23rd August 1841
Reference Numbert18410823-2208
VerdictGuilty > unknown

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2208. THOMAS PEARCE was indicted for unlawfully, maliciously, and feloniously assaulting Henry Deal, on the 4th of August, and stabbing and wounding him in and upon the left side of his body, with intent to do him some grievous bodily harm.

HENRY DEAL . I am a shoemaker, and live at Limehouse. On Wednesday afternoon, the 4th of August, between three and four o'clock, I went to the Robin Hood and Little John beer-shop, the prisoner was there when I went in—I remained there till between ten and eleven o'clock at night—between seven and eight we were in the parlour, the prisoner, my father-in-law, one Dixon, and Jewell and myself—the prisoner had some words with Thomas Dixon, and said he would punch his b—head in pieces —I replied, "No you won't, because he is not able to stand before you;" as Dixon was a cripple—I said if he bit him, I would hit him again, as he was not able to stand against him—he said he did not care for any man in Poplar who was 9 stone 3lb. weight—after this a wrangle took place between him and me, but it was dropped for some little time, and we afterwards went from the parlour into the tap-room—we still kept wrangling for some time afterwards, and all in an instant he jumped up, and swore d—his eyes if he would not have revenge on me—he got up, and made an attempt to hit me with his hand—I did not notice whether it was shut or open, but I kept it off with my left hand—I then struck him with my right hand, and hit him on the nose, which bled—I afterwards hit at him with my right hand, and I received a pain in my side—the prisoner struck at my side before I felt the pain—at the time I thought it was with his fist—I felt a little pain in my side—after that my father-in-law got up and said, "Don't strike him any more"—I said I would not—we were still quarrelling—I afterwards went out backwards to ease myself, and felt myself very sick—I then returned into the tap-room—he began still rather to wrangle—I drank out of the pot with my father-in-law—he and I went out the front way, and we had a few words out in the street—I went directly to my father-in-law's house, and when he came home I told him I felt rather queer in my side—I remained in an arm-chair, resting, until the morning (I did not live with him) between four and five o'clock I felt myself a great deal worse—I had no waistcoat on, and I looked down, and saw the blood on my shirt—I asked my father-in-law to look, and there was a wound in my side—I looked at it myself, and saw a hole in my side, and a hole in my shirt, and in the waistband of my trowsers—my father-in-law dressed,

and went for a policeman—the parish doctor came down and looked at me—they took me to the hospital directly—I remained there until now—no body else had struck me a blow in the course of the day—when the prisoner struck me I felt the pain in the same part as the wound is—I had not got the wound when I went into the Robin Hood and Little John—I had not seen any thing in the prisoner's hand—I had seen him once or twice before.

Cross-examined by MR. BALLANTINE. Q. How many of you were there in the public-house? A. Five of us—my father-in-law was there—he other persons were not my friends—I had been drinking with Dixon before—Jewell was the fourth person, but I believe he was out the greatest part of the time—I found the prisoner in the house when I went in—he appeared then to have been drinking a great deal, he was not very sober then—he drank beer several times with my father-in-law—Dixon did not use gross language to him in my presence—at first, I had no idea I was wounded, and did not inform the prisoner of it—a bread-and-cheese knife has been found, which is supposed to have inflicted the wound—I do not know if he used it for bread and cheese—(produced)—this is the knife that was produced afterwards—I did not notice any eating going on during the time—there might have been, but I did not see any.

JURY. Q. What time did you leave the public-house? A. I suppose it was between ten and eleven o'clock—I did not discover the wound until after four o'clock the next morning—I was not very sober at night—I was in the morning when I looked at it.

ROBERT AYLIFFE . I am a City policeman. I saw the last witness on the morning of the 5th of August, and saw his wound—his shirt was all over blood with the cutting, and also the waistband of his drawers—I afterwards went to Robin Hood-lane, and there found the prisoner in a house—I took him into custody, and told him he was charged on suspicion of stabbing a man—I did not say what man—he said it was a bad job, he could not help it—I took him to the station, and took the prosecutor to the hospital.

Cross-examined. Q. Did not he say, if he had stabbed a man, he must have been drunk, and knew nothing of it? A. Not to me.

THOMAS HOLMES . I am a police-sergeant. The prisoner was brought to the Poplar station—I sent Ayliffe for the parish doctor—while he was gone, I asked the prisoner if he had got a knife—he said, "Yes," and gave it to me—I opened it, and perceived blood on the blade—I said, "It is my opinion, Pearce, that you are guilty of the offence you are charged with; you need not say any thing unless you like; if you do, it may be used as evidence against you elsewhere"—he said, "If I did stab the man, I don't remember any thing of it"—I said, "Was you drunk then?"—he said, "I was a great deal the worse for liquor, for I had been drinking some time"—the charge was then taken—I went to the house, and saw the prosecutor in bed—I fitted the knife to the hole in the waistband of his trowsers and his shirt, which answered exactly to it—it was exactly the same size.

WILLIAM BOUSFIELD PAGE . I am a surgeon at the London Hospital. I remember the prosecutor being brought to me on the morning of the 5th of August—I examined his left side, and found a wound of about half an inch long, or rather less—it was just below the ribs—it was a part likely to inflict a serious injury, if it had been as deep as the symptoms led me to suppose it was—the symptoms were those of inflammation—he is still under my care—he has not yet perfectly recovered—I saw this knife at

the police-office—I have not compared it with the wound—I imagine the wound was done with an instrument of this sort.

Cross-examined. Q. You did not take any means to ascertain the depth of the wound? A. No—I apprehend a wound remaining a considerable time not attended to would be rendered more difficult to cure, the inflammation would increase, and make the wound very much worse, the symptoms would be aggravated—a blow inflicted with full force would have made a much worse wound—the prosecutor was intoxicated, and had lost some blood—I believe he fainted—it might possibly have been cured earlier if it had not been neglected—a wound inflicted when a person is intoxicated might have a more serious effect than otherwise.

HENRY DEAL re-examined. Q. You say you struck the prisoner on the nose? A. Yes—I was about hitting him again, when I felt the pain—the wound is on the left side—I struck at him with my left hand—I stood in front of him to strike—I did not notice what he was doing with his hand at the time.

GUILTY . Aged 31.— Confined Two Years.

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