12th January 1880
Reference Numbert18800112-181
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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181. JEREMIAH MAHER (34) , Unlawfully wounding Francis Patrick Murphy. Second Count, unlawfully wounding William Dewdney.

MR. FULTON Prosecuted; MR. CECIL CHAPMAN Defended.

FRANCIS PATRICK MURPHY . I am a private in the Royal Artillery—on the 27th of December last I went in the barrack room No. 65 at Woolwich—the prisoner, myself, Baldwin, and Dewdney were there—the prisoner was sitting by the fire—words occurred—the prisoner took a sword from a shelf, drew it from its scabbard, and stabbed me twice, once in the right breast, and once in the left—Dewdney left the room previous to the sword being drawn, but came back—I was conveyed to the hospital—I did not draw my sword.

Cross-examined. I have heard the prisoner has been in America—soldiers usually chaff one another, and they may have chaffed him—I was not in the habit of chaffing him—we passed the joke between ourselves—I was in drink.

WILLIAM DEWDNEY . I am a gunner in the Royal Artillery—I was in the barrack room at Woolwich on the 27th of December, about 6.30—I saw Maher, Murphy, and a civilian named Baldwin there—I left the room but returned—when I returned gunner Maher had a sword in his hand trying to stab Murphy—I tried to take the sword from Maher—before I could do so he stabbed Murphy, and then stabbed me in the neck in the breast, and under the left arm—Murphy left the room, and I asked the prisoner to put the sword nor see any one use one except Maher.

Cross-examined. I had been drinking, but I was sober, so was the last witness—I did not see any table moved.

GEORGE MOORE . I am a gunner in the Royal Artillery—on the 27th of December last, about 6.30, I was passing the barrack-room; I heard a noise, and opened the door—I saw the prisoner with a sword—he stabbed Murphy once, and, making a second attempt—I went for assistance—when I came back the disturbance was at an end.

Cross-examined. I saw a table on one of the beds—Baldwin was there drunk, and looking like a man waking out of a horrified sleep—I could not hear any distinct words—the door was shut, but not locked.

ROBERT SMITH . I am a surgeon at Woolwich—on the 27th December I was called in to see Murphy and Dewdney, about 7.15 p.m.—Murphy had an incised wound in the neck; and another incised wound in the side of the month on the left cheek—they were serious at one time, but not the next morning—there were no after symptoms of crysipelas, or anything of that kind—Dewdney had three wounds, one in the neck at the top of the breast bone, another in the chest, and a third on the shoulders—Murphy I detained in the hospital, Dewdney I sent out the same night about an hour afterwads—his wounds were not dangerous.

Cross-examined. Wounds to the same extent would not have been made simply in defence—Dewdney's wound was three inchesdeep, but went upwards under the skin against the chest wall; it could not penetrate—I noticed the condition of the men—Murphy was considerably the worse for drink—Dewdney was less so, but more excited.

JOHN BALDRY (Police R 27). I was on reserve duty at the Woolwich Police-station on 27th December, about 10 p.m.—the prisoner was brought in, and charged with feleniously cutting and wounding Murphy and Dewdney—the prisoner said "What I did, I said in self defence."

The prisoner received a good character.


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