Robert Kingshott

This chap is a bit of an enigma in that I have no idea (yet) who he was. The newspapers of the early 1950's were full of details about a court case that he was involved in.

This is Robert Kingshott and his wife Phyllis.

Taken from the Daily Express 23rd October 1952

The first mention of him was in The Times on 10th July 1952. He was described as aged 36 years (giving him a birth c.1916). This is what was said.

 

£4000 NOTES CHARGE

TWO MEN REMANDED

Robert Kingshott, aged 36, motor trader, Swan Court, Flood Street, Chelsea and Edward Noble, aged 42, motor dealer, Regency House, Osnaburgh Street, Euston Road NW, were remanded until July 23 at Bow Street yesterday on charges of being concerned in feloniously receiving 2000 £1 notes on June 4th and 2000 £1 notes on June 6th. Bail of one surety in £1000 and their own recognizances in £1000 was allowed for each.

 

Detective Inspector Bradford said that, with other officers, he saw Kingshott on Tuesday. Superintendent Lee said to him: "We are inquiring about two seperate amounts of £2000 in notes which we understand you had changed in Warren Street in June and which we think are stolen". Kingshott replied, "It was straight money. It was my own. I got Eddie Noble to change it into fivers and I gave him £50 for his trouble.". After further conversation, Kingshott was taken to Scotland Yard where Noble was under detention. Noble made a written statement, which it was not proposed to produce at present, to the effect that he did change the money.

The Times, Thursday, Jul 10, 1952_ pg. 3_ Issue 52360_ col E

 

So here is the first taste of strange goings on in London! The money was supposedly the proceeds of a daring mail-bag robbery committed in East Castle Street, London.

 

He appeared in the newspapers on numerous occasions over the coming months, all to do with this case and he remained on remand for the next few months.

 

£1 NOTE RECEIVING CHARGE - ALLEGED PROCEEDS OF MAIL VAN ROBBERY

At Bow Street Court yesterday, before the magistrate (Mr Bertram Reece), Robert Kingshott, aged 36, motor trader of Swan Court, Flood Street, Chelsea and Edward Noble, aged 42, motor dealer, of Regency House, Osnaburgh Street, Euston Road, NW, were again remanded (until September 16) on a charge of receiving 4000 £1 notes alleged to be part of the proceeds of a mail bag robbery in East Castle Street, Oxford Street W, in the early hours of May 21st. Noble was again released on his own bail of £1000 and one surety of £1000. Bail was refused for Kingshott.

 

Mr RE Seaton, for the prosecution said that of the notes recovered only a small number had been identified. They appeared to have emanated from six banks in the west country and were dispatched by registered mail to London for re pulping or re-issue to other branches. Some were old and dirty. When the mail train arrived at Paddington the mail bags were transferred to a Post Office van, which was locked. The van was intercepted in East Castle Street by the occupants of two motor cars, and the three men in charge of the van were somewhat violently dealt with. By the time they ad recovered from the first shock of the assault the van had gone. It was next seen three hours later in a yard in Albany Street, with a number of mail bags missing.

 

On June 4 Noble paid 2000 £1 notes into his account at the Hampstead Road branch of Westminster Bank. They were extremely dirty and covered with dust of a sandy character. Noble then presented a cheque for £1975 and was given in exchange, at his request, £5 notes. Unfortunately, the £1 notes had been used in the course of the business of the bank. On June 6th Noble again paid into the bank £2000 in £1 and 10s. notes and was given £5 notes in exchange for a cheque. Again the notes paid in were covered with dust of a sandy character.

 

When the police and postal officials began investigations on June 14 the bank still had 1000 of the £1 notes and 50 of the 10s. notes. A number of the notes bore marks, and 11 had been identified by bank officials. A difficulty of identification was that none of the officials could say when they last saw the notes.

 

On July 8th Detective Superintendent Lee told Kingshott he was inquiring about two amounts of £2000 which he understood had been changed at Warren Street. Kingshott replied, "It was straight money. It was my own. I got Eddie Noble to change it into fivers and gave him £50 for his trouble." Kingshott was asked where the money had come from and he said "It was given to me by a man. I had one lot of £2000 and the other lot of £2000 went back to him in fivers. You know the fix I am in. I can't tell you who he is. He will deny giving it to me. I knew where he got it from. My life would not be worth living if I told you any more than I have. I will have to stand by myself." At Scotland Yard, Kingshott said to Detective Inspector Bradford, "I wish I could think of some way out of this."

 

The same afternoon Noble's flat was searched but nothing of any consequence in this matter was found. Noble said he knew nothing of the robbery except what he had read in the papers. He said he changed two lots of 2000 notes for "Bob King" who offered him £50 to do it. Noble's statement concluded "I did not think there was anything wrong with this money. If I had known I would not have touched it. To me it was an ordinary business transaction."

 

Henry Arthur Sims, a postal sorter employed with the Great Western travelling post office, said in evidence that he left Bristol with the mail train which arrived at Paddington at 4am on May 21. The train was met by a mail van into which 24 sacks were loaded. He locked the rear doors, and sat in front of the van with the driver and guard. Went he van reached East Castle Street, on the way to the GPO, a motor car pulled in front of the van, causing it to stop. He was grabbed and pulled to the ground and was dragged under an archway. As he struggled to get to his feet he was hit on the head and his assailant ran away. The van and the car both disappeared.

The Times, Wednesday, Sep 03, 1952 pg. 7 Issue 52407

 

Things were therefore not looking particularly good for the erstwhile Mr Kingshott. However, things were about to look up for him.

 

NOT GUILTY OF RECEIVING - BOTH MEN AQUITTED IN £1 NOTE CASE

The trial was concluded at the Central Criminal Court yesterday of Robert Kingshott, aged 36, motor trader, of Swan Court, Flood Street, Chelsea and Edward Noble, aged 42, motor dealer of Regency House, Osnaburgh Street, Euston Road NW. After considering their verdict for more than one and a half hours the jury found them both Not Guilty on two charges of receiving 4000 £1 notes, the property of the Postmaster-General, knowing them to have been stolen. The recorder, Sir Gerald Dodson, directed that the two men be discharged.

 

The prosecution had alleged that the notes were part of the £250,000 mailbag robbery which took place in May.

 

Noble, in evidence, said he had been dealing in cars for 15 years and he had an office in Conway Street, W. He had known Kingshott for some time and had had a number of transactions with him. On many occasions he had changed £1 notes into £5 notes because they were easier to carry. When Kingshott asked him to change the two lots of notes he had not the slightest suspicion that there was anything wrong with them. He did not regard his commission of £50 as being anything unusual. When the police saw him in July he was horrified at the suggestion that the money had come from the mailbag robbery. He gave the police all the help he could and told them the whole truth.

 

Asked by Mr RE Seaton, cross-examining, what was the largest amounthe had changed into £5 notes, the witness said on one occasion he handled £10,000 for which he was paid £100 or £200 commission. He had a reputation for doing that kind of thing. The man for whom he changed the £10,000 was a Mr A Malin, a motor trader.

 

Mr GD Roberts QC, in his final speech on behalf of Noble said if his client had really known the notes were stolen, and were part of the mailbag robbery, was it likely he would be such a fool as to put his head in a noose for such a paltry reward as £50? If Kingshott knew of the origin of these notes that would be the last thing he would tell Noble when he asked him to change them. Counsel submitted that the case against Noble had never been made out.

 

Summing up the Recorder said if the Jury came to the conclusion that they were unable to form the opinion that the notes had come from the mailbag robbery or from any other source which showed they had been stolen to the knowledge of the accused, that would be the end of the case and they would be entitled to an acquittal. Dealing with the state of mind of the defendants at the time they were handling the notes, the Recorder said that London rang with the news of the mailbag robbery. It shocked the whole country that £250,000 could have been scooped up by violent outlaws. Maybe the arm of the law would be long enough to embrace even them at some time, at least one hoped so.

 

After one and a half hours the jury returned into court and said they were agreed on their verdict in the case of Noble, but were not agreed as regards Kingshott.

 

The Recorder said he would take their verdict on Noble. After Noble had been discharged the Recorder asked the jury if there was any point on which he could be of assistance in the case of Kingshott.

 

The foreman said they were not clear as to what extent Kingshott was required to prove his explanation of his possession of recently stolen property.

 

The Recorder told the jury that possession of recently stolen property was evidence not on which they must act, but on which they could act as being evidence of guilty knowledge, subject to this - if the accused gave an explanation which they thought might be true, although they were not convinced of its truth, and if it were consistent with innocence, then he would be entitled to be acquitted.

 

The jury then left the court to reconsider the case against Kingshott. After five minutes they returned and found him Not Guilty on both counts.

The Times, Friday, Oct 24, 1952_ pg. 5_ Issue 52451_ col G

 

So, Robert Kingshott was released from court, a free man. Unfortunately, this was not to be the last occasion that he ran afoul of the law.

 

£20,000 IN SURETIES BUT BAIL REFUSED

A man was refused bail by Wood Green magistrates, Middlesex, yesterday although his counsel, Mr David Fairbairn, said that sureties in the sum of £20,000 could be found together with a man's own recognizance of £5,000.

 

He was Charles Heywood, aged 38, trader, of Brooklyn, Doddinghurst, Brentwood, Essex, accused of receiving platinum concentrate. He appeared with Ernest Cooksey, aged 46, Foreman refiner, of Turkey Street, Enfield, Middlesex, who was accused of stealing £6,000 worth of platinum metal concentrate from his employers, Johnson Matthey and Co Ltd, Stockingswater Lane, Enfield; William Arthur Pett, aged 36, carpet salesman, of Malvern Road, Enfield, and Robert Kingshott, aged 46, dual, of Cromwell Road, South Kensington,SW, both charged with receiving platinum concentrate.

 

They were all committed to trial at the Central criminal Court. Cooksey had nothing to say on committal. Pett and Kingshott pleaded not guilty and reserved their defence. Bail totalling £26,000 for the three was continued in their case.

 

Hayward, who also pleaded not guilty and reserved his defence, was committed in custody. Hayward was stated to have escaped from a police car on December 14.

The Times, Saturday, Mar 17, 1962_ pg. 5_ Issue 55342_ col F

 

I have not yet managed to locate a result for this case. When I do, you will be the first to know.

 

If you know who this Robert Kingshott was, I would be very interested to know. Please drop me a line if you have any more information on him.

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