24th October 1864
Reference Numbert18641024-995
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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995. JOHN MORDAUNT (15) , Feloniously killing and slaying Henry Janson.

MR. KEMP conducted the Prosecution, and MR. SLEIGH the Defence.

WILLIAM GEORGE JANSON . I am the brother of the boy who was killed—on 7th September, I was in Epping Forest with three other boys, Charles Hoytesbale, Robert Holliday, and the deceased—we saw the prisoner and another boy about 5 o'clock, carrying guns on their shoulders—we asked them the way to the Rising Sun, and they directed us through the forest—I asked them if they had shot any birds or got any game, and they showed us a sparrow, which the prisoner threw up and shot—we stood and watched them fire for about ten minutes, and then went away—the prisoner and Meadows followed us—I had a black and white dog, and the prisoner said he would shoot it—we then ran away, but the prisoner followed us—my brother then said to him, "You are not allowed to shoot in the forest, the police would not allow it if they knew it; you do not know what danger you might do"—the prisoner said, "Yes, I am, I will shoot you," and he put the gun to his shoulder and discharged it—my brother fell down, his face was bleeding, and we carried him to the Rising Sun—he lived eighteen days afterwards in the London Hospital—I was with him when he died, and saw him when he was dead—I had not known the prisoner before.

Cross-examined. Q. Were you lads strangers to each other? A. Yes—we were not laughing and joking with each other before this terrible accident; we were merely watching them shooting—some of us did not propose that one party should become Federals and the other Confederates, nothing of the kind—when the prisoner said, "I will shoot you," the gun did not go off instantly, three seconds if should say elapsed before he discharged it—somebody then said, "You have shot him"—he did not then say, "Nonsense"—he said, "My gracious!" and ran away—about five

minutes elapsed before he returned—he helped me to carry the deceased out of the forest into the road, and we had the assistance of an old gentleman—I was examined before the Coroner's jury; they returned a verdict of accidental death.

CHARLES ROBERT HOLLIDAY . I am nearly fifteen years old, and live at 79, Sherborne-grove, Dalston—I was with Janson in Epping Forest, and saw the prisoner and his companions—we asked them the way to the Rising Sun—the prisoner fired off his rifle, and we subsequently ran away.

COURT. Q. Was the rifle to his shoulder when the boy was shot? A. Yes—I saw him with his hand like this, after he had been feeling in his bag—he said, "Here is a dose for some one"—the deceased said, "You have no right to shoot in the forest at all, if the police know it they will lock you up"—he said, "Ain't I, I will shoot you," and put the gun to his shoulder—I it remained there a very short time before he fired.

CHARLES HEYTESBALL . I am fourteen years old, and live in George-street, London-fields—I was with the other boys in Epping Forest—I remember Jnason being shot—just before he was shot he said to the prisoner, "You have no right to shoot in a place like this, the police would not allow it if they knew it"—the prisoner put the gun to his shoulder, fired it, and the boy fell.

JOHN PARK (Policeman, K 181). I took the prisoner and asked him who did it—he said, "I did it, the gun went off by accident"—I took the deceased to Dr. Collins at Wanstead, and then to the London Hospital.

Cross-examined. Q. Was the prisoner overwhelmed with grief, and did he render you every assistance he could? A. He rendered me every assistance he could.

JOHN DAWSON . I was house-surgeon at the London Hospital—the deceased was brought there suffering front a wound on the left side of his head, which might have been done by a gun-shot—he remained there eighteen days, and died from the effects of the wound—I extracted some of the shot—these are them (produced).


Before Mr. Recorder.

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