21st April 1890
Reference Numbert18900421-399
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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399. EDWARD LAMB was indicted for the manslaughter of Alfred Howe.


JAMES BUTLER . I am a porter in the Borough Market—I live in St. Margaret's Court, Borough—on Saturday evening, 15th February, about a quarter to five, I was in the market, shutting up my stall; Alfred Howe came up and spoke to me; he seemed to be intoxicated; he had merely had a drop, I think—he was alone—I saw the prisoner there, standing outside the Harrow public-house with Mr. Blackman, about twenty yards off—he left Blackman and walked right across the road, and touched Howe on the right shoulder with his hand, and said, "What grievance you have got to settle with me, you will see me in the morning"—at that time there was three or four persons standing talking to Howe—he was talking to a man they call Doctor; Alex. Brims was there, Conner, a boy named Hall, and Milton—after the prisoner had said this Howe turned round, and the umbrella went in his face—Lamb had the umbrella in his hand, walking with it in the ordinary way, with the bottom end on the ground—as soon as Howe turned round Lamb up with the umbrella like that (describing the action)—he used both hands—Howe never spoke; he went right back—as he laid on the ground I thought the umbrella had gone in his mouth—I saw it go in his face, I did not see where it went—Howe was lifted on to the knee of Rushbrook; they call him Knacker—I saw blood come from his mouth—Lamb walked about two yards away, then turned back, with the umbrella in his hand, and said, "Instead of the end I did give you, I ought to give you this end; such dogs as you ought to be dead"—he then walked away about twenty yards, and stopped there till the constable came and took him in charge—Blackman was not there when Lamb came and touched Howe on the shoulder; he came up when it was all over, and the man was put on the van—this is the umbrella Lamb used.

Cross-examined. The blow was a deliberate charge, like with a bayonet—Howe was a shade taller than Lamb—I had seen Howe about two o'clock in the day; he was the worse for drink then—I did not see him fighting with Wilkins, I went down there when it was all over—I did not see him fall down or taken into Fisher's coffee-shop—I say that Lamb up with the umbrella and jobbed it into Howe's face—I have said, "Howe was not trying to hit Lamb when Lamb did this, he had not time to; Lamb did it as soon as he touched him on the shoulder"—Howe had his coat on, he had his handkerchief round his waist—I did not hear him say that he would fight Ted Lamb—Dalton and Brims were not holding him—from first to last he never approached to make a blow at Lamb, he did not raise his fist or in any way threaten him—Bob Butler is my father, he is in, the market—I first gave an account of this matter the day after the inquest—I went there, but they would not allow me in—we all went to the Treasury; before going there I had been to the King's Head, and I gave a statement there to Mr. Thompson, the solicitor's clerk, and he took it down in writing—Conner was there, and Hall, and Milton, and Biggs—I did not see Carter there, We talked it all over there in the presence of Mr. Thompson's clerk—that was the first time I had heard any statement by others, or made one myself—it was very nigh a fortnight after that I went to the Treasury; Thompson's clerk was there, I said the same there as I had said at the King's Head—on this Saturday it was rather rainy, and the pavement was slippery—I did not hear Lamb say, "I will see you

to-morrow, as I will not take a liberty with you while you are drunk"—I said at the Police-court that he might have used those words.

CHARLES CONNER , I am a salesman in the Borough Market—I was there on this Saturday about five—I saw Howe coming along—I saw the prisoner looking in at the Harrow; he pushed the door open and looked in, and then looked across the road and saw Howe, and ran across the road to him, touched him on the right shoulder, and said, "See me when you are sober"—Howe had his back to the prisoner, he turned round, and the prisoner took up his umbrella and poked it in his face; it went on the left side of his nose; I was watching, and he said, "That is the way to serve all such dogs as you"—Howe fell on his back; Lamb walked about three yards away, then turned round and said, "I ought to give you this part now," alluding to the top part; "all such dirty dogs as you ought to be dead years ago. Come and see me to-morrow, I win give you more"—he stopped in the market till he was arrested.

Cross-examined. I went to the King's Head, and Mr. Thompson's clerk took my statement; I came away when I had given it—I am not a personal friend of Bob Butler, no more than I am of Mr. Lamb—I did not join a committee to get up a benefit club for Howe, my name Was on the cards—I first-gave an account of this matter to Constable Webb in the market on the Tuesday after the Saturday; I believe he wrote if down—the next time I mentioned it was at the Kind's Head, and afterwards I went to the Treasury—I did not give any evidence there, because I had to prosecute Brims for knocking my tooth out; he was fined for it—I did not assault him, it was his brother—there are pillars in the market, one of the pillars was between me and the group—this was one deliberate thrust with the umbrella—I did not hear the words, "I will settle with you to-morrow; I won't take a liberty, with you now you are drunk"—I did not hear Howe say, "Let me go. I will fight him"—he was not held by anybody.

GEORGE MILTON . I am a porter in the Borough Market—on 15th February, I saw Howe there; he was walking from Dunnington's coffeeshop—I saw Lamb come Over and touch him on the shoulder—he said, "I have a good mind to poke this in your eye"—he had an umbrella in his hand—Howe turned round face to him, and Lamb said, "Take that," pointing the umbrella like that with his two hands, and it hit him in the eye and knocked him down backwards—I went and got some cabbage leaves, and put them over the blood on the ground-Howe was put in a donkey-cart and taken to the hospital—before that, while he was on the ground, I heard Lamb say, "Instead of giving you this end, I ought to have given you the other," meaning the knob end.

Cross-examined. Lamb tapped him on the shoulder three times, and then he said, "I have a good mind to poke this in your eye"—I was one of the party that went to the public-house where a clerk was writing—no one was holding Howe from rushing at Lamb that I could see, Dalton and Alex. Brims were there, and a rare lot besides—I saw Howe about half-past four that day, he had had a drop of drink—I did not see him fight Wilkins—Bob Butler did not tell me I should get £2 or £3 if I gave evidence properly against Mr. Lamb.

JOHN BIGGS . I am a porter in the Borough Market—on 15th February, about five or ten minutes to five, I was standing outside Summers' Stall and heard a bit of a squabble, I looked round and saw Howe falling—I

did not see anything till then, I was about ten yards off—I heard Lamb's voice before I looked round, I heard him say, "All such dirty dogs as you ought to be dead years ago; I have walked through this market and never interfered with anybody, but do all the good I could for everybody."

Cross-examined. I did not see the umbrella used at all—I did not hear Howe's voice at all—I did not hear him say, "I will fight Ted Lamb"—I heard Lamb say, "You come and see me to-morrow and I will give You more, I ought to have given you this end"; that was while Howe was on the ground—I never mentioned anything about this till they came and fetched me to the Treasury—I did not go to the inquest—I had seen Howe that afternoon, I saw him fight Wilkins: he had had enough then—I did not see Dalton and Brims holding him back from Lamb.

HENRY HALL . I was carman to Mr. Osborn, of the Borough Market—on the afternoon of 15th February I was in Dunnington'a coffee-shop about five—I saw Howe there, and after he left I saw the prisoner go and push open the door of the Harrow and look in—he then turned round and saw Howe by Butler's stand—he went across to him, touched him on the shoulder, and said, "Come and see me to-morrow, when you are sober"—Howe turned round, and Lamb prodded the umbrella into his face; he fell backwards—Lamb walked away about four yards, then returned and said, "Instead of giving you the end I have given you, I ought to have given you the other end.

Cross-examined. I was a witness for Butler when he was charged with an assault on Brims on Monday, the 17th March, and on the Tuesday I gave evidence in this case at the same Police-court—I saw Howe on the Saturday afternoon about four o'clock; he was drunk then, and was fighting with Wilkins—I saw him go into the coffee-shop; he made a little stagger, he fell on a seat, being drunk—afterwards I saw him go into the market, followed by Rushbrook, tying a handkerchief round his waist; he was using bad language and staggering—I believe this blow of the prisoner's was an intentional blow; no one was holding Howe at the time—on the Monday that I gave evidence in the assault case I went to the office of Mr. Shaw, the solicitor, with the prisoner's son—I described to Mr. Shaw what I had seen on this occasion, and he took it down in writing, and I signed it—I told Mr. Shaw that I had not made a statement at the Treasury, but I had—I said that because I was told by several not to tell where I had been; they were strangers to me who came to the market to buy things—I told Mr. Shaw that Howe was staggering about the market, that he fell on my legs and knocked me down—I also told him that I did not hear Mr. Lamb say he would give him the other end of the umbrella, and that Blackman stood within three yards at the time of the accident—I said to Mr. Shaw that Bob Butler promised Biggs, Milton, and me £1 or £2 if we all spoke properly, and that we had all got drunk—I said so because I had been cautioned not to give anyone any other statement—the statement I gave at the Treasury was true; I was bribed by young Lamb to tell a lie; he gave me 2s. and a new hat, and Brims gave me 3s.

WILLIAM CARTER . I am a general dealer, of 13, Bell Street—on 15th February, about 5,1 was opposite the Harrow—I saw Howe come across the road to speak to Mr. Butler's son James—I saw Mr. Lamb looking in the Harrow, he then turned his head and caught sight of Howe, and

he walked across, touched him on the shoulder, and said, "When you mind to see me, come and see me sober" and as I turned round he picked up his umbrella, and said, "Get out," and he gouged it at him and he fell down, and Lamb said, "That is the way to serve all suck dirty dogs as you"

Cross-examined. I gave an account before the Magistrate—I was at the inquest but was not called—I gave a statement at the Treasury.

JOHN BLACKMAN . I am a salesman in the Borough Market—I saw Howe there on the 15th, he appeared to be very drunk—afterwards Mr. Lamb and I were walking along Park Street and met him, and he struck at Lamb as he passed; a man they call Knacker was with him at the time—a friend of Lamb's came and took hold of his arm and took him round the corner, and we went round to the market another way—Howe was then standing in front of Butler's stall—Lamb tapped him on the shoulder with his umbrella—Howe was standing between two men who were holding him, he had his face towards Lamb, he struggled to strike at Lamb, he asked the men to let him go, and said he wanted to fight Teddy Lamb; suddenly he broke away from them and tried to strike at Mr. Lamb, and he partly fell forwards, Mr. Lamb rose his umbrella in one hand to ward off the blow, and Howe slipped and fell to the ground all of a heap on his side, the two men tried to lift him up.

Cross-examined, I have been a salesman in the market twenty-four or twenty-five years—I have known Mr. Lamb sixteen years—I went with him to the station, and gave my account to the Inspector within an hour, and then went to the hospital—the-Inspector told me to attend before the Magistrate on the Monday morning as a witness, and I gave exactly the same account I have to-day, and also before the Coroner—I was with Mr. Lamb at 2 o'clock on the Saturday afternoon; we had some refreshment at the Harrow, no intoxicants were taken, only tea; Mr. Lamb was perfectly sober—while there Howe was shouting and saying that Lamb was going broke, meaning bankrupt—he was in and out of the public-house two or three times, and I heard something break, and he instantly left; he was not turned out—the landlady and her daughter were there—the next time he came in they refused to serve him, and then he was turned out, using some very filthy language to the landlady—it is not true that Mr. Lamb and I went to seek for Howe; we only went back to the market to see the tarpaulin put over the goods—I' was by his side all the time—at the time he tapped him with his umbrella all he said was, "See me to-morrow; I won't take a liberty with you while you are drunk;" that was said in a friendly tone—both before and after that Howe said, "I want to fight Teddy Lamb"—it is not true that Mr. Lamb took the umbrella in his two hands and plunged it into his face—when he fell Mr. Lamb remained there; he did not go away—he did not say, "You dirty dog, you ought to have died years ago," or, "You ought to have the other end; if you come to-morrow you will have it," or "Take that," or "Get out"—he did not use any of the expressions which the witnesses have deposed to—the ground in the market was very slippery where they had been turning out rotten oranges; the stones are always nasty and greasy—at the time he stumbled forward he got the umbrella by accident.

By the COURT. I don't really think that anyone standing round could see whether the umbrella had struck—I could not say whether his face was

struck; it was done so quickly, and just between the lights, underneath the hop warehouse—at five it is dark—I did not see any wound or marls; on his face; I saw blood from his mouth; a man put his finger in his mouth, and blood came out—I said before the Magistrate that Howe being beastly drunk fell on the, umbrella, and then fell to the ground—I-could not say the umbrella struck him, although he fell towards the umbrella—he fell on it, but I could not say where it struck him.

JANE WHALLEY . I live at 22, Market Street, Borough Road—I knew the deceased Howe—I saw him at Guy's Hospital, and stayed with him till he died.

ARTHUR BROWN . I am house-surgeon at Guy's Hospital—Howe was brought there about a quarter-past five on February 15th—he was completely unconscious—he had two wounds under the left eye-ball; the lower one was superficial, the larger one going deeper—I examined the deeper wound, and found that a passage had been made by some instrument underneath the eye-ball, breaking the bony wall at the back of the orbit—it was such a' wound as could be caused by the point of this umbrella—there must have been a great deal of force against the end of the umbrella, that is all I can say—he died at six o'clock the morning of the 16th—I made a post-mortem examination—I found that the nerve going to the eye-ball had been ruptured, and the artery,' and extravasation of blood in the orbit, and fracture' of the back of the eye, causing injury to the brain—the cause of death was shock, resulting from, so severe an injury.

Cross-examined. The force would be exactly the same whether the man fell on the umbrella or was poked by it—all I can is that the umbrella must have been very stiffly held—it went straight backwards—the umbrella was very pointed—the bony wall at the back of the eye is very thin—both wounds were inflicted by the same blow.

STEPHEN WEBB (Policeman). I took the prisoner into custody between five and six on the 15th—I charged him with violently assaulting Howe—he said, "It is a bad job"—at the station he said, "I have been continually annoyed by Howe; he struck me, and I shoved him off with, my umbrella in self-defence."

Cross-examined. I found him waiting in the market for my arrival—Blackman was with him; they both went with me to the station.

WILLIAM STEVENS (Police Inspector). I was at the station when the prisoner was brought in.

Cross-examined. Blackman came in with him, and gave his name and address—none of the other witnesses came to the station that night—Conner came after the inquest—at that time Blackman had been examined before the Magistrate and the Coroner—Carter had not been examined before the Magistrate; Osborn and Brims were before the Coroner.

The Prisoner's Statement before the Magistrate: "I am net guilty, and desire to call witnesses here."

Witness for the Defence.

ALEXANDER BRIMS . I am a carpenter, and live at 146, Queen's Buildings, Borough—I was in the Borough Market on Saturday afternoon, February 15th, between five or half-past, standing in front of Butler's stall—I. saw Howe come up, and stand near me; Dalton was by my side—Howe asked Dalton to look after him while he had a fight with. Lamb—I saw Lamb come up the market with Blackman—Dalton laid

hold of Howe on one side and I oft the other—Lamb said he Would see him to-morrow—Howe struggled to get away from us; we let go, and he moved in a fighting attitude, and threw himself forward on the umbrella—he was putting up his hands to fight—the umbrella went in underneath his eye—I saw that Lamb was holding the umbrella in hit right hand; he was bringing it up when the accident occurred—he may hare taken one step forward—Howe fell to the ground—I did not hear Mr. Lamb say anything to him while he was on the ground—ha said nothing about the knob of the umbrella, nor used any expression about dirty dogs.

Cross-examined. There was a good deal of noise and confusion as soon, as the man fell—I remember all that was said—one or two ran to get some water—Howe went on one leg, it gave way, and he then fell back—I say that he fell forward on the point of the umbrella—I and Dalton were not holding him—at the time Mr. Lamb came up he tapped him on the shoulder with the umbrella—we laid hold of Howe then—Lamb had not raised his umbrella before Howe fell on him; he was raising it at the time to defend himself, I should think—he was standing about three feet from him at the time we let go of him; he was then in a fighting attitude.

The JURY here interposed, and stated that there was no necessity to hear further evidence; they were of opinion that it was not made out that the act was wilful.


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