ISAAC ROTTSTEIN.
11th October 1910
Reference Numbert19101011-29
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation
SentenceImprisonment

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ROTTSTEIN, Isaac (23, tailor), was indicted for and charged on coroner's inquisition with the manslaughter of Kristen Herman Hansen.

Mr. Cotes-Preedy prosecuted.

ARTHUR LAMBERT WOLFF . I was a sailor with Hansen on board a Norwegian steamer which berthed in Wapping Basin on September 4. On September 10 we left the ship together about 7 p.m. and had several drinks; I parted with him about 9.30. Later on I saw him lying unconscious outside the "Alma Arms," West India Dock Road.

HAROLD HANSEN , sailor. I had known deceased (who was no relation of mine) six or seven years. About 10 p.m. on September 10 I met him in West India Dock Road and we went into the "Alma Arms"; prisoner was there. I went out for a minute and when I returned I saw prisoner and deceased outside the house; I saw prisoner knock Hansen down with a heavy blow in the face. Hansen could not speak English.

Cross-examined by prisoner. I heard no quarrelling in the "Alma"; you were talking to deceased and there were other sailors there. I did not hear him ask you to fight.

KRISTEN PETERSEN , proprietor of the "Alma Arms." About 11 p.m. on September 10 four Norwegian sailors came into the bar; prisoner was there with three women. I heard prisoner chaffing deceased, saying, "Get your hair cut." I heard nothing about fighting. Soon afterwards deceased said, "Come outside"; he spoke that in broken English. Both the men then went outside.

To prisoner. I did not hear you say to Hansen, "Don't make grimaces at these ladies." I did not see him shake his fist in your face.

WILLIAM SIMMONDS . I was in the bar and saw and heard prisoner "chipping" deceased; the latter came across and shook his fist in prisoner's face, saying something in a foreign language; prisoner pushed him away, saying, "Go away from me; I don't want a crook like you." Afterwards, outside, I saw Hansen strike at prisoner and

knock his hat off; prisoner then struck him a heavy blow in the face and he fell, striking his head on the pavement.

ALBERT CLARKE , who was with previous witness, corroborated.

WILLIAM HODGSON , house surgeon, Poplar Hospital. Hansen was brought into the hospital about midnight; he was unconscious and bled from the nose; he was suffering from concussion. He died at 8 o'clock the following night. At the post-mortem I discovered between the scalp and the skull bones a lot of blood clot; the skull was fractured; this would be accounted for by his fall at this place, where there is a kind of double kerb. He must have been knocked down with some violence; a mere fall would not have done it.

To prisoner. There was no mark on the face.

Police-constable JOHN CABRON, K Division. In the early morning of September 11 I saw prisoner at his address. I said, "We are police officers and are going to arrest you for causing grievous bodily harm to a man outside the "Alma Arms" last night; he is now lying unconscious at Poplar Hospital." Prisoner replied, "I don't care if he is in the hospital; I done what I done in self-defence"; he then asked to see our warrant. When I told him a warrant was not necessary he refused to come with us and became violent. At the station he said, "The man made faces at my wife and I have got witnesses to prove it; he challenged me to fight and we had a fight. I know I hit him, but what I did did not kill him."

Detective-inspector ALBERT BALL, K Division. On being formally charged prisoner made no reply.

(Defence.)

ISAAC ROTTSTEIN (prisoner, on oath). I was in the "Alma" with a young woman, her mother, and her sister-in-law. The young woman was heavy in the family way; Hansen kept making grimaces and winking at her. I said to him, "You might look the other way and don't keep winking at these females." He rushed over and shook his first in my face and said, "Come outside." I walked outside and he followed; he struck me on the forehead and knocked my hat off. I just put my hand out to hit him, when he seemed to stumble; as he rushed at me he, fell. He was a big man and it would have taken a very hard blow by me to knock him down; he simply fell backwards as I put my hand out.

Cross-examined. It is not true that I am fond of boxing; I never boxed in a public place or a club. I have boxed with my young brother, no one else. I admit that I put out my hand to hit Hans's but it was in self defence, after he had struck me.

Mrs. ELIZABETH DIXON (to prisoner). I was in the public-house with my daughter and daughter-in-law; Henson was winking and laughing at my daughter; you asked him what he was looking at and told him to look the other way. He started taking his coat off and said, "Outside—man—fight." You said, "Don't be silly, man; go away."

ANNIE DODD , daughter of previous witness, corroborated.

Verdict, " Guilty of manslaughter, under very great provocation, and we recommend him to the mercy of the Court."

The police proved that prisoner had been twice fined for assault; he was stated to be rather fond of using his fists.

Sentence, two months' imprisonment, second division.


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