20th February 1834
Reference Numbert18340220-80
VerdictNot Guilty

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Before Mr. Justice Park.

398. JOHN WATERS was charged, on the Coroner's Inquisition, with killing and slaying James Slee .

HENRY LIGHTFOOT . I am a mariner - my father, Henry Lightfoot , is master of a yawl - this happened on Saturday, the 25th of January, between two and five o'clock - the yawl was fastened to a barge, which was moored to a schooner - the yawl was in the outermost part of the tier - I put my father a-shore; and, when I came back, my cousin said something, and I went to the barge, which was fastened alongside the schooner - and then the mate of the vessel was swearing - I saw the prisoner go to the deceased, and ask him for a pot of hot - the deceased said, he would serve him, and went to pour him some beer out of a cask - he poured him some out, and then fell over it, and spilt it - he was tipsy - while he was pouring it out, the prisoner had left and come back, and asked if he had got it ready - he said he did not know he had ordered anything - the prisoner then said he would have some gin, which he poured out, and the prisoner drank - the deceased asked for the money - the prisoner said he had had nothing, and would not pay him - then the prisoner began to tease the deceased, and knock him on the head, and wanted him to fight - he knocked the deceased's hat off, and pulled his own cap off - the deceased said he would not fight with him, - the prisoner got into the deceased's boat, and got hold of a bottle to take the spirits out which were in it - the deceased took the bottle from him, and told him he had no business to come into his boat, and take his property - then he took the deceased's bell out of the boat, and gave it to another man on the deck; and the man who took it from him, put it into the galley - I saw they had been using him shamefully, and spoke to the watermen about it, and went to fetch my father - when I came back again, the deceased was on the schooner's deck - he got hold of the string which was round a bottle which the deceased had under his arm - he kept turning the bottle out, and pouring the spirits out of it into a glass, which the deceased had in his hand - and the deceased told him he was using him shamefully; the prisoner began to tease him, and took up a tarpawling, and struck him on the face, and knocked him down - the deceased said, "Who is going to take my part?" and the men on the deck laughed at him - the prisoner came to him, and told him he did not mean to hurt him; he only did it as a joke - the deceased got up again, and the prisoner got hold of the bottle again, and got some more spirits out of it - they were scuffling for the bottle, which was thrown down and broken; and the prisoner said he deserved to be kicked for letting all that good spirits be spoiled - the deceased wanted to get into his boat, but the prisoner kept pulling him back from going out of the schooner - the prisoner went away afterwards, to do something on the desk, and the deceased got into his boat - the prisoner followed with a pot in his hand, and told the deceased he would be damned if he should go until he had got his pot filled - the deceased ordered him out of his boat - he went to try to shove it away; and, while he was gone, the prisoner got hold of a bottle, and poured out what was in it - the deceased then pushed the prisoner by the side of the schooner - the prisoner got into a passion - two men got into a boat and said, "Come, do not go quarrelling" - I saw the prisoner was using the deceased as he ought not to do - my father called me away - and, as I went, I saw the deceased fall into the water - I do not know how he came in the water - he was drunk - the prisoner shoved the boat with his foot; and the deceased went to stop it from going, and fell in, and he missed his grasp - he wanted to lay hold of the barge, to stop it, but missed his hold and fell overboard.

- PATTERSON. I was present at part of the transaction - I saw the deceased go over the boat side - I was down in the cabin, and when I came up there were two men in the boat, the prisoner and another man - the witness was advising the prisoner to go out of the boat, and he was on his hands and knees on the barge - another man took his foot and shoved away the boat, and the deceased tried to get hold of the barge - he overreached himself and fell over.


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