12th December 1887
Reference Numbert18871212-142
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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142. CHARLES EDWARD HAMMOND(22) was indicted for the wilful murder of John Brown. He was also charged on the Coroner's Inquisition with the manslaughter of the same person.

MR. POLAND Prosecuted; MESSRS. GILL and BLACKBURN Defended.

HONORA COTTON . I live at 8, Artichoke Hill, St. George's-in-the-East—on Saturday night, 5th November, I was in the Neptune public-house with Brown, Vega, and several other Spaniards—they were strangers to me—we left at closing time, 12 o'clock—there had been no disturbance there—we all three went through Neptune Street and stopped outside the Sailors' Home—Vega went in there and came out again and joined us—we then went and stood at the corner of Well Street for a few moments—whilst standing there a Spaniard came up and said something which I did not understand—I asked Brown what he said, and he said there was a row—I told Brown not to interfere, he said "No, Norah;" then we saw a Spaniard come up in the middle of the road bleeding from the head; he stooped and bathed his head in a puddle of dirty water; Brown walked to him and spoke to him in Spanish—Vega was with me—I screamed when I saw the blood—as Brown was stooping over the wounded Spaniard the prisoner came up from towards Neptune Street with a knife and stabbed Brown in the right side, by the thigh—I screamed at him, and he closed the knife up—I could not say whether he struck more than one blow—I screamed at him and said "You have done it"—he went away—Brown came back limping to me and fell at my feet on his face—I saw he was bleeding—he said "Oh, Honora, look what they have done"—a crowd came up and gathered round the wounded Spaniard—I saw the prisoner in the crowd—I could see his face and the cap he wore, it was a cap with two flaps tied together over his ears, and a peak—I have no doubt whatever about him—at the time I saw the stab there was no one else near the wounded Spaniard; no one was with me but Vega—Maggie was at the public-house, but she had left us—when the police came up I told them if they would come round the crowd I would show him the man that had done it, but he did not come—I believe Pantin was the name of the wounded Spaniard; he was afterwards taken in custody and was discharged by the Magistrate—Brown was taken to the hospital—I afterwards saw his dead body—I gave a description of the man who had done this to a man at the station, an interpreter I believe it was—on the Sunday and Monday I looked about to see if I could find the man, and on the Tuesday night about a quarter to 12 o'clock I saw the prisoner in the Artichoke—I recognised him, and he recognised me, and I saw him take a knife and open it and put it up his sleeve—I called Maggie and ran towards the corner of Princes Square, and the prisoner walked on the other side of the road—I went over to a young man named Harry Chesterton, who I knew, who was standing at the corner; I spoke to him—I then saw the prisoner run over to where I was; I screened

myself behind Chesterton and the prisoner ran up Princes Square, where he was caught—Chesterton ran after him; I fainted and was taken away—I afterwards saw the prisoner in custody—he had on the same, cap on the Tuesday night when he was in the Artichoke as he had on the Saturday night; when he was in custody he had no cap—I don't know what had become of it.

Cross-examined. Maggie and I went out together on this night about 9 o'clock, and went to the Cat and Neptune—I was sometimes up in the dance-room, and sometimes in the bar—it is a house to which a great many sailors go, and there were a large number of Spaniards in the neighbourhood and stopping at the Sailors' Home—I never spoke to any of them before—we were drinking with several of them at the bar for nearly an hour, the Spaniards paid for it—we all came out together—Vega asked Brown for my address and if I would go with him, and I said yes—he went to the Sailors' Home to ask if he could stay out for a few moments, he did not ask to stop out all night—we went to the corner of St. George's Street, and were standing there about 10 minutes when the first Spaniard came along—he seemed to run—he went up Well Street—I did not notice whether he had a knife in his hand—I don't know his name—Pantin was the second Spaniard—Vega was there when the stab was given, and when I screamed he seemed to take me to him—he was near enough to see what happened. (GEORGE BITTEN, Police Sergeant H 23, here produced and proved a plan of the neighbourhood.) There is a dock gate nearly opposite where we were standing—the prisoner came from the direction of Neptune Street, and gave the stab in this manner (describing it)—he was between me and Brown; I saw him sideways, and he stood up after giving the blow—Vega let me go as the crowd came up—I did not hear then that Driscol had been stabbed; I did not see Driscol—I saw the prisoner standing in the crowd that came up, looking on—I did not notice whether he was drunk or sober, I was excited—he walked away—he did not seem to make any haste—I saw some Spanish officers at the station; I told the interpreter that they were not the men that did it—I had never seen the prisoner before this night.

ANTONIO VEGA (Interpreted). I am a seaman in the Royal Spanish Navy—on Saturday, 5th November. I was staying at the Sailors' Home in Well Street—about 10 o'clock that night I was at a public-house—I there saw Honora Cotton and Brown; I did not know them before—Brown could speak English—we all three left together about 12 o'clock—I and another sailor went to the Sailors' Home; I came out again, and I, Brown, and Honora were all three together—we went down the street, I saw a Spanish sailor, he went to one of the petty officers and said there was a row somewhere in the street—his name was Ricardo Paz; he was running—after that I saw a Spanish sailor come up bleeding from his head; he was washing his head with some water in the street—a lot of people came up, and Brown said "I am killed"—the wounded Spaniard was then lying in the road, and Brown was stooping over him—I did not see anybody strike Brown, I ran away—I can't speak to the prisoner—a crowd was there—Honora screamed and fainted or swooned, I lifted her up and held her—I remained there for a few minutes and then went away—I did not come back—I was taken into custody that night, and four other Spaniards also, Pantin among them—I was afterwards discharged.

MR. JUSTICE STEPHEN considered that it was impossible to convict the prisoner upon this contradictory evidence. The Jury concurring, found the prisoner


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