19th October 1885
Reference Numbert18851019-954
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

Related Material

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

954. THOMAS HEWINGTON (26) was indicted for the wilful murder of Alexander Hayes Munroe.


THOMAS WHEELER . In September last I was living at 6, Little Pearl Street, a registered lodging-house—on Saturday morning, 5th September, just after midnight, I was in the kitchen—there were three or four others there—the prisoner who was a stranger to me was sitting at a table near the door cutting some twist tobacco with a knife—I

heard some one singing—the deceased, a black man, came in saying Englishmen were dirty dogs; there were four or five Englishmen there—the prisoner was drunk—there was a table between him and the deceased—when he said "Englishmen are dirty dogs," the prisoner got up and went round the table, and made a round-handed blow with his right hand—he struck him about here—before that he said "We are not dirty dogs; we are toffs"—deceased walked a few paces, and then took off his coat and laid it down, and the prisoner sat down, and the people in the kitchen went to the black man's assistance, and they undid his waistcoat and trousers, and found a wound in his stomach—Williams and Cook bathed it—Cook and I took the man to the hospital.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. I saw you make a blow at him, but whether the knife was in your hand I cannot say—I did not see him staggering against you.

By the COURT. I did not notice him staggering—this is my cross to my deposition—I must have said the deceased was staggering—the man walked some few yards—the blow came and you both fell together—that is true—the blow might had been with his hand; the wound might have been inflicted when they fell—the man went upstairs—a man helped him off with his trousers, and then he afterwards came downstairs and asked to be taken to the hospital—we got there about 2 o'clock—I did not hear him blame anyone for injuring him—the man's weight was about 12 stone—he was very drunk, and he might have inflicted the wound as he fell—they could see one another when the blow was struck—neither fell right down: they fell towards each other.

JOHN WILLIAMS . I was at this lodging-house—the prisoner was cutting some tobacco at the table—I had spoken to him—he was the worse for drink—I saw the deceased come into the kitchen—I had known him some time before; he was a middle-sized man—he was very drunk—I heard him coming along saying to himself "Dirty dogs," and as he came down the passage into the kitchen head downwards he said "Dirty dogs"—the prisoner got up from where he was sitting with the knife in his hand, and said "Englishmen are all toffs"—he walked a couple of yards—he had this knife in his hand, and struck at the deceased like this—the deceased was staggering about—he never said anything, and I laughed with others, because he was making funny faces—I said "I wonder if it has cut him?" and pulled his trousers down, and found just a mere scratch with a spot of blood on the top of it—we did not think much of it—the deceased took off his coat and laid it down—I attended to him and bathed him, and then said to the prisoner "It has cut him"—he said "Has it?" and assisted me to bathe it, and he was then taken up to bed, and I left—I was sober then—I have not been drunk for a long time.

Cross-examined. I did not say at Worship Street that it was done by accident—I said I did not believe you intended to do him any harm—I did not see him roll against you as he came to the table—he may have fallen on the point of the knife.

By the COURT. The prisoner did not seem angry when he did this; he did not do it to do him any harm—it has been the rule to show the deceased a knife and he would then run away, he was afraid of a knife—I do not think he intended to do him any harm; he intended to touch him.

FREDERICK DRINGER . I am the proprietor of this lodging-house—the deceased has lodged in my house for some years; the prisoner lodged there for three or four nights—on Saturday, 5th September, I saw the prisoner; at that time the deceased had been stabbed—I spoke to all in the kitchen and said, "Every person using a knife ought to have for their natural"—the prisoner then said, "Suppose it was an accident?"—I said, "How could that the occurred?"—he said, "I did it, and I am very sorry, and I am very miserable"—the deceased and the prisoner to the best of my knowledge had been on friendly terms—I know they had been in the habit of showing him a knife and frightening him, it was a common occurrence; he used to run away.

Cross-examined. I expressed sympathy with the man, but I never inquired at the hospital about how he was injured.

CHATLOTTE GOODWIN . I am nurse at the London Hospital—I was there on the morning of Saturday, 5th September, between 2 and 3 o'clock, when this coloured man was brought in—he remained under my care—the doctor saw him about 5 a.m.—he remained under my care from the time he was brought in—the prisoner came to the hospital on the following Monday, about 4.20, before the deceased died, and asked me, as he was going out, if he was dangerously ill—I said yes, I thought he was—he then told me, as if he was speaking of another man, "A man was sitting at a table, and cutting some hard tobacco, and the injury came, in rolling about"—I said, "How very sorry the man must be"—he said "Yes," and went away—as he was going out at the door he came back and said, "Nurse, I must tell you I did it"—I said, "How sorry you must be, I don't believe you"—he said, "Yes, I did, but it was an accident."

Cross-examined. The deceased was quite conscious when this conversation was going on—the deceased told me every night that it was an accident.

WALTER BLACKSLAND . I am house surgeon at the London Hospital—the deceased was admitted there on Saturday, 5th September, and I saw him next morning between 10 and 11 o'clock—he lived till 4.20 on Monday, 7th September—he was suffering from a wound in the stomach—I made a post-mortem examination, and found that the wound had penetrated a part of the small intestine—it was half an inch long; the cut was about a quarter of an inch long, and irritating matter had exuded into the cavity of the stomach, which set up inflammation and caused death—the wound might have been produced with this knife—death was caused by peritonitis, which was caused by the wound.

WILLIAM ROLF (Police Sergeant.) On 9th September I went to 10, Star Street, Commercial Road, and found the prisoner in bed—I said to him, "I want you for stabbing Alexander Munroe on the 5th, you know he is dead"—he said, "I am glad you have come, I am sorry for poor Alexander; when I stabbed him I was cutting some hard tobacco on the table; he came in very drunk in the lodging-house; I did bind him after he was stabbled; I went to the London Hospital and saw him; I told the nurse I stabbed him, but that it was an accident"—the deputy of the house afterwards handed me this knife (produced)—I have the deceased man's clothes here; the cut was through waistcoat and shirt.

The prisoner in his statement before the Magistrate and in his defence said that he was cutting some tobacco, and on getting up with the knife in his hand

the deceased tumbled against it, and that he had no reason to injure him at they had always been on the best of terms.


View as XML