22nd July 1901
Reference Numbert19010722-580
VerdictGuilty > insane
SentenceImprisonment > insanity

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580. HENRY THOMAS WELLARD (43) , Feloniously wounding Emily Louisa Willard, with intent to murder her.

MR. A. GILL Prosecuted.

ELEANOR WELLARD . I am the prisoner's daughter—on January 31st my father was taken to the workhouse—he remained there till about March 18th—when he returned he said we were trying to get him back again to the asylum—on March 26th, about 9.30 a.m., I went out, leaving my father and mother at home—they seemed to be on good terms—when I came back I found my mother was seriously injured—this axe (Produced) was kept in the kitchen.

ANNIE GABRIEL . I am the wife of William Gabriel, and live at 102, Tynham Road, Battersea, which is next door to where the prisoner lived—on March 26th, about 9.45 a.m., I heard screams from next door—I knocked at the wall staircase, and then went to the street door and knocked with the knocker—I fetched a constable—Frank Wellard, the prisoner's son, came and opened the door from the outside with a key—I went in with a constable—I saw the prisoner coming downstairs—

his hands were covered with blood—I said to him, "Oh, Mr. Wellard, what have you done?"—he said, "I have done for her"—I went upstairs and found Mrs. Wellard leaning on the bed in the back room, bleeding from her head—the constable came in, too—a doctor was called.

EDWARD DARTNELL (701 V). I was called to 104, Tynham Road about 9.50 a.m. on March 26th—going upstairs, I saw the prisoner—he said, "I have done for my wife; I have murdered her"—I saw an axe there—he said, "I have done it, I done it with the axe lying down in the room"—there was some blood and hair on the axe—I saw Mrs. Willard there; she was sitting on the bed; she did not speak—I got a doctor, and had her removed to the hospital.

Cross-examined by the prisoner. I am quite sure those are the words you used—you told me to fetch a doctor, and that she was not dead.

CECIL RUPERT . I am the Medical Superintendent at Bolingbroke Hospital—I saw Emily Wellard on the morning of March 26th—she was suffering from a compound comminuted fracture of the left temporal and parietal bones, a laceration of the brain, and seven other contused scalp wounds, and fractures of the first and fourth fingers of the right hand—she was unconscious—some heavy instrument would have caused the wounds—she has progressed very satisfactorily, considering the serious nature of the wounds—she is not well yet—we removed some of the bone and some of the brain—I hope she will recover—she is conscious at present—if she acted for herself now or got excited, it might seriously injure the brain.

DR. ELIHU THEOPHILUS WHITEHEAD . I attended the prisoner at 104, Tynham Road on two or three occasions during 1900—on January 4th, 1901, I was called in by his wife—he was very sullen, morose, and suspicious, and complaining of pains in his head—I attended him up to January 30th—I formed the opinion that he was not responsible for his actions—I certified him to be suffering from delusions, and requiring to be placed under restraint—he went first to the infirmary, and then to Hanwell—I was called to attend on Mrs. Wellard on March 26th—I saw the prisoner then; he was in the kitchen—he seemed utterly indifferent to what he had done, and not responsible for his actions.

ROBERT READ ALEXANDER . I am Medical Superintendent of the London County Lunatic Asylum, Hanwell—the prisoner was received there on February 12th, and remained there till March 18th—he was very depressed and apathetic—he got better, and was losing the delusions attributed to him in the medical certificate accompanying his admission—I said to him, "Have you any delusions regarding a conspiracy against you in which your wife is mixed up?"—he said, "I had, but now I have almost entirely got rid of them"—he said that the day after he came—he went on making improvement—he was employed on the farm—he did not seem to have any animosity towards anyone—on March 1st I sent a notice to his wife, and he was released on trial on March 18th.

Cross-examined. I could not see much the matter with you when you left—I hoped that in four weeks you would be able to have your final discharge.

JAMES SCOTT . I am Medical Officer at Holloway Prison—the prisoner has been under my observation since March 26th—I have kept special

observation on his mental condition—I have conversed with him—he has delusions—he said he thought his wife had been unfaithful, and in order to try and screen that from him she was making attempts to put poison in his food, and that that had been going on for some time—while at the prison he had ideas that poison was being administered to him—I considered them to be genuine delusions—he said he first began to suspect his wife about last Christmas—I think on March 26th he was of unsound mind, and incapable of defining between right and wrong.

The prisoner's defence: I remember doing something. The delusions I thought were real; I am very grieved at what I have done.

GUILTY, but not responsible at the time. To be detained during His Majesty's pleasure.

Before Mr. Common Serjeant.

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