9th April 1855
Reference Numbert18550409-482
VerdictGuilty > unknown

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482. THOMAS HENDERSON , feloniously stabbing John Cross in the breast, with intent to murder him.—2nd COUNT, with intent to do him grievous bodily harm.

MESSRS. BODKIN and LAWRENCE conducted the Prosecution.

JOHN CROSS . I am a sub-warder in the House of Correction, Coldbath-fields. On 3rd March, about 5 minutes to 11 o'clock in the morning, I was relieved by another officer, for the purpose of going for the report slate, which was kept hanging over where the prisoner was sitting—I went and took the slate down, and put some prisoners' numbers upon it; not the prisoner's number, but some prisoners' numbers—I then hung it up again—after I had hung it up the prisoner rose from his seat and stabbed me in the left breast with a knife—it inflicted a severe wound below the left nipple, just above the region of the heart—nothing whatever was said at the time he did it—not a word passed between us—I never gave him the least provocation—I

have the clothes here that I had on at the time (producing them)—here it a flannel shirt, a shirt, waistcoat, and coat—they were all cut through.

DAVID BAGG . I am a sub-warder in the House of Correction, Coldbath-fields. On 3rd March I was engaged in the same room where Cross was—the prisoner was sitting on a form against the wall of the work room—he was engaged in stripping the cuttings of rope or junk, previous to the prisoners picking it into oakum—he was doing that with a knife, similar to this (produced)—I saw the slate there—Cross was by the side of the prisoner—the prisoner was sitting on the right hand side of Cross, who had been standing, with the slate on his arm, writing—he dropped his left arm, and was standing with the slate against the wall, when the prisoner rose suddenly from his seat, and struck Cross with his right hand on the chest—when he drew back his hand I saw the knife in it.

HENRY WAKEFIELD . I am a surgeon in the House of Correction, Cold-bath-fields. I examined Cross's wound about a quarter of an hour after it occurred—it was about half an inch in length, and about half an inch in depth—it was on the outer side of the left nipple—the blow that caused it must have been given with considerable violence—it struck against the rib, which fortunately prevented it penetrating the chest.

Prisoner. The governor told me the other day, when I came here, when I asked him about this case, and applied to the Sheriffs for somebody to speak for me, that my case was already settled; that my certificates from the doctors, about having my head fractured, and being in a lunatic asylum, were already forwarded; and I want to know now what is the result; I have got nothing to say to Dr. Wakefield; I know nothing about the case.

Witness. In my opinion, while he was in the gaol, he has understood what he had to do.

Prisoner. Some years ago Mr. Wakefield gave me fifteen days in the House of Correction; he knows very well that I have had my head fractured, and that I have been in a lunatic asylum twice. Witness. He was apparently. insensible for some two days after this; that is, not insensible, but he was not alive to anything that was going forward—I know no reason physically why, if he chose to attend, he could not do so—I do not know anything about his head being fractured—I remember his making an entrance into my house some years ago—he was taken up on that occasion—he gave great alarm to one of my daughters, who suffered very much from it—he came under pretence of requiring professional assistance, which proved to be false—that was about ten years ago—he has been repeatedly in confinement since, as a prisoner.

GUILTY on the 1st Count.— DEATH Recorded

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