10th June 1867
Reference Numbert18670610-559
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence
SentenceImprisonment > penal servitude

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559. WILLIAM WALKER (39) , Feloniously wounding Mary Ann Elizabeth Walker, with intent to murder. Second Count, with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

MESSRS. STRAIGHT and BRICKWOOD conducted the Prosecution.

MARY ANN ELIZABETH WALKER . I am the prisoner's wife, and live in the high road, Tottenham—on the morning of 28th May I went to bed from twenty to twenty-five minutes past twelve—I went to sleep—on awaking there was a strange noise in my throat; it was blood proceeding from my mouth, which was full of blood—I called to my daughter—she came to me—I got out of bed and went down stairs; when I awoke I saw my husband; he was in the bed or outside, I could not say which; there was no one else in the room, except my little boy, three years old—a doctor was fetched—I sat in a chair, under the window—my husband was afterwards fetched down stairs—I believe he asked what was the matter—I told him he knew what must be the matter—he said I must have fallen out of bed—when I awoke I found my face and head bleeding; I can't say how it was done—my eye was pouring with blood—I have no idea how it happened—I was asleep at the time—I did not fail out of bed; the bed is the usual height—I did not inflict any of the injuries upon myself; it was impossible I could do it—my husband has threatened me, but I believe he was not quite right in his mind when he did so; he has threatened to take my life.

COURT. Q. How lately before had he done so? A. Not that day; we had been out for a walk, and were very comfortable all day—he has been away at a lunatic asylum for a month—he came home a fortnight last Friday, I think—I lived with him before he went to the asylum—drink was the cause of it—it brought on delirium tremens—he is a marine store dealer by business, a general dealer.

Prisoner. In January I had delirium tremens very bad; I was very ill, they did not expect me to live, and the same doctor was attending me that attended my wife—in February I went into Hertfordshire for a week—when I came home I found my wife very dull in spirits—I asked her what was amiss—she said nothing—she scarcely spoke to me for days—I said I was sure there must be something—at last she said, "Will you forgive me if I toll you?"—I said, "Yes"—she said, "I took too much to drink, and during the time the man Edward Cruise took advantage of me and seduced me; I hope God will forgive me, for no one on this earth can; I

have been a true wife to you before this, I will be a good wife to you now, a true one I cannot." Witness. It is all quite false—nothing of the sort occurred—he was always of a jealous disposition—I had nothing to do with anybody while he was away—he charged me with it some years ago; there was no ground for it, but he is now alluding to February last—he was very bad in January—he has shown queer symptoms for some time past, I can't say how long; more than a year—it has been at times, when he has been drinking; we have been married nineteen years, we have lived together during that time—his manner and ways were strange at times—he was never under restraint except during the months he was in the lunatic asylum—he attended to business at times; I am obliged to see to it, because he is not always fit to do so from drink, and what has been caused after the drink—he has had these drinking fits for the last two years or more.

MARY ANN WALKER . I am the prisoner's daughter—I live with him and my mother—on Tuesday morning, 28th May, they went to bed about twenty-five minutes past twelve—I heard my mother call out about twenty minutes past one—she groaned, and said, "Oh! dear!"—I ran down stairs to her room—I saw my father entering the room as I went down—I followed him, and he jumped on the bed—I saw my mother in bed—there was no one in the room but my father and mother and the baby—I asked her what was the matter—she said she did not know—she got out of bed and ran down stairs with me—she sat down by the side of the wash house door—she was covered with blood—her face and head were wounded—there was a light in the room—I went up again to get my boots and dress, and I ran into my mother's room to get her boots and dress—my father was then on the bed, lying still; he remained there—I did not speak to nor did he to me—I went and fetched Mary Ann Brown—I have heard my father him threaten to take my mother's life once or twice since Christmas—I do not think he has been quite right in his mind when he has said that—he was in an asylum for a mouth.

COURT. Q. Why did you think he was not quite right in his mind? A. He talked very strange; that was after he had been drinking.

MARY ANN BROWN . I was servant to the prisoner—on the morning of the 28th May Miss Walker fetched me—I went, and saw Mrs. Walker sitting in a chair, near the washhouse door, covered with blood, which was pouring from her head, cheek, and nose—I made her bed the next day—there was a great deal of blood on it, on the left-hand side, where she slept—I have heard the prisoner threaten his wife—I have heard him say he would cut her throat, and all manner of things, when he has been in a passion—about a fortnight or three weeks before this happened he asked me for a bayonet—he did not say what he wanted it for—I had taken it up stairs from underneath his bed, and put it in a tin, where some whalebone was kept, at the top of the house—after I had attended to Mrs. Walker and bathed her face, I went up stairs to see if the bayonet was there, and it had gone from the place where I had hid it—this is it (produced)—I hid it because Mr. Walker was so strange I did not know what to think.

Prisoner. Q. Did I ask you for the bayonet? A. Yes, a great many times, and you wanted me to fetch swords a great many times—I never saw your wife out of her place—I have seen you drunk a great many times—she did not fall down and cut the bridge of her nose.

Prisoner. I did not see the bayonet—there were more bayonets than that up stairs—they were put away when I had delirium tremens.

EDWARD CRUISE . I worked for the prisoner on 28th May—at four in the morning I was called there, and found Mrs. Walker sitting against the back door covered with blood—I found this bayonet, about a quarter to six in the morning, in the top room second floor, behind a fireguard in the fireplace—I saw three spots on it, one on this side, and two on the other—I showed it to the doctor and gave it to the policeman.

EMANUEL MAY . I am a surgeon at Tottenham—on Tuesday, 28th May, about half-past one in the morning, I was called to see Mrs. Walker—I found her sitting in a chair in the back room, covered with blood—there was a deep wound on the bridge of the nose and under the right eye, and three on the upper and back part of the head, on the right side; the wound on the nose was the most extensive, it penetrated and wounded some arteries, which bled and awoke her—the blood ran into the gullet—I cannot say that she was in danger—such an instrument as this bayonet would inflict such wounds—the bayonet was shown to me that morning, and I found a few blood stains on it; they looked fresh—it was quite impossible that she could have inflicted the wounds herself—I have known her six or eight months, her character has been very good indeed—I sent the prisoner to the lunatic asylum—I stated that before the Magistrate—the prisoner's statement about his wife being unfaithful to him I put down to hallucination, under the peculiar state of his brain—he threatened to destroy her two or three times, on different occasions—at the time I sent him to the asylum he had given her a black eye, and he tried to strangle her, and threatened to cut her throat.

COURT. Q. Was that in a fit of morbid jealousy? A. Yes—I examined him in connection with Dr. Gardner, the assistant physician to the lunatic asylum at Clapham, and we decided that he was in an unsound state of mind and dangerous to his wife, through this morbid state of mind—the history of his case would go to prove that his brain is peculiarly susceptible—he has been wild and odd for years past—then he took to drink and had delirium tremens, which did not yield to the usual remedies, showing the predisposition to irritability of the brain—when I got him over the delirium tremens he promised to be very careful in his conduct, but he very soon recurred to drink, and then he got into this odd state of mind over and over again—Dr. Gardner said he was not fit to be at large—one of the symptoms which goes to prove insanity is, that he threatened his wife's life over and over again before other persons, and also his daughters, whom he used to love so much, and the young man was to go as well—his jealousy was entirely unfounded.

Prisoner. When I went to Bethnal Green Lunatic Asylum my wife gave me two tremendous black eyes—I was obliged to stop up stairs eight days before any one could see me.

Witness. It is not true—I have heard him go on in that way before—it is one of his symptoms—if he took it into his head not to get up till eleven o'clock he would not let his wife get up—he followed her about—if she even went up stairs to brush her hair he would follow her—I consider that a symptom in connection with his condition of brain.

COURT. Q. Suppose he was to abstain from drink, would that have a beneficial effect on his mind? A. I think it would, but I do not think it would altogether allow him to be considered sane—he has not been allowed to drink for some time now, but you see he is talking in that way—he has

had quite time enough to allow his brain to be in a state of quiescence—I believe he has not attended to business for the last three years—he has been moving about and spending the money—I have not attended him for the last three years, but I attend persons in the neighbourhood, and I know all his movements.

GEORGE PRESCOTT (Y 301). I am stationed at Tottenham—on Tuesday morning, 28th May, I was called to Mrs. Walker's house, and went up stairs to the bedroom about a quarter of an hour after I got there—I found the prisoner in bed, either asleep or pretending to be so—I took a blanket off the bed—he asked me what was the matter—I told him to lay quiet, that I wanted to look round the room to see if I could find any weapon—he said he knew I wanted him, but he had done nothing, he was innocent—I told him to dress himself, and we would go down stairs, that I was going to take him into custody for violently assaulting his wife—he dressed himself and came down—before he got to the bottom of the stairs he saw his wife and asked her what was the matter—she said, "Too know very well what is the matter"—he said he had done nothing, he wag innocent, she must have fallen out of bed.

MRS. WALKER (re-examined). Since he came out of the asylum, he had been drinking every day, on some days more than others—he had not been drinking a great deal the day before this happened.

Prisoner. Q. Did not you say that Edward Cruise was a man every inch of him, that you liked him from your heart and always should, but a thing like me you hated the sight of, and never wished to see me any more? A. No—I did not say I liked one hair on his head better than your whole body—I did not say he ought to get one or two more, take you down to the river, and drown you, or put your head under a waggon wheel—I said if you put him out at the front door I would let him in at the side—that was when you threatened to murder me, and he protected me—I did not say he would be a d—fool if he left, for he would be the master, and not you—on 23rd May I went with Mr. Billington, our next door neighbour, and the children for a ride—I did not come home drunk and fall on the pavement.

The prisoner, in his defence, repeated his allegation of his wife's misconduct, and said that when the matter in question occurred his senses were completely gone, as he had been drinking raw liquor, which overcame him.

GUILTY on the Second Count. Ten Years' Penal Servitude.

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