8th July 1850
Reference Numbert18500708-1301
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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1301. JOHN BETTS , feloniously killing and slaying William Henry Westlake: he was also charged, on the Coroner's Inquisition, with the like offence.

JOHN PERRY . I am a carter, of 2, Paul's-alley, Red Cross-street. I know the prisoner, and knew the deceased, William Henry Westlake—we went on 23rd June to a public-house in Fann-street—we had a quarrel and went to Holloway to fight—we then came back to Old-street, St. Luke's—Westlake was drunk—I had heard no words between him and the prisoner—I was drunk, and the prisoner was fresh—Westlake knocked the prisoner down in Old-street—they might have had words, but I did not hear them—the prisoner jumped up and knocked Westlake down with his fist; he fell on the pavement—I cannot say where his head went—I helped to pick him up, and took him to a doctor's shop, and from thence to the station—I do not know whether he was sensible, he did not speak—I saw blood about his head—I only saw two blows struck.

THOMAS PERRY . I was at Holloway—after the fight, Westlake offered to spar with the prisoner—he said he could not spar—I heard nothing more till we got into Old-street, where Westlake knocked the prisoner down; he jumped up and knocked Westlake down—that was all I saw.

WILLIAM HARDING . I was at Holloway, and came back to Old-street—Westlake made use of some vulgar language, and asked a friend who was walking with them to come away from the party—the prisoner turned round and asked him if our company was not as good as his—an altercation took place, and Westlake kept drawing his hand across the prisoner's face in a

provoking manner, and at length knocked him down; he then got up and knocked Westlake down.

EDWARD ROSS (policeman, 29). I was in Old-street; I did not see the beginning—I saw the prisoner strike Westlake, who was taken to the station, and charged the prisoner with assaulting him—the prisoner was sober—I afterwards saw Westlake's body at the inquest.

JOHN GRAY (police-inspector, G.) On 23rd June, Westlake came to the station, and charged the prisoner with assaulting him—Westlake was detained, being quite drunk—he died there about nine minutes past twelve o'clock—the surgeon saw the body of the same person.

JOHN BUBBERS MATHER . I am a surgeon—early on the morning of 24th June, I saw the body of Westlake, and found a punctured wound on the back of the head—it must have been made with some sharp instrument, not with the fist—I made a post-mortem examination on the Tuesday, and inside the skull, beneath the external wound, was a large mass of coagulated blood which compressed the brain and caused death; one of the larger blood-vessels had ruptured with the fall or blow—I saw him at the moment of his death, and then thought there were traces of intoxication, but there were no traces of it at the post-mortem examination—death must have resulted from the fall, not from mere intoxication.

JOHN MARK WESTLAKE . I am the deceased's uncle; his name was William Henry Westlake—I saw his body at St. Luke's dead-house.

GUILTY . Aged 21.—Strongly recommended to mercy.— Confined One Week

Before Mr. Justice Talfourd.

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