17th September 1866
Reference Numbert18660917-877
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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877. MARY ANN WETHERBY (39, a coloured woman) , Feloniously wounding Abraham Deerling, with intent to do him some grievous bodily harm.

MR. COOPER conducted the Prosecution, and MR. PATER the Defence.

ABRAHAM DEERLING (Policeman M 38). On 10th September I went to apprehend the prisoner's daughter, a girl about twelve years old, for stealing a watch—I told her the charge, and she screamed, when the prisoner came out of her house and endeavoured to rescue her—she said that she should not go, she would take her home—I told her to be quiet, we were going to take her to the station—I did not, notice anything in her hand at that time—we moved on a little further, and she said, "I will take my daughter home, " and she put her hand round against me—I put my hand up to save myself, and I felt a stab in my hand—it made a deep cut right across my four fingers, in the front part of my hand—I took the prisoner by the wrist, and took this knife (produced) from her right hand—it is a common shoemaker's knife—if what she did with the knife was done accidentally I should not have attempted to take her into custody—she made a direct blow at me—I still suffer from the cut—it is getting on very well.

Cross-examined. Q. Did not she ask you what you were taking her child into custody for? A. I believe she did—I refused to tell her—I don't know whether it was a false charge that was made—I was at the police-court—I heard the watch fall out of the dress of the person who charged her—the prisoner's daughter was discharged, decidedly—the prosecutrix found the watch the same morning as the remand.

MR. PATER called

WILLIAM BRIGHT . I am a carman, in the employ of Messrs. Stanford, hay and straw dealers—on the evening of the 10th I was in Mr. Giltott's yard, talking to him, and heard a very loud scream from a young girl—I went towards Gunn Street, and there saw this young girl in the hands of an officer in private clothes, and there were two in uniform—she was screaming, "Let me see my poor mother; fetch my poor mother" presently the mother came running across the road, and said, "What has my poor child done, that she should be taken away?"—no satisfactory answer was given her, and one of the men turned round and said, "What do you do with that knife in your hand?"—she said, "I have been shelling of walnuts"—he said, "Give me this knife"—she said, It is my knife"—he laid hold of the blade of the knife, trying to take it away from her—she held it very fast in her hand—I saw his hand flinch from the knife, and he twisted her arm round, and said, "I will lock you up as well as the child"—I said to him, "Don't hurt the poor woman; she has done nothing wrong"—no answer was made to me, and a man with me said, "Don't you interfere, Bill"—I saw the woman go away, and she was treated very cruelly by the officer—they are total strangers to me—I know nothing of them—I can declare that the prisoner never made any attempt to stab the policeman—I saw him take hold of the blade, to try and take it away.

Cross-examined by MR. COOPER. Q. Did you see the blood flow directly after? A. I did not—I never saw a drop of blood—I saw him flinch from the knife—I was here yesterday—I come hear to speak the truth—no one pays me for coming here that I know of—I will swear that—I

will swear I have not been paid—I have not been promised money—I will not take anything—I never knew the woman, or any of the family before.

MARY ANN BENTON . I am married, and live at 54, Gunn Street—on 10th September I was at the prisoner's house shelling walnuts with her—between seven and eight o'clock we heard the scream of a child, "Mother!"—Mrs. Wetherby ran out—she thought it was her own child—I did not run out directly—when I got out I saw the constable and Mrs. Wetherby struggling together, with a knife—I saw him have hold of the blade of the knife, and she the handle—he said, "Give me the knife"—she resisted, and would not give it to him—I saw him take the knife, and said, "I shall lock you up as well as the child."

Cross-examined. Q. Did you see the blood? A. No—I saw his hand in a handkerchief the next morning—I did not see the hand without the handkerchief.

MR. COOPER, in reply, called

JOHN MADGET (Policeman W 176). I went with Deerling to take the prisoner's daughter up for stealing a watch—the child shrieked, and the prisoner came out—I told her to keep away, and told her that the child was charged with stealing a watch from a lady—she said the child never saw the watch and never had it—Deerling told her to stand away, and if she had anything to say to come to the station and say it there—she made a rush again, and he took her into custody—she then makes a deliberate stab at him, he puts up his hand, and he was stabbed in the hand—I have heard the statements of these two witnesses—it is not true.

ABRAHAM DEERLING (re-examined). What these witnesses say is not true—it is all a falsehood—I had hold of the handle of the knife—I never touched the blade at all.


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