20th October 1831
Reference Numbert18311020-150

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Before Lord Chief Justice Tenterden.

2106. RICHARD TURPIN was charged, on the Coroner's Inquisition, with killing and slaying Sarah Turpin .

MR. BALL conducted the prosecution.

JAMES HENRY ANDREWS . I am a Policeman. On Thursday, the 21st of October, at two o'clock in the morning, I was in Three Colt-alley , opposite Cinnamon-street, and saw some clothes come out of the two pair of stairs window of Delay's house - I was about twenty-five yards off, and before I could get to the house I saw a bed come out; I went to the house, and hearing a cry of Murder! I tried to break the door open, but could not; but in a short time the prisoner's wife and Mrs. Delay came out at the side door - Mrs. Turpin ran to the bedclothes; I stood by her - she turned over the bed and clothes, and found her child underneath, in the middle of them; it was in its night clothes, and had some mud on its cap - it appeared completely stunned; it did not cry; it was about a month old - I took the candle out of Mrs. Delay's hand, and went up to the second floor front room- I saw the prisoner standing at the foot of the bedstead with merely his trousers and shirt on; there was a little child, between three and four years old, screaming on the floor - it was undressed; my brother-officer accompanied me to the room - Mrs. Turpin had the child on her arms- I seized the prisoner; he knocked the candlestick out of my hand on the bed; he up with his first, and struck his wife over my shoulder; she at that time had the child in her arms - I took hold of him, and said he must come with me; he appeared to have been drinking, but not much - he asked me to stop while he put on his stockings and shoes, but I would not; when we got into the street I asked how he came to throw the child out of window - he merely laughed, but made no answer, and as I took him along Green-bank he tried to get from me, but could not - there was nothing thrown out but the clothes and the bed.

WILLIAM CLAYTON . I am a Policeman. I accompanied Andrews - I said to the prisoner, "What a villain you must be to throw your child out of window;" he said, "I did not mean to do it;" or "I did not mean to hurt the child;" I am not certain which - the child's head appeared to have a large swelling on it, and there was a dirty mark on the cap; I saw the cap taken off at the doctor's, and there was a large swelling on the head- that was a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes after; it was not dead, for I heard it cry after that - leeches were applied to the head; the prisoner was rather the worse for liquor, but not much so.

EDWARD CONOLLY. I lodge at Delay's house. On Friday, the 21st of October, I was awoke by a disturbance - I saw the child in the mother's arms; I knew it - it was called Sarah Turpin; I saw leeches on its head - it died in my room in about an hour and a half; I saw the head was very sore and soft, where it had come to the ground - I saw it die.

EDWARD DELAY. I live at No. 12, King Edward-street. Wapping. The prisoner lodged in my second floor front room, with his wife and two children - on the 21st of October, about two o'clock in the morning, my wife awoke me; I found the prisoner's wife in my bed-room, crying - she asked me to go and appease her husband; and as I went out of my room, I heard the second floor front window thrown open, and on entering the room, the little boy was standing on the floor, quite naked, and crying; the prisoner had a pillow in his hand, and was in the act of throwing that, as I thought, out of window- I laid hold of him, and said, "Do you know what you are about? are you mad?" I prevented his throwing it out - he made no answer, but laid hold of the bed; I laid hold of it, and said, "Rick, are you mad?" he said,"D - n my bl - y eyes, I will heave out every hit in the place - I will smash them all;" I prevented his throwing the bed out - his wife then came into the room, and exclaimed, "My child, my child!" the bed was then at the foot of the bedstead, on the floor - the prisoner made an attempt to strike her; I prevented him, and stamped my foot, thinking the child must be under the bed, smothered - I said, "D - n you, pick the child up;" she turned over the bed two or three times, but did not find it, and then she screamed out, "My child is thrown out of window;" the prisoner was present - he made no reply that I heard; she directly ran down stairs, and I after her with a light - I saw her pick up the child; she said it was dead - it did not cry then; two Policemen came up - I gave one of them the light, and he went up stairs; I saw the child after it came from the doctor's - its head was grazed and swollen, but there was no blood; I thought the prisoner very much in liquor.

EDWARD BYRNE . I am a surgeon, and live in Old Gravel-lane. The child was brought to me by the mother and two Policemen - I examined it, and found a very large tumor on the head, and a fracture of the skull - this unquestionably caused its death; I ordered leeches, as the only resource, but entertained no idea that it would be of benefit - I have not a doubt that it died of the fracture on the head.

FRANCIS FAGAN . I am an inspector of the Police. The prisoner was brought to the station, at a quarter-past two o'clock - I asked what could induce him to throw the child out of window; he laughed incessantly, and I asked him no more questions then - in the morning, when I

found him more composed, I asked what induced him to do it; he cried, and said he had thrown his wife's duds out, but gave no answer about the child.

Prisoner's Defence. I know nothing about the child- I saw it at ten o'clock in the morning, when I went to work, but never afterwards; I did not know it was there till next day, when Fagan asked me about it - I leave it all to your Lordship.

GUILTY . Aged 33. - Transported for Life .

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