15th September 1884
Reference Numbert18840915-858
VerdictGuilty > unknown; Guilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > penal servitude; Imprisonment > penal servitude

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858. JAMES WRIGHT and WILLIAM WHEATLEY were again indicted for feloniously wounding David Garner, with intent to murder. Second Count, to prevent their lawful apprehension and detainer. Third Count, to do grievous bodily harm.


DAVID GARNER (Policeman O 429). On Friday morning, 18th August, about a Quarter past 5 o'clock, I was in Church Street, Islington, near Trinity Church—I was in uniform—I went into a gate by the Vicarage, towards the churchyard—when I was half way across the churchyard I saw the two prisoners standing in a recess, and I saw some property lying at their feet—they were in the schoolyard—I got over some railings—I then saw that Wright had a revolver in his hand—I believe I had seen Wright before—Wheatley was standing close by Wright, when I saw Wright, with the revolver in his hand, touching each other—Wright advanced about four yards from me, holding the revolver pointed towards me—I did not see Wheatley with anything in his hand—I got hold of Wheatley, and I then said to Wright, "I know you"—I had a struggle with Wheatley, and in the struggle I saw that he had a revolver in had this is hand—this is it—Wright had this polished one (produced) I wrenched the revolver from Wheatley, and Wright immediately climbed

over the railings into Church Street—I had still got hold of Wheatley—when Wright was in Church Street he fired through the railings at me, but missed me—I saw him present the revolver at me—I could not see particularly how the barrel was poited—he was about 12 or 15 yards off when he fired—I and Wheatley still continued struggling, Wheatley endeavouring to get his revolver from me, and he got hold of it—Wright was still waiting outside, and after that he fired another shot, and it went through my thigh—I saw him fire it—I had got Wheatley's revolver before the second shot—after that I pointed the revolver at Wright and palled the trigger, but it did not go off—I don't know whether it was loaded—Wright was about 15 yards off when he fired and hit me—a man named Price and Inspector Maynard then came up, and Wheatley was secured—I gave Wheatley's revolver to a constable named Langdon—I bled very much, and was taken to the hospital—I was there 27 days—the bullet passed right through my thigh, and came out at the back.

Cross-examined by Wright. When I first saw you you were about fix yards from me—I don't remember that you said anything to me—I got over the railings—I don't remember your saying anything to me when I got over the railings—I did not say at the police-court that you threat-ened me, but you pointed the revolver at me—I don't remember your challenging me—from the gate to the railings where you got out was not more than about 12 yards—it is about 12 yards from the buttock to the place where I first saw you—you stood at one place, and you made your escape as soon as I got hold of Wheatley's revolver, and got out—I seized Wheatley directly I got over—when you fired the first shot I was about 12 yards from the railing—I was not struggling with Wheatley more than a minute before I got his revolver—I should think I had it about three minutes before you fired the second shot—I pointed the revolver at you and tried to fire it at some part of your body, not particularly your head—I had not the chance to point as I might have done if I had not been struggling with Wheatley—I tried to shoot you with it—you were about 15 yards from me when you fired the second shot—I pointed the revolver to shoot at you alter the second shot—I had the revolver about three minutes before you fired the second shot, and I admit I tried to shoot you with it—when you fired the second shot it took an effect—I called in the name of the Queen for somebody to come and assist me—there were two persons outside—I did not call on anybody to assist me till after you had fired the second shot—you could have hit me on the head or shoulders, or lower down on the thigh, if you had taken time, but I don't think you studied that.

Cross-examined by Wheatley. You did not use any violence towards me, not more than to escape when I caught hold of you—you did not attempt I to shoot me, because you had not the opportunity; had you, you might of Have done it—you had hold of the handle and I had the barrel—I was not struggling with you more than a minute before I wrenched the revolver away from you—you could not have pulled the trigger a dozen times, because you had not got it out before—I was not struggling with you with the revolver in your hand, it was in your belt or pouch—I did not see you bring it out—I don't know where you got it From, I could see it in your hand—I don't know whether it was in your hand while I was struggling with you—as soon as I saw it I took hold of it—you did not attempt to injure me.

By the COURT. When Wright was firing at me there was nothing at all to prevent his escaping and running away if he had wished.

HENRY PRICE . I live at 18. Wenlock Street, and am a manufacturer of fruit preservatives—on 18th July, shortly after 5 o'clock in the morning I heard cries coming from the school at the back of my house—I went into Church Street—I heard a report of firearms—I went to the Tallinn of the school; there mw Wright with a revolver in his hand, taking aim at an object inside the school railings; he did not tire—this was after the shots had been fired—he turned round and stepped into the gutter, and presented the pistol at me; he advanced towards me a few paces, and I stepped back—Wright then went off down Herbert Street—I then heard Garner say, "Come over here quick and help me, I am shot"—I got over, and saw Garner still struggling with Wheatley for the possession of the revolver, and I took Wheatley by the throat and forced him against the wall—a fireman and Inspector Maynard came up—I had got Wheatley on the ground before they came—I attended to Garner—I cut his trousers open, and found he was wounded in the left thigh—I stopped the bleeding with a handkerchief, but I found it was not log enough, and I then used my thumbs, when a doctor came, and I handed the case to him.

Cross-examined by Wright. I only heard one shot; that was a few minutes after 5 o'clock—I was out of doors in Wenlock Street, which runs parallel with the church—I was coming from my residence two doors off, towards Church Street—I saw you there; I saw no one else there, only Mr. Thomas on the wall opposite—I saw no other man on your left-hand side; I did not see the policeman or anybody else then—I did not see you fire the shot, I heard it fired—I could not tell whether it was a pistol shot or a gun shot—when I came up to the railings Gamer called out, 'Come over quick, help me, I am shot"—you turned round immediately you saw me—I had time to get from the corner of the street to the opposite side, halfway between where you were standing and the public-house—I did not come to the railings at first, you kept me back—I did not hear you say anything; your lips moved, you muttered something, I did not hear what it was—as near as I could guess I should say you were about 15 or 17 yards away from me then—I saw no one else but you in the street.

GEORGE LANGDON (Policeman G 339). I was in Church Street on Friday morning, 18th July, about a quarter past 5—when I got up there I found Wheatley in charge of Inspector Maynard—I found Garner inside the railings—he gave me this revolver, which I took to the station and gave to the inspector—it was loaded in six chambers, none had been fired off—I also found inside the railings the fur bags and a hat and coat—these things have been identified by Mr. Elsback; they are here.

THOMAS MAYNARD (Police Inspector G). I live at 50, Herbert Street—I on this Friday morning I hear»l some shots fired and some persons running—I afterwards went to the school yard—I saw Wheatley inside, and Garner and Thomas—I found that Garner had been shot, and was bleeding—Wheatley was being held by Garner and two others; he was in custody then—while he was on the ground I took from his pocket I these opera glasses (produced)—they have been shown to Mr. Elsback—I at the station I found on Wheay a pencil-case, 13 farthings, a knife, I and some matches—he was wearing this leather belt (produced)—at the

station Langdon brought this revolver—I found it was loaded in six hambers with ball cartridges.

Cross-examined by Wright. I first heard the firing about a quarter past 5—I could not tell the difference between a pistol shot and a gun shot—I heard four shots fired—it was about the space of a minute between the first and second shots—when I got up to the railings I saw several persons there, but I did not see anything of you—when I first saw your revolver at the station the chambers were out; I could not say where they were found; I did not examine them; I don't know who mended it—I believe the chambers were found by one of the constables who had been on the roof—I did not see them brought in—I was not there when your revolver was taken from you—I was at the station when you were brought in—I saw a portion of your revolver when it was brought in, but I did not examine it—I did not tell the Magistrate at Worship Street who repaired the revolver—I could not tell by looking at the chambers whether there were four, two, and three shots tired—I do not know when you fire that it leaves a black mark behind it, I have never used one—I do not think that jour revolver has been cleaned since or repaired—I was in bed when I heard the first shot fired—I am sure I heard four shots—the fourth shot sounded on the right of my house where I am living, which would be towards Herbert Street—I do not know what the fourth shot was fired at.

Cross-examined by Wheatley. You did not attempt to offer any resistance or violence.

MICHAEL WALSH (Police Sergeant G 9). On the morning of 18th July, about 6 o'clock, I went on to the roof of a house in Nile Street—I saw the prisoner Wright there; he had this bright revolver in his right hand and this jemmy in his left hand—there were other constables there, and I pinned him from behind by both arms—he was wearing these false whiskers at the time, and he had an open knife in his waistcoat pocket and two ball cartridges which fitted his revolver—I also found this belt on him (produced) round his waist, and there is a place with a chisel in it and an awl and a screwdriver—I did notice when I came to look at the revolver that the chambers were not in it—these were afterwards found and brought to the station by Constable Byles.

Cross-examined by Wright. I first saw you on the roof of the house in Nile Street—you were on there while I was there about a quarter of an hour there were about a dozen persons there, I can't say, possibly about a dozen—I saw there a man with a rifle, a volunteer or something; I did not see him attempt to use it—I did not hear any person shout out, "Shoot him"—I saw you challenge somebody on the roof coming near you—I saw you challenge two constables—when you challenged them they were on the roof in front of you—I did not see any shots fired—when I captured you you had got from a higher roof on to a lower one, and you were pointing your revolver at two constables in front of you—they stood away—there might have been a dozen people on the roof surrounding you—I saw a ritleman there—some of the people struck you, I am unable to say who they were—I did not see the rifleman strike you with the butt end of his rifle—I did not see an iron bar used to split your head—I had hold of you.

HENRY PARKER (Police Inspector). On 18th July, about 5 o'clock in the morning, I met Constable Clifford in Nile Street—I saw Wright on

the top of a house, with a revolver in his right hand and a jemmy in his left, and be pointed his revolver at me and said "If you approach another foot I will do for you"—he pulled out some cartridges and held them up and said "You see I have got some left yet"—the revolver, and jemmy, and false whiskers were handed to me—I examined Mr. Elsback's premises, and found they had been broken open.

Cross-examined by Wright. I am Inspector of the Kingsland Road Station it was shortly after 5 o'clock when my attention was first attracted by the noise on the roof—I saw you up there—there were with me about 50 more policemen surrounding the whole block of buildings—I saw you captured—I did not see them use any more violence towards you than was necessary—you could not show any violence after you were seized, because they were quick on you, but you tried to get your hands free so as to be able to use your revolver, which you had in yourhand—I saw a rifleman strike you with the butt of a rifle, and I saw somebody strike you with a bar of iron—your head was cut—I did not see how it was done—your forehead was cut—I was at the station when you were taken there, and I saw your revolver produced, and examined it, and found the chambers were out—I afterwards saw the chambers brought to the station and I examined them—I could tell the difference between a clean barrel and a bright one—the revolver had evidently been used—I heard no firing—I mended your revolver—I have used rifles, and understand a little about them—I don't think you could have shot the policeman at that distance—you was about 20 yards away from him—I saw you challenge several policemen and tell them to keep away—it would be very doubtful at that distance to shoot them—we were driving you up in a corner—the houses run right round the school yard, and there is corner, where we ultimately drove and captured you.

Cross-examined by Wheatly. I did not hear you say anything to me about your revolver when I spoke to you at the station-house—I did not hear you say that it was useless—I have no recollection that you told me when and where it was purchased.

By the COURT. I have tried Wheatley'e revolver, and find it goes off all right; I have not fired a shot out of it, but I have no doubt I could in the yard here; it looks to me a very perfect revolver—the inspector drew the charges when Wright was brought to the station—there were no cases in it, and I could not tell whether it had been recently fired or not.

DAVID ELSBACK . I am a furrier, at 36, New North Road—on Thursday night, 17th July, I went to bed about half-past 10—the house was all safe then, all the windows and doors were shut-at a quarter to 4 o'clock in the morning I came down and found one of my wifes dress* on the first-floor landing—I found the front and back doors open—an entry had been made by the window in the bath-room and conservatory—I missed the opera-glasses, fur bags, overcoat, and other things produced, which were tale the night before—an attempt had been made to get into the cupboard where the plate was.

CHARLES TOLLER . I am house-surgeon at St. Bartholomew's Hospital—on 18th July, about a quarter to 6 o'clock, I saw Garner there he was suffering from a gunshot wound in the fleshy part of the left thing—he was in the hospital about a month—I also saw Constable Snell, he was

shot in the stomach—Garner's wound was not a dangerous one, it was in a dangerous neighbourhood.

The Prisoner's Statements before the Magistrate were read as follows.

Wright said: "I am the man that's done this. I carry the revolver not to frighten but to fight them. I first got over the wall, and then into the yard and tried the door, which I found was secured. I tried to force it, but found it would make too much noise to do it. I got up again on the roof of the shed in the yard. I threw the catch off the back-parlour window and opened it. I searched it thoroughly, and took what I thought was worth taking out of it. I found I could get no further, as it would make too much noise. I managed to climb up to the bath-room window. I came downstairs and opened the back yard door. I then retained to the parlour, back and front. I got a few sealskin bags together, and put them outside on packing-cases. I was opening the plate cupboard when I heard some one coming downstairs. I then went out of the place quiet. I walked up to the churchyard. I should think it was about 3.15. I got over there and sat down. I was there about two hours, when I heard a gate open the other side and footsteps coming up the pothway. I see it was a constable that came towards the railings, which parted both me and him. Prisoner Wheatley was then on my right-hand side. As soon as the constable came I challenged him; I bid him keep away or I would send a bullet through him. I was the nearest to the constable. He got up on the railings to get over, when I walked from where I was to the gate to gel over. I did not lake notice at the time of this man (Wheatley) where he was. I let the constable get over the railings, and I told him if he didn't keep silence, or moved another toot, I'd shoot him. I backed to the railings about four yards; I put my foot in the middle, and I was up on the top, when I heard a rush. I jumped over quickly and turned round; I see the constable about a yard off at the other end. This man (Wheatley) at the time was getting over the railings, when I see him catch hold of Wheatley. I then came a foot near the railings. I see Wheatley turn round; he had no revolver in his hand. I was going to get over, but a man came up who the constable Garner called on, in the name of the Queen, to assist him. I bid him stand away or I'd send a bullet through him. About three minutes the constable and Wheatley was struggling together. I fired a bullet at the constable's right shoulder about Id yards away. Another man on the right-hand side was there who was called to assist the constable. I told him to keep away or I'd shoot him. I felt some one throwing some things at the back of me, when I stepped across the road and told him if be didn't come down I'd send a bullet through him. I came back again and stood in the gutter, so as I should have both the men in front of me. Constable Garner called several times to assist him id the name of the Queen. I told him if they attempted to get over the rails I'd shoot 'in. I then see Wheatley draw his revolrer; as noon as he did the constable catched hold of him; it seemed to be a very easy matter to get it away too. He pointed it at my head; I moved about from side to side as quick as I could, so that he could not get an aim at me. About two minutes after he had the revolver his body was swung a little on one side, when I pointed my revolver and fired at him where I thought I could drop him; I fired at the lower part of him. I then turned round and saw I was pursued in all directions, and see it was

useless to fight any more for this man (Wheatley), so thought I'd have a try for my own liberty. I ran about 20 yards down a street opposite me, and walked about 10. I was in the middle of about eight men and two constables, who was running up the stroet, when a man from the window on the other side shouted out, 'That's one of 'em, catch him hold.' I challenged one constable, and told him to keep away or I'd send a bullet through him, when the other one came rushing up at my left side with his stick drawn; I turned round and fired. I then made off for my liberty. I ran down a court where I thought I could get over some yards, and I found it was blocked up. There was a pair of steps there; I ran up these steps and jumped on to a low house; from there I got on to two more higher still. I knocked out my three empty cartridge cases and put three full ones in. I fired but three shots in all. I made my way round to see if I could get away round East Road way, when a man came up about 6 foot; I was about 35 yards away. Told him if he didn't go back I'd shoot him. He asked me if I had shot anybody. I walked up towards him about 20 yards; I said, 'No, if you don't get down I'll b——y well shoot you.' He said, 'All right, and away he went. I then made towards Britannia Street towards the yard. I found I could not get the way I wanted to go, so I come back again. Several policemen were up there, and two or three civilians and a rifleman; they were calling out to the rifleman, 'Shoot him.' I got behind some stacks of chimneys about 40 yards away, and worked my way up towards him; when I got near enough to take an aim at him he ran away. Several more constables were there: I told them if they'd come a foot nearer I'd send a bullet through them. I was holding on to the chimney-pots at the time. I made my way towards Nile Street When I came back again I found they were there. I challenged several, and told them if they didn't go down I'd shoot 'em. When I cleared the roof of them I made my way towards the timber-yard down the East Road. When I was crossing by the timber-yard a little boy shouted out, 'There he goes,' which caused all the mob to come the way I was going. I then came back again, and tried to make my way back to Nile Street backways. While I was jumping from a high house on to a low one my left foot went through the roof; the chamber of my revolver hit on the ridge of the roof, and the chambers bounced right out, I am sorry to say. I tried to put it together again, but found I couldn't. When I got back again the constables and several others got on the roofs again. I pointed my revolver, and bid them stand away or I'd shoot them. They began throwing stones and bricks at me in all directions. I had plenty of the same sort, so I let them go as quick as I could pick them up. I was on the roof for half an hour after my revolver had broken. I was aiming tiles and bricks at them. I challenged several of the constables and the rifleman to keep away or I'd send a bullet through them. When the rifleman got too near I hit him in the chest with a brick. I was getting from a high house to a low one, and I shlipped a bit. I was surrounded in all directions, when two or three made a rush at me. I had no weapon to defend myself with, when a mob of them. I had hold of me and split my head with the butt part of a rifle. I was kicked and fairly slaughtered. I might have shot more. I was fighting for my liberty; if they had not come near me I should not have shot them."

Wheatley said: "I reserve my defence."

Wright, in his defence, repeated the substance of the above statement; alleging that fired in self-defence, without any intention of killing the policeman, and only in order to effect his escape.

Wheatley's Defence. I had not the slightest intention of using any I violence. I had the revolver with me, but it was useless. I simply intended to intimidate, not to hurt any one. Garner says I did not intend to I strike him, or use any violence, though I was capable of doing so if I wished. When I was taken to the station I told the inspector that my revolver was useless. He took it down, and read it to me. He now says I did not tell him anything of the kind. I swear I did say to, and I told him where it was purchased.

HENRY PARKER (Re-examined). I did not write down anything that Wheatley said—I wrote down some marks about his body—I have not got it here; it is at the station—I wrote down nothing about the revolver—he did not say his revolver was useless, nothing of the sort, nor that he only had it to frighten—he did not say so to me or in my presence.

By Wheatley. I asked you where the burglary was committed—you said somewhere in the road—I am quite sure I did not ask you where you got the revolver—all I read out to you was from the charge-sheet.

WRIGHT— GUILTY on First Count.

WHEATLEY— GUILTY on Second Count.

They were further charged with having been before convicted of felony, Wright at Westminster Sessions on 17th June, 1878, and Wheatly at Clerkenwell session on 22nd March, 1880, to which they

PLEADED GUILTY. Other conviction were also proved against Wright.

WEIGHT.— Penal Servitude for life. WHEATLEY.— Twenty Years' penal Servitude.

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