15th September 1879
Reference Numbert18790915-765
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence

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765. HENRY ASHTON (49) , Feloniously cutting and wounding Mary Ann Ashton, with intent to do her grievous bodily harm.

MR. MOIR Prosecuted.

SARAH ANN ASHTON . I am the prisoner's wife, but have been obliged to live apart from him for some time—on 31st July, between 7 and 8, the prisoner came in, and I said, "You are drunk"—he said, "I am not drunk—I said, "Sit down"—he said, "No, you sit down"—he struck me with a hammer on my head and hand—I was taken to the hospital, and was there for a week, and then was an out-patient.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. I wanted to get away from you—you did not take me by the hands and ask me to sit down and come to some arrangement about the things you took away from me—you knocked me against the window—I could see that you were not drunk—you did not lock the door; you did not know how.

THOMAS CANLAN . I am a carman—on 31st July I was driving my van in Dean Street, and saw the prosecutrix at the window and the prisoner striking her with something—a gentleman opened the street door and the parlour door, and went in and caught the prisoner by the neck, and I caught him by the arm—he dropped a hammer on the floor, and I picked it up—she was bleeding very much from her eye and the palm of her hand.

Cross-examined. I pulled the van up and jumped out—I was going there—I heard her call out "Murder!"—the front door was on the jar, but the parlour door was shut—I don't know whether it was locked; it seemed to open very easily—your wife's head was bleeding; I bound it up with some

pag—it was a very nasty wound—I can swear I saw you strike her with the hammer—she said before the Magistrate that you were not drunk.

JOHN HARTLEY . I am a surgeon—I examined the prosecutrix at Middlesex Hospital on 31st July, and found a ragged wound on her forehead and another on her right hand—she was very faint, and had lost a considerable quantity of blood—she remained several days in a very weak condition.

Cross-examined. The wound on her forehead could be caused by any blunt instrument, or by a fall—this hammer (produced) would cause them.

Prisoner's Defence. My wife and I parted, and she broke up the home and took the things away. I went to her; we had a scuffle and she fell in the window. When the man came in I had my hands up, but I was in custody of the first man, therefore it was impossible for him to see me strike her. It is all brought on by her bad conduct and committing adultery. I saw her go into a closet with my lodger and remain there for 10 minutes, and two nights afterwards she was there again. He is just turned 20, and she is 50. I pulled the door open and saw them, and two days afterwards she tried to get me into an asylum for insanity. I never struck her with the hammer, or I should have cut her to pieces.

GUILTY of unlawfully wounding. Six Months' Imprisonment.

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