24th June 1889
Reference Numbert18890624-569
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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569. CHARLES MILLS (47) was indicted for and charged on the Coroner's inquisition with the manslaughter of Mary Jane Mills.

MR. PARTRIDGE Prosecuted, and MR. GREEN Defended.

WILLIAM MILLS . I am a fishmonger, and live at 8, Bayonne Road, Fulham—the prisoner is my father; he married Mary Jane Mills, my stepmother—on Sunday, 26th May, I came home about eleven or twelve at night—my father and mother were in the kitchen, no one else—father was sober, mother was the worse for liquor—I went to bed—while there I heard a few words between them; I did not hear what was said; I heard nothing else till between five and six in the morning, when father awoke me and said, "For God's sake come into the next room!"—I went and saw mother lying on the floor undressed—she did not know me; father was trying to restore her to consciousness—I had no conversation with him then—after the doctor came he told me what had happened—he said he was in bed asleep, and mother came up and struck him two or three times in the face, that he rose up half asleep and struck her back—I noticed a mark on her left eye, I did not notice her ear.

Cross-examined. Their bedroom was on the ground floor; mine was at the back, adjoining; I am not a heavy sleeper; it would not take much to wake me; I heard no noise in their room during the night—my mother was very often drunk, two or three times a week for the last two years—I was living at home with them during that period—the house was in a dirty condition—I have heard my father complain of mother pawning his goods—I never saw father knock her about; she never complained to me of being knocked about by him.

MARIA DUNN . I am the wife of Henry Dunn, a shoemaker, of 103, Clarendon Street, Harrow Road—the deceased was my eldest daughter—on Tuesday afternoon, 28th May, the prisoner came to our house—he said, "I want you to come home to Jenny; she is very queer"—I said, "What is the matter with her?"—he said, "I have given her two blows, but go home, and bathe her, and make the best of it"—he gave me 6d., and I went—he said he would be there in half an hour—

I found my daughter in a very bad state indeed; she could not speak; she was unconscious; I did all I could for her, and never left her for five minutes till she died—the prisoner did not come home till half-past twelve—he said, "How is it going on?"—I said, "She is sinking fast"—he said he did not think she was, and he tried to open her eyelids, but I would not let him—he said, "I done it; I gave her two back-handed blows; "I asked him who undressed her—he said, "She undressed herself"—I said, "She never did; who took her stockings and shoes off?"—he said, "Herself"—I said, "Never, "and I don't believe she did.

Cross-examined. He said she had given him two blows first—he got her beef-tea, and did everything he could.

EDWARD COONEY . I am a physican and surgeon, of Norman Lodge, West Kensington—on 27th May, a little before 1 p. m, I was called to Bayonne Road—I found the woman unconscious, suffering from compression of the brain—there was a contusion on the left eye and behind the left ear—those seemed the only external injuries—the left side was paralysed, and the right half of the face—I asked the prisoner how she came in that condition—he said that she had been knocking herself about, drinking; that he was asleep in bed when he received two blows from her, which he returned, and struck her on the side of the head, and he found her unconscious when he got up in the morning—he did all he could to carry out my instructions as to her treatment—she lingered until the 29th, and died at 9 p. m.—on the 31st I made a postmortem examination—there was extensive ecchymosis behind the left ear, and the pia mater was ruptured—the immediate cause of death was due to injury on the left side of the head, caused by a blow—the other organs were healthy.

Cross-examined. She had been recently taking liquor—she might very possibly be conscious for a short time after receiving the injury, and been able to undress herself and get into bed—I don't think a fall would have caused the injury; it must have been by a blow.

LEWIS CROFT (Police Inspector T). I received information, in consequence of which, on 29th May, I went to 37, Bayonne Road, about 7 p. m., and saw the prisoner—I told him I should take him into custody for assaulting his wife, and causing her bodily harm—he made no reply—on the way to the station he said, "I came back from Chelsea on Sunday night, and had to go out to a job for twenty minutes; I went back, and went to bed; I was woke up by receiving two blows; I then struck her two back-handed blows, and in the morning she was insensible"—I took him to the station—he was then told that his wife was dead, and he would be charged with causing her death—he made no reply.

HANNAH NOBLE . My husband is a carpenter, of 36, Bayonne Road, next door to the prisoner—I have on several occasions heard quarrels between the prisoner and his wife—they were so often I could not tell the exact date, but five days out of six he was giving her a severe thrashing—my kitchen window faces theirs—I remember one occasion, about four weeks previous to this occurrence—about twelve o'clock, after he came home from his work, he gave her a thrashing—I saw it through their window, which had no blind, and I saw her next day with a pair of black eyes and scratches on the side of her face—on one occasion, towards twelve o'clock, I heard him say he would do for her—on the Saturday night before this occurrence he came home about half-past eleven, and I

saw him push her with his hand; they were standing against the fireplace, and he sent her towards the left side of the kitchen, against the scullery door—I was lying on my bed with my little girl, and I saw this through the window—they were both strangers to me.

Cross-examined. I am at home all day—the woman never complained to me, she always kept her business to herself—I have seen the deceased drunk, sometimes twice a week—she was not quarrelsome—the thrashings I saw were very severe—she has had black eyes and a bruised mouth—I complained about this to the gentleman who collects the rents, and he said he would not let them remain—I told the Coroner's officer that the prisoner treated his wife most cruelly—I did not tell him that I knew nothing whatever about it.

The prisoner received an excellent character.

GUILTYStrongly recommended to mercy by the Jury on account of his character and the great provocation he received.

Twelve Months' Hard Labour.

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