WILLIAM BOTT.
21st May 1906
Reference Numbert19060521-38
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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BOTT, William (40, labourer) ; feloniously wounding Annie Bott, with intent to do her grievous bodily harm.

Mr. F. W. Sherwood prosecuted.

ANNIE BOTT . I am the wife of prisoner, and live at 37, Richford Street, The Grove, Hammersmith. On Sunday, April 22, I returned home with, my daughter, Elsie, at 25 past 11. My husband had been absent from home two days. He works under ground—a miner I should really call him. I found him in bed very much the worse for drink. I asked him to get up and he replied, "Very good." He got up, drew a knife from the pocket of his trousers, which were lying by the side of the bed, and stabbed me twice at the back of my neck. I leaped over the other side of the bed and put up my hand to protect my neck and the Knife went through it. My daughter Elsie was in the room. As soon as my husband realised what he had done he called for a doctor to be fetched at once. I left the room and ran up the back staircase into the lodger's room. He followed me and asked for a doctor to be fetched at once. He did not remain in the house. He was going for a doctor himself, but the lady in the front room fetched someone to go. There was a light in the room when this happened; I had just lit a candle. I did not see him again that night after he was taken into custody. I should say it was about an hour afterwards that Dr. Lyth came and did my wounds. I was taken to the West London Hospital the same night, where I remained a week.

To prisoner. You were in drink when you did this. You are a very good-tempered man out of drink. I have always said that; it is only the drink that is your fault. I did not want to "bull-dog" you. I only asked you to get up. I was sorry afterwards I had said anything. I did not send for you to turn the man out of the house that I was living with. I did not leave you; it was you left me.

Prisoner. I should think so when you was catched in bed with another man.

ELSIE BOTT , a little girl of six or seven, was called, but it was not thought desirable to examine her.

JOHN BALL , Police-constable, 267 T. On April 22 I saw prisoner in the street coming away from his house. In consequence of what he told me I took him back to the house and asked the woman (Mrs. Bott) if that was the man and she said, "Yes." Prisoner said: "Ism very sorry for what I done. I done it in a fit of temper. I was going for a doctor, but I did not know where one lived. She agitated me to do it I was in bed asleep at the time. She told me to clear out, and I stabbed her. I am truly sorry now I realise what I have done." He was then taken to the station and charged with attempted murder. In reply he said, "I do not want to murder the woman; it was never my intention. It is hard lines when the wife keeps nagging and jagging after being away five years and her living with another man." He seemed perfectly sober when I arrested him. That was about 11.30.

To the jury. Prisoner was about 300 yards from his house and walking at a fairish pace. I could not say that he seemed in a hurry to escape. It might have been that he was hurrying to fetch a doctor.

EDGAR ROWE LYTH , medical practitioner, 117, Goldhawk Road, Hammersmith. I was called to 37, Richford Street about midnight. On examining Mrs. Bott I found one wound at the back of the neck 2 in. in length and 1 1/2 in. in depth and a wound 1 in. in length and 1 1/2 in. in depth 3/4 in. below the other. There was also a wound between the index and middle finger of the left hand running down, and a superficial wound at the back of the left thumb. I regard the wounds on the neck as serious because of their extent. They had not opened any large bloodvessel, but were near to the main vessels of the neck. I attended to her and stitched up her wounds and she was removed to the hospital by my orders. I did not attend her after that night.

To prisoner. It is not a falsehood that the wounds were 1 1/2 in. deep. It is not impossible for such wounds to heal in a week, at the end of which time the woman left the hospital. I carefully cleaned the wounds and stitched them up and they healed very rapidly by first intention.

Re-examined. From what I saw of the wounds I should expect them to heal in a week, owing to the fact that they were cleaned and stitched up so soon after. They were clean cut wounds, not contused wounds. I did not expect she would be out quite so soon when I gave my evidence at the police court. I said she would probably be unable to attend for a fortnight; but, of course, one has to estimate risks, and I could not say the wounds would do as well as they did. She was able as a fact to give evidence eight days after. The wound in the hand was not healed when she left the hospital.

PRISONER (not on oath): All I can say is I was drunk when I went to bed. and did not know what I had done until I saw the blood. When I saw what I had done I wanted a doctor at once. I was asleep when my wife came in. She started pulling the clothes off me, called me names, and told me to clear out. I did not know what I was doing, having been drinking heavily. She had been living with another man. I suppose she had been with him on Sunday night, and I suppose started on me, so that I might go out again and make room for him. Going to bed drunk, and waking up in that way, I did not know where I was or what I was doing. It is hard lines on a man who goes to work underground with his top shirt off to go home and be abused. It is like hell to be where she was. (In answer to the Jury). I had not been living with my wife. She sent for the children to come back home, and wanted me back home, and I thought it was my place to be with my own children,

and I had to go and throw this man out in fact, tell him to go. As to the stabbing I do not know anything about it; I was drunk. I do not want to do the woman any injury. I would rather do her good as far as lies in my power, not stab her.

Verdict, Guilty of unlawfully wounding. Sentence, Six months' hard labour.


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