of selling indecent literature; and the next time the deponent heard from him was by a letter dated 25th January, 1886, from 2, New North-street, Holborn, in which the writer, B. Judge, said that he intended to publish an exposure of the traffic in obscene literature: and that certain people in high stations of life would be "shown up."
Mr. Wontner read the letters alluded to, and in these it appeared to be the expressed intention of the writer to expose the dealings of Mr. Kendrick with Judge in 1883. Some printers' proofs of "articles" said to be intended for publication were enclosed on two occasions, and although Mr. Kendrick did not appear to be specifically "exposed," specimens of the kind of exposure intended for him were shown, and Mr. Kendrick was asked to "make convictions" if he disapproved of the introductory remarks. The writer then suggested that the prosecutor should "buy up" the letters that passed in 1883, and in one letter the inquiry was put, "What do you say to 500 pounds?" and demanding an immediate answer, and pointing out that the publication of the article might mean social ruin, so that a settlement had better be arrived at at once. The police were then communicated with.
The prisoner said he had only requested Mr. Kendrick, whom he stigmatised most offensively, to buy his own letters, and that was part of his (prisoner's) plan to put down the traffic in obscene literature.
Mr. Barstow said he would remand the prisoner, the prosecutor not being in attendance, and he refused bail.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, Sunday March 28, 1886, Page 1

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Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"
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Re: Extortion Case

Post by Karen on Wed 27 Apr 2011 - 10:55

THE POLICE COURTS.

CLERKENWELL. - THE CHARGE OF ATTEMPTING TO EXTORT 500 POUNDS.

Benjamin Judge, 51, of 2, New North-street, Theobald's-road, was charged, on remand, with feloniously sending to and causing to be received by John Arthur Kenrick certain letters demanding money with menaces and without reasonable or probable cause. Mr. St. John Wontner, solicitor, prosecuted. The prosecutor was now sworn. He said he was a justice of the peace at Edgbaston, Birmingham. In July, 1883, he received a letter signed "B. Judge," addressed from Lower Park-road, Old Kent-road, setting forth that the writer of the letter had been commissioned by the widow of a stockbroker to dispose of a collection of "facetiae" and curios, and enclosing a catalogue. He replied, and, believing that the books and prints were obscene, he decided to obtain some of them with the object of submitting the matter to the Society for the Suppression of Vice, and getting the traffic in indecent literature stopped. He sent a cheque for 40 pounds to the address given, ordering at the same time a number of the books and some photographs. He also wrote to the society, but on receiving the books, &c., he was so horrified at them that he destroyed all except a book called "The Pearl." The society not caring to prosecute he communicated with Scotland-yard, and afterwards handed the book to Police-inspector Swanson. He, however, did not further interfere personally, not caring to be mixed up in such a matter. The prosecutor concluded by giving evidence in accordance with his sworn information, read at the last hearing of the case, in reference to the letters subsequently received by him from Judge, threatening to expose him (prosecutor), and asking for 500 pounds as the price to "buy up" the letters which had passed between them in 1883. Inspector Swanson (Scotland-yard) having given evidence, the prisoner was committed for trial.

Source: Daily News, April 5, 1886, Page 6

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Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"
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