1st February 1864
Reference Numbert18640201-265
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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265. THOMAS PERKINS SYMMS (28) , Feloniously killing and slaying George Carter.

MR. DALEY conducted the Prosecution.

JOHN LIGHTFOOT . I am a seaman, and drive a steam-crane on board a ship called the Wanspeck—I knew George Carter, who is dead; he worked on board as a lumper—the prisoner is a lighterman—on Friday, 6th December, about 11 o'clock, we finished loading the barge from the Wanspeck, which was at Sunderland-wharf, near the Thames-tunnel—when the lighter was loaded, I went to the other side of the deck, and when I came round again I heard the prisoner and Carter quarrelling in the lighter, and said, "For God's sake, men, knock off, and let us get on with the work, and get home"—they did not leave off—two or three of them were in the hatches of the lighter, and Carter left the prisoner, as if he was coming up the ship's side, and with that the prisoner came up to the deceased, they got quarrelling, and got entangled together, and went overboard together—I said, "Knock off"once or twice—I did not see any blows struck, but they laid hold of one another.

COURT. Q. Who laid hold of the other first? A. I cannot say—they were wrestling when they were entangled together—the prisoner was drunk,

Carter was sober—another ligherman put a boat-hook over and caught hold of Symms; but Carter, through the tide going down, went away—two men jumped into the ship's boat, and went under the bows, but could not catch him, and he was drowned—it was rather dark.

Cross-examined by MR. LANGFORD. Q. Was it very dark? A. Rather; it was about 11 o'clock—it was all done momentarily, so that we could not comment upon anything.

THOMAS NEALE . I live at 4, Red Lion-place, Wapping—I was in the lighter, and saw the prisoner come on board; he was drunk—the deceased was there; he was sober—they were in the head-sheets, and I saw Symms hit him one or two slight tips in the breast, and they got tangled and went overboard between the ship and the barge—Carter had his back against the ship's side, on the barge—the prisoner touched him first.

Cross-examined. Q. Was it all the work of a moment? A. Yes.


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