9th April 1829
Reference Numbert18290409-6
VerdictNot Guilty > non compos mentis

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Before Mr. Baron Garrow.

716. JOSE MARIA MURILLO was indicted for that he, on the 24th of March , in and upon Thomas Cooper , feloniously, wilfully, and maliciously, did make an assault, and feloniously, &c. did cut and would him in and upon his left ear and face, with intent to kill and murder him .

THREE OTHER COUNTS, varying the charge.

MR. BARRY conducted the prosecution.

SARAH WORKMAN . I am the wife of Joseph Workman , who keeps the Storey's-gate coffee-house, at Westminster . On the 24th of March, the prisoner came in and called for a glass of wine; I did not give it to him, as I considered he had taken a little, and would be trouble - some if I served him with more - he said it was a public-house, and spoke in a demanding way for it; he then took a small pound-cake out of a biscuit-basket, bit it, and threw the rest on the counter - I asked him for the money for it; he made some kind of noise, which I did not exactly understand - I told him he was a shabby man, and I wished him to be gone; he did not pay for it, or go out; a female came in, and called for a pint of ale - she coughed very much, and he mocked her; I went round the counter, being aggravated that my customers should be so treated - I put my left hand on his shoulder, and said I insisted on his going; I pushed him a little, and with the other hand I opened the door - at that time I heard something drop; but before that, after I put my left hand on his shoulder, he caught me by the left arm, and grasped me tight; I felt something touch my wrist, and thought at the time it was the pressure of his nail; I had no opportunity of looking at my wrist then; I snatched my hand away, and heard something drop - the prisoner stooped and picked it up; I did not see what it was -Cooper then came to my assistance, from the bar to the passage; the prisoner staid outside the bar - I went

round the counter, and left Cooper opening the door; the bar is not above two yards from the door - Cooper opened the door, and begged of him to go out; I saw nothing after that, till Cooper came in and said he was stabbed - the prisoner was outside, and could not hear what he said; I saw the blood flowing down from his head - it dropped on the ground, and at the same time I looked at my wrist, and found it slightly cut; that is all I know: Cooper was not laid up - he went to have the wound dressed; he was gone a few minutes, and afterwards went to the watch-house.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. Did the prisoner appear very violent? A. I did not consider him very violent - he resisted going out; he had no wine at my house.

THOMAS COOPER . I am a waiter . On the 24th of March the prisoner came to the bar - he asked for a glass of wine, but did not have it; he took some cake - mistress had requested him to leave; he did not pay for the cake- she demanded payment; he annoyed a customer who came in - Mrs. Workman desired him to go away; she put her hand on his shoulder, and desired him to walk out of the place. saying she would not have her customers insulted - he refused to go, saying he would have a glass of wine; she said he should have no wine there - he said it was a public-house, and he would have a glass; she then opened the door with one hand, and then rather pushed him, telling him to go out; he then caught her by her left wrist, drew a knife from his own wrist, and slightly cut Mrs. Workman - she, finding her wrist held tight, violently snatched it away, and the knife fell on the floor; she then went round inside of the bar - I went round, opened the street door with one hand, and said,"My friend, you had better go; "he then said he would not go, he would have a glass of wine - I said, "My friend, you will have no wine here, you may depend on it; "those were the words I used - I said, "I will now insist on your going out;" he spoke some foreign words, which I could not understand - he then drew a knife from his sleeve, raised his arm, and stabbed me violently three or four times in my head, above my left ear; by this time he had got outside the door - he made another aim at my face; I saw the knife coming.

Q. Had you seen the knife before he got outside the door? A. Yes, my Lord - when I saw the knife coming I drew back, and it only scratched me down the cheek; when I drew back, the knife fell again outside the door -I put my hand to the left side of my face, and found a great quantity of blood flowing from the side of my face; he then instantly picked up the knife, and ran away down Great George-street - our house is at the Park end of Great George-street; when the knife fell outside the door I retreated back two or three yards, and said to my mistress, "I am stabbed" - while I was saying that, he was in the act of picking up the knife; mistress said, "Go and call the watchman" - I instantly went out, and he had got round the corner by Princes-court; he had turned short to the right from Prince-court into Princes-street - the back door which he had gone out of is in Princes-court; I first saw him crossing the road in George-street - that was within a minute of the time I had lost sight of him; he was walking very deliberately - I had to pass Allen, the watchman; I caught hold of him by the arm, and said, "That man has stabbed me," and pointed him out to Allen - his box is against Storey's-gate; I said, "That is the man, come along with me" - I ran on, and Allen followed me, springing his rattle all the way; I pursued him till he got to the corner of Little George-street, and there he slipped down over some orange peel, or something - I then told the watchman to make haste; he took him into custody - I said, "Take care, he has got a knife - mind he don't stab you;" the watchman took him to the watch-house: some gentlemen told me to come and have my wounds dressed before I went to the warehouse, which I did - I then went to St. Margaret's watch-house, and found him; my wounds have been healed only two days ago - I was not attended by a surgeon.

Cross-examined. Q. Were you stabbed before you took hold of him to do any thing? A. Yes - when I came out I found him walking deliberately along George-street; when I told the watchman he had stabbed me, he turned round, looked steadily at me, and ran very steadily down George-street - he did not appear to me to be drunk.

WILLIAM ALLEN . I am a watchman. I was at Storey's-gate, Great George-street, and saw Cooper and the prisoner; Cooper said something, and I pursued the prisoner, whom he pointed out - he was at that time making an attempt to go through Storey's-gate - he was walking, but as soon as Cooper told me he had stabbed him I sprung my rattle, and he commenced running as hard as he could; he began running the moment Cooper spoke to me, before I sprung my rattle - I followed him down Great Geoge-street-street,as far as Little George-street, and there he fell; before he could recover himself I took hold of him, and knocked him down, as Cooper said he had got a dagger - he was searched in my presence at the watch-house - nothing important was found on him; I went and examined the street, and was about a yard from Lethgo when he picked up a knife - I saw him stoop, and then produce it as if he had picked it up; the spot was where he had ran - it was by Lord Bexley's.

JOSEPH LETHGO . I am a watchman of Princes-street- my beat comes up to the end of Storey's-gate. On the night of the 24th of March, I came up to Allen, and found this knife in Great George-street, near Lord Bexley's door - Allen was about a yard from me.

Cross-examined. Q. Is it a dagger, or a shoemaker's knife? A. A shoemaker's knife.

HENRY GOODWIN . I am a constable of the night. I came to the watch-house twenty-five minutes after the prisoner was brought in; nothing but memorandums were found on him.

Prisoner's Defence (through an interpreter.) I did not touch anybody, nor did I draw any knife against anybody.

COLONEL VALDES (through an interpreter.) I know the prisoner - he is a native of Spain, and had been in the Constitutional Army in that country, and served under me and General Tonijos; he left Spain in 1823 - while I knew him, before this, he bore a good character for humanity and mildness; I have known him here since - he lived in Somer's-town, and so did I; I do not believe his mind is always sound, and that is the common opinion among my countrymen.

Q. What are your reasons for forming that opinion? A. From the general opinion and my knowledge of him; I understand he has lived in the fields for two or three months together, when there was no necessity for it - I knew that from other's and his own statement.

Q. Since he has been in this country do you know whether he has followed any trade? A. He had been a shoemaker ; he has been supported by the committee for the relief of the Spanish emigrants: I wrote to one of my countrymen to get him sent to Portugal, about eight months ago, from a belief of his being of unsound mind; I thought his mind not so sound as in 1823.

GENERAL TONIJOS. In 1823 I was in command of part of the Constitutional Army, near Spain; the prisoner was in the first regiment - I have seen him several times in this country: I knew him in Spain - he was then of sound mind; the officer of his regiment wrote to me, giving him a good character; I saw him a few months after in England, and then thought his mind very much altered - about a month ago he called on me to offer his services as a shoemaker; I concluded from his manner and way of speaking that he was a very different man to what I had known him before, from his actions and general manner, and the impression on my mind at the time was that he was not sound in mind, as such I did not employ him

MELCHOR VICUMA . I am a Spanish refugee. I have known the prisoner in this country since 1824 - in my judgment he was of sound mind when I first knew him, which was at Gibraltar, but his mind as been very different since; I believe sometimes he does not know right from wrong -I have known him sleep in the fields for more than fifty nights, when I have offered him my own lodging, but he refused it; I have ordered him to make me a pair of boots, and on going to him I have not got an answer for ten or fourteen weeks - he has got into a violent passion on my going for them, and told me to leave his room in a violent manner and said all the Spaniards wanted to murder him -I have procured him work, and found him the materials; he has afterwards returned both the materials and money, saying he would not work - he bore the character of a mild humane man.

V. NOGUES. I have known the prisoner since he arrived in this country, in 1825. In my judgment he has not been of sound mind for about the last year; my landlord has invited him to dine and sleep at his house - instead of that he has gone and slept in the fields; I know that myself, and six or seven months ago he hired a lodging and did not sleep at it for two nights - I saw him almost every day; he has come to dine with me and my landlord, and before dinner was over he has left the room, gone out, and not returned - he has done this frequently; the last time was three or four days before he was taken into custody: I believe he was not of sound mind then, for he left in an abrupt manner, when we were eating - two days before that my landlord offered him a shirt and a handkerchief - after looking at them he went away without them.

COURT. Q. These were acts of kindness to him? A. Yes, on account of his poverty; no offence was given to him - he left without any cause.

BERNARD REID . I live in Phoenix-street, Somer's-town. the prisoner lodged with me about the beginning of 1825, for about two months, and returned about three months ago; he remained with me about two months - I am postive that at times he was not of sound mind; the second time he came to my house he was clothed in rags, and said he had been sleeping in the fields for some months; I clothed and fed him, and one day, without any cause, he was standing talking civilly to me and my wife, he put his hand into his pocket, took out a handful of halfpence, and threw in our faces - at another time he would suddenly run out of the house, and go and sleep in the fields, without any provocation, when he might sleep in the house; this happened three or four times - at other times he has been quite rational; his conduct was mild and humane, except when these mad fits were on him - he, on one occasion, begged my pardon for what occurred, and said he believed his head was not right occasionally, having been wounded in the head in Spain, and I think I have seen a scar on his head.

RICHARD SKINNER . I live in Phoenix-street. The prisoner lodged with me for twelve months four or five years ago - I believe at times he was not of sound mind; after he had been at our house two or three months, he brought down his pot of shoemakers' paste, and said to my wife,"I imagine, Madam, this has offended you;" she asked him why, he said he did not know in what manner, and immediately threw it over the house; my wife had said nothing to him about it - I have got many people to order shoes of him; he has bought the leather, kept it a week, then took it back to the person not touched, though he has paid for the leather out of his own pocket - a person lent him 30s. for the materials to make a pair of boots - he kept the money a fortnight, then brought it to me, and told me the Spaniards would not allow him to make boots for the English - at other times he has appeared rational; he then appeared humane and gentle.

JOHN JAMES LOBO . I am a Spaniard, and a merchant of this City. I have seen the prisoner at my house at times - I know he has been much distressed in circumstances lately; I have not known him long, but think occasionally he was not of sound mind - he has begged of me in a manner, which no one in his senses would have done; this impression was made on my mind long before this charge.

NOT GUILTY, being insame .

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