11th January 1869
Reference Numbert18690111-217
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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217. TIMOTHY HOWARD (38), was indicted for feloniously killing and slaying James Hart.

MESSRS. CUNNINGHAM. and MOODY. conducted the Prosecution; and MESSRS. STRAIGHT. and CAPE. the Defence.

HENRY DOBBINSON . I live at 22, Martha Street, St. George's, and am foreman to the Animal Charcoal Company Limited—the deceased and prisoner were fellow labourers there—they had worked together for about seven years, and agreed very well indeed; they never had any words before this—on Christmas Eve they had had a little to drink, but were not drunk by a long way; the deceased was worse than the prisoner, if anything—they were working on a platform from 16 ft. to 18 ft. high; they were night workers—about 11.45 they were chaffing one another which could get the most beer on credit—one said he could get so much; the other said he could not—the deceased said he could go and get beer at any public-house where the prisoner dared not show his face—the prisoner said he could not—with that the deceased called him some very nasty names, and the prisoner went and hit him with his fist, a slight blow, I believe somewhere about the face; it was not so hard as to mark him—the deceased then took up the shovel he was working with to strike the prisoner—I picked up a handful of grain, and said to the prisoner, "Howard, we will have no words here; go to your work"—the prisoner went to his work on that, and the deceased went to his work, but came back again in a minute with the shovel to Howard, called him a nasty name, and said he would fight him—with that the prisoner hit him and knocked him down, and he rolled off the stage—I descended the ladder, and helped to get him up—he had fallen into a canister, a thing about 3 ft. 6 in. or 7 in long, and about 2 ft. wide; a deep iron thing—I found him doubled up in this canister—he did not speak—I went for a doctor, and when I came back the man was dead.

Cross-examined. Q. I believe you always found the prisoner orderly and

peaceable? A. No one better—I was his foreman, and had plenty of opportunity of judging—I have seen him struck at times, and he has never lifted his hand to anyone—the deceased was not a man given to fighting, but he was a very nasty, foul-mouthed man when he got a drop of beer, no one could put up with his temper—I said before the Magistrate, the prisoner made a hit at him—he did make a hit at him; I could not say that he struck him, his hand might have touched him, a slight blow; I believe he did strike him, but nothing to speak of—they both had shovels in their hands—the stage is about 9 ft. wide—they were shovelling the charcoal into heaps—when the deceased lifted up the shovel to the prisoner he called him a b——sod, and said he would fight him in the morning, and see whether he was as good a man as he was—the prisoner had not the shovel in his hand when he gave the blow which knocked the deceased down—he put it down, when the deceased challenged him to fight, and hit the deceased, and as he hit him he fell down, and rolled over the edge of the stage—there is a rail round the stage, about 2 ft. 6 in. or 8 in. high.

MR. MOODY. Q. When the blow was struck, had the deceased the shovel in his hand? A. Yes; he raised it the first time, but not the last time.

WILLIAM GROSE . I live at 12, Duke Street, St. George's—I worked with the prisoner and deceased—on this Thursday night there was some chaffing going on between them about beer—the prisoner struck the first blow, he hit the deceased on the head or face—the deceased presented the shovel towards him after that—not before, the foreman then ordered the prisoner to knock off, he would have no more of it, and he went to his work—the deceased then came up to him and told him he would fight him in the morning—the prisoner then dropped the shovel he was working with, and struck the deceased twice, first with his right hand and then with his left, somewhere about the head—the deceased staggered and fell, and rolled on the edge of the stage—he fell about 18 ft. into the canister—he died in about seven minutes afterwards.

Cross-examined. Q. Had anything been said about fighting before the deceased said I will fight you to-morrow morning?"A. The prisoner had struck him previous to that; I can't say how hard the blow was; I was standing right opposite to them—I did not hear much bad language; they were chaffing each other.

WILLIAM DOLLARY . I live at 11, King Street, St. George's—on Christmas eve I was working with the prisoner and deceased—I heard chaffing going on, then they came to high words, and the prisoner struck the deceased—the deceased then presented the shovel to him, not before—they were then ordered to their work—the prisoner went to his work—the deceased returned to him again, and offered to fight him in the morning—the prisoner struck him again, two blows, right and left, which knocked him down; he rolled four or five feet on the platform, then he fell on the platform, and by the fall he was too far over, and he over-balanced himself, pitched over, and fell underneath the platform—there is a rail to the platform, about 2 ft. 6 in. high, he rolled underneath that.

FREDERICK PEARCE . I am assistant to Mr. Ross, of 175, High Street, Shadwell, surgeon to the K division of Police—on this Thursday night, about 12 am., I went to the charcoal factory in New Gravel Lane, and found the deceased lying dead on the floor—he had a bruise over the left eve and a superficial wound immediately over the right eyebrow, which had

bled—the prisoner was there, and I heard him say, "I hit the man, and he rolled off the stage"—the platform is about 16 1/2ft. high.

DANIEL ROSS . I am a surgoon—I made a post-mortem examination of the deceased—there was a slight bruise on the left side of his forehead, also a transverse bruise at the nape of the neck, that would be from the fall on the canister—his neck was dislocated, and five of his ribs fractured; that would be from the fall—he died from the fall.

The Prisoner's Statement before the Magistrate. "We were working together on the stage; there was some chaff, and the man took up the shovel, and said he had a mind to knock me down with it; he put it down, and returned and put up his fist, and said he would fight me in the morning, and said my brothers were thieves. I got out of temper, and hit the man, and he rolled off the stage. I had no intention to hurt him. I had worked seven years with him, and never had an angry word."

The prisoner received a good character.— GUILTY .—Very strongly recommended to mercy by the Jury.

Fourteen Days' Imprisonment.

Before Mr. Common Serjeant.

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