27th October 1851
Reference Numbert18511027-1942
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation; Guilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment; Imprisonment

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1942. JOHN CONDON and BENJAMIN MORLEY , unlawfully assaulting Florence McCouliffe.

MESSRS. RYLAND and LOCKE conducted the Prosecution.

FLORENCE MCCOULIFFE . I am a bricklayer's labourer, and live at 21, Plumtree-court, Holborn. The prisoner Condon and his wife lodged with me for six or seven weeks, and left three weeks to-morrow—they owed me 6s. or 7s. for rent—I did not press him for it, but allowed him to take away his things—on Saturday, 18th Oct., I was in our sitting-room, which is on the ground-floor, with my wife and child; and Condon's wife was there—there was a knock at the "door, I opened it, and found Condon there—I said, "Condon, come in; you are welcome, John"—he up with his fist and struck me in the face, and then knocked me down by a kick in the belly—I fell on the bed—he then got a hammer from inside his jacket-pocket, and struck at my head; but I put my hand up, stopped the blow, and the hammer just grazed my face—I called to my wife, "I am murdered; he has got a hammer!"—my

wife ran to my assistance, caught him round the waist, and pulled him away from me; and before I had power to rise, Morley rushed in with a stick.

CATHERINE MCCOULIFFE . I am the wife of Florence McCouliffe. On 18th Oct., about half-past 10 o'clock in the evening, I was ironing at the window—there was a knock at the door, and my husband opened it—I saw Condon and Morley inside the street-door, in the passage, and I think Morley's wife—Condon came in, and struck my husband with his fist on the head, and knocked him down; he fell on the bed, and then cried out, "Murder, murder! he has got a hammer!"—I saw the knife in his hand—I caught hold of him to push him out, and he hit my child, gave her a black eye, and knocked her under the table—directly I laid hold of Condon, Morley came in, and hit my husband with a stick—the room door was not shut after Condon came in—it opens into a passage, and then there is another door into the court, which was open—I saw Morley in the passage—these (produced) are the hammer and stick—Morley struck at my husband's head, but he put up his arm and guarded it off—he was lying on the bed at the time—upon my husband's crying out "Murder!" my lodgers came down-stairs, and that made a noise and the prisoners got away.

Cross-examined by MR. PARNELL. Q. Was that woman, Mary Lions there? (pointing her out). A. No; she lives in the court—she did not come into my room till last Tuesday night, when she came to get us to settle it—Mrs. Condon ran out directly her husband came in, and I saw no more of her till my husband came back from the police-station—I was close to the bed when I pulled Condon off my husband—I did not get any blows myself, there was a great confusion, and it took a very short time—I do not know Morley at all—he and his wife had come once before when Condon was ill—our front-door is kept open till 10 o'clock—Morley and his wife were inside our passage when Condon came in, and there was another man also—Condon had left, in consequence of a quarrel with his wife; neither I or my husband bad anything to do with it.

Condon. Q. Did not your husband hit me in the face first? A. It all happened in an instant; as I turned round I saw my husband down—he did not strike you.

FLORENCE MCCOULIFFE continued. I did not strike' Condon—I never spoke a cross word to him in my life—directly I welcomed him he struck me—while I was lying on the bed Morley came in, and made a blow at my head—I cried out "Murder!" and by the alarm of the people on the stain they ran away.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you shut the door when you had let Condon in? A. No; as soon as I opened the door he hit me—I had not time to see if there was any one else there—I have never been in a row before—my wife nor I were never before a Magistrate—we may have had words—I do not know but what we might have had blows—my wife is not violent at times—I have never been in the hospital through her violence; I never was there at all.

CATHERINE MCCOULIFFE, JUN . On this Saturday night, about half-pad 10 o'clock, I was at home with my father and mother, and Mrs. Condon—my mother was ironing, and my father sitting by the fire—there was a knock at the door, my father opened it—Condon was there, and Morley was at the street-door, which is five or six steps from our door—my father asked Condon how he was, and welcomed him—Condon then struck him in the eye, kicked him in the belly, and knocked him down, and he fell on the bed—he then pulled a hammer from his pocket, and made a blow at my father, who caught

him by the wrist, and called out, "Catherine, Catherine! he has got a hammer to murder me"—Morley then came in with a stick, and made a blow at my father with it, and he caught it on his arm—my mother pulled Condon off my father, and he then came over and hit me in the eye, and knocked me down—there were footsteps heard on the stairs, and the prisoners ran away.

Cross-examined. Q. Your father let him in? A. Yes; he was just walking back to his seat by the fire when Condon struck him.

ADOLPHUS CLARK (City-policeman, 821). I was on duty in Plumtree-court, and about half-past 10 o'clock heard cries of "Murder!" and "Police!" from the direction of No. 21—I went in that direction, and saw both the prisoners running towards Shoe-lane, from 21—I followed them, caught Condon, and asked what was the matter—he said he did not know—I asked what made him run, and before he bad time to answer McCouliffe came and said he had struck him in the eye with the hammer—I took him to the station—he was sober.

THOMAS WILLIAM FAWKE (City-policeman, 836). On 18th Oct., about half-past 10 o'clock, I was on duty in Plumtree-court, and heard cries of "Murder!" coming from where No. 21 is—I went in that direction, and saw the two prisoners running towards Shoe-lane away from No. 21—Clark stopped Condon and I stopped Morley—he said it was not him that did it—I believe he was sober.

Cross-examined. Q. Does Morley live in Robinhood-court, Shoe-lane? A. Yes; he was running in that direction—Plumtree-court leads from Holborn into Shoe-lane—that would be his way home from Holborn.

DANIEL DRISCOLL . I live in Plumtree-court. On Sunday morning I was out early, and found a hammer in the trap of a cellar about a yard from the door of No. 21—I gave it to the police about an hour after.

ADOLPHUS CLARK re-examined. Driscoll gave me this hammer—the prosecutor gave me the stick, it had been picked up by a girl who followed us to the station—I have endeavoured to find her since.

FLORENCE M'COULIFFE re-examined. I saw a girl pick this stick up in Shoe-lane, at the end of Robinhood-court—I gave it to Clark (the stick was about two feet long, and loaded with lead).

(Morley received a good character.)

MORLEY— GUILTY. Aged 26.—Recommended to mercy by the Prosecutor.Confined Three Months .

CONDON— GUILTY . Aged 23.— Confined Four Months.

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