27th February 1860
Reference Numbert18600227-296
VerdictGuilty > unknown

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296. ELIZABETH PENNING (30) , Maliciously wounding James Walthe, with intent to do him some grievous bodily harm.

JAMES WALTHE . I am a bricklayer, and live in Henry-street, Kent-street; the prisoner has lived with me as my wife over seven years—we parted about six weeks ago—on Monday, 23d January, just after midnight, I was coming home from my brother's and saw the prisoner sitting on the step of the Sir John Falstaff public-house—she asked me what I had done with my woman; I made her some reply, but the pain that I have undergone has caused it to slip my memory—it was not a reply likely to provoke her—I was perfectly sober—some words passed between us, but I cannot recollect them—she was angry; she had been waiting some time for me—I turned back to avoid her; heard a disturbance, and found her quarrelling with another woman who she was jealous of—there was no reason for her jealousy that I know of; I had not been living with her—some words ensued and she rushed at me and stabbed me—I ran to the nearest doctor's shop, and from there was taken to St. Thomas's Hospital, where I have been ever since—I had said nothing about her to the woman she was quarrelling with—I might have told her that she might give her a hiding; I do not know—I said something to the prisoner about her not having pluck enough to hurt her—I was charged once with cutting her head with a chopper, but I did not; I did cut it with a frying pan once when she was very much intoxicated—that was twelve or eighteen months ago—about nine months ago I broke three of her ribs—we have been leading a very wretched life and I thought it was time to part.

Prisoner. Did not I a short time ago come in and catch you and that woman lying on the floor together on a Sunday afternoon? A. No; you found us in the same position as you left us, she at one side of the room and I at the other; the only reason you had for suspicion was because the blind was down and it was up when you left—I have many times stopped

out all night; that was to avoid your drunken tongue—I do not wish to hurt a hair of your head, but if I wished I could unfold a tale—the cause of my leaving you was your knocking me down in a public-house, and I have got the mark on my nose now—I could have locked you up once but did not wish to hurt you; I only wish for a separation—a man knocked some of your teeth out—I was trying to pull you home when you were beastly drunk last Whitsuntide and two of your teeth fell out.

CHARLES GRAHAM . I am house surgeon at St. Thomas's Hospital—on 23d January, about 2 o'clock in the morning, Walthe was brought there—he had an incised wound two inches and a-half long on the left side of the cheek, which divided one of the principal arteries; he would have been dead in a few minutes if an operation had not been performed to stop the haemorrage—his life was in great danger for two or three weeks.

HENRY STREET (Policeman, K 171). I saw the prisoner quarrelling and fighting with another woman and went and separated them—the prosecutor had followed me unknown to me, and when at two or three yards distance the prisoner turned round and made a rush at him; he exclaimed that he was stabbed, and I went up and seized her and took this table knife (produced) from her; she did it with that—five minutes before that I had heard them having some words in Mint-street, but nothing material—on my way to the station she said two or three times that it was her intention to have murdered him.

Prisoner. Q. Did you see me by myself on the Falstaff steps? A. Yes; I did not see a policeman talking to you—the prosecutor and I did not come to you there—he did not walk down with me; there was no woman with me—I did not go down the yard to protect a woman—no one went down the yard with me after the quarrelling had commenced—the woman said, "If she touches me I will lock her up;" and I said, "She has done nothing; I cannot lock her up."

The prisoner put in a written defence, stating that she had lived with the prosecutor for seven years and suffered much ill treatment; that she had charged him at Southwark Police-court with cutting her head open with a chopper, for which he was imprisoned for three months; since when he has fractured three of her ribs, cut her eye open, and given her two severe wounds on the head with a pickaxe, which caused her at times not to know what the did or said; that he had kept her for three months without boots or shawl, so that she could not seek work, and got involved in debt, and that when she spoke to him about it he struck her; that she saw him on Saturday night with the woman in question, whom he told to give her a good hiding.

GUILTY of unlawfully wounding.— Confined Six Months.

Before Mr. Common Sergeant

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