29th June 1891
Reference Numbert18910629-563
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error
Navigation< Previous text (trial account) | Next text (trial account) >

563. FRANZ JOSEPH MUNCH (31) was indicted for and charged on the Coroner's inquisition with the wilful murder of James Hickey.


JAMES. CHAPMAN (M 15) produced and proved sketches of the premises in question.

JOHN TAPPER . I am landlord of the Lord Palmerston public-house, 42, Lucy Road, Bermondsey; Mrs. Conrath's baker's shop is opposite—I knew the deceased man, James Hickey, as a customer, and the prisoner also—on Tuesday, 21st April, the deceased came into my house about eleven at night; he remained there till about twenty minutes past twelve, and then left with a man named Dymond—about two or three minutes afterwards I heard the report of firearms, and shortly after the deceased was brought into the house by a policeman—he died in about ten minutes—I had seen the prisoner that evening—I am not certain about the time he came to the door—it was early in the evening—at that time he appeared sober.

Cross-examined. I had known the prisoner about six months—he was a frequent customer—he used to come into my place and have a drink—I had known Hickey about three weeks—he was an occasional customer; he came in nearly every day—he would not spend the greater part of the day there—I do not remember seeing him in the house on the morning of 21st April—I generally get down about half-past eight in the morning—I saw him in the evening; he came to the door—I think he took some refreshment—I did not serve him; one of my men did—I should say he was sober—he did not speak to me—he came in about eleven, and stayed till twenty minutes before twelve—I did not serve them—I don't know what they had—they were sober when they left; there was no one that was not sober—it was not necessary that he should have any assistance.

GEORGE DIXON . I am potman at the Palmerston—I knew the prisoner as a customer there; I also knew Hickey—about half-past twelve in the early morning of 22nd April I was standing outside the public-house, and saw Hickey and George Dymond leave the house; they went towards the side door of Mrs. Conrath's, the baker's shop—Hickey wished me good-night—he put his hand in his waistcoat pocket, and took out his key or something that answered to it, and opened the door with it and went in—he then seemed to turn his back to the passage, and then I saw a flash of

fire, and heard the report just inside the door, and the deceased came from the passage saying, "lam shot, I am shot"—he came into the road; he did not fall to the ground—there were two constables immediately on the spot—the prisoner came from out of the door on to the footpath—he had a double-barrelled pistol in his right hand, and an open knife in his left—he was seized by the two constables—I heard him say, "I shall not try to get away; it is for love "—Constable Hamilton took the deceased into the Lord Palmerston—I followed, and remained with him until he died, about ten minutes afterwards—after that I went to the Police-station, and there saw the prisoner detained in custody—he said to me, "Hallo, George, cheer up, you do look sad; what is the matter with you? how is Jem, how is Jem?"—I said, "Poor fellow, he is dead; you have killed him "—he said, "How long was he dying after I shot him? "—I made no answer; I was called to order by the constable.

Cross-examined. I have been about fifteen months employed at the Lord Palmerston—I was there before the prisoner came to Mrs. Conrath's—I knew him by serving at Mrs. Conrath's, and being a customer at the Palmerston—I became acquainted with Hickey from the first night he came from Manchester; I believe that was in February—from that time he was a frequent customer at the Palmerston; he was in every day—he spent two or three hours there during the day—I think he came from Manchester to try and buy a business in London; he had no occupation—I became fairly intimate with him; he was a very nice chap indeed—I have heard him say once or twice that he did not like the prisoner—I used to come to business about seven in the morning; I was an outdoor servant, and would stay till about four in the afternoon, and then go to my rest—on Monday, the 21st, the deceased came into the Palmerston early in the morning—he was standing at the baker's shop when I came to work; he came into the Palmerston, and to the best of my recollection he had two-pennyworth of Irish whisky, cold—it was unusual for him to come in so early; he stayed about ten minutes—I believe he went from there to the Railway Tavern; I had gone to breakfast—I did not see him again until the evening, about eleven; he came in by himself and joined some company, and they took refreshment together—there were about six or seven of us in company; I suppose we had about three pots of four ale; he stayed there from the time he came in, till closing-time; that was just half-past twelve—he was not at all noisy during that time, I am certain of that; he never kicked up any disturbance in the house whatever—I knew several of the persons who were with him—I left at half-past twelve when my work was done; I had to take my pots in—I was standing outside about two minutes-—the deceased came out with Joseph Dymond; I think he lives at 6, Max Road; that is not in the direction of Mrs. Conrath's shop—when they came out they went together towards the side door, they had not hold of each other; I don't suppose they were a yard apart—it was a very fine clear night—when the deceased opened the door, Dymond had got his hand on the side of the door—the door was opened wide enough for Hickey to get in and turn his back half round; then I saw the flash—at that moment Dymond was just going to step into the door—Mr. Trew and another baker, I don't know his name, lodged at Mrs. Conrath's—they were both customers at the Palmerston—they frequently came in—they did not stay as late as closing-time—I can't say what time they usually

left—I had seen the prisoner on the 21st in the private bar, about half-past three, when he fetched the bread in; it was not so late as five, I am always away at five, I leave about four—at that time he did not appear to be in any pain—we both had half a pint of four ale together—he did not look excited; he was sober.

JOEL DYMOND . I am an engineer—on the morning of 22nd April I left the Lord Palmerston with the deceased, James Hickey, about twenty-five minutes past twelve—I went with him across the road to the side door of the butcher's shop; he pulled out his key, put it into the keyhole, undid the door and walked inside; he then turned his back towards the passage to take the key out—at that moment the prisoner rose and fired; I had not seen him before he fired—Hickey said, "lam shot, I am shot," and staggered across the road—the prisoner came out of the door on to the pavement; I turned round and looked at him, and then I went after Hickey—the prisoner had a pistol in his right hand and a knife in his left hand, open—I believe he was sober.

Cross-examined. I believe he was perfectly sober—I had seen him before, I never had the pleasure of speaking to him—I saw him on several occasions; I only knew him by sight—I had only known Hickey since he had been in London, two months—I had been very intimate with him during that time, on Saturdays and Sundays, when we had time to go about together; we drank together very little—I generally leave off work at five or half-past—I was engaged every day until this occurrence, in regular employment—on the 21st I first saw Hickey at eight in the morning, as I was standing outside the Lord Palmerston, he was outside the Palmerston; I could not say whether he had been in, he did not go in with me—I did not see him for long at that time; he went one way and I another, because I was at business—I next saw him in the evening at nine, outside the Palmerston; I could not say whether he had been in—I did not go in then, I could not say whether he did, I did not stay with him long—I had business—I met him again at eleven inside the Palmerston, and remained there till closing-time—during that time we were both taking refreshments, very small—we used to go there occasionally of an evening—I never saw the prisoner there, I could not say how many others were there between eleven and half-past twelve—I had no drink with Dixon the potman; I am quite sure of that, only with Hickey, nobody else—I live at 4, Duppas Road; that is in the opposite direction to Mrs. Conrath—I went across the road with Hickey, because he invited me to go over, he was going away to Liverpool the next morning, and my usual time of going to work was six, but I was not going till eight; he asked me to go to the house—there was no necessity for me to go with him to steady him in any way; being friends, of course I accepted the invitation, I did not know whether I should see him any more, as he was going to Liverpool next morning—I was on the threshold of the door when he put the key in; the door is right on the pavement; it is not a very big door—the keyhole is on the right, the door opens inwards, I was standing on Hickey's left hand—I saw him put the key in the door—he pushed it wide open, as far as it would go, and he never let go of the door—he was not right in front of me, he was half turned to me, he had his right hand on the key, and at that moment I heard the report—I was not able to see where the report came from, it all happened of a sudden.

FREDERICK CRASK (M 246). About half-past twelve in the early morning of 22nd April I was on duty in Lucy Road—I saw the deceased and Dymond leave the Palmerston, and cross the road to the side door of 49—I saw the deceased push the door open and step inside; he then turned round, as if to take the key out, and I saw a flash and heard a report, and the deceased stepped out into the road, calling out, "I am shot!"—I saw the prisoner come out of the door with this pistol in his right hand, and this open knife in his left—I seized his right hand and took the pistol from him—I afterwards found that the right barrel had been discharged, the other was still loaded; I found the empty cartridge in the right barrel—Hamilton came up at the same time and snatched the knife from the prisoner's left hand, and then helped the deceased into the Palnierston—I held the prisoner till Sergeant Ayrest came up; I left the prisoner in his custody, and went and brought Dr. Lee—I did not notice that the prisoner made any remark when I seized him.

Cross-examined. I was on duty near the Palmerston—I had been on that beat for a fortnight—I only knew Hickey by seeing him there of a night—I knew the prisoner by sight; I had never seen him at the Palmerston, only seen him working in Mrs. Conrath's shop—Dymond was a perfect stranger to me—I was standing about 10 or 15 yards off, when I saw the flash, on the opposite side of the street, quite facing the side entrance of 49—I saw the flash quite plainly, and I could see the deceased; I could not see any one inside—I did not see the deceased and Dymond leave the Palmerston; they came from there; I was standing near the corner; they were walking together, and talking together, I believe—they were not arm in arm—when the deceased had the key in the door Dymond was quite close to him; the prisoner stepped out of the door on to the footway as I arrived—I had to wrench the pistol from his hand, he clutched it, that was all—he did not appear to be in the least excited; he was saying something, but I did not hear it, there was such a crowd round—I considered he was sober.

GEORGE HAMILTON (M 162). I was with Crask—I took this knife out of the prisoner's left hand—he said, "This is love "—I assisted the deceased into the Palmerston—I noticed a small hole in his coat; I produce the coat; the hole was in the back over the left arm. (Pointing it out).

Cross-examined. I saw the flash—I was standing on the opposite aide of the road, about a foot from Crask—I ran across the road with him—I had no difficulty in getting the knife from the prisoner—he did not appear excited, he was perfectly quiet and cool—I could not see the position in which the deceased was standing when I saw the flash.

JOHN AYREST (Sergeant M R 1). I live at 13, Lucy Street, Bermondsey—I was in bed in the early morning of the 22nd, and was aroused about half-past twelve by the report of firearms—I dressed quickly and came down into the street, and found the prisoner in the custody of Crask; I took charge of him and took him to the station—on the way there he said, "He called me a b----German bastard all day; it is all jealousy; have I hurt him much?,'—I replied, "I think he is dead "—he said, "A b----good job too; he said he would give me Irish beans, but I have given him German beans, you should see him fly out of the passage and shut the door and say 'I am shot!' or else I should have given him another; it is all a love affair; if he is dead I suppose I shall swing in a month; she should have thought of her cousin from Manchester before, I have told

her so; there was £15 less in the takings since he has been there"—this was all said on the way to the station in different paragraphs; he continued talking going along—at the station I handed him over to the inspector, and he was charged.

Cross-examined. The station is close upon a mile from where he was arrested—we walked that distance; it took us about twenty minutes—the only words I spoke to him were, "I think he is dead"—I did not caution him—he was perfectly sober.

HENRY PIKE (Inspector M). I was at the Bermondsey Police-station when the prisoner was brought in; the sergeant said, "This man has shot a man "—the prisoner said nothing at that time, he was laughing, and I said to him, "This is not a laughing matter; if this man dies you no doubt will be charged with murder"—I then cautioned him that anything he might say would be taken down and might be used against him—this is what I wrote down in his presence: "He has been trying to do me, and I have done him"—I then went to the Palmerston and made inquiries, and returned to the station and formally charged the prisoner with murder—he said, "It is quite right, it is a love affair. "

Cross-examined. It was about 12.50 when he was brought to the station, and he was brought direct to me; he was laughing when the sergeant made the statement when he first came in—he continued laughing for a minute or two, it was a grinning laugh, not hysterical laughter, it seemed a joyful laugh—he had ceased laughing when I gave him the caution—I did not observe him laugh again—he did not appear nervous or excitable, he seemed to me perfectly calm; I did not notice that he had been taking too much to drink; he was sober—I did not know anything of him before.

ROGER LEE . I am a registered medical practitioner, of 97, Southwark Park Road, Bermondsey—about twenty minutes to one on the early morning of 22nd April I was called by Crask to the Lord Palmerston, where I found James Hickey, supported on a seat—I found that he was dead—I examined him, and found a gunshot wound at the back of the chest near the spine—I formed the opinion then that the cause of death was hemorrhage. from the wound; I did not probe the wound—about thirty-six hours afterwards I opened the body, and found that my view as to the cause of death was correct; the hemorrhage was from the sub-clavial artery of the lungs.

Cross-examined. The wound was between the fourth and fifth ribs, about half-way down the back, close to the spinal column; that would be very nearly in the middle of the back—it was a wound that would be caused by the bullet going rather sideways—it was on the left side of the spinal column; it had been turned by striking against the fourth rib—the direction it took was upwards and outwards, and, of course, forwards—it had pressed the apex of the left lung.

BRIDGET CONRATH . I am a widow, carrying on business as a baker at 49, Lucy Road, Bermondsey—the prisoner was foreman baker in my service, and had been so since July, 1890—he lived in the house—I had been on intimate terms with him—the deceased, James Hickey, was my cousin; he came to stay with me about 25th February last—for a time he and the prisoner were on friendly terms—after my cousin had been in the house two or three weeks they quarrelled; it first began on Saturday night; I heard it—it was from something that the prisoner heard

out of doors; lie came in and said, "You know, Jim, I have heard that you are not here for a good purpose, and that you want to be master of this shop "—my cousin answered, "Do you think I would be content with a paltry bit of a shop like this; I have as much money as would buy up Lucy Road, and if you were a right-minded man you would look on me as protector to my cousin's interests," and he told him to leave off, and said if it was not for the respect he had for me, and did not make a row in the house that night, he would break his nose—I persuaded the prisoner to go to bed, and so put an end to the quarrel—I heard them quarrel on subsequent occasions, about twice; I cannot fix the dates—I think it was on the Saturday before Good-Friday; Hickey forbade Franz ever to come into the parlour while he was there—my cousin and I were in the kitchen that night when Franz came in; he came in quietly, and my cousin did not hear him until he stood in the midst of us, and he said he was a sneaking German; he came about so quietly—Franz replied that he was my foreman, and did his best in the interests of the business—Hickey called him a great many names, such as a German bastard; I interfered and quieted them—the next time I heard them quarrel was on Tuesday morning, 21st April, at breakfast, at eight o'clock—Hickey had been out; he came in, and was reading the paper with reference to Lord Randolph going out to Africa, and he abused the Germans, Franz in particular—Franz was in the bake house, which is level with the kitchen; he could hear distinctly, but he never spoke—that same day I asked Hickey to sit down to his dinner, and he said, "Not while that German bastard is sitting at the table"—I had given the prisoner notice to go on Monday, 13th April; that notice would expire on the Saturday, but I was not very anxious for him to go at all, although I had given him notice; I did not care for him to go—he said he would not leave for me; no matter who left the house, he would not leave—there was no arrangement as to Hickey's staying or going; he came as a guest; he was going away on the 22nd, to Liverpool—I had not told the prisoner that he was going; I meant to tell him the next morning—I saw the prisoner on the afternoon of the 21st; he went to bed with the toothache at half-past two, after dinner—I next saw him at five o'clock; he came through the shop and went out into the street; he was out for two hours—he was drunk—he went to lie down for an hour in the bake house; that was about half-past seven—I saw him when he got up, about half-past nine or a quarter to ten; then he could not stand; he seemed perfectly stupid to me, I could not get him awake at all; he was not able to stand on his feet; he seemed worse than when he came in—I left him at work in the bake house, preparing the flour for the next day's bread—Hickey was in the house during the evening; he never left the house the whole afternoon, except about a quarter of an hour; he was out when Franz came in, and he was out about nine for a few minutes; he did not go out any more till about eleven—he did not say where he was going, but I know that he went to the Lord Palmerston—I went to bed at a quarter or half-past eleven—I saw the prisoner after I had gone to my bedroom; he was standing on the stairs as I was going up to bed—he asked me if he should carry up the cash-box for me, as I had the baby and a few things—he did carry up the cash-box to my bedroom door—he said it was all owing to me, that if I had turned my cousin out of the house

things would never have been so annoying, or he would not have got so excited; he said I ought to have turned my cousin out when he first came—he said, "You have yourself to blame for my leaving"—I said it was not likely I would turn my cousin out of the house for him or anyone—nothing more was said; he went away—he did not come to my room for anything except to bring up the cash-box—he wanted intercourse with me, and I would not let him; I forbade him—it was after that that he made use of the expressions I have mentioned about my cousin—he asked me if I would he friendly with him again, and I said no, not after so many insults as he had given me; for he had a great many times provoked me—I then went to bed and went to sleep—I was awoke by the report of a pistol; I instantly got up and went down into the street, and there saw the prisoner in custody—I asked him what he had done; I did not wait for an answer from him; I went across to the public-house.

Cross-examined. He had given me the utmost satisfaction as foreman; he had always been as quiet as a child—I never ever saw him out of temper scarcely—there was not a growing feeling of affection on my side—he had offered me marriage—I refused him; that was in October—he had not renewed his suit—things went well for about a fortnight after my cousin arrived—the prisoner was usually a sober man; he never drank much; I had never seen him drunk before 21st April; I have seen him in liquor—my cousin came to me on 25th February—he intended buying a business in London; he was two or three days in London before he came to me—he said he did not like the place he was in, and I said, "Of course, if I had a home he was welcome there"—he was my guest—I had one lodger at the top of the house named Frank Denyer—I had a lodger named Trew—he came about a week or ten days after Hickey came—a man named Franendorf was in my employ—he came afterwards; he was there during the time Hickey was—on one occasion the prisoner mentioned something about reports people had circulated about me and Hickey—I don't think there was any truth in it—Hickey was not present when the prisoner mentioned it; oh, yes, I think he was present—Hickey did not say, "I will dash your brains in"—he said, "I will smash your snout, you b----German bastard!"—that was about a fortnight after Hickey had been with me—that was the first time I had heard a quarrel between the two men—when Hickey said that the prisoner replied, "You will break my snout "—he was drunk; not drunk, but in liquor, and nasty in his temper—he had insulted the other man first; he was excited, and kept on repeating, "You will break my snout "—he also said, "It is small thanks for all I have done in your interests "—I persuaded him to go to bed; and he went, and Hickey also went to bed—I remember a day when there was some conversation about the prisoner having gone into Hickey's bedroom—the prisoner complained to me about Hickey having been burning the gas all night in the parlour—I did not hear Hickey say to the prisoner, "Don't you come into my room again, or I will kill you on the spot "—I heard him forbid the prisoner ever going into the parlour—he might have said something threatening; I did not hear what it was—Caspar Granadore was present at that interview; that was all that took place on that occasion—I remember an occasion later on when the deceased spat in the prisoner's face—that was on the Saturday night before the murder, the 18th—that took place in the kitchen—the

prisoner had said nothing before he did it—it was an unprovoked attack on the part of the deceased—he also flung his hat in the prisoner's face—I seized his hat and jumped on it; it was a hard felt hat—I flung it back at the deceased—at that time he called the prisoner a German bastard many times—that altercation lasted half-an-hour, or more perhaps, till I asked Franz to go and shut up the shop for me—he went out, and returned with a constable, Inspector Styles, but nothing was done—the prisoner said he was frightened of my cousin—he had done nothing beyond tossing his hat at him and spitting at him, and he threatened to hit him—I don't know that he said it, except by his actions he threatened, him—I think Franz wanted to get him out of the house—he thought he could have him arrested—when the" shop was shut they both went to their bedrooms, and I heard no more that night—nothing took place on the Sunday—my cousin had no occupation during the wholeday; he was a traveller—he never worked while with me; he never did any work in his life—he used to go over to the Lord Palmerston very frequently—on Tuesday, the 21st, he came into the parlour or kitchen about eight, where I and the prisoner were, and said, "Will you have breakfast along with that German bastard? shame on the German bastard "—he asked how I could sit down with him—the prisoner made no answer—he never fetched the police, except the one on the Saturday night—the deceased told me on the 21st that he had been up since half-past five—he said he had been at the Lord Palmerston in the morning—I first saw him about eight—the prisoner was then present—I did not hear the deceased say to him, "You b----German bastard, you have no money and no clothes "—he went out about eight, and came back about ten, and came into the kitchen—a door leads from the kitchen into the bake-house—on the Tuesday afternoon, the prisoner said he had better go away for a few days—I persuaded him not to go till he had sent me another foreman; I said I could not spare him—about three he went to bed; he said he was suffering from toothache—I sent out for half a quartern of rum for him—I dont know if he had it all—he went out about five to see a dentist; he was out two hours and a half—when he came back I said to him, "Franz, you are drunk"; he was drunk—he went to sleep—when he woke up he was still suffering from the effects of drink, and so he was the last time I saw him, on the 21st.

By the JURY. My cousin was not leaving from any desire on my part, simply from his own wish—the prisoner did not know of his leaving—the deceased was not aware of the relations subsisting between myself and the prisoner—he had never said anything to me about it—he was a much bigger man than the prisoner, more than a head taller;. a very big man—he had no desire to marry me, or to take the business.

Re-examined. Nothing was said in my hearing between the deceased and the prisoner about my marrying the prisoner—the deceased said that while he was alive to watch over my interests he would see that I never did marry the prisoner.

LOUISA MARCH (Cross-examined by MR. GILL). I remember on the Saturday before this occurrence, about half-past ten or eleven in the evening, I heard the deceased calling the prisoner a German bastard, and saying he would break his snout—he shook his fist at him as if he was going to hit him; he was close to him—that was the next day.

CASPAR FRANENDORF . I was employed by Mrs. Conrath as second hand in the bakery—on Saturday, 18th April, I heard the quarrel between the prisoner and the deceased—I went over to the Palmerston with the prisoner in the morning; the deceased was there—he said something about the prisoner—I could not understand it—that same morning, between six and seven, I heard him call the prisoner bad names in the bakehouse—on the Tuesday, the 21st, I went to work at eleven; the prisoner called me—he was all right at that time—I could see nothing the matter with him—I went into the bakehouse and started work—the prisoner came to me half an hour later; he did not do any work—he did not stop in the bakehouse, I don't know where he went to—he came back about half-past eleven—he said, "I shall kick a row up to-night"—I said he had better go to bed and have rest—he said, "You think so," and left me—about half-past twelve I heard the report of the pistol—I went out and found the prisoner in custody—Mrs. Conrath came down, and the prisoner said, "It is all through you. "

Cross-examined. I was in the bakehouse in the morning working with the prisoner when the deceased came in and pulled Mrs. Conrath 'from the door, saying, "Keep it open for the six German bastards, they are all bastards"—I did not hear him shout out, "I will dash your brains out"—the prisoner was suffering from toothache that day; he told me he had had the tooth out—I think he was sober when he called meat eleven; I could not say.

ALBERT ALEXANDER TREW (Examined by MR. GILL). On 21st April I was working in the kitchen, putting in a pane of glass—I heard the deceased come into the kitchen; he said, "I am glad you have got the job and not a foreigner "—I said, "Who are you calling a foreigner?"

HENRY STYLES (Inspector M). On 15th April I was sent for to 49, Lucy Road; I was on duty in uniform—I found the prisoner outside the door—he said, "There is a man in the parlour at 49 who is wanted for murder, or attempting to murder, at Manchester"—I said, "Why do you say so?"—he replied, "Because he hides and sleeps in the day, and only goes out after dark; he will not let me enter his room to put out the gas, and he is always talking about his brother at Manchester; he has been staying with his sister since the 22nd "—I said, "Are you sure his brother is dead?"—he said he was not certain, but he was sure there was a warrant or a summons in existence for the arrest of this man for an assault on his brother at Manchester—he went on to give the name of this mysterious person as James Hickey, and gave a description of the man who is now dead; that was a description of the man in the parlour; he did not suggest how he became possessed of this information—he was perfectly sober; it was about half-past five in the morning.

Cross-examined. He appeared perfectly calm and collected, and in a man's usual senses.

WILLIAM TAYLOR (M 170). On 18th April, at a quarter to twelve p.m., I was called by the prisoner to 49, Lucy Road to turn a man out of his shop—I went with him and another constable to 49, and found the deceased standing in the middle of the road—the prisoner pointed to him and said, "That is the man"—the deceased said, "If I have done you any harm you know your remedy"—upon that the prisoner left and went into the shop; the deceased remained in the road—I was just about to go and see where the prisoner was when he came out and said, "It is

all right now, "as the deceased was standing in the middle of the road—they both appeared quite sober.

GUILTY.—Strongly recommended to mercy by the JURY on account of the extremely strong provocation received.


View as XML