13 September 1890
At the THAMES Police-court, WILLIAM WHITWELL, alias WOODEY, who had suffered 18 months' imprisonment for killing a man, and who was known as one of the most desperate characters in the East-end, was charged, on a warrant, with using threats towards Mrs. Kruze, of the Horn of Plenty publichouse, Market-street, Poplar, whereby she went in bodily fear. Mr. George Hay Young prosecuted, and stated that prisoner was a man who never did any work and was the leader of a gang of roughs known as the "Bowery Boys." He and his companions existed by blackmailing people. Several persons employed at this house had been obliged to leave in consequence of the violence of this gang. Mrs. Kruze, a widow, said she knew the prisoner as loafing about the house. On Monday last he and six or seven others came in. He wanted her to fill the pots with beer, and she refused. He then said he would open her head with a pot and "Jack the Ripper" her. He said he would have her and "undo" her, and did not mind doing a "stretch" for her. The prisoner then stationed members of his gang at each door, and prevented customers from coming in. Her house was boycotted for upwards of an hour. The next day the prisoner again threatened her, and she had to have five constables to protect her. Thomas Battenden, the potman, gave corroborative evidence, and said he was gong to leave his situation on account of the threats of the prisoner and his gang. George Green, late manager to the prosecutrix, said the prisoner told him they intended to boycott the house and put a black flag across. He had been kicked by this gang, and was afraid to take proceedings on account of their threats. He was obliged to leave his situation as he was afraid of them. Constable 95 K proved a large number of previous convictions against the prisoner. Mr. Dickinson said it was outrageous in this country that persons should be frightened from going about their business. That sort of thing must be stopped, and the prisoner would have to find two sureties in £25 each or go to prison for four months.