13th June 1859
Reference Numbert18590613-633
VerdictGuilty > manslaughter
SentenceImprisonment > penal servitude

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633. JEREMIAH COGHLAN (21), was indicted for the wilful murder of James Fadden. He was also charged upon the Coroner's inquisition with the like murder.

MR. GIFFARD conducted the Prosecution.

ANN FADDEN . On the night of 15th May last I was standing at my street-door—the prisoner, who is my brother, passed by with another young man named William Jennings, who he lodges with, and as he passed he said to me, if Boss was here he would give it to him—I thought he meant my husband, as he had rather a turn in his eye—I told him to go along; that he was down the street, and to mind that he did not meet him—he turned round and said that I was a toy-shop thing—I then said to him, "Go along, you long-nosed vagabond and look out, he is down the street, and if he hits you he will give you something"—he said, "Go on, you counterfeit"—I then ran out and struck him—we both fell fighting together, and during this time he said he did not want me, he wanted my husband, calling him Boss again—my husband was in a person's place listening to the newspaper being read, and he heard the names and ran out—I do not know whether he hit him or not, but he made the attempt to hit him—I turned round and pushed my husband away and told him to go away and not have anything to say to him, and I then turned round to my brother and told him to go home, for if my husband was to hit him it would hurt him—he said, no, he would hit him, and he pushed me away and flew at my husband and struck him on the left side of his neck with his right hand—my husband made a bit of a stagger and fell, and my brother a-top of him—I can hardly tell how soon after it was that I discovered that my husband was hurt, my mind has been so upset.

Cross-examined by MR. MCDONALD. Q. What time was it that you first saw your brother? A. About twenty minutes past 12 at night—I did not see whether he was eating bread and cheese—I can't say whether he was or not; I did not notice—I did not notice whether he had a pocket-knife in his hand—I did not see any knife at all—he was very drunk—he passed on towards his lodging when he called me these names—I did not follow him until he called me a counterfeit, and then I flew out and ran towards him and struck him—I dare say he struck me in return, I can hardly tell—we both fell together on the ground—I can't tell how many persons were present when my husband came up; there were a great many—I can't say whether there were twenty or thirty—when my husband came out he went to hit my brother, but I did not see any fighting—I saw my brother strike him on the left side of his neck with his right band, and a few minutes after that they fell, but how they fell I can't tell—my husband was perfectly sober—I can't tell whether my husband hit him or not—he only struck one blow while they were together—none of the people present came between them.

COURT. Q. You and your brother had had a scuffle? A. Tea, that was over—when my husband heard the words he came out, and saw me and my brother entangled, and he went towards my brother to hit him—the prisoner then let me go and turned towards my husband—the fight was still going on between me and my brother when my husband came out—it was during the fight that he said he did not want me, he wanted my husband.

JOHN COGHLAN . I am the prisoner's brother—I was there while my brother and sister were fighting—I did not see how it began—the first

thing I heard was my brother call my sister a b—toy-shop thing, and a b—counterfeit—I then saw my sister rush in and they both struck one another—I then saw the deceased come out of a neighbouring house to part them—he went in between them and said to the prisoner, "If you don't go about your business I will dig you on the nose"—the prisoner said, "You, you b—boss-eyed b—; you are just the fellow I want"—my sister said to the prisoner, "Jerry, why don't you go down home, for if he hits you you won't like it"—the prisoner said, "I will give him a blow that he won't be able to hit me"—with that my sister laid hold of Fadden and tried to shove him away—the prisoner made a rush, and I saw him strike Fadden on the left side of the neck; he then stepped back about a couple of yards and made a rush at his legs, threw him down, and fell a-top of him—I went to lift him up and saw the blood running down his neck, but I took no notice of it; I thought his head was cut open with the fall—I leant him over a few palings down the street and went to assist my sister, because the prisoner directly he had done this, ran and boat her—as soon as I had got to her a little girl came and holloaed out that Mr. Fadden's throat was out—I went directly and assisted Fadden, and took him to the hospital—I afterwards saw his dead body there.

Cross-examined. Q. How many persons were present when the prisoner and Fadden were together? A. I cannot tell, there was a goodish few, I should say about thirty or forty—I saw the prisoner and Fadden put themselves in a fighting position—the prisoner struck first—Fadden was a stout short, powerful man—my sister came between them while they were in a fighting position—she did not strike the prisoner, nor strike at him—she laid hold of her husband—the prisoner did not fall before Fadden fell.

COURT. Q. At the time the prisoner, as you say, rushed and hit him on the left side of his neck, was Fadden trying to get at the prisoner? A. No, they were all scrambling together—my sister had hold of Fadden's arm, trying to get him in-doors—he was in a fighting position at the same time, not squaring at the prisoner, he had his fists up—he had made a blow at him, but it did not hit him—I am sure of that—that was after Mrs. Fadden and the prisoner were fighting—they had got separated before he came out—the prisoner was waiting outside the door.

PATRICK NEWMAN . I came up while the fight was going on between Mrs. Fadden and the prisoner—I saw Fadden come up to take hit wife from the prisoner—the prisoner said to him, "Are you come out to fight me too? come on, you boss-eyed b—, I am ready for you"—they showed fight in a fighting position to each other, and Mrs. Fadden rushed in between them to part them—she was pushed down by the prisoner—she rose up again, and she was pushed down by Fadden—I then saw the prisoner raising his right arm with something in his hand—it appeared to me to be the blade of a knife—he gave Fadden one blow in the left side of the neck—he than waited for a minute, and then rushed at him, caught him by the legs, knocked him down on the pavement, and fell down with him—the prisoner rose up again, rushed at Mrs. Fadden, and knocked her down and fell down with her—he then rose and went towards his lodging and I saw no more.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you see the prisoner knocked down before you saw him raise his hand? A. No—I did not see him stagger—before Fadden came out Mrs. Fadden and the prisoner were scuffling together the prisoner was drunk—Fadden was sober—Mrs. Fadden seemed to me sober.

GEORGE WILEY . I was in-doors when the row began—I came out and

saw the prisoner and the deceased in the position of fighting—I saw the prisoner strike Fadden, and he walked backwards—Fadden walked towards him—I followed him, and as I followed I saw a knife—I stooped down and picked it up, and I then saw the prisoner and deceased falling—the deceased fell backwards on his head, and the prisoner a-top—the prisoner got up first—the deceased laid on the ground for a few seconds, and when they rose him up he was bleeding, and they said his throat was cut—I found the knife three or four yards from the place where I saw the two men together—I kept it till I gave it to the policeman.

Cross-examined. Q. You say you saw the prisoner and the deceased in a fighting attitude? A. Yes—I only saw one blow struck—I saw the prisoner walk backwards and the deceased followed him up—that was after the blow—there were a great quantity of people there—there was no ring made that I noticed—there was a lot of people and there was a kind of a scrambling match—I think they were trying to avoid it when I came out, but directly I came out I saw the blow struck—there were no other persons scuffling.

MR. GIFFARD. Q. Did you see any persons except the prisoner and the deceased scuffling or fighting with each other in any way? A. No.

GEORGE VELLACOTT (Policeman, M 224). On the morning of the 15th May I was called to 23, Mellicks-place, where the prisoner lodged—I told him I had come to take him into custody for cutting his brother-in-law's throat—he said, "All right, all right"—as we were going down-stairs he said, "I am given in charge, aint I?"—I said, "Yes, you must go to the station along with me"—he said, "All right," and before he left the premises he said, "If I am given in charge I shall do for the b—; if I get over this I shall do for him"—I took him to the station—as we were going there he said, "I meant it"—I went back to see if I could find anything that the wound was inflicted with, and Wiley gave me this knife (produced)—Wise was the policeman in charge at the station when I went in—the prisoner was the worse for drink.

Cross-examined. Q. Was he very drunk? A. He was drunk, not but What he could walk very well—I did not see him stagger when I took my hands off him—I swear that—he did not tell me that he had been knocked down—I did not hear it—he did not say that he had been beaten and illused by these parties that night—he said he had been a week before—I did not hear him say, "I will go readily with you; you should take them as well"—he said nothing like that in my presence—I had not been saying anything to him before he used the words, "I meant it"—there were a great many persons by the side of me, but I had not spoken to him.

MR. GIFFARD. Q. When did he tell you that he had been beaten by these parties about a week previous. A. Going along—he did not say by what parties—he said he had been struck on the nose about a week previous—he did not exhibit any marks of ill-usage—I did not observe that his lip was swollen—I did not notice.

CHARLES WISE (Policeman, A 459). I was in charge of the station when the prisoner was brought there—after the charge was read to him he said, "I know nothing about it."

Cross-examined. Q. Was he very drunk? A. He was very much intoxicated—his lip appeared as though it had been bleeding.

COURT to JOSEPH VELLACOTT. Q. Did not you notice that his lip had been bleeding? A. I did not notice anything of it—I can't say whether it had or not.

NICHOLAS EDWIN . I am clerk to the magistrate of the Southwark police-court

—I took the deposition of the deceased man—the prisoner was then in custody and present—he had an opportunity of cross-examining him—this is the original deposition which the man signed. (Read: The examination of James Fadden, taken on oath, 25th May, 1839, at Guy's Hospital, before Mr. Bircham—"The prisoner Jeremiah Coghlan, now present, is my brother-in-law—On Sunday week, between 12 and 1 o'clock, early in the morning I was at Mrs. Carey's, hearing the newspaper read, and I heard the prisoner kicking up a row with my wife—I went out and told him if he did not go away I should hit him in the eye and on the nose—I may have hit at him—he said, 'I can fight you,' and he stepped back, and I stood on one side and he struck at me and I fell—when I got up I found that I was bleeding from my neck—his brother said, 'You are stuck,' and I found myself all over blood—I was paralysed for a short time—I did not see anything in his hand when he struck me—about a week before this took place we had, a quarrel; he kicked me and I struck him, but we had been friends since then—I did not see him eating bread and cheese as stated now by him."

JAMES BROAD . I am a surgeon at Guy's Hospital—the deceased was brought there about 1 in the morning of 15th May—he had a wound in, the left side of the neck—I attended him—he ultimately died on 3d June—after his death I examined the wound—it was an incised wound about two inches in length, and when we dissected down to the vessels of the neck we found a large wound in the jugular vein which was the source of the hemorrhage—this weapon is quite capable of producing such a wound—I have no doubt that wound was the cause of death.

WILLIAM JENNINGS , a leather-dresser, who had known the prisoner for ten years, deposed to his good character.

GUILTY of Manslaughter. Twenty Years' Penal Servitude.

Before Mr. Common Serjeant.

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