2nd July 1888
Reference Numbert18880702-656
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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656. FREDERICK WOOD (24) and EDWARD WARNE (35) were indicted for the wilful murder of Michael Lewis.

MR. POLAND Prosecuted; MR. ATHERLEY JONES appeared for Wood, and at the request of the Court also for Warne.

ANDREW BARRETT . I live at 109, Church Street, Chelsea—on 31st May I had some zinc in a garden at the Vale, 336, King's Road, Chelsea, valued at about 10s.—you can get to the garden from the Vale—it was safe in the morning of 31s. t May, and between 7 and 8 in the evening it was gone—I saw it at the station the same evening—Warne had worked for me one day at the place where the zinc was, within a day or two of this—the Vale is only open to the tenants living there—I do not know Wood at all.

ROBERT FEEK (Policeman B 141). On 31st May last, at 7 in the evening, I was on duty with Michael Lewis in King's Road, Chelsea—we were in uniform—I have been eight years in the force this second time Lewis had been 20 years in the force—I was new to that beat—I saw the two prisoners in the King's Road, just outside the Vale, on the pavement—I ordered them off the footway; it was so narrow that people could not

pass; people were wanting to pass—Warne said he supposed he could stop there and have five minutes' chat, he had just left off work—they then walked out of the King's Road—Lewis and I then went down King's Road as far as Beaufort Street about three or four minutes—I then went back to the Vale, and saw the prisoners coming from the Vale with the zinc on their shoulders—that was from about 10 minutes to a quarter past 7—they were both together—I stopped them just inside the gates of the Vale—Warne was carrying the zinc on his left shoulder—I asked where he had got it from—he made no reply—Wood said "We might as well have gone home at first as be copped like this"—I said I should take them to the station for the unlawful possession of the zinc—I took hold of them both, and called Lewis to my assistance—he was on the opposite side of King's Road—he came across to me, and I handed Wood over to him, and' told him to take him to the station; Lewis took hold of him—I took Warne out of the Vale, about three or four yards in the King's Road, towards the station—there he threw me up by the testicles; it gave me great pain—he had thrown the zinc off his shoulder—Lewis and Wood passed me as I was on the ground, and Wood made a desperate kick at me—a struggle ensued between Lewis and Wood, and Wood caught hold of his throat and hold of his waist—Wood was trying to get at me to release Warne—Lewis fell to the ground in the struggle, Wood on the top of him—I got up from the ground, and asked Warne to go to the station quietly—he said "Let me go"—he kicked me in the bottom part of the stomach, and knocked me under a 'bus wheel—at that time Wood and Lewis were out of sight—I saw nothing more of them till I got to the station—Wood was then in custody—after the prisoners had been charged Lewis and I proceeded to clean ourselves and tidy our clothes—about 10 minutes to 9 Lewis complained of being faint; he had complained of pains in his chest at the time the charge was taken, at a quarter to 8; he said he might have ricked himself—at 10 minutes to 9 he went out into the yard under the covered way—he got hold of my arm and said "Chummy, I feel so faint," and fell to the ground—I eased him as much as I could by my arm—he bruised his eye, and nose, and his cheek, and forehead—blood oozed from his eyes, nose, and mouth—the divisional surgeon was at once sent for, but before he arrived the man was dead—he died something like three, four, or five minutes after falling—I was injured, and have been on the sick list since.

Cross-examined. I did not see Lewis take Wood into the station; I was about five minutes behind him—it was a quarter to 8 when I got Warne to the station—it was about 25 minutes past 8 when we came out of the kitchen, after having a wash, mending my tunic, and brushing my trousers—Lewis then went off the steps to return to duty, but he returned by the side door—he had complained of faintness before that, when he was mending my tunic; that was about 8 o'clock—Wood was struggling with Lewis when I was on the ground on my back; they passed quite close to me—Lewis had not complained of feeling ill during the day—he first complained of feeling faint about 20 minutes after arriving at the station.

HENRY CROCKER . I am an engineer, of 27, Cassiday Street, Fulham—on Thursday night, 31s. t May, between 7 and half-past, I was riding

along King's Road inside an omnibus, going towards Walham Green—I was sitting on the right-hand side at the far end of the 'bus, as I always did, and I saw Wood on the top of the policeman, who fell on his back—there was a crowd there, and beyond that another crowd, and Warne was in that second crowd—directly the constable fell Wood kicked him; I could not see exactly where he kicked him—part of his body was on the kerb, his legs on the pavement, and his head outside—I saw Lewis get up; Wood was wrestling with him then—a policeman in uniform came to assist him, also two civilians—Wood was then taken away by Lewis and another policeman—on the way they passed by Warne and Feek, the crowd seemed to move, and Wood seemed to want to get where Warne was struggling with the other policeman.

Cross-examined. The crowd somewhat impeded my view until I saw the policeman come pitching out from them—Wood was kicking about when he was lying down till the policeman got up again, and then the crowd surrounded, and I could see no more till I got up to them—Wood was struggling to get away from the policeman—after that he walked quietly, as soon as the other policeman came up to assist.

By the COURT. I had my eye on Wood before Lewis fell—all I could see was that they were wrestling—I thought Lewis was tripped up by the way he fell—I did not see him taken by the throat.

GEORGE RICHARDSON STRACHAN . I live at 28, Uvedale Road, Chelsea, and am surveyor to; the parish of Chelsea—on Thursday night, 31s. t May, about half-past 7, I was going along King's Road, near the Vale, and saw Lewis having hold of Wood, and he seemed to be the master of him—they were both standing up—Lewis had hold of him by the coat, and was shaking him, giving him a shake; they were about 30 yards from the Yale, in the direction of the police-station—I could not say that Wood was doing anything—I went to the assistance of the other constable who had Warne in custody; they were struggling—I saw nothing more of Wood till he was in custody at the station.

Cross-examined. There was an omnibus standing in the roadway—Warne and Feek were in the roadway, close to the kerb—Lewis and Wood were close to the boundary of the kerb with the wood paving.

BENJAMIN INGLEDEW . I live in Brydges Grove, Chiswick—I am the driver of an omnibus—on 31s. t May I was driving it in King's Road, Hammersmith—as I arrived towards the Vale I saw a crowd of 18 to 20 persons—I saw Wood standing with his back against the wall, and Lewis standing opposite to him, with his helmet at the back of his head, as if he had just got up from a stooping position; he had not hold of Wood—my bell then rang, and I drove on.

Cross-examined. My omnibus was not the one that Mr. Crocker was in; that was following me—it was not in sight; the crowd delayed us.

GEORGE WARNER . I am landlord of the Roebuck, at the corner of Beaufort Street, King's Road—on Thursday night, 31st May, about 7. 20, I was at my door—I saw Lewis and Wood lying partly in the road and partly on the pavement, about 20 yards from my house; Lewis was uppermost—I did not see Wood do anything; he seemed to be lying there quietly, and Lewis on top of him—I went up to them, and said to Lewis "Can I assist you?"—he said "No, go to my mate"—I then went toward Feek; he was struggling with Warne—I did not see how Lewis

and Wood got on the ground; they were lying on the ground when I got outside my. door.

SARAH ANN SPICER . I am the wife of Henry William Spicer, a labourer, living at Chelsea—on Thursday evening, 31st May, I was in King's Road at 7 o'clock—I saw a constable in uniform taking Wood by the arm along the King's Road—when they got near Mr. Billings, the cornchandler's, Wood put his foot between the constable, and he fell into the gutter right on his back, and the prisoner on top of him—the constable turned the prisoner over, and had his head on the kerb—the constable looked very white; he did not get up; he only just knelt and held the prisoner—I afterwards saw Feek and Warne.

Cross-examined. Lewis had not got his truncheon drawn—Feek had his.

THOMAS WILSON (Policeman). On this Thursday night I was in King's Road Police-station—some one came there and gave in formation, and the inspector at once sent me out—I went to King's Road, and there saw Lewis with Wood in custody near the Man in the Moon—before I got up to them Wood was struggling apparently to get away—when I got up to him he was walking quietly—Lewis motioned to me, and I went on to assist Feek with Warne.

FREDERICK BECKLEY (Police Inspector). On Thursday, 31st May, I was at the station—some man brought this zinc in about a quarter-past 7—at 20 minutes to 8 Wood was brought there by Lewis, and afterwards Warne was brought in by Feek—at half-past 8 Lewis complained of a tightness on the chest and faintness, and he sat down and was bathed in the back yard—about 20 minutes afterwards I heard of his falling down there, and a surgeon was sent for—he was 48 years of age; he had been 20 years in the force—he was a very healthy man.

Cross-examined. He did not make any complaint of being assaulted by Wood—in the yard he said "I have not been assaulted by the prisoner, but we had an up and downer"—I asked him "Are you sure you were not assaulted?" and he made that reply.

WILLIAM READER (Policeman B 370). On 1st June I was taking down the description of the prisoners, and Wood said "Poor fellow; he did not want much knocking down; I did not intend to kill him."

RICHARD THOMAS DANIEL . I am a registered medical practitioner, and am surgeon to the B Division of Police—on Thursday, 31st May, about 9 o'clock, I went to King's Road Police-station, and saw Lewis in the yard—he was apparently just dead—I had known him professionally about eight years; I knew him before that—on 2nd June I made a post-mortem examination, in the presence of Dr. Egan and other medical men—I found a bruise on the right eye and about the nose such as might be caused by falling on the pavement in the yard—the body was well nourished—on opening the chest we found the lungs gorged with blood; also the pericardium, and there were two ruptures in the right ventricle of the heart—the left testicle was bruised—I saw no signs of disease; all the organs were healthy, the heart included—the walls of the heart were a little thinner than usual, but not diseased—the immediate cause of death was rupture of the heart—violent exertion would be likely to cause that—excitement or violent exertion would produce the state of the lungs—those appearances were quite recent—if a man were thrown or fell violently down on his back, that would be

likely to cause rupture of the heart—violent struggling or violent exertion would cause it all—the injury to the testicle was recent—that would be caused either by a kick, a blow, or strain; that would tend to increase the pain—Lewis was a very slight, small man.

Cross-examined. The injury to the testicle was a somewhat severe one, such as would cause great pain, not such as would necessarily last for a considerable time, five or ten minutes—it would not necessarily incapacitate him for some time—there were two ruptures to the heart, one was an inch long, and the other an inch and a half—death would result from the filling of the pericardium with blood, and thus stopping the action of the heart—the rupture must have begun in a very small degree, and gradually gone on increasing—I don't think it possible that the heart was ruptured by the fall in the police yard, because he lived several minutes afterwards—I take it that the beginning of the rupture was the intense pain and tightness in the chest nearly half an hour before he was dead.

FRANCIS EGAN . I am a registered medical practitioner—I was present at the post-mortem—I have heard Mr. Daniel's evidence; he has correctly described the internal appearances—the cause of death was in my judgment rupture of the heart, arising from the congestion of the lungs, brought on by severe over-exertion—he was a healthy man—there was no valvular disease of the heart—the walls were slightly thinner than usual—there was no softening.

Cross-examined. The heart was not enlarged—the congestion of the lungs was the primary cause of the rupture; excitement and over exertion might produce the congestion—I do not believe that the injury to the testicle could be caused by a strain or fall, unless he fell against a stone; it was a direct injury—the rupture of the heart would come on progressively—I have never had a case of rupture of the heart; I only speak from recorded cases, and from Taylor's Medical Jurisprudence—it would occur in an hour or an hour and a half; it depends on circum stances—I should say that the fall in the yard was caused by the completion of the rupture.


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