5th May 1902
Reference Numbert19020505-394
VerdictGuilty > insane
SentenceMiscellaneous > sureties

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394. HENRY MOTTRAM (a soldier) (27), Feloniously wounding Richard Hunt with intent to murder him. Second Count: Causing him grievous bodily harm.

MR. BURNIE Prosecuted.

RICHARD HUNT . I am a coal porter, of 8, Paradise Road, Bethnal Green—I have lodged with the prisoner's mother between nine and ten years—I have known him sixteen years and have always been on good terms with him—On March 24th he came home from India on furlough from his regiment—about eight o'clock that evening I had returned from work and after washing myself I went to the looking-glass and saw the prisoner coming towards me with a razor in his hand—I turned round and he put his arm across my forehead and cut my throat with the razor; he made another slash at me and cut the back of my neck—I was in hospital a fortnight.

ELIZA MOTTRAM . The prisoner is my son—on March 24th the prosecutor returned from work and my son spoke to him about his work—I was standing with my back to the fire and saw the prosecutor run out of the

room with his neck bleeding; it was all done in a moment—my son has always been steady and quiet—I noticed that he was strange in his manner on Monday, and he complained of his head on Sunday—he had had sun-stroke and enteric fever in India.

ARTHUR FROST (24 J. R.) On March 24th at 9.35 p.m. I was at the corner of Paradise Row and the prosecutor came to me covered with blood and made a statement—I took him to the station and sent for a doctor—the prisoner also came in to the station, and Hunt said, "That is the man who did it," pointing to the prisoner, who replied, "I wish I had killed him," and produced this razor from his overcoat pocket—I took Hunt to the hospital, where he was detained.

ROBERT WRIGHTON (147 J.) On March 24th at 9.45 p.m. I was on duty at the station, when the prisoner walked in about five minutes after Hunt had been brought in—I asked the prisoner what he wanted, he said, "I done it; I wish I had killed him, this is what I done it with," taking the razor produced from his pocket—he seemed very strange in his manner—he was charged with attempted murder and said, "I am sorry."

JOHN BATE . I am surgeon of J. Division—I examined the prosecutor on March 24th and found him suffering from a wound on the back of his neck about 3 1/2 inches long, which might have been caused by a razor—there were two other superficial wounds on his throat in a dangerous locality—I then saw the prisoner, he was in a dazed condition and did not seem to realise that anything had happened—I asked him why he had done it—he said he did not know he had done it, but was very sorry if he had, or words to that effect—he also made a rambling statement about someone having told him that the prosecutor had said something nasty about his, the prisoner's mother—he said he had suffered from headache for some days past, and that is what one would expect to find in a man who had been some time in India and had had sunstroke.

JOHN HAROLD PHILBRICK . I am house surgeon at the London Hospital—I heard the evidence of the last witness and agree generally with it.

RICHARD BRETTELL . I am a lieutenant in the first battalion East Surrey Regiment stationed at Kingston—the prisoner is in the first battalion and went out to India to join the regiment in March, 1895—he was in my company there from January 1898 to March last year, when I returned home leaving him there—I have no recollection of his ever having gone into hospital with sunstroke, but it is possible he might have had what is called a touch of the sun and also malarial fever, as almost everybody does who goes out to India—he always had one of the best characters in the first battalion and is very highly respected.

JAMES SCOTT . I am medical officer at Holloway Gaol—I have had the prisoner under observation since March 25th—at first he was in a dull and confused mental condition; that seems to have cleared off, and since then he has been smart and intelligent, and has shown no indications of insanity.

The prisoner's statement before the Magistrate: "Since my return from India I took very much to drink, and I do not remember anything of the occurrence.

ELIZA MOTTRAM (Re-examined). My son had not been drinking that day.

GUILTY on the second Count, but that he committed the act in a fit of temporary insanity. Discharged on recognizances.

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