20th August 1849
Reference Numbert18490820-1556
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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1556. MARY WHITE , feloniously killing and slaying Peter White; she was also charged on the Coroner's Inquisition with the like offence.

MR. PLATT conducted the Prosecution.

MARY ANN JARMAN . I am headnurse at University Hospital. On 5th June, Peter White was brought there—he was regularly attended by the medical officers—on 30th June, the day before he died, he said he was fearful he should not get over it—I told him he would not, and asked if he felt happy—he said, "Middling"—I said, "You are well aware you are near your end"—he said, "Yes"—I asked him if he would like to see the doctor—he said he should like to recover, but he thought he should die—I asked if he would like to see the chaplain—he said he should—I asked that, because he was a Catholic—it was my duty to call his attention to the fact that he was dying—I believe he had the apprehension of death soon coming on him—I asked him how the wound occurred—he said his wife had done it—I asked how she came to do it—he said, God knew, for he had not told her to do it, and the devil must; that she was tipsy, and be put her to bed and left her for a short time, then returned, and she was up and dressed; he asked what she did up; the reply was, that she was going out; he begged ber not to do so, and went across the room to get a lucifer; she shut the door, and he wished her not to do so, when she came across to him, which was customary with her, and caressed him: his reply was then, "You rogue, you have cut my throat," and he felt blood from his throat.

JURY. Q. Did he see the Chaplain? A. Yes, on the Sunday morning—he died that day, a little after two o'clock.

Prisoner. He told an untruth at his dying hour.

(The following statement of the deceased was here read:—"On the morning of that day my wife got up about seven o'clock. She came home about twelve with 7s. 6d. in her pocket. She said he had not spent the money, and I must come out, and have a glass of gin. She was very pleasing, but I did not want to go out, and I told her to go for it, and she brought a quartern of gin. We drank the gin between us, and a pint and a half of beer. Then she went out by herself and returned about six o'clock; her son brought her home, beastly drunk. I undressed her and put her into the bed. I never said one word to her. I went out then, and on my return she was up and dressed. I said, 'What induced you to get out of bed?' She said, 'You'll soon know that.' Then she said she had pawned the clock. I said, 'It's no matter,' and then went to look for a light, and while I was feeling for a lucifer, she got her arm round my forehead, and said, 'Let me have a kiss,' or 'I'll kiss you,' or words like them, and with that she cut my throat: and those are the last words I spoke except I screamed out that my throat was cut, that I did; they came immediately. I had had nothing to drink from twelve o'clock. For the last fourteen years we lived together unhappily. I had her at Clerkenwell

for threatening to cut my throat.—PETER WHITE."—"Sworn before me, J. HARDWICK.")

CHARLOTTE TUCKER . I am single, and live at 13, Hertford-street, Fitzroy-square. Peter White lodged in the front parlour. On the night of the 5th June, I was in my room, close by the prisoner's room, and heard screams of "Murder!" and breaking of glass—I went down, and heard Peter White say, "For God's sake make haste, for my wife has cut my throat"—I tried to open the door—it was locked—I went for the police—I had seen the prisoner and him drinking together about six o'clock—she seemed quite tipsy—they lived very quarrelsome—I have seen her strike him several times—he was about fifty-four years of age, and was in good health.

WILLIAM GOLDEN (police-constable, E 85). On this night, about half-past nine o'clock, I heard cries of "Murder!" and "Police!" at 15, Hertford-street—the door was fastened, and I got in at the parlour window, and found the prisoner and the deceased—it was dark—he said, "My wife has cut my throat," pointing to the prisoner—she said, "My husband has struck me three times, and then he got a razor to cut my throat; I wrenched it from his hand, and drawed it across his throat"—I took him to the hospital.

GEORGE WILBY (police-constable, E 77). I was with Golden—I got a light, and saw Peter White and the prisoner in the room—he was standing up, bleeding profusely from a wound in the throat—he said, "My wife has cut my throat"—she said, "He has been beating me; he took a razor to cut my throat; I wrenched it from him, and drawed it across his"—I searched and found this knife (produced) on a shelf near where they stood—the blade was smeared with blood, quite fresh—there were marks of blood on the shelf—I took the prisoner—I saw the body at the hospital; it was that of the man I saw at Hertford-street.

Prisoner. My husband must have put the knife there; it was a razor; the knife was clean; I do not know in what way I done it. Witness. There is blood on the knife now—I found a razor at the farther corner of the room—there was no blood on it.

HENRY SEARLE GAYE . I am house-surgeon at University Hospital. On 5th June, about half-past nine o'clock, the deceased was brought there in a state of extreme collapse, bleeding from a gaping wound in the throat, about two and a half inches long, an inch deep, and about half an inch wide—it was about two inches from the chin, extending obliquely across the throat, from the left side to the right—this knife is a likely instrument to have inflicted it—he lingered till 1st July, and then died—the immediate cause of death was inflammation of the lungs—the wound in the throat would affect the lungs by the purulent matter from the wound—it is a peculiar kind of inflammation, which is likely to follow injuries and surgical operations—it is accompanied by the formation of small abscesses on the lungs—it is the ordinary result of a wound.

Prisoner's Defence. I have been severely ill-used; every finger of my hand is bruised; he committed a robbery at Brook-street, Hanover-square, and I saw him with forty guineas; and there was another robbery I never told about; he was always beating me; he cohabited with Mrs. Jones; he accused me of a bad crime with a man named Cox; he said I was going to tell about the murder of the police at Dublin; he said he would accuse me of killing my husband in France; I had him up for ill-treating me, and all the Jury signed a petition for me.

GUILTY. Aged 54.—Recommended to mercy by the Jury. Transported for Ten Years.

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