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danger, but this circumstance was wanting in the following case, where the only fear was, that of an injury to the party's reputation.
The prosecutor was employed in St. James's Palace, and the prisoner was a sentinel on guard there. One night the prosecutor treated the prisoner with something to eat in his room. About a forı night afterwards the prisoner followed the prosecutor up stairs, and said, "I am come for satisfaction, you know what passed the other night. You are a sodomite, and if
you do not give me satisfaction, I will go and fetch a sergeant and a file of men, and take you before a justice, for I have been in the black hole ever since I was here last, and I do not value my life.” The prosecutor asked him what money he must have, and he said three or four guineas, and the prosecutor gave him two guineas. The prisoner took them, saying, "Mind, I don't demand any thing of you.” The prosecutor swore that he was very much alarmed when he gave the two guincas, and that he did not very well know what he did, but that he parted with the money under an idea of preserving his character from reproach, and not from the fear of personal violence. The jury found the prisoner guilty of the robbery, and they also found that the prosecutor parted with the money against his will, through a fear that his character might receive an injury from the prisoner's accusation. The case, being only the second of the kind, (sed vide Jones's case, ante, p. 839,) and some doubt having prevailed with regard to Donnally's case, because he had not been executed, and because this case differed with regard to the nature *of the [ *841 ] fear, it was reserved for the opinion of the judges. Their resolution was delivered by Mr. Justice Ashurst, who said, that the case did not materially differ from that of Donnally, for that the true definition of robbery is, the stealing, or taking from the person, or in the presence of another, property of any amount, with such a degree of force or terror as to induce the party unwillingly to part with his property; and whether the terror arises from real or expected violence to the person, or from a sense of injury to the character, the law makes no kind of difference ; for to most men the idea of losing their fame and reputation is equally, if not more, terrific than the dread of personal injury. The principal ingredient in robbery is a man's being forced to part with his property; and the judges were unanimously of opinion, that upon the principles of law, and the authority of former decisions, a threat to accuse a man of having committed the greatest of all crimes, was a sufficient force to constitute the crime of robbery by putting in fear. Hickman's case, 1 Leach, 278. 2 East, P. C. 728.
This decision was followed in a recent case. The prisoner came up to the prosecutor, a gentleman's servant, at his master's door, and demanded £5. On being told by the prosecutor, that he had not so much money, he demanded £1 and said, that if the prosecutor did not instantly give it to him, he would go to his master, and accuse him of wanting to take diabolical liberties with him. The prosecutor gave him what money he had, and the prisoner demanded his watch, or some of his master's plate. This the prosecutor refused, but went and fetched one of his coats, which the prisoner took away. He was indicted for robbing the prosecutor of his coat. The prosecutor swore that he gave the prisoner his property, under the idea of his being charged with a detestable crime, and for fear of losing both his character and his place. He stated that he was not afraid of being taken into custody, nor had he any dread of punishment. He stated also that he was absent fetching the coat, for five minutes; that the servants were in the kitchen, but he did not consult them on account of his agitation, and because he had not a minute to spare, expecting the company to dinner immediately. On a case reserved, eleven of the judges thought the case similar to Hickman's (supra), and that they could not, with propriety, depart from that decision. Graham, B., thought that Hickman's case was not rightly decided, but said, that he should on this point be influenced in future by what appeared to be the general opinion of the judges. Egerton's case, Russ. and Ry. 375 (a).
Upon a threat of accusing the prosecutor of unnatural practices, he promised to provide a sum of money for the prisoners, which he failed to do, upon which they said they were come from Bow-street, and would take him into custody. They accordingly called a coach, and while on their road to Bow-street, one of the prisoners stopped the coach, and said that if the prosecutor would behave like a gentleman, and procure the money, they would not prefer the charge. The prosecutor then went to [ *842 ] the house of a friend, *where he was absent about five minutes, when he returned with £10 which he gave to the prisoners. He stated that he parted with his money in the fear and dread of being placed in the situation of a criminal of that nature, had they persisted in preferring the charge against him : that he did not conceive they were Bow-street officers, though they held out the threat; that he was extremely agitated, and thought that they would have taken him to the watch-house, and under that idea, and the impulse of the moment, he parted with the money. . He stated also, that he could not say that he gave his money under any apprehension of danger to his person.
In a case of this kind, where the point of violence was in question, ten of the judges were of opinion that the calling a coach, and getting in with the prosecutor was a forcible constraint upon him, and sufficient to constitute a robbery, though the prosecutor had no apprehension of further injury to his person. Lord Ellenborough, Macdonald, C. B., Lawrence, J., Cambre, J., and Graham, B., thought some degree of force or violence essential, and that the mere apprehension of danger to the character would not be sufficient to constitute this offence. Heath, J., Grose, J., Thomson, B., Le Blanc, J., 'and Wood, B., seemed to think it would. Cannon's case, Russ. and Ry. 146 (b).
The threat in these cases must be a threat to accuse the party robbed; it is not sufficient to constitute robbery that the threat is to accuse another person, however nearly connected with the party from whom the property is obtained. The prisoner was indicted for robbing the wife of P. Abraham. It appeared that under a threat of accusing Abraham of an indecent assault, the money had been obtained, by the prisoner, from Abraham's wife. Littledale, J., said, “I think this is not such a personal fear in the wife, as is necessary to constitute the crime of robbery. If I were to hold this a robbery, it would be going beyond any of the decided cases ;” and his lordship directed an acquittal. He said that the case was new and perplexing. He thought it was rather a misdemeanor, and even as a misdemeanor the case was new. The principle was, that the person threatened is thrown off his guard, and had not firmness to resist the extortion, but he could not apply that principle to the wife of the par
(a) 1 Eng. C. C. 375. (b) Id. 146.
ty threatened. Edward's case, 1 Moody and Rob. 257; 5 C. and P. 518 (a).
Where the fear, in cases of this nature, is not so much of injury to the reputation, as of some other loss, it seems doubtful how far it will be considered robbery. The prisoner went twice to the house where the prosecutor lived in service, and called him a sodomite. The prosecutor took him each time before a magistrate, who discharged him. On being discharged, the prisoner followed the prosecutor, repeated the expressions, and asked him to make him a present, saying, he would never leave him till he had pulled the house down, but if he did make him a handsome present, he would trouble him no more. He mentioned four guineas, and the prosecutor being frightened for his reputation, and in fear of losing his situation, gave him the money. He gave the money frorn the great *apprehension and fear he had of losing his situation. The [ *843 ] prisoner was convicted, but a doubt arising in the Privy Council, the opinion of the judges was taken. Most of them thought that this was within Hickman's case, and nine were of opinion that that case was law, but the three others thought it not law. Lord Ellenborough thought that the prosecutor's principal inducement to part with his money was the fear of the loss of his place, and he said he should feel no difficulty in recommending a pardon; and the prisoner did, in the end, receive a pardon. Elmstead's case, 2 Russell, 86.
In these, as in other cases of robbery, it must appear that the property was delivered, or the money extorted, while the party was under the influence of the fear arising from the threats or violence of the prisoner. The prosecutor had been several times solicited for money by the prisoner, under threats of accusing him of unnatural practices. At one of those interviews the prisoner said he must have 201. in cash, and a bond for 501. a-year, upon which the prosecutor, in pursuance of a plan he had previously concerted with a friend, told him that he could not give them to him then, but that if he would wait a few days he would bring him the money and bond. At their next interview, the prosecutor offered the prisoner 201., but he refused to take it without the bond, upon which the prosecutor fetched it, and gave it, with nineteen guineas and a shilling, to the prisoner, who took them away, saying, he would not give the prosecutor any further trouble. The prosecutor deposed that when the charge was first made, his mind was extremely alarmed, and that he apprehended injury to his person and character, but that his fear soon subsided, and that he sought the several interviews with the prisoner for the purpose of parting with his property to him, in order to fix him with the crime of robbery, and to substantiate the fact of his having extorted money from him by means of the charge ; but that at the time the prisoner demanded from him the money and the bond, he parted with them without being under any apprehension, either of violence to his person, or injury to his character, although he could not say that he parted with his property voluntarily. The judges having met to consider this case, were inclined to be of opinion that it was no robbery, there being neither violence nor fear, at the time when the prosecutor parted with his money. Eyre, C. J., observed, that it would be going a step further than any of the cases, to hold this to be robbery. The principle of robbery was violence;
(a) Eng. Com. L. Rep. xxiv. 435.
where the money was delivered through fear, that was constructive vio
Under the circumstances of the following case, it appears to have been
(a) 1 Eng. C. C. 408.
for the money was given to prevent the public disclosure of the charge. Jackson's case, 1 East, P. C. Addenda xxi. It is suggested by Mr. East, Id. xxiv. (margin,) whether this case does not in a great measure overrule Hickman's case, (ante, p. 840;) but it is justly observed by an eminent *writer, that the circumstances of the two cases differ material- [ *845 ] ly; that in Hickman's case, the money was given immediately upon the charge being made, and that there was no previous application to any friend or other person froin whom advice or assistance might have been procured. 2 Russell, 85.
So much doubt appears to have been entertained with regard to the law, as it is to be gathered from the preceding cases, that a statutory provision was made on the subject. By the 7 and 8 Geo. 4, c. 29, s. 7, it was enacted, that if any person should accuse, or threaten to accuse any other person of any infamous crime, as thereinafter defined, with a view or intent to extort or gain from him, and should by intimidating him by such accusation or threat, extort or gain from him any chattel, money, or valuable security, every such offender should be deemed guilty of robbery, and should be indicted and punished accordingly.
The above section was repealed by the 7 Wm. 4 and 1 Vict. c. 87, which enacts, s. 4, “that whosoever shall accuse or threaten to accuse any person of the abominable crime of buggery committed either with mankind or with beast, or of any assault with intent to commit the said abominable crime, or of any attempt or endeavor to commit the said abominable crime, or of making or offering any solicitation, persuasion, promise or threat to any person, whereby to move or induce such to coinmit or permit the said abominable crime, with a view or intent in any of the cases aforesaid, to extort or gain from such person, and shall by intimidating such person by such accusation or threat, extort or gain from such person any property, (see post, 860,) shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof, shall be liable at the discretion of the court, to be transported beyond the seas for the term of his or her natural life, or for any term not less than fifteen years, or to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding three years."
Patteson, J., held that a threatening to accuse under the 7 and 8 Geo. 4, c. 29, s. 7, need not be a threat to accuse before a judicial tribunal, a threat to charge before any third person was enough. The learned judge said that the term “accuse" throughout the act meant to charge the prosecutor before any third person ; and “threatening to accuse” meant threatening to accuse before any third person. Robinson's case, 2 M. and R. 14; 2 Lew. C. C. 273.
On an indictment under the recent statute for threatening to accuse the prosecutor of an abominable crime, and thereby extorting money; Park, J., (after conferring with Parke, B.,) told the jury that they need not confine themselves to the consideration of the expressions used before the money was given, but might; if those expressions were equivocal, connect with thein what was afterwards said by the prisoners when taken into custody. Kain's case, 8 C. and P. 187 (a).
Where the words used by the prisoner were, “ If you do not assist me, I will say, you took indecent liberties with me some time ago ;" Law, Recorder, held, that they were not sufficient to sustain a count in the in
(a) Eng. Com. L. Rep. xxxiv. 347.