16th June 1856
Reference Numbert18560616-630
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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630. BERNARDO HENRIQUEZ was charged, upon the Coroner's Inquisition, only, with the wilful murder of Verselli Calligar.

MR. WALTER SMITH conducted the Prosecution.

SANTO DE GARCIA (through an interpreter). I am a Mexican sailor. On Thursday, 15th May last, I was lodging at Seymour's house, No. 31, Wellclose-square, and had been for some time—I was out on that day with the prisoner—about the middle of the day I walked home with him to Seymour's house—we applied to get in at the front door—no one came to let us in—they told us to go round to the other door, round the corner—I could not tell who it was that said that, as I was out of doors and they were inside—I did not know the voice—we got in by the side door—there was

some one answered from inside the room to break a square of glass—at last I got into the coffee room—the prisoner was with me—there were two men in the coffee room playing at cards—Prefanio and the deceased, and Indra were there—Verselli, I do not know his other name, was playing with Prefanio—when we got in, a quarrel took place—the deceased spoke to me—I had a quarrel with one of the witnesses—I do not recollect the deceased coming to stop the quarrel; I was not wounded is that quarrel—I did not see anything—I did not see whether the deceased got up or not—I did not see him move; he way seated, playing at cards—I did not see anybody strike him—I did not see him wounded—I did not see anything of him afterwards till I saw him at the hospital—he was wounded then—I wag a little drunk; I had had two glasses of gin; the prisoner had had the same as me—I had been with him all the morning—we had the grog at the Cock and Neptune, in the vicinity of the lodging, near 1 o'clock.

Cross-examined by MR. COOPER. Q. Was a person of the name of Idra there? A. Yes; I do not know whether Idra is a distinct person from Prefanio, or the same person—I do not know whether Idra is the man that is called Verselli—I do not know what countryman Idra is—he did not offer to fight me.

COURT. Q. Did you fight with any one then? A. did—I do not know the name of the person I fought with—(Idra was here called in)—it was with that man—the prisoner was inside the room at the time I was fighting with that man—I do not recollect whereabouts in the room I was—I do not recollect whether the prisoner was standing by my side, but he was in the room.

MR. SMITH. Q. Were you wounded? A. Nothing at all; I was not wounded; it was only with the hand, there was no wound.

COURT. Q. Did you have any blood upon your face? A. Yes.

VASCILIE IDRA . I am a Greek sailor. On 15th May last I was at Seymour's lodgings—I went there to lodge that day—I was in the coffee room when De Garcia and the prisoner came to the front door—they kicked at the door, and asked to come in—I spoke to them through the door, and told them to come to the next door—they at last came into the coffee room, through the side door—at that time there was Verselli Calligar along with another young chap named Prefanio, playing at cards ia the coffee room; and I was there—a quarrel took place between me and De Garcia, he came and shoved me—I said, "What for shove me?" in my language, in Greek; and he hit me on the nose; and we fought both of us—De Garcia struck me first; then Calligar got up from the table; and the prisoner stabbed him; and he said, "Oh!"—I no hear him say anything before he got up from the table—I no hear him interfere at all with that fight—I no hear him say anything—I was fighting with the other man; and he just got up from the table, and the prisoner stabbed him directly.

COURT. Q. De Garcia struck you first, you say? A. Yes—I struck him again—we fought, both of as—the fighting lasted about five minutes—then Calligar got up.

MR. SMITH. Q. After Calligar got up from the table that happened I A. I had just been fighting with the other man—I no hear him say nothing—it was the prisoner who stabbed Calligar—that was immediately be got up from the chair—I no hear Calligar say anything, or see him do anything to the prisoner before he stabbed him—I do not know whether Calligar had any weapon with him—he had no knife in his hand, or anything else—his

hands were empty, because he was playing at cards; and he got up and he was stabbed.

COURT. Q. What did the prisoner stab him with? A. With a knife—I saw him get the knife from hare (The lower part of the lay)—saw the prisoner stoop down to his boot—I saw both bands go in the boot—then I saw the knife in his hand, and he stabbed torn directly—I had not seen him with the knife before—after this the prisoner wait down stairs into the kitchen—I did not follow him—I went along with Verselli to the doctor's—he put his hand to his belly, he was bleeding, not much—I could not see the blood because of his jacket—the doctor's was very close, about three doors off—I afterwards went with him to the hospital.

Cross-examined. Q. When the deceased rose from the table did you see to whom he was coming? A. I did not see anything of it—I did not observe the expression of his face, I was fighting along with the other man—he just got up from the table—I do not know whether foreigners use knives, I have not seen them before—I did not see any blood on the prisoner's head—I did not see him afterwards washing his hands—directly he stabbed the man he ran away quick—there was a Spaniard in the room at the time Calligar rose from the table—there were five persons is the room altogether—I did not see any one of those five persons strike the prisoner, nobody struck him—I did not see the prisoner's head afterwards with blood on it—nobody struck him while I was there—I do not know whether the other persons had been quarrelling—two were playing at cards, two were fighting, the prisoner sat down—I saw Calligar get up from the table, and he stabbed him directly.

MR. SMITH. Q. You say there was a Spaniard there; was that De Garcia? A. I do not know him at all, it was the man that was here just now.

AUGUSTINO PREFANIO . I am a Greek sailor. On 15th May last I was ledging at Seymour's—I recollect De Garcia and the prisoner coming and knocking at the front door—they afterwards came in through the other door, and came into the coffee room—at that time I was sitting there with the deceased Calligar, playing at cards with him—I was quite sober, and so was the deceased—Idra was there—I cannot say for certain whether he was sober or not—after De Garcia and the prisoner cane into the room, Idra had a fight with De Garcia—at that time the prisoner was close to De Garcia's side—Galligar got up from his chair when they were all a fighting and told them to be quiet—I was not fighting—he moved about two or three paces, and then the prisoner took a knife from the side have (Painting to tie waistband of his trowsers), and made two stalls at the deceased—I saw the prisoner give the stabs; it was two Stabs, and when. he had stabbed him he went below into the kitchen—I did not follow him—the policeman came in, told took him into custody—Calligat sung out, "Oh!" and put his hand to his sides where he was wounded, and they took him to the doctor's—I afterwards saw him at the hospital, alive, and dead also.

GEORGE COX (policeman, H 138). On 15th May lass I was called to Seymour's, No. 31, Wellclose-square, in the middle of the day—I went in search of the prisoner, and found him in the kitchen, standing behind the door—I took him into custody—he had his jacket off, and was standing by a sink—I made him put on his jacket, and took him to the station, and then to the hospital, where I searched him, and found this knife sheath down in his right boot leg, inside the stocking—there was no knife in it—it was a boot that came up a little way above the ankle.

Cross-examined. Q. Might it not have slipped there through the trowsers?

A. It might—I have seen a great many of these foreigners—I have seen them with sheaths of this kind in their hands; a great many wear them at the side, with the waistcoat over them—I believe it is an English made knife, bought in Ratcliff-highway; a great number of them are sold there, I believe they call them bowie knives—I saw a slight cut on the prisoner's head like a scratch, with a little blood running down on the right side of the head—it was more like the scratch of a pin, it was scarcely anything—he had long drawers on which went right down into his boot, so that this sheath might have run down the leg inside the boot.

CORNELIUS FOAY (police sergeant, H 7). On 15th May I went to Seymour's, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon—I went to the sink in the kitchen, looked under it, and found this dagger secreted underneath the sink—the sheath was not with it.

COURT. Q. You use the term "secreted;" was it his away in a hole, or lying on the ground? A. In a hole under the sink, quite in a dark spot—I had to get a candle to find it, it was in a hole in the wall of the sink, pushed in; it was not lying down upon the floor, but put into a hole.

ANDREW GERNON (police inspector, H). On 15th May I sent for the prisoner to the hospital, and was there when he was brought—the deceased was there on a bed, he was suffering very much from his wound—the doctor was there, and told me he did not expect he would live—the prisoner was taken to his bedside with two others, the deceased rose up his head, and said, "Yes, yes," pointing to the prisoner, and made a motion with his hand to his side—he could not speak much English, but he could a little—he made a statement in the prisoner's presence, which was read over to the prisoner by the interpreter—he made it partly in his own language, and partly in English; he could answer me some questions in English—I reduced it to writing at the time from the mouth of the interpreter—I then asked him in English to make his mark, as I thought he could not write—he said, "No, no," making a sign for a pen, and he rose up and wrote his name in his own language to the statement—I then took the prisoner directly before the Magistrate—I brought him back again with the Magistrate to the bedside of the deceased, but he was then too ill to make a deposition, and he died next morning.

Cross-examined. Q. Did the prisoner ask anything through the interpreter? A. The interpreter read this over, and I understood from the interpreter that he denied it all.

ABRAHAM MELDOLD . I am the interpreter in this case. On 15th May I was at the hospital with inspector Gernon when the prisoner and Calligar were there—Calligar made a statement, which I translated into English, and the inspector took it down—this is it, I signed it; I read it over to the deceased in the prisoner's presence, and he said it was all correct, and signed it—(Read: "About 12 o'clock this day Bernardo Henriquez came to the lodging house kept by Mr. Seymour, and without making any remark took out something like a knife, and gave me a stab in the side; the man brought before me at the hospital is the same as gave me the stab. Signed, Verselli Calligar.")—that is a correct translation of what he said.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you read it to the prisoner in his native language? A. Yes—he replied that he did not do it, he said nothing else—he did not say, "It is not true;" what he said was, "I did not do it."

JOHN BROWN ROSS . I am house surgeon at the London Hospital. On 15th May Calligar was brought there suffering from severe wounds—there were three wounds altogether, one in front of the abdomen on the right side,

about three inches in length, communicating with the cavity of the abdomen, piercing through; one on the right side, between the tenth and eleven ribs, which extended for two inches—the knife had extended round the side and come out again, so that though it was only one stab, there were two wounds—it was about an inch and a half in breadth, and extended for two inches under the skin, and came out again on the tenth rib; it was merely a flesh wound—on making the post mortem examination, I found that the stomach had two wounds, one about three inches in length, where the knife had entered, and one about an inch and a half where it came out, so that it had transfixed the stomach—that had caused death—the man died in thirteen hours—the wounds might have been produced by this weapon.

GUILTY . Aged 23.—Recommended to mercy by the Jury, being a foreigner.


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