16th October 1905
Reference Numbert19051016-769
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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769. GEORGE COOPER (29) , Unlawfully and maliciously wounding Agnes Florence Cooper. Second count. Assaulting her and occasioning her bodily harm.

MR. ALEXANDER Prosecuted; MR. COHEN Defended,

AGNES FLORENCE COOPER . I live at 2, Armada Street, Deptford, and am the prisoner's wife—on September 18th last, about 11 p.m., my husband came home with his dulcimer under his arm—as he came through the passage he fell—he got up and came into the kitchen—I said to him, "Where have you been all day?"—he said, "Never mind; give me my supper"—he sat down to the table and I got his supper—I said to him, "Why have you been out all day drinking?"—he had been out since 10.30 a.m.—he said, "Never mind"—I kept on, as I was upset about his drinking all day—he got up all of a sudden to push me down—I got up in a temper—he had a knife in his hand, which he was using for his supper, and we both fell together against the wall—he stumbled on the mat—I sat on the floor, feeling faint, and felt the knife go into me—I got up quick and said, "Good God! George, you had the knife in your hand you were eating your supper with"—he turned almost like a stone and said, "Good

God! Flo, I don't know how I came with the knife in my hand"—I rushed out in the passage with my husband after me—he was going to get a doctor—a policeman was outside on duty—he came up to me and said, "What is the matter?"—I said, "I don't know; I think it is my hand"—he called the person next door and asked her to come into the kitchen and see what was the matter with me—the wound I received was under the left breast—I was then taken to the station and the wound was dressed by the doctor there.

Cross-examined. I have been married ten years and have four children—the prisoner has been a good husband and always kept me and the children—he is a strolling musician and generally plays outside public-houses—if one gets his living outside public-houses he has to go inside—the prisoner is a perfectly sober man when not at work and he is a religious man and goes to missions—he has become demoralised since he took to playing music for a living—when he is not tipsy there is not a better man—I can now see my folly in wrangling with him while he was drunk—the hurt he inflicted was not intentional; it was an accident—I said that from the first moment—I said it before the Magistrate—it was all over in a minute—I bled a lot—I was numbed—I went on with my household work afterwards.

Re-examined. During the altercation I suppose he thought I was going to hit him, so jumped up and then fell over the hearthrug—he did not push me, he stumbled against me—he was going to push me.

DUDLEY BURNEY . I am Divisional Surgeon of Police, living at 327, New Cross Road—on the night of September 18th I examined the prosecutrix and found a wound two inches below the left nipple over the apex of the heart—it was a wound about one inch in width and had penetrated the deeper tissues beneath the skin—on examining the dress I found that the knife had gone through all the clothing that she wore, including a thick corset—the direction of the wound was upwards and backwards—in my opinion some considerable force must have been used to cause a knife of this kind (Produced) to have penetrated the clothes and the corset and then to have made such a wound—this knife could have made such a wound—I do not think it could have been caused by an accident through falling—I think it was caused by a blow because of the direction of the wound.

Cross-examined. I let her go home the same night that I saw her.

WILLIAM THOMPSON (530 R.) On September 18th I was in Armada Street, Deptford—I heard a noise at No. 2 and went there—I heard some quarrelling and heard the prisoner shout out to his wife, "I'll do for you"—he then jumped from the table, where he was sitting, and rushed across the room—his wife ran out of the door, shrieking—I caught her by the waist and found she was bleeding—the prisoner rushed out—I told him he had stabbed the woman—he said, "No, she has cut her hand"—I told him to stand back and called two women who were standing about—I carried the prosecutrix indoors and they examined her—I sent for the Divisional Surgeon, who immediately came and found she was stabbed in the left breast—in the prisoner's presence she said that

she had been stabbed in the breast—he said, "Yes, I done it, guv'nor"—she was taken to the station and I detained the prisoner—I took him to the station—he was charged and made no reply—he was sober.

Cross-examined. I have been fourteen years in the force and have given evidence on many occasions—I am very careful—I said at the Police Court that I heard quarrelling—the words the prisoner used were, "I'll do for you"—they may not be on the depositions.

The prisoner's statement before the Magistrate: "I had no intention of doing it at all; I did not know I had the knife in my hand."


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