18th November 1872
Reference Numbert18721118-30
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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30. JOHN WILLIAMS (22) , Feloniously killing and slaying Robert James Pasley.

MR. COLLINS conducted the Prosecution.

ALFRED PASLEY . I live at 87, Marlborough Road, Chelsea, and am a smith—on Thursday evening, 7th November, I returned home, and found my little boy Robert, nine years old, suffering from pains in his inside—I called in a doctor—my son died on 8th November, in the evening.

WILLIAM DOHERTY . I am sixteen next July, and live at 1, Regent's Place, Leader Street, Chelsea—I have known the prisoner sixteen years, and never knew anything against him—he is a labourer—I have seen him in the "Guy" and in the "Jack-in-the-Green" for the last three years—on 7th November I was outside the Royal Oak public-house, and saw him in a clown's dress, with three chaps, about twenty years old, dressed the same as he was, and a boy—they were dancing, and some boys, who live in Oakum Street, were round them—the boys went behind Him, and stuck him with pins—they always do so every time there is a "Guy" or a "Jack-in-the-Green;" that is part of the amusement, because they think it is a lark—a clown's dress is loose over the figure—when the pins were stuck into the prisoner, I saw him attempt to kick one of them, who stepped on one side and avoided it, and he kicked another boy instead, who fell down—I do not know his name—I don't think it was Robert Pasley—I have been examined before, but my father said I did not know which boy it was, and I was taken to the house where Pasley was lying dead, and he was not so big as this boy—I have not said "The prisoner kicked Robert Pasley in the stomach;" I never mentioned his name, I did not know it—I have only talked to the Magistrate and the Coroner's jury about it.

COURT. Q. Tell the truth; you will do more harm than good if you have been persuaded to keep back anything you know. Tell the truth as far as you know it. Do you know who the boy was? A. No, I had never seen him before—I know I never gave his name before the Magistrate.

MR. COLLINS. Q. Did the prisoner kick a boy in the stomach? A. Yes, and that boy fell on the ground—it was not Robert Pasley; Robert Pasley was not so big—I do not know who the boy was who he did kick—I saw Robert Pasley in his coffin; that was the first time I did see him—I am sure the prisoner is the man who kicked a boy.

Prisoner. Q. Did you stick any pins into me? A. Yes.

Prisoner. And I clouted them for it. Two or three stuck pins into me, and I tried to hit one of them with my right hand, but missed him. I did not kick him. There were three or four of them; they were strangers to me. I kicked no boy at all. I was running across the road; it is rather a dark place, and I went up against him.

FRANCES MCKENZIE . I live at 40, Ive Street, Chelsea, and am the wife of a cab-builder there—on Thursday evening, 7th November, between 7 and 8 o'clock, I went by Oakum Street, which is close to Leader Street, and saw a "Guy Fawkes" and two clowns—the tallest of the two clowns caught Robert Pasley with his feet in the side, near his stomach, and he fell down—I mean that he kicked the child—the child went towards the gate, and he could not stand, and fell down by the gate—the prisoner is the clown who did it—the boy fell first, and the prisoner fell across him—the prisoner got up, and ran after the "Guy Fawkes"—the boy crawled to the gate—some one came up and rubbed his side, and he said "Don't rub me there; that is where he has kicked me"—I saw no other boys, and saw no one doing anything to the prisoner.

Prisoner. Q. I fell over the child and fell in the gutter. Did I kick the boy? A. Yes, you did.

COURT. Q. When you say he kicked the boy, could you see whether I he kicked at that boy or another boy? A. The crowd was at the bottom of the street—I did not see any other boy; this boy was by himself—the boy tried to get up, and the prisoner fell over him, and then the boy crawled towards the gate—he kicked the boy in front—the boy was facing him when he ran up and kicked him—the boy was going out of the street and the prisoner was coming into the street—they were 30 yards down the street.

JOHN HUTTING . I am a costermonger, of Westcott Street, Kent Street, Borough—I know the prisoner by his going out as "Jack-in-the-Green," and as "Guy"—I have been out with him as "Jack-in-the-Green"—on 7th November I was in Leader Street, dressed as a clown—we went to the coffee-shop to get some cake, and saw the prisoner running to catch the "Guy"—some boys had stuck pins into the prisoner, and he made a clout at one—I saw Robert Pasley down Oakum Street, stopping looking at something, and the prisoner fell over him into the gutter, and knocked him down—he was not kicked—the prisoner was running to catch the "Guy"—we were separated from the "Guy" when we went to the coffee-shop to get the cake—I say that the prisoner fell over the child accidentally—the child then sat on the kerb and said nothing, and we did not know he was hurt; and the prisoner got up and brushed the mud off his own clothes.

COURT. Q. How long did you stay? Did you see the child afterwards? A. I only saw the child sitting on the kerb, and I ran on to catch the "Guy"—we never thought the child was hurt—he got up and sat on the kerb—it was a quarter of an hour after the pins were stuck into the prisoner that he ran down to catch the "Guy."

JURY. Q. Was any one sticking pins into him at the time he knocked the child down? A. No—he was running to the coffee-shop, and it is a very dark street, you can hardly see your hand before you.

LOUISA SIMMONDS . I am 11 years old—on 7th November I was following the "Guy" in Oakum Street—there were four men and a little boy with the "Guy"—I saw some boys there, and little Bob Pasley—the man kicked Pasley in his side—I was 3 or 4 yards from him—the boy said "Don't kick me again, you have kicked me once"—the clown kicked him again, and said "Take that, you beast"—I do not know why he kicked him in that way—he kicked him twice, and the boy crawled along up to a window-ledge, and then he stood crying, and then he crawled along up to the Oak, and a gentleman carried him home—the clown then ran—the clown did not fall down when he kicked him, but afterwards, as he was running, he fell on his hands—the clown fell as far from the boy as from here to the other side of the room—I would not be sure that the prisoner was the clown who kicked him, unless he was dressed in his clown's clothes.

Prisoner. It was the other clown kicked another boy; this boy was standing in the road, and I knocked up against him, and fell over him.

COURT. Q. Was the clown who knocked the child running? A. Yes, but he stopped and kicked the little boy in the side, and then ran away—some other boys were there, but not many.; there were none in the way near the boy who was kicked.

HARRIETT DAVENPORT . I live at 20, Oakum Street—I know nothing of

the prisoner, but I saw him in the "Guy Fawkes" on 7th November—I saw the little boy Pasley looking after something in the middle of the road, and was just going to ask him what he had dropped, when the down, who was running with all his force, fell over him—the clowns both fell down, one fell over him, and then the other fell over him—I was close against the boy and was the first to pick him up—he fell against McKenzie's gate, and I picked him up—I had my baby in my arms—he was very ill, he put his hands across his stomach—I cannot say whether the prisoner kicked him because it was so dark—it appears that the clowns were running away from some boys who were sticking pins into them—I heard the clowns complain that they had been sticking pins into them on sticks—that was not many minutes before they fell over the child—I only live three or four doors from there, and was going for something for my husband's tea—I had seen the prisoner once before, but I never spoke to him—I believe he was dressed as a clown when I saw him before—my husband is a china hawker.

COURT. Q. Has anybody talked over this matter with you? A. No—I am speaking from what I saw, not from what I heard; I was the first that saw the child fall.

SAMUEL WALTER FARROW , M. R. C. S. I live at Fulham—on Thursday night, 7th November, a little before 9 p.m. I was called, and found a little boy on a bed writhing in agony; he was cold and pulseless, and complained of great pain in his side—I found no external marks, but great tenderness on pressure on the right side of the belly—that would not be a likely place to show a bruise, the elasticity of the walls of the stomach would prevent it—a sharp-pointed boot would have produced a mark, but a dull heavy blow would not—he died the following night Friday, and on opening the cavity of the abdomen I found the intestine bunt; it was a lacerated kind of tear, and there was a quantity of fetid matter and faces—that was the cause of death—the laceration must have been the result of some direct external violence; some heavy pressure—a fall and being run over by a man would produce it—I have seen a waggon wheel which passed over a body produce the same result—it would be too much of a guess whether it was more likely to be produced by a kick or a fall.

COURT to LOUISA SIMMONDS. Q. Have you had any talk about this matter with anybody since? A. No—I did not talk to the boy's mother, or hear anything from her about it, not a word.

MR. COLLINS proposed to call evidence to prove a statement made by the deceased about ten minutes after he was brought home.

THE COURT (having consulted MR. BARON BRAMWBLL) ruled that it would be dangerous to receive such evidence.

Prisoner's Defence. All I can say is I am very sorry for it; it was done quite accidentally. I had no idea of doing any harm.


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