27th July 1891
Reference Numbert18910727-593
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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593. PATRICK COSTELLO (60) , Unlawfully attempting to administer poison to Jane Bass, so as to endanger her life. Second Count, So as to occasion actual bodily harm, and to injure, aggrieve, and annoy.

MR. C. F. GILL Prosecuted.

ETHEL LILY ROTTNDTREE . I am eleven years old, and live with my mother in London Fields—on Friday afternoon, 26th June, about twenty minutes to four, I was in Mare Street, Hackney—the prisoner came up to me with a paper bag in his hand; he said, "Will you give these two buns to that woman standing at the corner selling flowers?"—he gave me the bag: and walked away—I went and gave the bag to the lady; I said something to her, and then walked away—about ten minutes afterwards she came after me, and spoke to me, and showed me the buns—one of them was broken; there was some green-looking stuff inside—next day I went with two constables to a public-house in Mare Street—I saw some men there, and amongst them the man that had given me the buns; it was the prisoner—I pointed him out to the policeman—I pointed out to the policeman the place where the prisoner had given me the buns, and where the woman was standing. (George Sutton, J 92, produced and proved a plan)—I was standing near the railway arch on the left side—the prosecutrix was standing at the corner of Kenmure Road—I am sure the prisoner is the man—I had not seen him before.

JANE BASS . I am the wife of James Bass, a hawker, and live in Jacob Street, Shoreditch—I sell flowers in the street—I have known the prisoner live or six years by sight, that is all; I have never spoken to him—I have spoken to his wife—she sells flowers in the street, and usually stands under the railway arch—I generally stand at the corner of Dalston Lane, and sometimes at the corner of Kenmure Road, and sometimes close to the railway arch, opposite the Railway Tavern—on the morning of 26th June I was standing outside the Railway Tavern up to about twelve o'clock—I was then moved by a constable—I saw the prisoner and his wife that morning—she was selling flowers close to where I was, under the arch—when I was moved by the constable I went to the corner of Kenmure Road—about twenty minutes to four the little girl Round tree came and gave me a bag with two buns in it, and walked away—I was the only

woman selling flowers at that corner—I broke one of the buns in halves, and was going to eat it—I noticed some yellow stuff come out of it—it smelt nasty—I went after the girl and spoke to her, and afterwards went to Hackney Police-station, and handed the bag and buns to Inspector Smith—this is the bag and the pieces of buns that are left.

ARTHUR SMITH (Inspector J). I was at the station about half-past five when Bass came to me with the paper bag and two buns, one broken—from the statement she made I had the buns examined by Dr. Gould—the name of the bag was "T. Hudson, 297, Mare Street," which is a very short distance from the railway arch—I was at the station when the prisoner was brought in; I took the charge against him and read it over to him; he said, "It is a lie; who is to prove it?"—next day, Sunday, he asked me for the stuff he wanted for his sore leg, referring to the bottle of phosphorus paste and blue stone and box of zinc ointment that was found on him by the constable; thinking that he meant the zinc ointment, I bought a pennyworth and gave it to him; he said, "I use it for my leg," referring to the box of phosphorus; he might have meant all four articles.

WILLIAM KNOTT (Detective J). On 26th June this matter was handed over to me to inquire into; I traced the little girl, and on the evening of 27th, about quarter to eight, I went with her and Sergeant White lock to the Cook public-house in Mare Street; there were ten or twelve men at the bar; she pointed to the prisoner and said, "That is the man who gave me the buns "—I went to the prisoner and said, "We are police officers, and are going to take you into custody for attempting to kill a woman named Jane Bass by administering to her a quantity of phosphorus paste in two bath buns"—he said, "I never bought no buns"—I took hum to the station, searched him, and found on him a box of zinc ointment, some blue stone, and this little box containing phosphorus paste marked "poison"—when the charge was read to him he said, "It is a lie, sir; who is to prove it?"—when the phosphorus paste was found on him he said, "I use that for my bad leg"—I had it in my hand, I did not say what it was—I think I said, "Here is a bottle containing phosphorus paste"; and he said, "I use that for my bad leg."

Cross-examined by the prisoner, I came to you on the Saturday morning about half-past ten, and asked, "Do you know where a woman named Bass was standing?"—your wife answered, "No"—you said, "Why don't you speak the truth if you know anything about it?"—you afterwards said, "I don't know. the name, but I believe she lives near Shoreditch Church"—I did not charge you then, because I had no evidence against you—I had not traced the little girl.

HENRY GOULD , M. R. C. S., of 102, Clarence Road, Clapton. On Saturday, the 27th, I was sent for to Mare Street Police-station—Inspector Smith handed me a bundle containing the paper bag and the broken buns—I examined the buns and found they contained a large quantity of phosphorus paste, in my opinion sufficient to destroy life—a very small quantity would be injurious—I also examined this bottle of phosphorus paste—the quantity left in it and that in the buns would account for the difference—I believe it is sold for vermin—it is not recommended for bad legs; the zinc ointment would be a proper thing to use—apparently a hole was made in the bottom of the bun and the

paste put into it; it was not mixed up with the bun—both buns had been treated in the same way.

Cross-examined. I saw you on the Saturday morning, and you told me you used the paste for your sore leg.

GEORGE WHITELOCK (Sergeant J). The little girl pointed out to me certain points in Mare Street where the prisoner spoke to her, and where Bass was standing—they were about 100 yards apart.

ALBERT PERCY (J 290). On the 20th June I was on fixed point duty in Mare Street, close to the railway arch—I saw Bass standing there at the opposite corner, outside the Railway Tavern; I saw the prisoner under the railway arch—he came to me and asked me to remove Bass, as she was stopping his customers, and taking his trade away—I refused to do it, and told him she had the same privilege as he had to stand here—he said he and his wife had stood there for a number of years, and the other had only just come, occasionally on a Saturday—next evening, Sunday, he came to me about seven, there were several on the opposite side selling flowers, and he asked me to remove them, and keep them further from him, and if I did so he would make it all right—I refused.

The prisoner, in his statement before the Magistrate and in his defence, denied all knowledge of the buns or of the girl.

GUILTY* on Second Count Nine Months' Hard Labour.

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