Thomas Homan, Killing > murder, 13th October 1742.

Reference Number: t17421013-14
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

130. Thomas Homan , of St Andrew's Holborn , was indicted for the wilful Murder of Susanna Dicks , Widow , by striking her with an Iron Bar, of the value of one Penny, and thereby giving her one mortal Wound on the Temple, on the left Side of the Head, near the left Eye, of the Length of one Inch, and the Depth of half an Inch, of which Wound she instantly died , August 2 .

Mary Stayner . I was at Mr. Raven's, next Door to Mrs. Dicks's in Fetter-Lane , August 2. and heard a dreadful Cry of Murder. I run into the Yard and screamed out, I insisted on the House being broke open; I saw some Blood come against the Window, and I saw a Man in a woollen Cap peep through the Window, but I cannot tell who it was: When the House was broke open, we went up and found Mrs Dicks lying in a very deplorable Manner, in her gore Blood. - She lived two Hours after. - She was a Widow Gentlewoman of 74 Years of Age,

no Body lived with her: When I came into the Room her Senses were gone; I found her upon her Back upon the Floor; we laid her upon the Bed, and the Blood run through the Ceiling; she had several Marks, one was on the Left-side of the Head, near the Temple; it was a dreadful Cut. - I think it was a Cut by a Bar, and not by a Knife; she had several other Wounds on her Neck and Breast; she lived in this Condition from a Quarter of an Hour before seven in the Morning till eleven, she was not capable of being undressed, she could only say, O Lord! O Lord! The Surgeon said, Madam, as you can speak you should tell who did it, but she only said, Lord! Lord!

Prisoner. Can you say it was me?

Stayner. I do not say it was you.

Robert Nannay , Surgeon. I came there about an Hour an half after the Accident, and found she had left a great deal of Blood. She had four or five Wounds in her Head; two of them were attended with a Fracture in her Skull, and her Brain was wounded. The Wound was upon the left Side of the Head, upon the Temple; which was the Occasion of her Death. The Prisoner had hid himself in the Cellar, and was found there, whilst I was dressing the Woman: I asked him how he came to do such a villainous Thing; he said she assaulted him first with a Poker, or some such Thing. I asked her who did it, but she was not able to say any more than Lord! Lord!

John Palmer . I was there about eight o'Clock in the Morning: I searched the House, and found the Prisoner at the Bar in the Cellar, under a Hamper. I asked him how he came to use the Gentlewoman in so barbarous a Manner; he denied it a little at first, and desired to see the Gentlewoman. I taxed him with it, and he owned afterwards the committing of the Fact.

Prisoner. Can you swear I was the Person that did it?

Palmer. There was no body else in the House: Near the Place where he was I found an Iron, which I suppose he did it with, covered over with some Dirt; it was a Piece of an Iron Bar; this is the Iron, it was bloody when I took it from under the Dirt; the Prisoner's Hand was very bloody. - I cannot say whether his Linnen was bloody or not.

Mr Cooch, the Constable. The Prisoner's Master hearing a Cry of Murder in the House, sent for me to come directly; when I came, he said, he believed there was somebody murdered in the House, and desired I would get the Door broke open as soon as possible: I fetched a Smith, and broke open the Door, and saw the Blood running through the Floor, upon the Cieling. I got a Surgeon, and he said, she could not live above two or three Hours. A Woman told me, she saw a Man with a Woollen Cap put the Curtain on one Side, and look through the Window; and then I set two or three People to watch, that he did not get away. My Lad took a Stick and a Bayonet, and searched the Cellar; he struck a Hamper, and out jumps the Prisoner; he said he wanted to see Mrs. Dicks, to know whether she would live: Said I, Tom, how came your Hand bloody? Why, said he, my Nose has bled . Said I, you lying Rogue, it has not bled. I turn'd his Head up, and saw it had not. - His Hand was all over bloody, to his Fingers Ends. I got a Coach, in order to carry him before an Alderman. When he was in the Coach, I asked him, how he came to do such a Thing as this? He said, he could not help it, he did not do it with a Design to murder her, but to rob her. He said he had a Design to do it for five or six Weeks, but his Heart always misgave him. He told the Alderman it was a Bar that he did it with, and that it lay somewhere in the Cellar. He said he had got out of his Bed several times with an Intent to do it; but on the 1st of August he resolved to do it: He said he went in at the Cellar-Window, between four and five in the Morning, and lay concealed till between six and seven: He wrenched the Lock of the Stairs-foot Door off, in order to get to her . She came down some of the Stairs, and said, Tom, what do you want? but she run back, frightened, into the Room, and he run after her, with the Bar in his Hand: She clapped a Chair and Table against the Door, and took up the Poker or Tongs to strike him with, and he knocked her down, and repeated the Blows till he thought he had killed her, as he confessed himself. He said, when he thought he had killed her, he was going to rob the Drawers, but her crying out Murder, and the People making a Noise without, and the Blood running down, he run down into the Cellar, and hid himself under a Hamper. - She crying out, he was afraid of being discovered, and so murdered her.

Prisoner. You have said several Things, that as I am a little deaf, I could not hear: Did you see me take the Lock off the Door?

Coach . No, I did not.

Thomas Jefferies . The Constable sent for me to aid and assist him to get into the House. I went and fetched a Ladder, and set it up against the Side of the House, and looked in at the Window, and saw the Gentlewoman lying in her Blood. I heard the Prisoner say, he did not design to murder her ,

but she struck at him with the Poker, and he struck at her again, and followed his Blows till he brought her to that Condition. His Confession was taken in Writing, but it was not signed. He said he designed to do it a Fortnight or three Weeks before, but he was very sleepy, and had slept his Time away. Mr Jefferies likewise confirmed great Part of the former Evidence.

Guilty , Death .


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