King's Counsel

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King's Counsel

Post by wangrong on Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:06 am

Presiding over the trial was Sir William Chapple, a senior and respected judge in his early sixties. The prosecution was directed by King's Counsel Thomas Place and Richard Crowle (brother of George), and proceedings were recorded by a York resident, Thomas Kyll. Turpin had no defence barrister; during this period of English history, those accused had no right to legal representation, and their interests were cared for by the presiding judge. Among the seven witnesses called to testify were Thomas Creasy, and James Smith, the man who had recognised Turpin's handwriting. Turpin offered little in the way of questioning his accusers; when asked if he had anything to ask of Creasy, he replied "I cannot say anything, for I have not any witnesses come this day, as I have expected, and therefore beg of your Lordship to put off my trial 'till another day", and when asked about Smith, he claimed not to know him. When questioned himself, Turpin told the court that he had bought the mare and foal from an inn-keeper near Heckington. He repeated his original story of how he had come to use the pseudonym Palmer, claiming that it was his mother's maiden name. When asked by the judge of his name before he came to Lincolnshire, he said "Turpin".[73] Without leaving the courtroom the jury found Turpin guilty of the first charge of stealing the mare and foal, and following further proceedings, guilty of stealing the gelding.[74] Throughout the trial Turpin had repeatedly claimed that he had not been allowed enough time to form his defence, that proceedings should be delayed until he could call his witnesses, and that the trial should be held at Essex. Before sentencing him, the judge asked Turpin if he could offer any reason why he should not be sentenced to death; Turpin said: "It is very hard upon me, my Lord, because I was not prepar'd for my Defence." The judge replied: "Why was you not? You knew the Time of the Assizes as well as any Person here." Despite Turpin's pleas that he had been told the trial would be held in Essex, the judge replied: "Whoever told you so were highly to blame; and as your country have found you guilty of a crime worthy of death, it is my office to pronounce sentence against you",[1] sentencing him to death.[75]



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