Date Of Execution: 10 Sep 1942
Crime Location: 299 Hackney Road, Shoreditch, London
Execution Place: Pentonville
Executioner: Albert Pierrepoint
George William Silverosa and Samuel Sidney Dashwood were convicted of the murder of Leonard Moules 71 and sentenced to death.
They attacked him on 30 April 1942 during a robbery at his pawnbrokers at 299 Hackney Road and he ater died on 18 May 1942.
George Silverosa and Samuel Dashwood had met up earlier and discussed doing a job and together they went to Leonard Moules's pawnbrokers just before half day closing and went in to rob him. Leonard Moules tried to blow a whistle and so they hit him on the head with a revolver that they had taken to scare him with. After hitting him on the head they tole about £40 from the safe as well as a number of other items such as rings.
Leonard Moules had been assisted in running the business for years by a sales manager who arrived for work at 9.30am on 30 April 1942. Together they conducted business until about 12.40pm when the sales manager closed the door leading to the plead office from Essex Place and put up the shutters. the sales manager then said good afternoon to Leonard Moules and left him in the shop with his Airedale dog.
Because it was a Thursady the shop normally shut about 1pm.
Later that night a policeman saw a light on in the shop at 10.15pm and knocked on the front door and after getting no reply he went round to the Essex Place side entrnace and found the door open and went in and saw the shop in disorder and immediatly communicated with Scotland Yard for assistance.
When they investigated further they found Leonard Moules in the basement back room standing on his feet, bent over, arms rested to a wall and his head hanging limpley. He mumbled something unintelligable and appeared to be seim-conscious and was taken to Bethnel Green Hospital. A CID officer was continuosly at his bed side to obtain a statement if he regained consciousness but he died on 9 May 1942.
A cursery examination was made behind the counter where there was a large pool of blood. They also found a top denture plate, a coat button with strands of black cotton attached and fingerprints were checked but because of the blackout a policeman was stationed outside until it was light and a fuller examination made.
Enquiries were made in the local vacinity but with a negative result.
At 7.30am on 1 May 1942 a full examination was made. On the counter they found a wrench, a blood stained childs nightdress and a grey trilby hat. By the side of the counter flap they found broken frosted glass, 2 pieces of which had blood on them. They also found that the woodwork at the bottom of the glass frame was cracked as having been forced. They found blood behind the counter near the window and blood on a rolled up mattress on a shelf. They also found an iron bar for securing drawers in the pawning section and a broken padlock. They also found blood drops leading from the counter to the back rrom and and along the passage to the door leading to the rear yard. There were drips of blood in both basement rooms and on the table in th efront basement room was a folded white cloth with a palm print in blood on it and on the wall leading upstairs there was a 2 foot long blood smear. Inside the shop the police found a large Airdale dog that was quite friendly and had a fresh wound on its forehead.
In the back ground floor room they found three safes one of which had a palm print on the left hand inside which was later matched to George Silverosa.
Whilst conducting local enquiries the police attempted to locate George Silverosa simply on the grounds that he was a known violent crimanl although at the time they had not linked him to the crime. They did speak to a former associate of his though who said he had met him in a cafe with another man in St Peters Street, Bethnal Green on 28 April 1942 2 days before the murder. The police later traced George Silverosa to Pitsea and when they were making enquiries in the Pitsea area they accidently bumped into Samuel Dashwood in the Railway Hotel in Pitsea when he entered with George Silverosa's sister. Samuel Dashwood matched the description of the man that had been described as being with George Silverosa at the cafe in St Peters Street.
The police then identified the addresses of George Silverosa and Samuel Dashwood, and their parents and relatives and arranged to have five search warrents that were all carried out simultaneously in the ealry hours of 16 May 1942.
George Silverosa admitted being involved but blamed Samuel Dashwood for hitting Leonard Moules on the head with the gun. Samuel Dashwood didnt say anything until he read George Silverosa's statement.
George Silverosa said that he had met Samuel Dashwood about a month earlier and was looking for a job in London and when they met up in the cafe he Samuel Dashwood told him he had a revolver and they went into the lavatories to look at it and Samuel Dashwood said that it was empty but that he could put wooden bullets in it to make it look real. He said that it was only for putting the frightening powder in.
They then walked past Leonard Moules's pawn shop at 299 Hackney Road at 1pm and went in. George Silverosa said he said that there was only an old boy in there and added 'All right, but no violence' and that Samuel Dashwood had said 'No, certainly not, this will frighten him'. George Silverosa said 'Well if we are going to do it, we'll do it properly, it's nearly one now, he'll be closing at one, we'll wait until he puts the shutters up and then we'll walk in, we'll walk in and close the doors behind us and people will think he's closed for the day'. However, George Silverosa said that Samuel Dashwood went in first and as he got in he saw that Leonard Moules had fallen down and presumed that Samuel Dashwood had hit him. He said that he said 'you silly sod, what did you do that for?' and Samuel Dashwood had said 'i had to, he was going to blow a whistle'. George Silverosa then said that he said 'Well the damage is done, we'd better do what we came here to do'.
They took £30 from the safe and some rings and when they left the shop Leonard Moules was moaning and trying to sit up. They then left by the side entrance and walked through Queensbridge Road, Shoreditch where they passed a tall sargent who eyed them up and then they proceeded to Mare Street, Hackney where they caught an omnibus to Walthamstowe, a City coach to Romford and then a bus to Vange arriving there at about 4.30pm and then shared the money out with Samuel Dashwood keeping the rings.
After reading George Silverosa's statement Samuel Dashwood agreed to make a statement which corroborated George Silverosa's statement up until they went to the pawnbrokers but said that George Silverosa was the first person to go in the shop and that there was a struggle and the dog started barking and he hit the dog and Leonard Moules fell down. He said that later Leonard Moules started shouting and had a whistle and grabbed hold of him and so he hit him on the head with the revolver.
The police later recovered the revolver from an address on Baseldon Road, Pitsea. Three rings were also later recovered after they had sold them to the proprietor of a pin table saloon on Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green who paid £5 for them and later sold the green emerald and diamond ring for £19-10-0d and 2 others, a gents single stone diamond and a ladies 5 stone diamond to another jeweller for £9. The pawn shop sales manager positivly identified the green emerald and diamond ring as one which was taken in the robbery .
The autopsy showed 5 distinct cuts on the top of Leonard Moules that had been cuased by Samuel Dashwood hitting him on the head with the gun, which although they didnt have bullets for was still used as as offensive weapon.
see National Archives - PCOM 9/702, DPP 2/985