13th December 1880
Reference Numbert18801213-133
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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133. THOMAS TITLEY (39) was indicted for unlawfully supplying to William Stroud a certain noxious thing—viz., ergot of rye and tincture of perchloride of iron, with intent to procure the miscarriage of a woman. Second Count, for supplying the same with intent to procure the miscarriage of a certain woman, to wit the daughter of Martha Diffey.


CLARKE,.Q.C., with MR. BESLEY,.Defended.

Before plea, MR. CLARKE. objected to the First Count as bad on the face of it, and asked that it might be quashed, because it merely stated the intent to procure the miscarriage "of a woman" without giving any name, or adding the words "to the Jurors unknown." The Second Count he admitted to be good.

MR. BESLEY. called the attention of the Court to the cases of Heyman v. the Queen (L. R. 8th, Q. B. 102), and the Queen v. Faidge, Leigh and Cave, 390, in support of this being the proper time for making the application to quash. In the first case cited, it was decided that an imperfect count, which ought to be quashed, after plea pleaded, would be a good count, and aided by verdict. In the second case, it was decided that the Court ought to quash a count which was not a good count.

MR. POLAND. stated that the First Count was copied from an indictment in the Queen v. De Baddeley, tried in this Court before the present Recorder, then Common Serjeant (See Sessions Paper, vol 74, page 244), in which case a similar objection was taken, and after consultation with Lord Chief Justice Bovill and Mr. Baron Channe V. the objection was overruled.

MR. JUSTICE STEPHEN. considered that he was bound by the decision of the Court of Appeal in the Queen v. Hillman (Leigh and Cave), so far as to hold for the purposes of the trial, that the offence was completed, although the intent existed only in the mind of the accused. That did not, however meet MR. CLARKE'S. objection.

MR. POLAND. asked that the First Count should be amended by adding the words after" a certain woman" "to the Jurors unknown." MR. JUSTICE STEPHEN. said he would direct the Count to be so amended. MR. CLARKE. said it might be a question whether this was a formal defect within the power of the Court to amend.

At the close of the case for the prosecution, MR. CLARKE. submitted that as the evidence proved there was in reality no woman for whom these drugs were intended, the whole story being a device and invention of the police, there was no case to go to the Jury; and further, that the police in this matter must be regarded as accomplices, and therefore requiring corroboration. MR. JUSTICE STEPHEN. held that as Martha Diffey (a person employed by

the police for this purpose) had a daughter, that fact was sufficient to support the Count, and as to the evidence necessary to corroborate, he would direct the Jury upon that in summing up.

The defendant received an excellent character.

GUILTY. Strongly recommended to mercy by the Jury, on the ground of the provocation by the police inducing him to the crime. — Eighteen Months' Imprisonment.

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