THOMAS PERRYMAN.
31st March 1879
Reference Numbert18790331-395
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation
SentenceDeath

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395. THOMAS PERRYMAN (31) was indicted for, and charged on the Coroner's Inquisition with, the wilful murder of Frances Perryman.

MESSRS. POLAND and GILL Prosecuted; MESSES. MONTAGU WIILIAMS and WARNER SLEIGH Defended.

ELIZABETH ANN STREVENS . I live at 29, Harmood Street, Kentish Town, with my husband, Henry Strevens—the prisoner lived in the same house with his mother, Frances Perryman, in the first-floor back—we lived in the front room on the same floor—on Wednesday afternoon, 5th February, I went out about 2 o'clock—I returned about 5 o'clock and went upstairs—the prisoner came in about five minutes after; I heard him, I did not see him; he went into his room—I then heard a scuffle, I heard his mother's voice; I did not hear her speak more than once, I could not hear the words that she used—it was when I heard the scuffle that I heard her voice—I thought there was something the matter—I had seen Mrs. Perryman between 12 and 1 o'clock that day; that Was the last time I saw her, I did not speak to her then; she went through the passage—when I heard the scuffle I went down to the landlady and spoke to her—while I was speaking to her I heard the prisoner come downstairs and go out; it seemed directly after I had come down, I should think it was about 10 minutes from the time I heard him go into the room until I heard him go out—I did not notice what time it was, it was a little after 5 o'clock—I continued speaking to the landlady, and the prisoner came in again in an instant and went up into his room—I mean he returned in an instant after he had gone out; I heard him come in and go upstairs again—I then went up to my room; I thought I heard the prisoner crying, I came down again directly and spoke to the landlady, and while doing so I heard the prisoner go out again—he would have to pass the door of the room, it was closed—immediately afterwards the landlady and her husband went upstairs and I followed; the room door was locked and the key was in it, outside—they knocked and received no answer—I think the landlord called "Mrs. Perryman" three times; they then opened the door and went in; I followed into the roo—I saw Mrs. Perryman lying on the bed on her left side—she was dead, but warm, the

bed clothes were all round up to her throat, covered up, right up to her ears—she had her clothes on—I did not notice the state of her dress then; I felt her forehead, she felt as if she had just gone, still warm—I did nothing else—the landlord left to get a doctor—a policeman afterwards came—nothing was done to the body or the clothes by me or the landlady, the clothes were not disturbed at all—the deceased and the prisoner had been living in the house about four months—she was a sober woman—he was not a sober man—I don't think he was in any work at this time—I had not seen him earlier in the day.

Cross-examined. I was not conversant with the contents of their room, I had never been in it before—the deceased's head was at the foot of the bed.

By the COURT. I heard the prisoner go upstairs twice; I did not see him either time; I thought it must be him because nobody else had any business there—I did not hear anything to make me sure it was him—I heard the deceased's voice, but did not hear what she said.

By MR. POLAND. The prisoner and his mother slept in the same room; they had a second room; they did not use it—the prisoner always slept in the same room with his mother.

JANE RUDD . I am the wife of James Lewis Rudd, of 39, Harmood Street—I am the landlady—the prisoner and his mother had been lodging there about four months; they occupied the first-floor back—the prisoner is a stonemason by trade; he was not in work at the time this occurred—I do not think he had been in work for 9 or 10 weeks—Mrs. Perryman was nearly 70 years of age, she told me she was just on 70—she did nothing for her living—they both used the same room—I believe there were some articles in the other room, but not a bed in it, there was one bed in the room which they both used—the prisoner told me that he himself slept in a corner of the room on the floor—on Wednesday, 5th February, I saw Mrs. Perryman between 11 and 12 o'clock in the day, I was in the back parlour and saw her go out with a pail and return with it—she appeared in her usual health at that time; she was dressed in her ordinary day clothing; she did not speak to me; I saw her out of the parlour window; that was the last time I saw her, I heard her afterwards—I generally saw her every day, sometimes she was rather bad and unable to go out, but latterly, for the last few weeks, she was in her usual health as far as I know—I don't remember hearing her after about 2 o'clock that day, she was then going through the passage from the street to go upstairs—I had not seen the prisoner that afternoon—I heard him go out about 1 o'clock—besides Mrs. Strevens there was a man and his wife lodging in an ante-room, a back room on the stairs, they were both out that day—about 5 o'clock that afternoon I saw Mrs. Strevens come in and the prisoner came in about live minutes after Mrs. Strevens went upstairs—I did not see the prisoner come in, I heard him—I thought it was him by the walk, he went upstairs—about eight or ten minutes afterwards Mrs. Strevens came down and made a statement to me and while she was speaking to me I heard the prisoner come down and go out, and I saw him through the parlour window—I saw him run out from the street door and out of the gate and up the street, he appeared madly excited, he ran and threw up his arms and legs, he seemed to fly almost, he did not pass by the window, he went the other way—he returned in what appeared to be not more than a minute or a minute and a half—I caught sight of him as he returned but

not distinctly, it was getting dusk—my husband saw him—he went upstairs leaving the street door wide open, it opens with a latch key, he usually had one—Mrs. Strevens was still with me in the front parlour, she went upstairs, my husband came home at the time—Mrs. Strevens had been gone only a minute or so before she ran down again and made a statement to me—I heard the prisoner come downstairs again and go out and shut the door—I did not see him at all on that occasion, I only heard him—I ran upstairs immediately and went to the door of the back room first floor—I knocked loudly and called Mrs. Perryman three times by name—I got no answer or any sound of any kind—my husband came up immediately after—he knocked three times and called; he then opened the door, we got a light, and went in—the door was locked and the key left on the outside—there was no light or fire in the room; when we went in we saw Mrs. Perryman lying on the bed: there was no sign of life at all in her—she was lying partially on the left side, with the knees drawn up; her head was towards the foot of the bed; lying on pillows and bolster; they were placed underneath her head, about a foot from the foot of the bedstead—the bedclothes were partially covered over her up round the ears, and part of an old black shawl was wrapped round the neck—there were not many bedclothes—she was wearing boots and stockings and her legs were drawn up and exposed to the knees—she was fully dressed—I got a looking-glass and placed it to her mouth, but I saw no sign of breath—I did not move the clothes in the least—I noticed no marks about her at that time—we did not know that anything had happened to her then—my husband felt the pulse of her left hand, which was outside the coverlid, and I felt her forehead—my husband ran for a doctor, there were two or three tables in the room, but it was all in a state of confusion—there was nothing overturned—I believe it always had been in that state, I have heard so but I have not been inside the room—there were no signs of disturbance, nothing to attract my attention—there were two or three chairs in the room—I remained in the room while my husband had gone for the doctor—I dare say we were there for an hour or more; he was not able to get a doctor for some considerable time—I remained there till Mr. Shoppee came—my husband fetched a policeman when he could not get a doctor—he did not disturb the body or the clothes, he came and looked but did not touch, he fetched another constable—when Mr. Shoppee came he looked at the deceased and thought that her death might have arisen from a blow—there was a large lump on her forehead, but that was a tumour—the doctor did nob disturb the clothes at all—nothing was done with the room after the doctor left, it was locked up and the body was left in the room that night, the door was locked and I had the key—about 9 o'clock or a little before, that same night, the prisoner came to the house, he went straight upstairs—I had the key of the room at that time—he came down immediately and asked for the key—I said the police had got it—my husband came in at the front door and confronted the prisoner at the foot of the stairs; he said, "Are you aware what has occurred upstairs?" the prisoner said, "Unfortunately I am"—he said, "I ran for brandy and I ran all the way to Holloway;" he muttered something else not quite distinct, about having friends, and walked out of the house—he was not sober then, he came back again but I did not admit him, I kept the chain on the door, he was not allowed to come into the house that night—about 12 or between 12 and 1 that same night, Inspector Dodd came with another

Inspector—I gave him the key of the room and went up with him—in con-sequence of what my husband had told him, he uncovered the deceased's throat, and I saw a mark round the throat quite distinctly—I had seen that before, I went up with my husband previous to that, I think about 11 o'clock, he uncovered the throat, then I saw the mark, and I noticed that her dress was unfastened from the stays down to the waist—the stays were unfastened and the dress also and the chemise, literally quite bare to the waist—I think my husband covered the clothes over again, and I locked the room up again—after the Inspector had left the room we locked it up again until Inspector Dodd with Sergeant Lucas came next morning; about half past 9, I gave him the key and went into the room with him—I saw them examine the body—I don't remember noticing this red handkerchief until after the death, I saw it round the deceased's neck when the Inspector and Sergeant Lucas were there—I saw Sergeant Lucas take it from the neck, it was hanging quite loose—the body was taken away about 7 o'clock that evening to the mortuary—that would be Thursday evening; she was removed in the same state, with the clothes on—after the police had made a further examination of the place, the key of the room was given to me—I did not know much about Mrs. Perryman's means—I don't know anything about this black handkerchief—I remember a foreign letter coming for her about Christmas time—the deceased told me that it came from Australia, 18,000 miles off—I believe I should know the envelope again, it was a square envelope—a young lady brought it to the door and I called Mrs. Perryman downstairs to receive it from her—I should say this (produced) is the envelope, but I could not be quite positive; it had either three or four stamps on it, I think this was about three weeks before Christmas, but that I am not quite sure of.

Cross-examined. The prisoner returned to the house several times after 9 o'clock, and I refused to let him in or his brother—the brother came several times also—there was no sign of any struggle when I went first into the room—the bed was greatly in confusion—there was no sign of any struggle on the bed—when we first went to the door the key was on the outside of the door and locked—I do not know anything about the furniture that was in the room—I had never been inside the room, only to the door—when my husband said to the prisoner, "Are you aware what has happened?" I believe his reply was, "Unfortunately I do"—I think he said, "I know she has gone, poor old soul; you don't know our circumstances"—I could not say whether he appeared to be sober when I saw him run out in the afternoon—I said before the Coroner, "He walked as if sober that afternoon, but in the evening when he returned he was the worse for drink"—that is correct—that was after I had refused him admittance.

JAMES LEWIS BUDD . I am the husband of the last witness—on 5th February I came home about 5.15—as I approached the house I saw the prisoner coming down the street towards the house—he turned into the small garden in front of the house in front of me, went in, and left the door wide open and went upstairs—I went into my own room—while I was there with my wife Mrs. Strevens came downstairs—while she was speaking to in I heard, as I supposed, the prisoner come downstairs and go out; that was not more than 3 minutes after he had gone up—after he had gone out my wife and Mrs. Strevens went upstairs; they called me and I followed them up; I knocked at the door three or four times, and called "Mrs.

Perryman" each time—the door was locked and the key was on the outside; getting no answer I asked Mrs. Strevens for a light, and I went into the room, and behind the door, lying on the bed, I saw the body of Mrs. Perryman she was lying partially on her left side; her head was towards the foot of the bed; the door opens close to the bed; her head was about half a yard from the foot of the bed—I felt her pulse directly I went in; she was quite warm—I could not see any part of her neck—I went out to try and find a doctor—I first removed the clothes about 10 o'clock, after I had been and heard a remark from the prisoner's brother; they were torn completely open in front—I met the prisoner on the stain about 9 o'clock—at that time the room had been locked up—he was under the influence of liquor—I asked him if he knew what had occurred upstairs—he said, "Unfortunately I do, but you don't know our circumstances; I have been for brandy, and I ran all the way to Hollo way"—that was all that was said; he then went out of the house—he was in a very excitable state; he burst out crying whilst he was speaking to me—I next saw him about 10 o'clock at the Prince of Wales public-house at the corner of the street, about 80 yards from the house; I was in the private bar then, he was in the public bar opposite—I could see him quite distinctly; he was speaking to a person whom I have since found out was his brother, William Henry Perryman—they were quarrelling together; the brother was trying to stand up from a fall, and the prisoner was trying to push him down—I heard the brother say, "You told me you hung your mother," or words to that effect; that was when the prisoner was trying to push his brother down into the seat; he pushed him down, and said, "You shut up"—I did not hear anything else said—they were both drunk—in consequence of what I heard there I went back to my house and told my wife, and then it was that I went upstairs and saw the marks; I removed a portion of the garments round the throat and chin, and by the light of the lamp I saw the red mark round the throat; that was, I believe, the first time that the clothing had been touched—in consequence of what I saw I consulted a friend and then went to the police-station; Inspector Dodd followed me back—the door of the room remained locked during the night—the prisoner came there several times and the brother also, they came separately—I don't know when the brother came first; it was after I had seen him at the public-house—I did not admit either of them—the brother came again about 7 in the morning—I got up and went out to look for a policeman, and the brother followed me while I was looking for the policeman as far as the Shipton public-house—he went in there and brought the prisoner out, and that was the last I saw of the prisoner until he was in custody.

Cross-examined. In the public-house they both appeared to me to be considerably the worse for drink.

By the COURT. I could not swear exactly to the words the brother used; they were, "You hung your mother," or "You told me you hung your mother;" it was one of those two; I am not sure which; that was what I meant by saying "or words to that effect."

CHARLES 'DODO (Police Inspector Y). On Wednesday night, 5th February, at midnight, Mr. Rudd came to the Kentish Town Police station; in consequence of what he said I went to 39, Harmood Street—on the way I saw the prisoner at the top of Harmood Street; he was drunk; he looked Very excited in his manner—he said to me "Where can I get a bed?"—I

told him at a coffee-house—he made no reply—I followed him to a coffee-house close by, 44, Ferdinand Street, and engaged him a bed, and he went in there—I directed an officer to watch the house—I then went to 39 Harmood Street, to the first-floor back room; Mrs. Rudd opened the door and I saw the woman lying on the bed; I then saw the mark on the neck; I did not make any full examination then; I merely looked at the mark, and cleared the room of the people that were in, locked the door, and gave the key to Mrs. Rudd with directions that no one should enter till I returned in the morning—next morning I went there at 9.30 with Sergeant Lucas—I then examined the woman; I moved a black shawl that was round the neck, which I had covered up on the previous night; it had been put there and removed by the witness Rudd, and I covered up the neck again with it in the same state in which it was—I removed it and the bedclothing to the waist—I saw this red handkerchief lying loosely round the neck on to the breast, in this position (describing it)—I directed Lucas to remove it, which he did, and I took possession of it; it was precisely in the same condition when he removed it as it is now, with this knot in it, and it was torn exactly as it is now—I noticed that the clothing she was wearing had been undone to the waist, the dress, stays, and chemise; it was a very old chemise, and it was low down towards the waist; it was unfastened, or looked as if it had been torn; it looked as if they had all come away at once—I noticed a mark round the neck—she was fully dressed; she was lying partially on her left side, her knees drawn up, and the head was very much elevated on pillows—the room was in a very dirty state—I did not see any appearance of any struggle having taken place—I noticed a cupboard with a door to it; it had on it an ordinary iron hat-peg; that was unbroken; there was nothing attached to it—I found this piece of cord in the room, which was used as a. clothes-line; it was suspended across the room fastened to two nails, one on each side of the room—the hat-peg was six feet from the ground—there was nothing underneath it—I examined the floor; the size of the room was 12 feet by 11—the room door opened against the bedstead, on the right as you go in—the Chief Inspector arranged for the body to be removed—Sergeant Lucas searched the room in my presence to see if he could find any money—no money was found—I did not smell or see any spirits in the room—the body was removed about half-past 6 on the Thursday evening—I saw the prisoner during that day; I first saw him about 11 at the Prince of Wales public-house; he was not sober; I did not speak to him—I saw next about half-past 1 in the day; he was not sober then; that was at the Kentish Town Police-station—he was brought there in custody on a charge of drunkenness—he was searched in my presence, and this small black handkerchief was taken from his breast coat-pocket; there was nothing in it; the money was in his waistcoat pocket; 16s. 3 1/2 d. was taken from him, and five pawnbrokers'duplicates, one for two neckties on 11th January, 1879, for 6d. in the name of Williams; on 18th January, 1879, a hammer for 1s. in the name of Johnson; on 27th January five tools for 1s. in the same name; on 28th January 23 tools and a bag for 3s. in the same name; and on 29th January six silver tea-spoons and sugar-tongs for 17s. in the name of Thomas Payne, pledged at Mr. Alworthy's, 5, Lismore Circus, Haverstock Hill; the others were pledged at another pawnbroker's named Thompson close by—I also found on him this latch-key—as he was going to the cells he said "Give me that money; what are you going to do with it?

it was my mother's, poor old girl; she has been dead these two months, and buried in Finchley Cemetery"—he was drunk—I next spoke to him at 1.30 p. m. at the Marylebone Police-court—he was then sober—I said "You will be charged on suspicion of having caused the death of your mother, Frances Perryman, at 39, Harmood Street, on the 5th instant"—he said "Very well"—he made a long pause, and then said "Me kill the poor old girl 1"—I cautioned him; I told him that anything he said might be used in evidence; I said that before he said anything—I then held up this black handkerchief, and said "How do you account for the possession of this handkerchief?"—he said "I suppose that is what the money was wrapped in"—I said "How do you account for the possession of the money?"—he said "That is change for a sovereign I found about the poor old girl"—he afterwards corrected himself, and said "No, it must have been in the handkerchief on the mantelshelf"—that was all that passed—the charge was then entered, and he was taken before the Magistrate the same day.

Cross-examined. I did not take any note of the articles of furniture that were in the room—I noticed, but did not take any note—there were chairs, only one bed—I saw a tub, it was like a tub cut in two—it is here—the iron peg behind the door was an ordinary one for hanging dresses on, screwed into the door—it was about 6 feet from the ground—I measured it at 9.30 on the Thursday morning—I went there first, about 1 o'clock on the Thursday morning, or a little after—it was on my second visit at 9.30 that I measured it—I should say the tub stood about 2 feet high from the floor—this red handkerchief is torn, and broken short off at the knot—that is precisely as I found it—it was severed, and lying loosely on the neck. Re-examined. The parts where it is severed were lying close together—I could see the two ends—I could see that it was severed when Lucas took it up—the tub was empty—I should think it had been used for washing purposes—it is about 20 inches in diameter—it was behind a chest of drawers, which as I entered the room faced the door—then there was a distance between the back of the chest of drawers to the cupboard door of about 5 feet, and the end of the tub was up against the drawers, or nearly so—the tub was standing on its side against the wall—the open part was lying out into the room—(The witness drew a sketch of the room)—the tub stood between the drawers and the cupboard—the cupboard door is here (produced)—the peg is now broken—at the time I examined the room the peg was screwed on all right—the witness is here who broke it—the tub was standing about 8 inches from the cupboard door—I believe the object of the drawers standing out from the wall was that the prisoner should have a bed there where he could lie, but there was nothing of the kind there.

THOMAS LUCAS (Police Sergeant Y). I went with the last witness to the house, and was present while he examined the place—I assisted in searching the room—I found some papers there, amongst them the envelope of one from Australia—another witness will produce the letter—we found three or four Australian letters—the Coroner's officer has one, dated 7th October,* 1878, it was taken charge of before I was there—I have heard Inspector Dodd describe the manner in which this handkerchief was found round the neck—it was an accurate description.

EDWARD COLLETT SHOPPEE . I am a M.R.C.S., and a registered medical practitioner, living at 233, Kentish Town Road—on Wednesday, 5th February, the police fetched me to 39, Harmood Street—I got there about

6.10—I went up into the back room first-floor, and saw the woman lying dead on the bed—her head was towards the door as you entered the room, propped up by several pillows, and a bolster folded underneath her shoulders—there was an interval between the pillows and the iron work of the bed—the upper portion of the body was covered up with old bedclothing right up to the face; the lower portion was uncovered, to the extent of a couple of feet perhaps, up to the knees—I saw that she had her clothing on—she was quite dead—the body was cooling, but still warm—I thought she had been dead about an hour—I did not notice any smell of spirits in the room—my attention was called to a swelling on the deceased's right temple—I asked if it was recent, and I was told yes—I was of opinion at that time that it was possibly a mark of violence—I afterwards ascertained that it was an old wen from a tumour—I did not make any examination of the state of the body at that time, except to ascertain the fact of life or death—I did not uncover the neck; I only felt the condition of the hand to see if there was any pulsation—having satisfied myself that she was dead, I made no further examination—I did not see the handkerchief at that time—I reported the matter to the Coroner's officer—I was afterwards directed to make a post-mortem examination—I made it on Friday the 7th at the mortuary, St. Pancras—the divisional surgeon of the police, Mr. Downes, was present—I have my original notes made at the time in the mortuary—externally I found the body was fairly nourished—she appeared to be a little over 70—there was a cluster of blood spots at the top of the left thigh; that is usually found in cases of suffocation, arising from various causes—there was not very much post-mortem staining—the lividity of the body was not very great—I found a mark on the neck which began three fingers' breadth below the right ear, and passed backwards round the back of the neck, and under the chin, terminating with a deep dent on the margin of the lower jaw-bone—it extended round the neck, across the left side to about an inch in front of the angle of the jaw, fading off into a pink line on the right cheek—the mark varied in width from a quarter to half an inch, broader behind, but mow deeply indented in front, particularly so at its termination—the colour of the mark was a light mahogany brown, and the skin was parchment-like to the touch—I believe it was a mark made during life—there was no blood or froth from the mouth or nose; the eyes were not congested; the clothing and the buttocks of the deceased were soiled by a motion—the palms of the hands were not marked by the print of finger nails, but both palms and nails were livid—on turning back the skin corresponding to the mark, the superficial muscles were found somewhat blanched internally—the liver and kidneys were healthy, the stomach was half-full of partially digested food, composed of meat and vegetable matter—there was no smell of alcohol—the stomach itself was healthy, the heart was healthy, containing an ounce or more of dark fluid blood in the right ventricle, the left side empty; the aorta, the principal bloodvessel, was healthy; there was some evidence of old disease at the top of the right lung—on section the lobes appeared deeply congested, mostly so at the base, with frothy mucus of a dark bloody colour—the right bronchial tube was intensely congested, and its divisions filled up with frothy bloody mucus; on the left side similar appearances—the trachea was much congested, diminishing towards the upper end—the trachea or larynx was uninjured, the tongue pale and not bitten, the superficial vessels of the brain were slightly congested, the brain

healthy—the upper portion of the spinal cord healthy, the vertebrae uninjured—that was all—the marks I saw on the neck might have been caused by this handkerchief—in my judgment the cause of death was strangulation—I should think in this case constriction of the neck would not have to be kept up more than a minute and a half before death would be caused—I think that would be quite sufficient time to cause death—I saw no other cause of death but the strangulation; I should think it was accelerated by fear—in my judgment she could not herself have inflicted the marks I saw on the neck by strangulation—in my judgment she could not have used this handkerchief in a way to strangle herself, from the marks I saw; she had not power enough to produce such deep indentations—in my judgment the marks on the neck might have been caused by hanging herself, if a specially arranged loop had been made.

By the COURT. I mean, if a running knot had been made, but then we should not have had the absence of the 2 1/2 inches mark on the neck; if these two ends had been tied together and hung on a nail such as that, and her head thrust through it, she might have been suspended, and that might have made the appearances I saw, but not with a running noose; if it had been tied at the ends and hung on a nail and the woman was suspended in it, it might have caused such marks; that is, if a person in order to hang themselves had first of all tied a tight knot and placed the two ends together and then put the loop over the peg, and then put the head into the loop, in that way it might be done, but the chances on the contrary are that the body might fall out before death had taken place—there was no connecting mark on the throat or neck; if done in the way suggested it would account for the marks on the back part of the neck as well—it depends upon whether the woman hung herself sideways or with her face to the door—there must have been a great deal of pressure on the back of the neck—if a person wanted to commit suicide in that way, one would presume they could not do otherwise than fix the loop under the chin; if that were done one would expect to find a deep mark there—I wanted to put it in every possible light, and it occurred to me that supposing by accidental circumstances the woman, instead of putting it in that way, put her face sideways instead of having her back to the door, and getting the pressure under the chin, she had gone in a side way direction facing the bed or window, then you might get the interval of 2 1/2 inches; then the pressure would come under the angle of the jaw on one side—if done in that way I should expect to find a point where there was no pressure behind—if a person was lying on a bed and you put a loop round the neck and exerted, great pressure, that pressure would show at every point except where the cords did not cross; if on the other hand a person exerts the pressure by their own weight, then the indentation must prevail about the point where the weight of the body acts; the pressure could not come, and the marks could not be made on that part of the body where the weight did not act—if a person hung herself with such a loop as I have described the body would probably swing about in one way or other, but the point where the cords would not cross must almost of necessity he at the back of the neck—I put forward the fact of a person hanging herself in the way described as a remote possibility.

Q. Then just see if this expresses your view quite accurately: "I think that if a person did hang herself in a loop, it would be possible, but highly improbable, that such an indentation as I saw in this case should appear on

the back of the neck, as the chin must be put through the loop, and the weight of the body, in the absence of a running noose, would be thrown on the fore part and sides of the neck." A. Quite. so; I assent to that.

By MR. POLAND. Assuming that the woman was on the bed and that some person had used this handkerchief for the purpose of strangling her the marks I saw were consistent with that; if the handerchief had been worn round the neck as it ordinarily is, by just catching hold of the two ends and pulling backwards and upwards, if the woman was lying on the bed, that would be sufficient—the pink mark on the cheek showed that there was an upward direction used—the distortion is generally greater in strangulation than in hanging, because, as a rule, more violence is used—in this case there was not what I should term great distortion—I have said that the death might have been caused by strangulation, accelerated by fear, because terror has been known to do so; I do not say so from the post-mortem appearance—the motion would come from her just at the time of death—she was rather peculiarity dressed, she wore men's trousers—I could not form any opinion as to what position she was in when the motion came from her.

Cross-examined. In my opinion death from strangulation inflicted by herself was impossible—suffocation by suspension by herself is very remotely possible; there is a remote possibility—in death by strangulation I should expect to find considerable distortion, as a rule—there was a decided absence of distortion in this case—the mark on the neck was over the whole circumference of the neck except about 2 1/2 inches—if the head was in an ordinary position the mark would be slightly oblique; it depends on the way in which you have the head—obliquity is more common in death by suspension, and the mark is generally high up; in strangulation it is more circular—there must have been a good deal of violence to produce such a mark as I saw—I should not have expected to find the remains of a considerable struggle on the bed—if it had been done in the room, and the body subsequently placed on the bed, I should have expected to find signs of a considerable struggle, if strangulation had been inflicted with considerable violence—I have not seen any death caused by hanging—I cannot tell how many I have seen from strangulation; I have seen bodies after death, but I have not taken part in the examination of any from strangulation—I have not made any examination in either case; I have made plenty of post-mortem examinations in other cases—I have said that the muscles were blanched—I should not expect to find the muscles dark in colour under the mark—I do not think in hanging by a loose noose that the weight of the body would necessarily cause it to swing, unless it was suspended from a tree; it depends from what point you suspend it, if you suspended it from that gas branch it might; if suspended from that hook it would be quite unlikely to twist right round—supposing a person had a low stool or something underneath to raise themselves from the ground, and kicked it away, if the noose was loose, it would be quite unlikely that the body, if against a door, would swing round.

Re-examined. I do not know what the weight of the deceased's body was; she was fairly nourished; she was about 5 feet 4 inches in height.

By the COURT. The distortion of the features depends a good deal on the amount of time during which the constriction is kept up; if quickly removed, in cases of hanging, even in judicial executions, there would be very little distortion—I have said that in this case it would not take more than a minute and a half to effect strangulation; if after that time the ligature was removed

I should expect to find very little distortion—the degree of distortion would depend partly on the violence used and partly on the time during which the process lasted—it would require extraordinary resolution for a person to keep up the pressure for a minute and a half on their own person, they would become insensible; if they became insensible and the hands relaxed, the cords would at once become loose, therefore it would be morally impossible that any person could strangle themselves and produce the mark on themselves otherwise than by hanging.

DENNIS SYDNEY DOWNBS . I am a M.RC.S. of Dublin, and surgeon to the police at Kentish Town—I was present with Mr. Shoppee at the time the post-mortem examination was made on the body of the deceased—I have heard the account that he has given as the result of that examination, and agree with him in what he has said as to the appearance of the body—I took part with him in the examination—I think the cause of death was strangulation; it would have, required great violence to produce the marks I saw—I think it is possible that a person could have produced such a mark upon themselves by strangulation—I have seen it in the living—it would require considerable strength to do it, long-continued constriction—a person would he likely to lose consciousness in the attempt—I do not think that a woman of 70 could have used such violence as this without losing consciousness—I have a case in my mind where a drunken woman in a cell got her bonnet strings round her neck, and I was called in to cut her down, there was a very strong mark there, the strings were tied tightly, and she could not undo them; in that case the strangulation would go on after the loss of consciousness—if the strings were not tied constriction would cease—the mark I saw could be produced by suspension—I do not moan by hanging in the ordinary way, except by a regulated noose, not by the handkerchief I have seen—I agree with what Mr. Shoppee has said with regard to a running noose—it would have to be done in the way he described, in a noose, a loop would not do it; it would not make that mark en the neck—a prepared noose would be continuous—I do not think it possible that the mark could he produced by a prepared loop, because the mark did not unite, there was an interval of 2 1/2 inches—I am of opinion that it was produced by the handkerchief put round the neck, and caught by the hand.

By the COURT. A person might make a mark round their neck by hanging themselves, but if hung in a running noose it would make a mark right round the neck—this mark must have been made by a loop, not by a noose—the hanging by the loop would not produce a similar mark, the mark would not go all round the neck, and it would be differently placed—in my judgment this mark was caused by strangulation.

Cross-examined The frayed part of this handkerchief is about three quarters of an inch from the knot, a woman's head could go into that space if the two ends were put together; if she stood sideways to the hook on the door, and kicked something away on which she was standing that might account for the want of continuity round the neck, but it would be differently placed, it would be placed posteriorly—if the noose was placed on the hook, and then she put her head into it, and then kicked away the object on which she stood, I don't think that would account for the want of continuity of the mark round the neck; I feel sure of that; the continuity would be greater, there would be a larger space between the ends; they would not meet where they did—there would be a want of continuity, but it would be a

very large amount of it—the face was placid and pale in colour when I saw it—that was on the Friday at 2.30 in the afternoon—there was a certain amount of lividity of the palms of the hands, and they were clenched, but not closed—there was not so much lividity as you would find in extreme violence, that is from hanging—you may have them violently clenched sometimes, they vary very much—I could not form any definite opinion from the state of the hands as I found them.

Re-examined. I agree with Mr. Shoppee that the amount of distortion would depend upon whether the constriction was quickly removed or not—if quickly removed there would be very little distortion—it would depend upon the amount of the violence and the time at which the constriction was kept up—death would be caused by the constriction very rapidly.

JOSEPH PIMM . I am barman to my uncle, who keeps the Prince of Wales public-house—I had known the prisoner as a customer for about three months before this matter occurred—on Wednesday, 5th February, I saw him in the Prince of Wales, about 7 o'clock in the evening, with his brother—I did not know his brother before—they were in front of the bar; they were sober; they had nothing to drink in the house then—the brother said to him "You have hung my mother; you told me you have hung my mother"—the prisoner made no reply—the remark was made in an angry tone by the brother; they were on the other side of the bar—I know Mr. Rudd—I did not notice him there at the time; he was a customer of ours—they were sitting down on the other side of the bar at the time, and after that they rose up and walked out in two or three minutes—about 9 o'clock that evening I saw the prisoner again—there was another man there named Cowten—the prisoner was in a very excited state; I served him with two threes of brandy hot; he paid me with a sovereign, which he took from his breast pocket, it seemed to come from a corner of a black handkerchief like this (produced); he took it out of the handkerchief and handed it to me to pay for the brandy, and I gave him 19s. 6d. change—I did not notice what he did with the change; he left without drinking the brandy.

Cross-examined. I gave my evidence to the Treasury, but not before the Magistrate or Coroner—in my opinion they were both perfectly sober when the brother said this, and they were both sitting down at the time, they got up and went out together—Cowten was present when the prisoner took the sovereign from the handkerchief.

Re-examined. I knew Cowten before, he is a jobbing gardener; he did not come in with the prisoner when he changed the sovereign, he was present at the time.

JOSEPH GIBSON . I live at 17, Mansfield Road, Kentish Town—the prisoner and his mother used to live in the adjoining house to me—I left on 12th October—I saw her frequently and spoke to her—I noticed that she kept her money in a black silk handkerchief with a fringe to it—that is the one produced—she kept it tied up in a knot rolled up in her bosom.

THOMAS APPLEBY . I live at 46, Harmood Street, and am an assistant to Mrs. Austin, a greengrocer—I knew Mrs. Perryman as a customer between three and four months; she used to come and order coals—on Wednesday, 5th February, she came to the shop a little after 2 and ordered some coals; they were to be sent in shortly afterwards, but I never took them; she did not pay for them; she told me to bring change for 6d.—she seemed about the same as usual—our shop is about three minutes' walk from where she

lived—she had her bonnet on and was dressed in the ordinary way, and had on a very dark veil.

FRANK ROBERTS . I am assistant to Mr. Alworthy, a pawnbroker, of 5, Lismore Circus, Haverstock Hill—I knew Mrs. Perryman—on 22nd July last she pledged with me six tea spoons and some sugar tongs for 2s. 6d.—I kept one ticket and gave her the other—on 16th January the prisoner came to the shop; I saw him; he brought the ticket, and asked for 10s. more on the spoons—I did that, made out a fresh ticket for 12s. 6d., and gave it him; I kept the old one—on 29th January he came again, and Wanted all they were worth—I made out a fresh ticket for 17s., and gave him 1s. 6d.—this is the ticket (produced); it is my writing—on the Monday or Tuesday in the next week Mrs. Perryman called and spoke about the spoons, and gave me some directions—I had not been in the habit of seeing her very often; she appeared the same as usual on the Monday or Tuesday—after she spoke to me I wrote something on the ticket.

MR. POLAND proposed to ask what directions the deceased gave the witness as to the spoons, also to produce the ticket to show what memorandum the witness made upon it.

MR. WILLIAMS objected, the matter taking place in the absence of the prisoner.

MR. JUSTICE STEPHEN entertaining some doubt as to the admissibility of the evidence, it was not pressed.

Cross-examined. I had known the woman before as a customer pledging things.

JOHN HODSDEN MURRAY . I am the Coroner's officer—I visited this house after this occurrence—I found this letter in a drawer—the drawer was closed and on pulling the slide back I found the letter in a recess. (This was a tetter dated from California 7th October, 1878, purporting to come from a niece of the deceased, enclosing a draft for 5l.)

FREDERICK PENN . I am timekeeper at Betts's tinfoil manufactory, Birkbeck Road, Upper Holloway—I knew William Henry Perryman; he used to work at the factory as a caster—I did not know where he lived—he used to come to work daily—on Wednesday, 5th February, he was at work there up to 6 o'clock—he did not come to work after that—I believe he did come the next day, but I did not see him; he never did any more work after Wednesday night—I do not of my own knowledge know that he is dead.

Cross-examined. I believe he committed suicide.

WILLIAM GREEN (Policeman R 213). I am stationed at Bexley Heath—on 18th February I saw the body of a man lying under a tree; he had been cut down—he had committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree—I did not know him personally; he was afterwards identified as William Henry Perryman—there was an inquest; I believe Inspector Dodd saw the body.

CHARLES DODD (Re-examined). The body of the man at Bexley was that of the prisoner's brother, the same I have spoken of—he had been examined previously at the Coroner's inquest on the mother.

JAMES BARTER . I live at 26, Quadrant Grove, Kentish Town—a day or two after the death of Mrs. Perryman I went to the house, 39, Harmood Street—I saw an iron peg on the cupboard door in the first floor back room—I took hold of it and put the pressure of about 6lb. on it, and it snapped off close to the screws; it was so fearfully rotten it would not hold anything; a very slight effort did it.

CHARLES DODD (Re-examined). After the peg was broken I took off what remained of it; I unscrewed it from the door; this is it (produced)—there are two screws left in it now; I took the bottom one off.

ROBERT STEWART . I live at 9, Frederick Road, Peckham—I am officer of the Society for the Protection of Women—on 30th August, 1878,1 went to a house in Lismore Circus, where the prisoner resided with his mother—the prisoner came to the door—I asked him if Mrs. Perryman was in—he said no, she had gone out charing—about 10 minutes afterwards I saw her; she had two black eyes and her face was very much bruised—I spoke to her, and afterwards went and looked for the prisoner—I saw him outside the door; I told him who I was; I said, "What have you been knocking your mother about for?"—he said he was very sorry for what he had done—I said, "If your mother won't prosecute, the Society will"—he said, "I am very sorry, it won't occur again."

The Prisoner's Statement before the Magistrate. "I am not guilty. What was done she done herself with her own hands."

GUILTY. Recommended to mercy by the Jury. DEATH .


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