6th April 1868
Reference Numbert18680406-394
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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394. HENRY LEE (27), was indicted for feloniously killing and slaying Robert Foster. He was also charged on the Coroner's Inquisition with the like offence.

MR. PATER conducted the Prosecution.

JAMES OSMOND . I keep the Waterman's Arms, in Barham Street, Tooley Street, Bermondsey—the prisoner, who is a carman, was at my house on

the evening of 7th March, with the deceased, Robert Foster, and others—about 7.45 Foster left the house—he was not sober, or drunk; he was three-parts—he had half-a-pint of beer at the bar, and bade me good night—the prisoner was then standing outside the door—Foster had called him a few names; he had not called Foster names—as Foster went out, he shoved Lee in the chest; it was not by accident—he pushed him on one side, and went on—I afterwards saw him lying on the ground—I went and picked him up—he was insensible, and blood was oozing from a wound in the right temple—the prisoner assisted to pick him up—he might have struck his head against a stone step in falling—I afterwards saw him, dead, at Guy's Hospital—before I went to pick him up, Elizabeth Rocket came in, and said to me or the prisoner, "If you had pushed the man a-top of me, I would have had you locked up"—he made no reply.

JOHN BOWLER . I am a wine cooper, in Bar ham Street—on Saturday, 7th March, between 7.30 and 8, I was at my door, and heard someone say, inside the Waterman's Arms, "I want to have nothing to do with you"—I could not tell who said it—within two minutes of hearing that, I saw the deceased lying on the pavement, and the prisoner going into the Waterman's Arms—he came out again within a second, and I said to him, "You have done a nice thing"—he said nothing—I said, "I shall not let you go till I see you safe."

Prisoner. Q. Did you see me shove the man down? A. No; you assisted to carry him to the doctor's—you went into the public-house again with the policeman, and brought out your brother, who was lying there drunk—I did not say, "That is the man, I will swear to him"—I said he looked very much like the man—you are very much alike.

ELIZABETH ROCKET . I am the wife of William Rocket, of 7, Bar ham Street—he is an officer on the railway—on Saturday, 7th March, between 7.30 and 8, I saw the prisoner coming out of the Waterman's Arms—he appeared to attempt to pull off his coat—at that time, I saw Foster come out quickly and pass him—I did not notice him do anything as he passed—he came towards me, followed by the prisoner, who ran behind him and gave him a blow on his shoulders or head, and Foster fell on his face—the prisoner then returned into the public-house—I followed him, and made some remark to the landlord—the prisoner was there—I believe he is the man that gave the blow.

Prisoner. Q. Did you not say, at the inquest, that you could not swear to me exactly? A. I can't say now, positively; I believe you to be the man—when I went into the public house, I said a man had been shoved down outside, and if I had not stepped back very quickly he must have been shoved upon me—I was so dreadfully frightened that I hardly know what I said—I did not see the deceased fall against anything—I had a dog walking by my side, not in my arms.

GEORGE HARSON (Police Sergeant M 9). I took the prisoner into custody on Monday, 9th—I said, "The man you were quarrelling with on Saturday night, at the Waterman's Arms, is now lying insensible at Guy's hospital; I shall have to take you to Bermondsey, for assaulting him"—he said, "It was the man's own fault; I was in the public-house, drinking with my brother and some friends, when the man called me a thief, an interloper, and various other names. I then left the house, and he followed me out, and pushed me, at the door, in my breast. He was in the act of walking away, and I

pushed him in the shoulder, and he went down; I did not think at the time that he was hurt, only drunk."

Prisoner. Q. When I was taken before the Magistrate, did he admit me to bail? A. Yes—while you were out on bail you came continually to the station to inquire how the man was.

GEORGE RAINE . I am house-surgeon at Guy's hospital—the deceased was brought there on 7th March, about ten minutes to eight—he was perfectly insensible, and bleeding from a wound in the temple, and from his ears and nose—he died on the 12th, from a fracture at the base of the skull—it might have been caused either by a blow or fall—a fist would not have caused it.


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