3rd March 1879
Reference Numbert18790303-354
VerdictGuilty > unknown

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354. JAMES SIMMS (43) , for the wilful murder of Lucy Graham; he was also charged on the Coroner's Inquisition with the like offence.

MESSRS. GRAIN and RAVEN Prosecuted; and MR. M. WILLIAMS Defended.

JULIUS URBACK . I am manager of the Hoop and Grapes, 112, St. George Street, East—last Sunday 3 weeks, about 10 p.m., the prisoner came in with the deceased, who I knew as Big Annie, but they called her Bandy Annie, and two or three other women—I did not know the prisoner before, but had seen the deceased many times—she asked the prisoner to treat her—he said, "I shan't treat you, you robbed me quite enough this afternoon, and I won't treat you; but after all you hare not got all the money from me, I have got some more left;" and he put his hand in his waistcoat pocket, brought a piece of gold out, and put his band in his trousers pocket and pulled some silver out and said, "See, I have got some more left, and I shan't treat you, I would rather kill you"—he entered into conversation with 3 or 4 gentlemen in the same box, and he treated them with a pot of ale, which I served; and after that he fell into conversation with one of Collins's brothers—the deceased then asked him again to treat her—he said "No"—I said to her, "Annie, if I were you I would run away from him as far as I can; he wants to kill you; he has got a razor in his pocket"—he could hear that—she said, "Oh, I don't care for him, he is nobody," and aggravated him very much—he wanted to go out, and she tried to pull him back, and 2 or 3 girls pulled him back, and he would not stand it—they were the girls who came in with him, and another—two of the girls said, "Will you treat me, then?" he said, "Yes, whatever you like to drink"—she called for a quartern of brandy, which I served, and he paid for it—afterwards the girl wanted to take the brandy, but the deceased took it, poured it out, and treated all the men who were in the bar—after it was empty she said, "Well, that is for you, old man," and put down the empty glass and the measure, and the girl who called for the brandy said, "Well, old man, I thought you were going to treat me"—he said, "I have"—she said, "I have not got anything for it;" and he called for some more, not for the deceased, but for her other friends—she called for two glasses, and he paid for them, and said to the other girls, "You are satisfied now, old girls?"—they said "Yes"—he wanted to go out, but before he got to the door the deceased caught hold of his coat, and pulled him back again—she said to me, "Good night, Tom, I shall see you to-morrow about this time"—he said to me, "What is the time now, governor?"—I said, "10.30"—he said, "Don't wait for her to-morrow, she won't be alive by this time"—that was all the conversation—the prisoner left, and the deceased followed him—the other giris stopped a minute or two in the bar, and then followed them, and I saw no more—theywere in the house about half an hour, I can't say exactly—the prisoner had nothing to drink in my house, and I think he was sober.

Cross-examined. The Hoop and Grapes is in Ratcliff Highway—there is only a music licence, they do not dance there—it is a concert-room, and is much frequented by sailors and women of the town—in my opinion the prisoner was sober—I said before the Magistrate, "He looked as if he was not sober, but he was not drunk"—I could not call him drunk—I know that I ought not to serve people when they are drunk, it is against the

licensing laws—I did not follow them when they went out—when called my attention to the time and said that she would not be alive I did not go out—I do not know where the deceased lived, but I knew her as very often coming there—he tried more than once to get away from the woman and leave without her—when she asked him to treat her lie said "You have already robbed me to-day of 2l. you robbed me of 2l. this afternoon, you have got quite enough out of me"—I did not hear luni say "You have robbed me ever since I left the ship"—they were in the public-house half an hour, or longer—I did not hear all the conversation because I was serving in the bar—I heard nothing said about her having his coat and pawning it, I have told you all that I heard in the half hour.

WILLIAM COLLINS . I was at this public-house on Sunday evening, 9th February, sitting in a side box with three other men—the prisoner and the deceased were there, and the prisoner came over towards where I was sitting and said he would put her to sleep—nothing had been said before that, only they went to the bar and had a drink—he still kept talking after that and said that he had an instrument for the purpose, and afterwards he made the sign of the cross on his chest, saying that he would do for her—he afterwards put his hand in his jacket pocket, and pulled out the case of a razor like this (produced)—he took off the cap of the case and 1 saw that there was a dark-handled razor in it; he then put the cap on again, put it into his jacket pocket, and commenced singing and dancing—there was no singing going on in the bar or behind—there is no music of a Sunday night—when he put the razor in his pocket he looked at the clock and said it is getting late, and he went towards the door, saying to the woman "Are you coming home?"—he was going out of the door and she pulled him back, axing him for 6d. to treat her chums—he said he would not give it to her—he was going out again, and she went and dragged him back a second time, saying again "Are you going to give us 6d?"—he said "No"—she put her hand in her pocket, pulled out 6d., and held it in the corner of her eye, squinting and aggravating him, and then he put his hand in his waistcoat pocket and pulled out some silver and put it in again—he then put his hand in his watch-pocket, pulled out half a sovereign wrapped in paper, and held it up in front of her, saying, "You have many of them stored by belonging to me, but it will not be for long," and then he started a dance again, and then the prisoner and deceased left—they both seemed to have some drink in them, but they were not drunk; she was drunker than what he was—I saw no more of them.

Cross-examined. I left the Hoop and Grapes at 10.35—I did not take much notice of what they had to drink—I was sitting on a sack—they both drank spirits—I know Tom, he was serving at the back of the bar—I live in the neighbourhood, in Hoopack Place, Capel Street—I have often seen the deceased come into the Hoop and Grapes—I am engaged there as an American song and dance artist—I am professionally retained there at night—there is a long concert room at the back, and there is singing and dancing, but not on Sunday nights—I was there on this Sunday night getting refreshment, not professionally—after he made the sign of the cross he commenced to dance and to sing, but the woman did not—I have not said to-day that they both danced and sang—I never said so.

JOHN KUBSTEN . I keep the White Swan, Shadwell—I knew the deceased as a customer—on Monday, Feb. 10, between 1 and 2, about 1.30, she came in with the prisoner—she had some rum hot, and the prisoner had a bottle

of lemonade—he paid for it—I heard no conversation between them—after he treated her he wanted to get away from her, and she would not let him—she was always between him and the door, and she would not let him go out of the house—she kept him a long time, and hi said, "For God's sake what do you want? I have treated you, let me go"—I put my hat on the counter—she saw that I looked at her, and they both went out together—they were in the house about 10 minutes.

Cross-examined. I said before the Magistrate and the Coroner, "She was aggravating the man so much that no man could have stood it," and that is what I repeat now—the prisoner tried all he could to get away from her; he was, as far as I could see, endeavouring to get away all the time after he drank his lemonade.

SARAH ANN HIND . My husband keeps the White Hart public-house, Shad well—on Monday, Feb. 10, a little after 2 o'clock, I was behind the bar, and the prisoner came in with the deceased—she asked for two glasses of hot rum, which I served, and she put down the money—when I took the rum to her the man was holding out his hand, saying to her, "Give me the money, or it will be worse for you"—he repeated that several times"—one man came in, Mr. James—after the prisoner had repeated that several times I went to him and said, "Please don't make a noise here"—he said, "Don't be afraid, I am not going"—he then asked her to give him 5s., saying that it would be worse for her if she did not—she did not say anything, but called for two more glasses of grog, one of which was for Mr. James—she pressed the prisoner very much to have a glass, but he would not—he said, "All I will have is a kiss," and he gave her a kiss; after which she said, "We are all right now"—he said, "Give me 2s., and you may have the rest"—she said, "Come home and I will give you the whole"—I went to him and said, "Go home, and she will give you the money"—he said, "Come along, let us go home"—she did not say that she would not go, but she told him not to be in a hurry—he still remained, and she pressed him again to have a drink, and he had a bottle of ginger-beer—he still kept asking her for the money, and repeating that it would be worse for her if she did not give it to him—he drank the ginger-beer while I was looking at them, and gave her another kiss—my head was only turned two seconds or perhaps a quarter of a minute, and on turning round I saw him with a razor in his hand, and he pressed it to her throat, and she turned round, opened the door, and ran out of the house.

By the COURT. There are three doors to the house, and she fell within the two doorways—she went out of the house into the street—I did not see her afterwards—I did not notice anything as she turned, I was too paralysed—I cannot say whether the prisoner went out after her, but they both went out of the house.

By MR. GRAIN. He came back again about a quarter of a minute afterwards, and said, "It is not my fault, Ma'am, she should have given me the money"—I made no remark; I could not speak; I was very upset—after making that remark he went out again immediately, and I heard no more till I went before the Coroner—I saw the razor in his hand at the moment, and saw him press it to her throat.

Cross-examined. They were at my house about 2.15.

HENRY EDWIN SERGENT , M.R.C.S. I am a physician and surgeon, of 223, High Street, Shadwell—I was called by the police to the White Hart

about 2.15—my house is very nearly opposite—I saw the deceased—she was then dead—I found a clean deep incised wound on the left side of her neck, dividing both jugular veins, and also the common carotid—the windpipe was partially divided as well, and the wound extended slightly to the right side—the wound had caused death—this razor is a very likely instrument to have caused the wound.

WILLIAM KEDGLEY (Policeman K 263). On 10th February, about 2.10, I was in High Street, Shadwell, received information, went to the White Hart into one of the bars, and saw the deceased on the ground with her throat cut—she was scarcely dead—there was a very slight movement of the body—the prisoner was standing outside the house alone, not detained by any one—he was pointed out by Mr. James—I went up to him and told him I should take him in custody for cutting the deceased woman's throat—he said "Yes, I did it because she robbed me of my money"—I said "Where is the weapon you did it with?"—he said "I did it with a razor; I have thrown it away"—on the way to the station he said that the razor was in his pocket, and handed me this razor from his pocket; it was out of the case—he gave me the case from another pocket—there was some blood on his right hand—the girl went by the name of Lucy Graham—I knew her as walking the streets in that neighbourhood—he was charged at the station.

Cross-examined. I heard that he had slept at a brothel with the deceased for three nights at 8, Palmer's Place, kept by Mrs. Meeney—his discharge was found on him; the inspector has it—I did not search him, nor did the inspector in my presence—I do not know that he complained of being robbed before that day by the woman—he said nothing more than I have stated—he said nothing about the loss of his coat.

JOHN LE COOK . (Not examined in chief.)

Cross-examined. I have not been able to ascertain how long the prisoner has been ashore—I found his discharge; here are a number of them here—I have not been able to glean from them that he is an American, but he told me that he is a native of Virginia—according to the certificate his character is good.

MARY ANN LODDON . My husband is a carman—I knew the deceased some years ago, but not of late years—her name was Miss Lucy Graham, but she gave the name of Annie Smith.

Cross-examined. She did not sleep at my house on the Saturday night—I have nothing to do with this whatever; I have not seen her to speak to three times in five years, and have only been called to tell her name—she did not lodge with me—when I was examined I said "She lived with me six years," but that is eight years ago, and she left me to go to Dublin; it is more than eight years ago—she went from Devonshire Street to Dublin—she was not living with me at that time.


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