JOHN WILLIS.
22nd June 1885
Reference Numbert18850622-626
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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626. JOHN WILLIS (22) was indicted for, and charged on the Coroner's Inquisition with, the manslaughter of Edward Badkin.

MR. POLAND Prosecuted; MR. PURCELL Defended.

GEORGE OBANNY . I live at 47, Bateman Street, and am a chair-mender—on Saturday night, 6th June, I was with Edward Badkin, about a quarter-past 12, walking along the Kingsland High Street, arm-in-arm, going towards home—we were opposite Tapping's wood-yard—the prisoner came at the back of me and shoved me one way and Badkin the other—Badkin said "What are you doing of? you ought to know better"—the prisoner then turned round and struck him in the right eye with his fist—Badkin fell on the ground on his side, and his forehead hit on the kerb—up to that time the prisoner had said nothing—he then struck me three times, once in the eye, once on the nose, and once under the jaw—I closed with him and we fell to the ground—I got on top of him—he then got up and ran away—I went to Badkin's assistance—he was insensible—he didn't speak—I assisted to take him to his lodgings—both of us were quite sober—I am quite certain he was struck and not pushed before the fall—beyond saying "Who are you shoving?" he said nothing.

Cross-examined. I had been for five hours in the neighbourhood of the Green Lanes, and as I was returning I met Badkin outside the Star and Garter, and we went in there and had a drink, and remained there for about 10 minutes—after leaving there we went into the Lamb, and stopped there about 20 minutes—then we went home—the Lamb is 200 Yards from Tapping's wood-yard—I did not see a woman and baby come by before the prisoner—no woman passed between us two—the prisoner did not try to pass between us two—he shoved us one each way—there was nobody in front of us or coming towards us—there is a public-house about 20 yards from there, on the opposite side of the road—there were no people coming along from there—we didn't jostle up against the prisoner as he passed by—a policeman came up—the prisoner seemed quite sober—I aid not hear a woman cry out for police.

WALTER MORRIS . I live at Kingsland, and am a pot-maker—on Sunday morning, about a quarter-past 12, I was in the Kingsland Road—the last witness and another man passed me on the pavement—I saw the prisoner go up and shove the two men, one each way—the deceased turned round and said he ought to know better, and the prisoner then turned round and struck him with his fist, and he fell in the road, and he remained lying there until he was picked up—the prisoner then turned round and struck Obanny—I only saw him strike him once.

Cross-examined. I was standing talking to a young woman—the deceased was walking arm-in-arm with Obanny in he middle of the pavement, they passed by me nearer the kerb; the prisoner was coming up behind them, he passed behind me also—I did not see a woman and baby—I did not hear a woman cry for police, I went before the police came—the

deceased was near the kerb, he seemed to fall on his back—that is a very busy part of the neighbourhood.

HARRIET NELSON . I live at 33, Tyssen Street, Kingsland—on Saturday, 6th June, I was at the corner of High Street talking to the last witness—I saw three men coming towards me, I knew Badkin by sight, they were close to me, talking—I saw a woman with a baby walking on in front about two or three steps—they all stopped, and I saw the prisoner punch the deceased in the face, then he hit the other man and had a fight with him—Badkin fell on the ground, his head in the road, and feet on the pavement—I heard a woman scream—there was a crowd.

Cross-examined. The three men were all walking together, side by side when they passed me—this occurred about three or four yards from me—I didn't notice whether the deceased or Obanny jostled up against the prisoner, it happened all in a moment—I had known the prisoner by sight before.

HENRY WELFARE . I keep the Lord Clyde coffee-house, Kingsland, Edward Badkin lodged with me—about half-past 12 on Sunday morning he was brought home by Obanny and two men; he was put to bed—Obanny was sober—the deceased was insensible, and continued so until he died on Monday night at 10 o'clock—the doctor came to see him about 11 o'clock on Sunday.

THOMAS JACKMAN . I am the divisional surgeon of police—I was sent for about two o'clock on Sunday afternoon—I found the deceased in bed, he was perfectly insensible—he had a black eye and a bruise over the right temple, a separate bruise; he died on Monday—I made a post-mortem examination, the cause of death was from the effects of effusion of blood on the brain—if he had been knocked down or fell from a blow and struck his head against the ground that would be sufficient to produce what I saw—it was quite black over the eye, it must have been a very sharp blow with the fist—he was not a healthy man, every organ was diseased.

THOMAS BROCKWELL (Police Sergeant). At 5.50 on 15th June I took the prisoner in custody—I told him I was a police-officer and should take him in custody for violently assaulting Badkin—he said "I was coming up High Street about 12.15 with my wife, she was walking just in front of me and passed between two men—I got in between them, when one said "What is the matter?"—I said "Nothing," and was going to pass on when one shoved me against the other, and then the other shoved me back again and knocked a man down in the road, I didn't know either of them.

Cross-examined. I have made inquiries about the prisoner—he is a respectable man, a rough carpenter; he is married, with one child, and it a sober and well-behaved man.

Witnesses for the Defence.

ALFRED CARR . I am a sack-maker, living at Alma Grove, Kingsland—on Sunday morning I was going up Kingsland Road and saw the prisoner and his wife walking together—two men were standing on the path; they let the prisoner's wife go through and they stopped the prisoner and shoved him, and the man fell on his face and cut his eye—the police came up after that and ordered the people away—I did not see the prisoner that evening to speak to him, I met him about 10 minutes after this occurred, he was sober then.

Cross-examined. I am living close to the prisoner, I did not know the ✗other two men at all—they shoved him with their shoulders—the prisoner ✗shoved the man, and he fell—I didn't see the other man fighting with the prisoner at all.

By the COURT. I did not notice Morris or Nelson there—I was quite near to where these three people were—I should have seen them if they had been there—there was space enough for me to distinguish them.

The prisoner received a good character.

GUILTY. Recommended to mercy by the Jury.Four Months' Hard Labour.


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