William Riley, Killing > murder, 12th September 1750.

Reference Number: t17500912-61
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

575. William Riley , was indicted for the murder of Samuel Sutton , Sept 8 . He also stood charged on the coroner's inquisition for the said murder.

Thomas Wood . On Saturday the 8th of this instant I went to Tothill-Fields , to see the man who was walking for a wager about 6 o'clock in the evening, The prisoner at the bar walked about ten yards before him, making way with a naked hanger in his hand. I was within three or four yards of the deceased. I saw the prisoner when he was coming. About ten yards before he came to the deceased, he went past him three or four yards; then he turn'd again, and cut the deceas'd over the head with the hanger. I was just opposite to him at this time. The deceased had nothing in his hand, nor did I see him do any thing to the prisoner before he struck him. The deceas'd after that ran towards him to close in upon him. Then the prisoner push'd him into the belly, on the left side the navel, with the hanger. I did not hear a word pass on either side. A person lifted up his cloaths, I saw the wound in his belly about an inch long. The prisoner seem'd not sensible of it, till the people said, surely he is wounded in the belly. The deceased then lifted up his hands and said, I shall lose my life by that villain.

Edward Williamson . I was just by the deceased. It was within about fifty yards of the place of turning round. I saw the prisoner come flourishing his sword about ten yards before he came to us. The walking man might be about two or three yards behind him. The prisoner gave the deceas'd a push in the breast; I might have had it as well as he. We both stood alike to see the man walk. The deceas'd could not get back for the number of people that were behind him. The people push'd him forward again. The prisoner might have been got about two or three steps; he turn'd round and cut him as hard as he could strike with the hanger on his head. I did not observe any words on either side. The deceas'd had nothing in his hand. I saw him, after he was cut, make an offer with his fist at the prisoner. Then the crowd push'd in, that I could not see him for a little time. After that, I saw him holding his hand to his belly, and the blood running down his face. I heard he was wounded in his belly, but I saw no other wound but that on his head.

David Finley . I was within two yards of the deceas'd at this time, on the same side of the way he was on. There was a lane made five, six, or ten deep for the man to walk in. I saw the prisoner pass by the deceas'd, and turn back and strike him with the hanger on his head. The blood follow'd the blow directly. The deceas'd did not do any thing to the prisoner to occasion this. Then the deceas'd got up and collar'd the prisoner. The prisoner got loose by some means, and as soon as he was so, he gave the deceas'd a thrust on the left side of the belly near the navel. The people were so close to the deceas'd, that he could not get backwards. The prisoner immediately pushed on before the walking man. I did not perceive the deceas'd stand any farther out than the other people. When the deceased's shirt was put up, I saw a single gut hang out of the wound, but I saw no blood there.

John Humber . The deceas'd stood close by my arm at this time. The lane made by the people was pretty broad There was room enough for three or four men to walk a breast. There was the prisoner walked on one side, another on the other side, and a Black siddling in the middle, going to clear the way before the walking man. The deceas'd stoop'd down to see if the man was coming. He stood as back as he could. When the prisoner had passed him about two or three yards, he turn'd about, and gave him a very hard blow over the head with the hanger. The prisoner did

swagger and made many words as he walk'd, I had observed before this. The deceas'd had nothing in his hand. He flew at the prisoner after he felt the violence of the blow. As soon as he had hold of the prisoner, the prisoner got from him, and gave him a thrust in the belly. The deceas'd cry 'd, O Lord, that villain has murdered me. Then he fell into a man's arms that held him up. The deceas'd never spoke a word to the prisoner before he was wounded on the head. I went to secure the prisoner.

William Smith deposed as the former witness.

John Pile . I am surgeon to the Westminster Infirmary. The deceas'd was brought there on Saturday was sen'night in the evening. I found he had a wound on the left side the belly, near the navel, where the intestine came out; he languish'd till Monday morning, and then died. It was about an inch long. The gut was not cut, but there was a large quantity of it out; and all that was out mortified. That was the occasion of his death. There was a wound on his head, but that was not dangerous.

The prisoner call'd Alexander Russel , Richard Mills , John Faulkner and Mary Rowland , to prove the deceas'd used him ill before he struck him; that he set his leg out, and the prisoner fell over it; that the deceas'd knock'd him down, and the like. The witnesses for the crown being cross examined as to this, they all confirmed what they had said before. without any alteration. Then John Robins and Richard White were call'd, who confirmed the testimony given against the prisoner.

Guilty Death .


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