12th September 1881
Reference Numbert18810912-771
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence
SentenceImprisonment > penal servitude

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771. GEORGE HENRY PARR (20) , Feloniously wounding Francis John Haben, with intent to murder. Second Count, with intent to do grievous bodily harm.


FRANCIS JOHN HABEN . I am a harness maker living at Clarence Street, Kensington—the prisoner lived at 10, Holland Street, Kensington—we both worked for the same master—on Sunday afternoon, 31st July, at 4.30, I was alone in the shop in Holland Street, and the prisoner came in; he walked to the back of the shop where I was, and without saying anything sprang at my throat with his two hands and pushed me against the wall—I struggled to get free; he picked up a round leathercutter's knife, one of these two (produced), which were lying on a board at the side of him, and stabbed at my throat once; then I lowered my head to get away, but I was between two boards, and he cut me about the back of my head and face four times—I knocked the knife from him and cut my hand—my wounds bled very much—I got up and tried to make my escape; he sprang on my back and put his thumbs down my throat; I dragged him towards the door; we fell again and rolled on the floor—I then got to the street and called for help—a passer-by took me to the hospital, and I was attended by a doctor—I have been ill ever

since from the effects—he did not say a word all the time—I had worked in the same shop nearly three years—I had not spoken to him daring the last two months because of a quarrel between my uncle and him.

Cross-examined. This happened on the Sunday before Bank Holiday—I did not know he was going to have a holiday—there were benches and seats about the shop used by the workpeople—I don't know if they were turned over—I remember having the knife in my hand when Mrs. Ann Parr came downstairs—I said "This is the knife," and made signs for her to go into the shop—he had not begun to cut his throat when I left the shop.

WILLIAM NORTHOVER (Policeman T 415). On Sunday, 31st July, I went into Church Street, and found the last witness bleeding from several cuts; he made a statement to me, in consequence of which I went to No. 10, Holland Street; I saw the prisoner in the shop a minute after seeing the prosecutor, with his throat cut, and held by one or two people—he appeared to be insensible, and was bleeding very much—I took him to St. George's Hospital—Haben went there also—on the 27th August I took the prisoner into custody at the hospital, where he had been ever since—I told him I should take him into custody for cutting and wounding Haben—he said "I quite understand it."

Cross-examined. Haben left the hospital first—I was not in charge of the prisoner at the hospital—three officers were there watching him alternately—I heard him make no statement except at the police-court, where he said, "I do not remember anything about it"—another of the officers heard him make that statement.

WILLIAM MASTERS (Policeman T R 18). I went with the last witness to the shop in Holland Street—on a bench I found the two knives stained with blood—they have been in my possession ever since.

Cross-examined. The benches and tools were in the usual state.

EDWARD GEORGE PETT . I am a surgeon—on 31st July I was house surgeon at St. George's Hospital—about 5.30 p.m. Haben was brought there; he was in a state of collapse, suffering from great loss of blood—I found a deep wound in the throat about three inches in length dividing the sub-maxillary gland, exposing the sheath of the carotid vessels—it was a very serious injury indeed; it opened the larynx—there were four other wounds, one at the back of the neck, one at the back of the head, one on the forehead, and one on the chin; they were comparatively superficial; in two places they were down to the bone—they were done with a sharp instrument—the wound in the throat must have been inflicted with considerable violence—he remained under my care until the Tuesday before he appeared at the police-court, and he is still an out-patient—about half an hour after Haben was brought to the hospital the prisoner was brought there; he had a deep wound in his throat, opening the larynx and dividing the sub-maxillary gland; he was suffering from great loss of blood; it was a dangerous wound, and must have been done with considerable violence; he' was under my care till 27th August—either of these knives would inflict such wounds—during the time the prisoner was under my care he conducted himself in a rational, quiet, well-behaved way—he appeared to understand what he was about.

Cross-examined. They were both as bad as they could be—the prisoner was rather nearer death than the other—I had no conversation with the prisoner in reference to the occurrence—I have seen several cases of

epileptic vertigo—a person in that condition would have no recollection afterwards of what happened.

Re-examined. Epileptic vertigo is where a person is subject to fits of epilepsy—the prisoner had no epileptic attack while in the hospital—I did not see the least ground for supposing that his mind was in any way affected—there was nothing about him to indicate any appearance of epilepsy.

JOHN ROWLAND GIBSON . I am Surgeon of Newgate—the prisoner was admitted to the gaol on the 27th—I saw him the following day, and on the 29th, and since then daily up to to-day—I have not discovered any indication of unsoundness of mind—he appeared to me to be of perfectly sound mind, and to know what he was about—I have seen no indication of epilepsy.

Cross-examined. I am familiar with epileptic vertigo, it is a mild form of epileptic seizure—the prisoner appeared to be perfectly placid, and quite rational—he had lost a great deal of blood, and was very pale, and is now—the loss of blood might take away his memory for the time—he offered no explanation of how the thing occurred—he said he could not remember anything about it.

Witnesses for the Defence.

ELIZABETH PARNELL . I am cousin to the prisoner's mother—on Sunday, 31st July, I was in the room above the shop with Mr. and Mrs. Parr and the prisoner—he was sitting writing, and appeared perfectly calm and collected—nothing was said about his leaving the room—he did leave, and a few minutes afterwards we heard a noise which seemed like play—Mrs. Parr went down and said she would see what it was—in about two minutes she came running back screaming—his father went down, and I followed and found his father holding him—he had cut his throat—I took the knife from his hand—there was no sign of a struggle in the room.

HENRY PARE . I have been butler in a private family for 17 years—the prisoner is my son—he had two serious illnesses when he was 13 and 17—he was upstairs in the room all this morning calm and collected—I had never heard him use threats towards the injured boy—there had been arrangements for his taking a holiday for a week or ten days on the following Saturday—I did not notice him leave the room—I was alarmed by cries from my wife, rushed downstairs, and saw Haben outside our street-door leaning against the door-post bleeding—I went in the shop, and found my boy cutting his throat with one of these knives—I rushed and seized him from behind by his arms—all he said was "Go away"—I have been able to get no explanation from him of what had occurred—he has assured me he has not the slightest recollection of it.

The Prisoner received a good character.

GUILTY on the second count .— Five Years' Penal Servitude.

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