Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty > no_subcategory
Punishment: Death > no_subcategory
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MR. MUIR and MR. BODKIN Prosecuted; MR. ROOTH and MR. CURTIS
BENNETT appeared for Alfred Stratton, and MR. HAROLD MORRIS for Albert Stratton.
JAMES MCLAUCHLAN (Sergeant R.) Produced and proved a plan of the neighbourhood of the Broadway, Deptford. He identified a photograph of 34, High Street, Deptford, and stated that it was not possible to get into the shop from the back except through one of the houses on either side.
GEORGE CHAPMAN . I am an oil and colour merchant, at 44, London Street, Greenwich—34, High Street, Deptford, is one of my branches, and has been managed for me for three years up to March 27th by Thomas Farrow—he had been in my father's service and mine for twenty-four years—I do not know if he was about seventy years of age—he and his wife were the only occupants of the shop—there was only one shop assistant, and his name was Jones—it was an ordinary oil and colour shop—the hours of business were from 8 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.—persons wanting to buy paints or colours might call at the shop out of business hours in the morning; it is a common practice with oil and colour shops—painters and decorators would call at that time—I always called at the shop on Mondays, sometime before mid-day, when I received from Mr. Farrow the takings of the previous week—he was at liberty to make deductions for out-of-pocket expenses and his wages, and he handed me the balance—it was always handed to me in money—towards the end of March the net takings would be £12 or £13 a week—the money was handed to me over the counter in the shop, done up in a little brown paper parcel—it must have taken place while customers were in the shop, but they would not notice it, because it was passed quietly—on Monday, March 27th, a detective came to Greenwich and took me to the shop, where I saw Farrow lying dead in the shop parlour.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. Farrow always paid me the money himself—sometimes I sent someone else—it was always done perfectly unostentatiously, so that nobody would have noticed it.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. I never saw a cash box there.
WILLIAM JONES . I live at 7, Thames Street, Greenwich, and was an assistant to Messrs. Chapman at 34, High Street, Deptford, under Farrow—he was about seventy years old—he was active—he was bald headed—he and his wife were the only occupants of the shop—my hours were from about 8.30 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m.—we all three served in the shop—on Saturday night, March 25th, I saw them alive—on Monday morning I arrived at the shop a little after 8.30 a.m.—I went to the street door, but was unable to get in—after knocking I went to Mr. Chapman's Greenwich shop, and came back with Louis Kidman—we got in through the next house—we found Farrow lying dead in the parlour—we informed the police, and then Mr. Chapman—we did not go upstairs before the police came—we did not interfere with anything there—I had no knowledge that Farrow had a cash box—I never saw him in possession of one.
Cross-examined, by MR. ROOTH I had been with Farrow about three years—the cash box may have been kept anywhere for all I know.
LOUIS KIDMAN . I am Mr. Chapman's assistant at his Greenwich shop—on the morning of March 27th I went with Jones to the Deptford shop, getting in by the back way into the parlour—I sent Jones for the police and I waited there until Sergeant Atkinson came—I went upstairs with him, where we found Mrs. Farrow lying in bed severely injured and apparently dead—I remember seeing a cash box on the bed-room floor—I did not touch it nor anything else.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. I knew nothing about the premises—the open cash box was found upstairs.
ALBERT SMITH . I am a journeyman butcher, and work at 25 and 27, High Street, Deptford—in March I had been living at 35, High Street, for about two years, which is practically opposite the Farrows'—I have been in the habit of seeing Farrow about 7 a.m. at his shop door—that was a regular practice of his—he used to smoke his pipe there—he was fully dressed and had a white jacket on—as a rule he stayed ten or fifteen minutes and then went indoors—the shop door was open then—on the morning of March 27th I did not see him—I was not up that morning.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. I have never seen him at the shop before 7 a.m.
Cross-examined by MR. MOORIS. I have to be at work at 8 a.m. and I get up about 7 a.m., sometimes about 6.45—when I got up I used to look out of the window and see the old gentleman standing at the door—I was late on March 27th, because I had been out on the Sunday—I am sure that it was the same Monday that Farrow died—I heard of his death very shortly after.
ALBERT ATKINSON (Sergeant 8 R.) On March 27th I was called to 34, High Street, by Jones—I went through the shop parlour and into the bedroom above—I saw Mr. and Mrs. Farrow—on the bedroom floor I saw this cash box (Produced) lying empty—its tray was lying near—on the ground near it, there was a sixpence and a penny—I did not touch the drawer nor the money—I did not find anything upstairs besides the cash box—other officers came and searched the room—in the shop parlour downstairs I found these two masks made from stockings (Produced), one
with string at each side and one without, and this piece of stocking—it is not a complete stocking; some of it has been cut off the top—the mask with string on it I found on the table in the parlour, and the one without string on the floor by the table—the stocking I found on a bundle of clothing which appeared to have been brought from the laundry by the side window in the parlour.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. These masks were found downstairs; I think they had been made on the premises—some of the pieces which had been cut out of them were found, but not by me—some scissors were by their side—I cannot say if this stocking had belonged to the house—for all I know it may have come out of the bundle of linen.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. Hailstone was not there—at the time I found them I did not pick them up—Hailstone picked them up afterwards—the only way I can describe the masks is that one had string and the other had not, and they had holes in them—I concluded at once that they were masks, and they were so described in the newspapers—I did not see any picture of them in the papers—I did not see this mask that was found upstairs by Peterson until afterwards—this (Produced) is it.
DUDLEY BURNIE . I am divisional surgeon of police, practising at 327, New Cross Road—shortly after 9.30 a.m. on March 27th I went to 34, High Street, Deptford, and saw Thomas Farrow lying dead in the parlour—I saw him at 9.50—he had been dead about an hour—I went upstairs and saw Mrs. Farrow—she was almost unconscious, suffering from shock and severely injured in her head—I sent her to the Seamen's Hospital, where she died on Friday, March 31st—I made a post-mortem examination on the body of Thomas Farrow on the 28th—I found a number of severe injuries on his head—there was a wound above his right eyebrow—that did not cause fracture of the bone—there was another wound on the right side of his nose, extending to the right side of his face, tearing away part of the cartilage—about 3 inches above the top of his right ear there was a large contused scalp wound—on the left side of his head, about 3 inches above his left ear, there was an exactly similar wound, and about 1 inch behind his left ear there was an incised wound with sharp cut edges, somewhat circular in shape and penetrating down to the bone—above that there was a triangular wound, also going down to the skull; also some bruising at the back of the skull—on removing the scalp I found the bone had been fractured in one place—it was a comminuted fracture, one in which the bone was broken into several pieces at one particular place—that was in the region of the temple in front of the ear—the cheek bone was also fractured on the right side—it was further round than the wound by the nose—there had been haemorrhage from the blood vessels of the brain—apart from the injuries the body was in a healthy, well-preserved state—death was due to shock and haemorrhage, the direct result of the injuries—in my judgment there were about six blows—the, major portion of them must have been inflicted with a heavy and blunt instrument, such as a bar or a flat steel weapon 1 inch or 2 inches in width and of some considerable length—I was present
at the post-mortem examination on the body of Mrs. Farrow and saw the injuries from "which she had died—there was a comminuted fracture of the skull on the left side of the head on the parietal region, and a fracture at the base of the skull—two blows would have caused the injuries—the same kind of instrument as used upon the husband would have caused her injuries—when she received them I think she was lying in bed on her right side—she was in that position when I saw her on the morning of March 27th—her face would be turned towards the wall when in that position, and away from the door—the first effect of these injuries on Thomas Farrow would be insensibility—he would recover from that to some extent, and he would have been able, assuming that the injuries took place in the parlour, to get from the parlour to the shop door, to stand there for some seconds, close the door and go back again—the haemorrhage in the brain as it increased would have caused compression and rendered him permanently insensible—after having received the injuries he might have lived two hours or even three—I think he had only been dead an hour when I saw him.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. The triangular wound on the top of Farrow's skull was not, in my opinion, caused by a blunt instrument—it is difficult to come to any conclusion what it was caused by, but something with a point; not exactly a sharp point, but a point of some kind—the others were caused, I should suggest, by a jemmy or something of that kind.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. I gave evidence at the inquest—I did not hear Dr. Drury give evidence there—he made the post-mortem upon Mrs. Farrow—the injuries upon her were not the same as those upon Mr. Farrow—they were probably caused, except the triangular one, by the same instrument which caused those on Mr. Farrow.
WILLIAM JONES (Re-examined). When I came back to the shop with the police I went in through the front door which was' opened for me—you can pull the latch back inside, but you cannot open the door from the outside—it is a spring latch with the handle inside only—a person shutting the door would do it so that no one could open if from the outside.
WILLIAM THOMPSON . I am resident surgeon at the Millar Hospital—Sergeant Alfred Crutchett is an in-patient there—he has recently undergone a serious operation, and is quite unable to leave his bed or to travel.
FREDERICK FOX (Chief Inspector, New Scotland Yard). I was at the Police Court before Mr. Baggallay on April 26th when Alfred Crutchett was examined as a witness in the hearing of the prisoners, who had an opportunity of cross-examining him and did so—his evidence was read over to him and he signed it in my presence—this (Produced) is his signature (Read): "On Monday, March 27th, at 9.40 a.m. I went with Inspector Hailstone to 34, High Street, Deptford, and there on the floor of the bedroom, where the body was with blood on it, I saw a tin cash box with the tray lying close by it, I took a piece of paper and removed the tray, and took two pieces of paper and removed the box by the corners with the paper between my fingers and the box, to avoid any print of my lingers. I removed them a few feet to the right and took charge of them
to prevent anybody touching them. They remained till about 11.30, when Assistant-Commissioner McNaughton and Chief Inspector Fox arrived and took charge of them. Nobody touched them while I was there. (Cross-examined.) Sergeant Deacon was not there when I arrived. Sergeant Atkinson and Police-Constable Patterson and a doctor were there when I arrived. I do not know the doctor's name."
FRANK BEAVIS (Detective-Sergeant R.) About 10.30 p.m. on April 2nd I was with other officers at the King of Prussia, Albany Street, Deptford—I saw Alfred Stratton in the tap room—I said to him, "Alf, we want you"—he said, "What for, Mr. Beavis, for poncing?"—I said, "No"—he said, "I thought it was for living with Annie"—I said, "No. Where is your brother?"—he said, "I have not seen him for a long time; I think he has gone to sea"—I told him I should take him to Blackheath police station—he said, "What for?"—I told him it was a very serious charge, and Inspector Fox would tell him what it was when he got there—he said, "All right"—when searched at the station I found on him a purse with 18s. in silver and 2 1/2 d. in bronze—I produce the clothing of both the prisoners—this (Produced) is Albert's; it was handed to me at the police station—this (Produced) is Alfred's—it has all been in my custody ever since—I saw the prisoners' clothes taken off them—some of these clothes were found at their house—this hat of Albert's was brought to Blackheath station—I do not know who the officer was who found it.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. Alfred was wearing a light suit and cap to match and a dark muffler—I have seen a blue jacket and vest of his—he knew me and I knew him—when I said, "I want you" I expect he knew he was going to be arrested for something—it was after that, that I said, "Where is your brother?" and that he said he had not seen him—I have never seen the suit he has on now before—I did not tell him it was a very serious charge before I put the question as to where his brother was.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. Hailstone arrested the other prisoner—I do not know if he brought me this hat—I do not think I had it at the same time that I had the clothes—I think it was the next day—there is a cap of Albert's in this bundle.
ARTHUR HAILSTONE (Detective-Inspector R.) About 9.10 a.m. on March 27th I went to 34, High Street, Deptford, and into the bedroom upstairs, where I saw Crutchett—I saw this cash box—I did not touch it, neither did Crutchett while I was there—I picked up the 6d. and a penny which were on the floor—I examined the room—hanging over the foot of the bedstead was a woman's skirt, in the pocket of which I found two purses, one containing 5s. 6d., and the other £6 10s.—on a little dressing table I found a box containing some brooches, a silver watch and things of that sort—I also found this mask (Produced) of some black material—the cash box remained in the bedroom until the Assistant-Commissioner and other officers came—I gave orders that it should not be moved or touched by anybody—downstairs in the shop parlour I saw two small pieces of black material (Produced)—they were on the floor in the shop parlour—I also saw a mask there and I think the pieces came out of the holes in it—they appeared to be made on the same material—on the morning of April 3rd
I was in High Street, Deptford, when I saw Albert Ernest Stratton—I said to him," What is your name?"—he said, "Stratton"—I took hold of his right arm and said, "Come along"—we walked towards Blackheath Road police station, and on the way I said, "I am an inspector of police and you must consider yourself in custody for being concerned with your brother Alfred in the wilful murder of Mr. and Mrs. Farrow at 34, High Street, Deptford, and stealing £13 in money"—he said, "Is that all?—I said, "Yes"—he said, "Thanks"—I took him to Blackheath Road police station, where he was seen by Chief Inspector Fox—he was searched and two or three shillings were found upon him.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. All these masks were made from stockings; I think two stockings—these two small pieces are of similar material—the eye holes had been cut and the scissors with which that had been done were lying by their side.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. As an inspector of the R Division I take in Deptford—I daresay lam pretty well known—I have been there about three years—I have two masks here pinned to a piece of stocking—I cannot say if they are cut off this stocking—I think it is the same sort of material—it is an old clean stocking—there were a number of old clean stockings there in a bundle—with this other mask there is a piece of stocking from which I think it was cut—that also is an old clean stocking, I think similar to those in the bundle which had come from the wash, as they are of the same material—no description of those masks appeared in any paper to my knowledge—I read newspaper reports of the case—it was referred to as the "Mask Murder"—I think a description was given that the masks were made out of pieces of stocking—it was practically common knowledge that such was the case.
FREDERICK FOX (Re-examined). On the morning of March 27th I went to this shop in High Street, Deptford, and on April 2nd I gave some directions as to the arrest of the prisoners—that night I saw Alfred at Blackheath Road police station, and told him who I was and what the charge against him would be—he said, "What evidence have you against me?"—I said, "Do you wish to know? If so, I may tell you"—he said, "I do wish to know"—I said, "A milkman and his boy saw you and another man come out of the shop at 7.30 in the morning. A young woman who knows you saw you and another man running from the top of High Street across New Cross Road towards Wilson Street at about the same time"—he appeared to be about to speak, and I told him I was not asking him to say anything, but I did not want to prevent him from saying anything—he said, "I was in bed until 9.15 with Miss Annie Cromarty at 23, Brookmill Road"—I read that over to him—he signed it and was detained—on the morning of April 3rd, at Blackheath Road police station, I saw Albert—I told him who I was and what the charge against him would be—he said, "All right"—the Assistant-Commissioner pointed out the finger prints on the inner tray of the cash box, and I saw Sergeant Deacon take possession of it—I arrived there with the Assistant-Commissioner and Deacon about 11.30.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. I first saw Cromarty on Sunday night, April 2nd, about an hour after Alfred's arrest—I sent several officers out to find her—she was brought to the station by Gall and Allford—I was anxious to get a statement from her—I was told she came willingly to the station, but I had told the officers that if she did not come willingly she was to be brought—she was taken into the superintendent's room—I was never left alone with her; Chief Inspector Kitch was with me—he was present before the Magistrate, but was not called—I put questions to Cromarty—I was anxious to get the truth—I had before me a statement made by Alfred, that he had been sleeping that night at this house in Brookmill Road—I knew that to be untrue before I saw Cromarty, but there was an object in seeing her; we got a lot of evidence from her—long before I had Alfred's statement I had given directions to get him and Cromarty and not let them speak to each other—when I was told that they had got him, but not her, I said, "Go and get her"—I sent out about a dozen officers—I examined her in the same way as the other witnesses—I did not threaten them, I had no occasion to—at the inquest the prisoners suggested that I had threatened Cromarty and in a way she acquiesced—I bind myself to the accuracy of that statement, that it was in answer to the prisoners' questions—I was there and heard it—I have not seen the Coroner's depositions—I have seen the newspaper reports—the Coroner did not put in writing what the prisoner said—I was looking at the Coroner and could see he was doing very little writing—I do not know if he put down, "The police threatened to keep me if I did not speak the truth"—the deposition was not read aloud—I do not remember Cromarty saying to the Coroner, "The police threatened to keep me there and to tell my parents"—there was a good deal of controversy, and the Coroner had to stop the prisoner putting questions into her mouth and suggesting the answer—I do not suggest that the Coroner wrote down on the depositions anything that Cromarty did not say in answer to the questions put by the prisoner—the prisoners were not represented by a solicitor the first day—one was there a little while the second day—I did not press Cromarty, and any statement which she made was not extracted by me—I had to get all the evidence I could—it was my duty to do so—when Cromarty heard that we had found money on Alfred she seemed quite prepared to tell the whole truth, because she seemed to think he had deceived her—I suggest that she said he had deceived her about the money—that did not occur before the Coroner—it was desirable that I should extract any statement truthfully and by fair means—I think the statement I made to Alfred when I arrested him was a fair and proper one—he had not been confronted with the milkman and the boy then, and they had not identified him, but I had had a description from them—when the milkman and the boy were confronted with him they did not identify him—I think I am right in saying they "did not" instead of "could not."
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. William John Curry is a barman at the Duke of Cambridge—Bayne, Wood, Littlefield and Compton identified Albert—beyond those four men no witness has identified him by picking him out—Curry could not pick him out—the coffee stall keeper
picked him out and two other men at the same time—I put down the date when I take statements of witnesses—I have not taken all the statements in this case—I had several officers helping me and a lot of times I had other officers writing while I examined—Sergeant Bex took Tedman's statement on April 4th—the first proceedings at the Police Court were on April 3rd, the second day April 11th, then the 18th—on the 18th the case lasted the whole day at the Court—it was remanded until the 25th—I gave a little evidence at the inquest—the only time I gave evidence at the Police Court was on April 3rd—I gave evidence at the inquest on April 10th and 20th—I was in charge of the case, and if anything of importance arose I should be the person to be communicated with—Gittings is assistant gaoler at the Tower Bridge Police Court; his sergeant's name is Allchurch.
Re-examined. The system in the police force when a subordinate officer communicates with his superior is, that he first communicates with his immediate superior, and then waits directions from that officer as to what he should do, and that officer is responsible as to the directions he gives or does not give, and also for communicating with a higher officer—I did not hear of Gittings' statement before the enquiry had concluded before the Magistrate—I remember at the inquest Alfred putting questions to Cromarty as to whether she had been threatened by the police, and I remember an answer to this effect, "The police said to me if I did not tell them the whole truth it would be serious for me when they were seeking for information"—she added to Alfred's suggestion—I told her it was important for her to speak the truth.
By MR. MORRIS. I sent Sergeant Bex to Tedman—he took a statement from her at her house and came back with it.
WILLIAM GITTINGS (357 M.) I am assistant gaoler at the Tower Bridge Police Court—I was on duty there on April 18th, when the prisoners were remanded from the morning sitting till the afternoon—in the interval they were placed in adjoining cells—the cells are in a long line, opening on to the corridor—each cell door has a communicating aperture—I was in the corridor on that day during the interval when Albert communicated to me by first nodding his head—I went to the cell door and looked through the aperture—he spoke first and said, "How do you think I shall get on?"—I replied, "I do not know"—he said, "Is he listening?" meaning his brother in the adjoining cell—I looked in and saw that Alfred was sitting down reading a newspaper—I said to Albert, "No, he is sitting down reading a newspaper"—he said, "I reckon he will get strung up, and I shall get about ten years; he has led me into this; he is the cause of me living with a woman. Don't Bay anything to him, I shall not say anything until I can see there is no chance, and then—"—he stopped speaking and started walking round the cell—he came back to the door, and said, "I do not want to get strung up. He has never done any work in his life, only about a month, and then they tried to put that Brixton job on him, but they found out at the time he was at work. I have only been out of the Navy about seven months"—he did not say anything more.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. I learned those words by heart, so as to give evidence here—I think the aperture is about a foot square—there is one in each cell door—both apertures were open, so I could see inside—I was walking up and down outside—I have fairly heavy boots—they are policeman's boots—there was sand scattered on the concrete floor—my footfalls could be heard—this was rather an important case—I knew it was on when it started at 11 a.m. that morning—I suppose the adjournment was for about half an hour—the prisoners were waiting for their food—they had been out of Court some few minutes—it was not my duty to wait until they went back into Court—I was there for about ten minutes, when I went to see if the food was coming—I also went to the gaoler's room—I put this statement into writing on the 26th—I kept it in my mind from the 18th to the 26th—I reported it verbally to my superior officer—at the time I did not think it was important—I first thought it was important when I was spoken to on the 26th—between the 18th and 26th I did not mention it to anybody except Sergeant All-church—I mentioned it to him on the 18th—it was about 5 p.m. on the 26th at the Police Court when I put the statement into writing—All-church was there and saw me write it—I gave it to him—I did not know on the 18th that an inquest was to be held on the 19th—I read the papers, but I did not see that the inquest was held on the 19th or 20th—I knew that the prisoners came to the Police Court on the 25th—I was not surprised that I was not called as a witness on the 18th or 25th—I told All-church of the statement within a short time on the 18th—he knew of it by 2 or 2.30—I did not attach much importance to the conversation—I had a good many other duties to attend to as assistant gaoler—I had to go into Court at once—I had a good many other prisoners to look after—I sometimes read the "News of the World"—on Sunday, April 30th, I saw in that paper, "Meanwhile in the police circles in Deptford it was currently rumoured last night that the younger accused man, Albert Stratton, had made a statement which will be of the utmost importance at the trial"—I had only mentioned it to Allchurch, so that it could not have been through me that the rumour got about—it is not possible in this case that after I had heard a fairly long statement, more than a week previously, my memory may not have been accurate—in this case I should not be more accurate about a statement to which I attach importance than about one to which I attach none—I do not attach much importance to any statements—I am attached to the M Division, and so is Allchurch—the prisoners were in custody of a Greenwich gaoler—it was simply for convenience that they were brought to the Tower Bridge Police Court—during the time I was in attendance on the prisoners I regarded Allchurch as my superior officer.
HARRY ALLCHURCH (14 M.) I am a gaoler at the Tower Bridge Police Court—I was there on April 18th—Gittings was acting as my assistant—about 1.45 p.m. he made a verbal report to me with reference to something which had been said to him by one of the prisoners.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. On April 18th I did not hear of an alleged confession—Gittings only said to me then, "He reckons he
will get about ten years and his brother will get strung up"—I did not think that was of sufficient importance to have a written report made of it—that was the only verbal report made to me on that day.
Re-examined. On the morning of April 26th Gittings and myself were speaking of some drawings on the cell door which Alfred had occupied the previous day—I said, "I don't suppose he will do much more drawing"—Gittings said, "No, the young one has as good as told me last week that his brother had done it"—I said, "Did he make a statement?"—Gittings said, "Not exactly a statement; he asked me how I thought he would get on. I told him I did not know. He said, 'I reckon he (meaning Alfred) will get strung up and I shall get about ten years. He led me into this; he was the cause of me living with this woman. I shall not say anything until I can see he has got no chance'"—shortly after that I saw Inspector Godly and told him what had taken place—he saw Gittings and called for a full report of all that was said—until then I had not mentioned it to anybody.
By MR. MORRIS. I reported to Godly verbally, and Gittings put the statement into writing for him on the 26th—I did not tell anybody else—I cannot account for its getting in the newspaper by April 30th.
KATE WADE . I am married, and live at 194, Church Street, Deptford—I lived in the house of Sarah Ted man at 67, Knott Street, for ten weeks or so—I left there on Saturday, February 18th or 25th, I cannot recollect which—Albert Stratton was living there with me—while we were living there I saw Alfred, and he asked me once if I had any stockings or socks I could give him—I replied that I had not got any.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. We were not very well off at that time.
SARAH TEDMAN . I am a widow, and live at 67, Knott Street, Deptford—in the early part of December I let my back parlour on the first floor to Albert Stratton and Kate Wade—I understood them to be man and wife—they lived with me until Saturday, February 18th or 25th, I am not sure of the date—the woman left first in the afternoon—I saw Albert in the evening, and again on the following Monday at 8.15 p.m. with his brother Alfred—I saw them get something from the top of a chest of drawers or wardrobe in Albert's room—Albert got up on a chair and got a long very bright chisel, and another one with a hook, and a screwdriver—the longest one was about the length of my forearm and finger—it was bigger round than my finger, and had a chisel kind of thing at the bottom—it had no handle; the shank was round—the other One was not quite as long, it had a turn like that (Indicating) at the bottom and was very bright—Albert handed them to his brother, who put them in his pocket—when Albert and Wade had vacated the room I tidied it up—between the mattresses I found some stocking tops, and one top of a stocking had been cut until it was about that (Indicating) length, but the other top of the stocking had been cut into two and had strings and holes in it, and one had a piece of elastic—I throwed it into the dustbin—I thought nothing of them—these (Produced) are a much better quality stocking than those under my mattresses, but the manner and shape in which these are arranged are after the same style.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. When Albert got up to get the things I held the candle for them—it was at night—they did not ask me to hold the candle—I had one and I held it—they did not suggest that I should leave the room—it was done perfectly openly.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. I do not live alone—my husband has been dead ten years—the other people in the house are lodgers—my youngest son lives with me—I am a dressmaker—my son did not tell me about the tragedy—he was away from home at the time—I got my information about what took place from the newspaper—it was read to me by my son's wife—I cannot say what the paper was—it was read to me on the 28th—it was something like this, "Before reaching the room they saw a pair of stockings believed to belong to Mrs. Farrow; these they tied round their eyes, having ripped them up"—that made me think of the stockings I found—the police came and asked me to make a statement bout April 4th—I said all that I could in one statement—this (Produced) is the screwdriver that I took off the cupboard from the same place that the others were taken from—my son is a boilermaker and was working at Thornycroft's at Chiswick—it struck me I was rather a valuable person in giving evidence—until I had the description read to me in the paper I never had any idea that the stockings I found were masks.
DUDLEY BURNIE (Re-examined). I have heard Mrs. Tedman's description of the things taken from the top of the cupboard; the long instrument would, in all probability, have caused the fracture which I found on Farrow—I think Mrs. Farrow's injuries could have been caused by the same instrument—the triangular shaped wound on Farrow might have been caused by some pointed instrument, but Mrs. Tedman's description is not sufficiently definite to enable me to say as to how it was caused—it was some blunt instrument, not a stab—it was lacerated as if the instrument was not straight—I should say the second instrument described by Mrs. Tedman would be the kind of instrument which would cause that triangular wound—all the wounds may have been caused by the same instrument, but not with the same part of it.
HERBERT JOHN LAMBERT . I am a clerk to the London County Council at their lodging house in Brookmill Road, Deptford, called Carrington House—I know Albert Stratton by sight as a lodger—he lodged there for a month or six weeks, commencing about February 25th, and going down to April 1st, I think—he slept there on March 34th, but not on March 25th or 26th.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. People can get in at any time of night—this is a very poor district, and there are other lodging houses there—I believe there is one called Gaffer's—a lodging is called a doss and a kipp.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. He did not book on the night of March 29th to my knowledge—I believe he did on the 30th.
Stratton since December—I was with him on Sunday, March 26th, from about 7 or 7.30 p.m. to 10 p.m.—he was wearing a black suit and a bowler hat—I won't be certain if he had a collar or a handkerchief round his neck—I cannot say if it was black or white—I think he had a handkerchief—the police have shown me some clothes—I was not shown Albert among some other men—I knew him perfectly well—the police showed me at Blackheath Road police station a collar and, I think, some lady's clothing—I did not recognise the collar—it was a man's white collar.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. I have not seen him since March 26th.
HANNAH MARY CROMARTY . I lived at 23, Brookmill Road, Deptford, for about six weeks—I left on Friday, March 31st—I occupied the downstars front room—the street comes up to the window—Alfred Stratton occupied the room with me—I had been living with him for about twelve months—I knew Albert Stratton as Ockney—I knew he was Alfred's brother—I have never seen or heard Ockney in the night time when I have been in bed—somebody came to my window when I was in bed—I do not know whom—I did not hear any voices outside—Alf spoke to the person who came to the window—that was only on one occasion—I understand that I have sworn to tell the whole truth—I do not know what the occasion was on which I heard Alf speak to someone outside—they never said anything to me, only that Alf was to go out—it was on a Sunday night, as the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Farrow was on the Monday—that night, between and 10, Alfred and I had a quarrel, and I had a black eye—some neighbours came into my room, Mrs. Bayne and Mrs. Chatfield—I knew Mrs. Bayne as Mrs. Wood—they came into my room about 9.15, and stayed a little time—they were going away, but I called them back, and they stayed until 12—Alfred was there when they came in—he stayed for a little time, when I asked him to go out—he did so and came back about 12—Mrs. Chatfield and Mrs. Bayne were there then—I said good-night to them, and they went upstairs to bed—Alfred and I went to bed—I went to sleep—the next thing I remember was about 12, or shortly after, when a tap came at the window, and Alfred got up—he pulled the blind aside and spoke to the person at, the window—he said, "Shall we go out to-night, or leave it for another night?"—I did not hear whether there was any reply—I am not positive whether Alfred went out or not, because I laid down again and took no more notice—when Alfred had come to bed that night he had undressed—I never see him dress again—I made a statement before—I spoke the truth then, as far as I could remember—when I woke in the morning Alfred was at the bedroom door dressed—I never see him dress—I never see him get up—you see, I had it in the eye, and I did not remember hardly any thing—I have never known Alfred leave that room otherwise than by the door—you can get in and out at the window to the street—I know that because I have done it—I have seen Alfred do it—the last time was about a week before the murder; that was about 2 a.m.—Alfred did not get out of the window; he got in and got me in—on the morning of the day that the murder took place I do not remember what happened at the window—I just remember that he got up to the window and spoke—
I laid down and went to sleep—I saw him at 9.15, and asked him the time—he said it was 9.15—he was then dressed—he was inside my room with the door shut—I did not see him come in—I did not say before the Magistrate that I saw him get up and dress and go out—he did not get up; he sat up on the bed and spoke to someone at the window—there was a light burning in the room—we always keep a light at night—I said before the Magistrate that; at 9.15 he was dressed in a blue coat and vest, a black sort of greeny trousers, and brown boots—I do not remember saying before the Magistrate, "I had not been long awake, but so far as I know that was the first time he came into the house after going out"—on the Sunday before the murder I had no money—I had not asked Alfred for any—he did not tell me whether he had any—I told the Magistrate that I had asked him for money, and he said he had only got 2d., on the Sunday, a week after the murder—I did not ask him for any money on the Sunday before the murder—on that day we had not any food or firing in the house, because I had no money to get any—on the Monday morning when Alfred came in I was in bed—he laid down on the bed in his clothes—I noticed a little smell of paraffin—I said to him, "Your trousers smell of paraffin"—he said, "I spilt a little over my trousers filling the lamp up the other night"—he used to fill the lamp—I had never noticed that smell—he had never come to bed with his trousers on before—I was not very well, and he came to speak to me—I said to him, "You have had a bath, Alf"—he made no answer—I said, "You can get money for baths, but I cannot afford to get money for food"—he never made no answer—I heard of the murder that morning when I was in bed—Alfred was there—Mrs. Chatfield told me—she said, "Is not it a terrible thing, the Farrows down High Street?"—I did not know their names, and said, "Who?"—she said, "The Farrows. There has been a murder down there, an old couple"—I said, "Oh! what a terrible thing"—Alfred did not say anything—he got a paper that day with the murder in it—I do not remember what paper it was; it was an evening paper—I read about the murder—it contained a description—I read it to myself—I do not know if Alfred read it—he did not take it out of my hand—I said, "Is not it like you?"—he said, "Do you think I should do such a thing and take you out and walk about Deptford, knowing I had done such a thing?"—I said, "I should not think so, Alfred"—the description did not describe Albert's clothes, because I always thought he had a black suit—I think it said the man had a brown or blue coat—I said, "Is it you, Alf?" because Alf has got a blue coat and waistcoat—I do not think I said anything about trousers or a brown coat, but Alf had a brown coat, but whether he gave it away on the Tuesday or not I do not know—I do not know if there was anything in the description about either of the men having a brown coat—Alfred's brown coat was usually kept on the partition at the side of the door—I saw the "Morning Leader" on Tuesday—it had a description of either a brown or a blue coat—this (Produced) is the paper I saw—it says, "A blue serge suit"—I am not positive whether it was the Tuesday or the Wednesday that Mrs. Bayne lent me a paper, or what the paper was, but she showed me one, I think it
was in the afternoon—I cannot remember if I left the room after I had seen the paper—I do not remember when I saw Alfred's brown coat last—I had no intention of looking for brown coats, but he told me he had given it away to a fellow who was hard up—that was after the murder, either on the Tuesday or the Wednesday—I had not seen him wear it for weeks—we had put it by on the wall because he had got a tidier one—I missed it on the Tuesday or the Wednesday; I am not positive about the time—I do not remember saying, "I saw it on the Monday morning; I do not remember what time. It was generally kept hanging just at the head of the bed. Alfred said he gave it away. I said,' Where is the jacket gone off the wall?' He said he had given it away. I think that was on Monday afternoon; it was either Monday or Tuesday I missed it; after I had seen the description in the paper. When I asked him where it had gone to, he said he had given it away, while I was out, to some poor fellow who wanted one. That was Tuesday. I had not been out many seconds"—I do not remember speaking about the jacket at all—I do not know how he came to speak about it—he had a pair of brown boots—when Mrs. Bayne came in on the Monday or Tuesday he was blacking them over—he had done that before—I was not present when he got them, so I don't know how long he had had them—he had had, them seven or eight weeks when I came out of prison—they were brown when I first saw them—he first began to black them three, four or five weeks before the murder—on the Monday or Tuesday Alfred said, "If anybody asks you where I was on the Sunday night and Monday morning, say I was in bed with you, and I went to get some work at Braby's at 9.15 and came back at 10"—it was after I had heard of the murder that he said that, and I had seen the newspapers—these (Produced) are his boots—he continued to wear them down to the time of his arrest—I remember the Friday when we left Brookmill Road—I do not remember if it was March 31st, the following Saturday night, I slept on Giffing Street stairs—early on the Sunday morning I went with Alfred to the waterworks, called "Ravensbourne"—Alfred started digging—I do not know what with—he said, "I am looking for a tool"—then he said, "I am not looking for a tool; we will go. I am looking for some money which I put here some weeks back"—he said he was looking for about four quid which he had put there some weeks before to get me over my trouble—he said his brother had seen him put it there—he did not find either the tool or the money—he said perhaps somebody had come along and seen him put it there and had taken it—I said perhaps his brother had taken it—he said, "Oh! no, I don't think so"—I afterwards went with Sergeant Cleveland and pointed out the spot to him and he made a mark on the fence—during the week commencing with the Monday on which the murder happened Alfred had got no money—he had to go to his mother for some—he had one waistcoat in pawn which he got out, but I do not know when it was—I saw it on the bed and said, "Oh! You have got your waistcoat out of pawn"—I saw the waistcoat and the coat on the bed—he did not take the suit out of pawn—he had the trousers—it used to be called his best suit—this cap (Produced) is Alfred's—when
he was not wearing it, it was kept hanging on the door near the brown coat—I do not remember Mrs. Bayne coming in one day after the murder when the brown coat and cap were hanging up there—I do not remember her saying anything to Alfred about the descriptions in the newspapers or about her suspicions.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. I have had a very unfortunate life—I am an unfortunate—I have known Alfred about 12 months—upon the whole he has been very kind to me—I am in the family way by him—he knew it some time back, and told me he would try to put money away for me—long before the murder he told me he had put money away—he said he did so, so that he would not spend it on himself—on this particular day we had had a row about a man—Alfred struck me, and Mrs. Wood and Mrs. Chatfield came down—they took my part against him, and bathed my eye—Mrs. Wood for some time had felt unkind towards him and had said on one occasion in my presence that she would be revenged on him if she could get the chance—on March 27th we had a paraffin lamp—when it was filled Alfred did it—I sat up with Mrs. Wood and Mrs. Chatfield till 12 o'clock—Alfred was out for a little while—I had nothing to drink—I do take a little drink and have been in trouble about it—when Alfred came back I had prepared to go to bed—I was not in bed—when the women went away we went to bed—I was in pain from the blow I had had, and do not remember much more—we had a clock—I think it was between 2 and 3 that Alfred got up—I did not pay any particular attention to it, I was sleepy—I heard him speak out of the window, but did not hear the answer—I do not know how he got out of the house—I did not wake again until 9 next morning—once during the 12 months Albert slept in our room when we were there—that was in Brookmill Road—he had no money and could not afford a kipp—when I woke up on this morning Alfred was in the room; he had on a blue suit; a blue coat and waistcoat and a dark pair of trousers—that was the coat and waistcoat he had been in the habit of wearing—I had not seen him wear the brown coat—for weeks he had forsaken it and was not going to wear it any more—I should not have known if anybody was in the room between the hour that Alfred left and the time I woke up in the morning—I should not have waked up if there had been—Mrs. Chatfield was the first person to speak to me about the murder—she remained in the room two or three minutes to tell me about it and then she said, "I must be off upstairs to get the children ready for school"—the prisoner did not seem excited; he was the same as usual—Mrs. Wood was at the street door—she did not come into my room then—Alfred went out to get a newspaper on the Monday—he always gets a paper—it was a football paper, he plays football—he gets the "Morning Leader"—I do not know what part of the paper he turned to—I turned to the report of the murder—it was, "Man No. 1. Aged twenty-five to twenty-seven, 5 feet 6 inches or 5 feet 7 inches in height, round face, dark moustache, blue serge suit, white collar and tie, black felt hat. Man No. 2. Age between twenty-four and thirty, 5 feet 5 inches in height, brown hair, short jacket suit, brown boots, grey cap"—it was Mrs. Wood who
first suggested that the description of Alfred resembled one of these men—she did not say that in his presence, but I repeated it to him—I do not remember if I told him that Mrs. Wood had said so—I cannot remember one way or the other—after I had put the statement to him he said, "Do you think I should be such a fool as that, known as I am, to walk about the streets?"—Mrs. Wood never came in and spoke to him about it—I never saw her come into the room and stare at the coat—it was hanging there as it had been for weeks, anybody could have seen it—I told Alfred somebody had suspected him—it was before I told him that there was a description which answered to him that he said, "Well, if anybody asks where I was, say I was in bed with you all night"—I am quite sure it was before that—I have not a very distinct memory about it—until I was taken to the police station I had nothing to fix these things upon my mind—I did not meet Littlefield—I was waiting for Alfred—we were going to the King of Prussia—he was going to meet me at Griffin Street at 11 o'clock—he did not meet me and I slept on the stairs—Harry Little-field came and banged on the door twice—I did not take any notice—I said to myself, "Oh, God! I hope A If is not got"—he was making a bother outside and said they wanted this Annie Cromarty, as they called me, and it turned out that Alfred was got—I was taken to the police station and put into the superintendent's private room with Inspector Fox, who asked me a lot of questions—my answers were unsatisfactory, and he pressed me with more questions—he told me, unless I gave him an answer that was satisfactory he would keep me there, and that is how I came to make a written statement—during the week after the murder Alfred did not appear to have any more money than he had the week before—when I was first asked about the boots, I said they had been blacked weeks before the murder—on the Monday Alfred got a few things in, some coal, wood, tea and sugar—I don't know where he got the money for them from—they would only cost about 9d. or 1s.—the next day he told me he would have to go to his mother, as he wanted 3d.—up to the time he was arrested he did not appear to have any more money than before the murder, and we lived in great poverty—I do not know if he gambled on races when he had a little money—I only knew that he had won money on races from what I heard at the Coroner's inquest—I was angry because he ad made a little money and kept it back from me—it was the Sunday after the murder, when I asked him for some money, and he said, "I have only got 2d. on me; you can have that"—I said, "All right, that will do"—it was on the Sunday morning that we went out when he dug for the money—we were not looking for it long—he just dug a few places and said, "We had better go; I cannot find it"—since this charge has been hanging over Alfred's head I have been at 15, Circus Street, Shaftesbury Avenue, which is a home—I have not had an opportunity of seeing the people in our neighbourhood—I was taken to the home by Mrs. Marsh, and the matron brought me here to-day—I do not remember all the evidence that I gave before the Magistrate—I am not prepared to say whether it was actually accurate or not—I was bothered and frightened when I gave my evidence.
Re-examined. I was bothered and frightened because I am carrying, and I am frightened that way whether it will come off—Chief Inspector Fox put the questions to me and said if I did not speak the truth I should be put into a cell or taken away somewhere—I have spoken the truth—I went to the station with the tale that Alfred slept with me all that night and never went out—the Inspector said, "It is no good your saying that because he was seen out"—then I spoke the truth as far as I could remember it.
FRANCIS BAYNE . I am a wardrobe dealer, and live on the first floor at 23, Brookmill Road, Deptford—Rose Wood lives with me in the same house and passes as Mrs. Bayne—Cromarty and Alfred Stratton lived there—on the Sunday before Mr. Farrow's murder there was a quarrel between them in the evening—Mrs. Wood went down to Cromarty and stayed with her a little time—I went to bed about 12.15—when Mrs. Wood came upstairs after the row we looked out of the window—that was about 12.20—I saw somebody standing at the corner of the path in the street, dressed in a dark blue suit of clothes, a collar, and a bowler hat—he was standing about three yards from my window on the kerb—we looked out of the window for about ten minutes—he was standing there all that time—we had a light in our room—his back was towards the window—after eight or ten minutes we drew back from the window and went to bed—we went to sleep, and about 2 or 3 a.m. the front window downstairs opened; that was Cromarty's room—I did not look out again—I went to sleep—about April 11th I went to Blackheath police station and saw about twenty men there, and picked out the man that I had seen when I looked out of my window—it was Albert Stratton—amongst the men was Alfred—I have known him for some time.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. I last looked out of the window about 12.15, and then went to bed and to sleep—I did not look out of the window again until I got up about 7.30 or later—I do not know what took place when I was asleep—I gave information to the police; I did not send Mrs. Wood to give information—she gave information on the Monday night; I gave information on the Wednesday afternoon—it was after Mrs. Wood had talked to me that I gave the information.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. After I heard the window open I heard no more during the night—I should say the man's suit was dark raw blue—it was a dark suit—I cannot say if it was black.
Re-examined. When I picked Albert out he was wearing a dark suit, which looked like the same that the man was wearing who was outside my window—this suit (Produced) is similar to the one the man was wearing.
ROSE WOOD . I live with Mr. Bayne at 23, Brookmill Road—I know Alfred Stratton and Cromarty—I remember Sunday, March 26th, when there was a quarrel between them—I went and attended to Cromarty, who had a black eye—I and Mrs. Chatfield stayed with her for some time—I went to bed about 12—just before I went upstairs Alfred came home—I left him and Cromarty in the room—when I got upstairs Mr. Bayne was in bed—sometime afterwards I looked out of the window, and noticed a man in the street dressed in a bowler hat, a white collar and a dark suit—
he was broad shouldered—he was standing opposite and under the window on the pavement—I had never seen him before—on April 11th I went to Blackheath Road police station and saw a number of men—I did not count them—I picked out the man who I had seen standing below my window on that Sunday night—it was Albert Stratton—after I had looked out of the window I went back to bed—I was afterwards disturbed by Stratton's window opening—I did not get up—I did not pay any attention to it—I went to sleep again—next morning between 9 and 9.30, I went to Cromarty's room—Alfred was there, sitting on the end of the bed dressed, with Cromarty—I did not have any conversation with him—I spoke to Cromarty—on Tuesday, March 28th, I went down again to their room and saw Alfred blacking his boots—they were brown boots—I asked him why he was blacking them, as Mr. Bayne had some brown polish upstairs—Cromarty said she did not know—I did not notice if Alfred had worn the boots before—on the Sunday night when the quarrel occurred he was dressed in dark clothes, but I cannot swear if they were dark brown or navy blue, because he had both—I have not seen him dressed in brown, but he had a suit hanging on the door—on the Monday morning he was dressed in a dark navy blue cloth suit—I did not see any brown clothes then, but on the Tuesday morning I saw a brown jacket hanging on the door—he was dressed in a dark-navy blue suit—that was between 10 and 11 a.m.—I had a newspaper with me with a description of the man wanted—I had read of the brown boots, the light cap and the dark suit in the newspapers—on that Tuesday morning in Alfred's presence Cromarty asked me for the paper which the Deptford murder was in, and I gave it to her—it was the "Morning Leader"—I did not read any part of the paper aloud in the room—I said I had my suspicions, and I would not leave a stone unturned, with God's help, until I brought the guilty ones to justice—I said that in Alfred's and Cromarty's hearing—neither of them made any answer—the brown jacket was hanging up then—I went down to see Cromarty on the Wednesday, but I did not take any more notice of the room—I did not notice if the brown jacket was there then because I had seen it hanging on the door on the Tuesday.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. On the night of the 27th I sympathized with Cromarty, and stayed with her for nearly two hours—I had not had any unpleasantries with Alfred to speak of—I had not sworn I would be revenged on him if I got my chance—it is a lie; I never said anything of the sort—the description I saw in the newspaper was, "Age between twenty-four and thirty, 5 feet 5 inches in height, brown hair, short jacket suit, brown boots, grey cap"—that is not an extraordinary costume in Deptford; there are many similar—a cap would be the ordinary head-gear in Deptford—old brown boots in themselves are not unusual—there was no description of the man's face—there was no description beyond the fact that he had got brown hair, but seeing the brown jacket on the door, and the cap, I thought Alfred was the man—after I got into bed on that night I do not know what took place until the morning—I cannot say if anybody came in during the night—the brown boots had not been blacked over and over again to my knowledge—I had never seen him blacking his
boots before—I took no notice when I saw him blacking his boots—I made a communication to the police on the Wednesday.
SARAH CHATPILED . I am married, and live at 23, Brookmill Road—I was there on March 26th and remember seeing Alfred Stratton there—on the night that Cromarty had a black eye, Alfred was dressed in a brown suit, a muffler, and a great coat, but I can hardly tell you if it was light or dark brown—he had on a grey cap; I cannot say as to his boots—I have several times before seen him in a brown suit—after that night I never saw him, to my knowledge—the cap he was wearing was something like this (Produced).
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. I did not take particular notice of his garments, whether he had brown or black boots—all I say is that this cap is something like the one he had on.
Saturday, May 6th, 1905.
WILLIAM GALL (264 R.) On April 8th I was near the waterworks at Ravensbourne with Cleveland, digging with a trowel, when I found, three or four inches below the surface, this piece of black stuff and in it two sovereigns and a half-crown wrapped up—I handed them to Cleveland—I have known Albert Stratton for two or three years—I have noticed his walk; I should describe it as a military walk, rather quick in step.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. Cleveland gave me directions to look for this—there were three of us there—Cromarty was not there—Constable Slater was—we were about two hours altogether; we had to stop several times on account of the quantity of people going to and fro—I did not know how much money I was looking for; something was supposed to be buried there.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. I have known Albert for two or three years in Deptford—I know he was in the Navy—I knew him when he was wanted as a deserter from the Navy, because I assisted to arrest him at that time—that was two years ago—since then I have seen him walking about—I do not know if he was poor—I would not be sure if I have seen him walking about in an overcoat.
Re-examined. After I had him two years ago for deserting I saw him next when he came out of the Navy eight or nine months ago—since then I have seen him on several occasions in Deptford—I should not think that he has been away to sea during the last eight or nine months.
FREDERICK CLEVELAND (Detective-Sergeant R.) On April 7th I went with Cromarty to the Waterworks Passage at Ravensbourne, where she pointed out to me a spot near a fence, which I marked—next day with Gall and others I went to the spot and dug round it—Gall showed me this piece of black stuff with the coins wrapped up in it—I saw him dig it up.
MARY AMELIA COMPTON . I am married, but live apart from my husband—between 3 and 3.30 a.m. on March 27th I was outside the Broadway Theatre, Deptford—I know Alfred Stratton—I saw him there that morning—he said, "Have you seen Hannah?"—that is Cromarty—I knew her—I replied no and did not want to, as I had sufficient to look after myself
—nothing else was said except good-night—another gentleman was with Alfred whom I did not know—Alfred was dressed in a dark suit and a cap and the other one in a dark suit and a bowler hat—on Tuesday, April 11th, I went to Deptford police station and was shown a number of men in a row—I was asked to pick out the man whom I had seen with Alfred on that night and I picked out Albert.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. It may have been 3.15 that I saw the men—Alfred spoke to me first, calling attention to himself—there was no attempt on his part to my knowledge to disguise his being there.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. The man I picked out at the police station was dressed in a dark or black suit.
Re-examined. Albert is the man who was with Alfred that night
EDWARD ALFRED RUSSELL . I am eleven years old—I go to school, and live with my parents at 6, Reginald Street, Deptford—I go with a milkman named Jennings on his morning rounds—I was with him on Monday morning, March 27th, in High Street, Deptford—I know Chapman's oil shop at No. 34—as I came along with Jennings that morning I noticed two men leave the shop—they slammed the door, but it flew back—Jennings said, "You have left the door open"—they both turned round and nodded and went towards the Broadway together—I lost sight of them at the corner of High street and the Broadway—I did not notice which way they turned when they got to the Broadway—when they came out of the shop they crossed over by the undertakers—when I lost sight of them they were on the same side as Chapman's—one was a little bit taller than the other and was dressed in a dark blue serge suit, a dark bowler hat, and a pair of black boots—I noticed that he walked very stiff and quickly—the other one, who was not so tall, was dressed in a dark brown suit, a cap and a pair of brown boots—I cannot say if the taller was thin or broad—when I went home to breakfast I told father something and the same day I saw Inspector Hailstone and told him something—on April 3rd I went to the police station and saw a number of men standing in a row—I was not able to pick out from them anybody whom I had seen on the Monday morning.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. When the two men came out of the shop they were about as far away as I am from you or further—they turned round when Jennings spoke, so that I saw their faces—I gave a description to the police—I afterwards saw a newspaper with a description I had given in it—I was afterwards taken down to the police station and shown a lot of men, amongst them being the prisoners, and I, who had seen the two men come out of the door, said it was not either of the prisoners.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. Both men turned round—I saw the man's face who was dressed in the blue suit—he had got a dark moustache, but it was not very thick.
Re-examined. I saw my description in "Lloyds Weekly News"—this is the description I gave, "Man No. 1, age 25 to 27, 5 feet 6 inches or 5 feet 7 inches in height, round face, dark moustache, blue serge suit white collar and tie, black felt hat. Man No. 2, age between 24 and 30
5 feet 5 inches in height, brown hair, short jacket suit, brown boots, grey cap"—I should describe man No. 1, apart from his dress, as the taller of the two—he had black hair and the other one had brown—I don't think there was any difference in figure from man No. 2—I cannot say whether the prisoners are or are not the men I saw come out of the shop that morning.
HENRY ALFRED JENNINGS . I am a milk carrier, and live at New Cross—on the morning of March 27th I was with Russell on my usual round—we were going down High Street, Deptford—I know Chapman's shop—as we came down High Street I saw the shop and noticed two men come out—as we came up the door was shut—when they came out it was left open—I called out, "You have left the door open"—one of them turned round and said, "Oh! it is all right; it don't matter"—they walked away towards New Cross Road—they crossed the road from Chapman's shop—I saw them for about 15 yards from the shop—I did not take any more notice—that was about 7.15 a.m.—one was about 1 1/2 or 2 inches taller than the other—according to my idea the tallest one was the stouter—I think he had a short dark moustache—he was dressed in a blue suit, bowler hat, collar turned up, and had his hands in his pockets—the other one was dressed in a brown suit and cap—on April 3rd I went to Blackheath Road police station and saw a number of men in a row—I was asked if I saw amongst them the men I had seen on the Monday morning, but I failed to identify—looking at the prisoners now, I am unable to say one way or the other whether those are the men I saw in High Street, Deptford.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. The incident of opening the door and coming out occupied about two minutes—my mind was not concentrated on them—I whistled to one of them—I did not pay any attention to them—I only had a slight glance and never thought no more about it—I did not turn round to see the men coming out, I had not passed the door—the shop was facing me—I noticed that the door was closed before they came out.
By the COURT. I heard of the murder about 9.20 a.m.
HENRY JOHN LITTLEFIELD . I live at 34, Vansittart Street, New Cross, and am a professional boxer—at 2.30 a.m. on Monday, March 27th, I was at a coffee stall at the Broadway, Deptford—I left the stall and went towards home—I went through Church Street and turned up Hale Street, which would bring me into High Street—in Hale Street I saw two men running behind me before I got to the top of the street—they were going in my direction, towards High Street—they came within 12 or 14 yards of me—I turned round and looked at them again, and they turned round and ran back as fast as they could run—I do not say they were the prisoners—they ran back towards the direction of Church Street—I waited three or four minutes, because I thought it was strange—I then proceeded on my way home—I went up High Street in the direction of the railway station—I should pass the end of Regent Street—when I was somewhere near Regent Street these two men came round the corner face to face with me—Regent Street is the next turning to Hale Street—I have
known Alfred Stratton five or six years and Albert five or six months—I did not know then that they were brothers—Alfred said to me, "Hullo, Harry! out again?"—I said, "Yes, and I have good reasons to be out"—he said, "Which way are you going?"—I told him I was going through Douglas Street home—that is the turning on the other side of High Street—I bade them good-morning—during the time I was speaking to them I noticed that Alfred was looking to and fro, up and down the street, and Albert seemed to be fumbling with his coat as if he had something in it—when I looked at him he made half a turn and walked two paces away from me—Alfred had on a brown suit, a check cap and brown boots—Albert had on a dark blue serge suit and a bowler hat, but his boots I did not notice, on account of his walking away so sharp—he had a white collar round his neck—when I parted with them they went towards Farrow's shop—they were walking on the left side of the road as you come towards the Broadway.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOM I saw an account of the murder the same day in the papers when I got up about 11 a.m.—I believe it was the "Morning Leader"—I had not bought it—I read it in the coffee shop in the neighbourhood of Deptford—the place was full of the murder then—it was the talk at the time—I did not meet anybody else whom I knew that evening while I was out—Alfred spoke to me first, calling attention to himself—the conversation took place at the top of Regent Street—it was dark, but we were standing underneath a lamp, and their suspicious ways made me take notice of their clothes—it was about 2.45 then—the clock was chiming—I have only spoken to Alfred now and again—I have never had an unpleasantry with him about Cromarty—it has been suggested to me before, but it is false—I first made a statement to the police on April 4th, at Blackheath, after I had seen the prisoners in custody, but I had given information before they were arrested—it was in consequence of my having seen the prisoners that I made my statement to the police.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. I gave evidence at the inquest and at the Police Court—when I was giving a description of Alfred at the inquest I said he had a darkish check cap, but I do not know if you call a check dark or light—I did not refer to the cap at the Police Court as a light check cap; I said a dark check cap—I did not hear my deposition read to me at the Police Court, but I read my deposition myself at the inquest—I did not take any notice of it after it was read to me at the Police Court—a cap like this (Produced) some people would call light and some dark—this coat (Produced) looks a very very dark blue—it is a black coat green with age.
Re-examined. The coat Alfred was wearing was dark blue, not quite so dark as this one—the cap was not like this one at all (Produced); it was like this one of mine.
ELLEN STANTON . I live at 2, Nile Street, Tanner Street, which lies almost at the back of the Broadway Theatre—I go to work in London, generally by the Deptford railway station to Charing Cross—going from my house to the railway station I cross the Broadway and go up
High Street—I generally go by a train which leaves at 7.20 a.m.—it takes about ten minutes to walk from the house to the station—on Monday, March 27th, I was going to catch that train as usual—I know the chemist's shop at the comer of High Street and the Broadway—when I got to that shop it was just on 7.15—I saw two men running from the High Street into New Cross Road—I saw them turn the corner—some trams start from that point—there was no tram in sight—the men ran past the Broadway Theatre towards Wilson Street, the first turning—I went on to work—I recognise one of the men as Alfred Stratton—I keep company with a man named Salter, and while out with him I had seen Alfred, who was acquainted with Salter—I have seen Alfred nod to him—on this morning Alfred was dressed in a dark brown suit and dark cap—I don't know who the man was with him—I have never seen him before as far as I know—he was dressed in a dark overcoat and a bowler—when I came home that night I heard about the murder—I knew Chapman's shop and Mr. Farrow—as I went along to catch my train I have seen him once or twice standing at the door of the shop—this (Produced) is a photograph of him, but it was taken a long time ago—on the Tuesday night I said something to Salter, and on Friday, March 31st, I gave a description to the police of the men I had seen—on April 3rd at Blackheath Road police station I saw a number of men, amongst them being Alfred Stratton—I was not able to pick out the other man who was with him on that morning—looking at Albert now I cannot say whether he is or is not the man who was with Alfred that morning—this (Produced) is not the cap which Alfred was wearing that morning.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. It was just on 7.15 when I see Alfred—it was light, but I cannot tell you if it was sunshining—I was in a hurry to catch the train; I only just succeeded in catching it—my attention was chiefly devoted to doing that—Stratton ran towards the chemist's in New Cross Road—he was about six yards from me when I caught sight of him—his passing me only took a few seconds—I did not see a milk cart with Russell and Jennings in it—Alfred and the other man were running as if they were running for a train, side by side, both making the same pace—the other man had an overcoat on—I did not see no newspaper; it was read to me by Salter—I told my young man that the man I had seen running was the fellow who used to play in his football team—I had seen him about four times, first a long time ago—very likely he has seen me before—the last time I saw him was about last summer.
ALFRED PURFIELD . I am a painter of 21, Linsell Street, Blackheath Hill—on Monday, March 27th, I was on my way to the Deptford railway station to go to London by the 7.35 a.m. train—I had to meet a man named Hicks by appointment, and I waited for him in High Street, Deptford, nearly opposite Chapman's shop—apparently the shop door was closed when I first saw it, but I saw it open and an old gentleman standing there—he had blood on his face, shirt and hands—he stayed at the door in a vacant kind of way for a short time, and then closed it—I lost sight of him—I looked for a policeman, but there was not one
there and I went on to catch my train—I did not give information to the police; they came to me—this (Produced) is a photograph of Farrow, but here he appears to be much younger.
EDITH ROSE WORTH . I live at 112, Friendly Street, Deptford—on Monday, March 27th, I was going up High Street, Deptford to my work, between 7.20 and 7.25 a.m.—I know Chapman's shop; I saw an old man at the door—he appeared to have been very seriously injured—he had blood on his face and hands—he stayed at the shop door for a short time and then closed it—I subsequently told the police—this (Produced) is a photograph of the man I saw standing at the door.
ALFRED DEACON (Detective-Sergeant, New Scotland Yard). I am largely employed at Scotland Yard in taking photographs—on March 27th I took two photographs at 34, High Street, Deptford, one showing the shop parlour with the body of Thomas Farrow lying there, and the other showing the bedroom in which there was a bed with blood stains on the pillow and bedclothes—I got there shortly after 11 a.m. and left about 3 p.m.—the photograph of the bedroom was taken after Mrs. Farrow had been removed to the hospital—the photograph also shows another bed in the same room, and the mattress appears turned down as if search had been made under the mattress; the bed was disarranged—it was in that state when I saw it—I took charge of the cash box—I took it off the floor and put it in my bag, and it remained there until I got back somewhere after 5 p.m., and I handed it to Inspector Collins at Scotland Yard—he afterwards handed it back to me, and it has been in my custody throughout these proceedings.
Cross-examined by MR. MORRIS. There was a good deal of blood on the floor of the ground floor room.
By the COURT. The cash box has been forced open, but there are no marks on it to show how it was done.
CHARLES COLLINS (Detective-Inspector, New Scotland Yard). I have been employed in connection with the Finger Print Department since the formation of the finger print system in 1901—previous to that I was employed for two or three years on the anthropometric system, which Was a system based on certain body measurements and embodied for part of the time finger prints—I have studied the works on the subject by Mr. Francis Galton and Mr. Henry—so far as I know, those are the only works on the subject of finger prints—at Scotland Yard we have now between 80,000 and 90,000 sets of finger prints, which means between 800,000 and 900,000 impressions of digits—in my experience I have never found any two such impressions to correspond—in comparing the impressions we proceed to classify them first by types and sub-types, and then by counting and tracing the ridges—that is when we have complete prints of the whole finger; we then compare what are called the characteristics—in my experience, if the type or sub-type or the number or tracing of the ridges differ, they cannot be the prints of the same finger—if those matters agree we then proceed to compare the characteristics—in my experience, the highest number of characteristics which we have ever found to agree in the impressions of two different fingers is three
—that occurred, to the beat of my belief in two instances; it may have been three, but not more—we have never found as many as four—these photographs (Produced) are enlargements of two finger prints of the same digit, the first taken in August, 1898, and the second in February, 1905, and they show that a particular man's finger did not alter in seven years—from my experience I find that the finger prints of persons who come under my notice do not alter—this cash box was handed to me by Deacon—I found a finger print on the inner tray; it is visible now—I photographed that finger print, and for the purpose of comparing it with others I enlarged it—I did not take impressions of the fingers of Thomas Farrow—Sergeant Alden will speak as to that, but they were shown to me; these are they—I compared them with the mark upon the cash box—they do not agree—Inspector Stead man examined the fingers of Mrs. Farrow after her death—I took an impression of the fingers of Deacon and of Crutchett—until the arrest of Alfred Stratton I had not been able to find any finger prints that I tried which agreed with the print upon the cash box—on the prisoners' arrest I took impressions from the digits of them both—I found that Alfred's right thumb corresponded with the mark on the cash box and I prepared for the purpose of comparison an enlargement of the mark upon the cash box, and one practically on the same scale of the right thumb of Alfred—the scales are as near the same as I could get them—I have indicated by red lines and figures eleven characteristics in which those two prints agree—I also point to at least one other characteristic which I describe as a spur, which is also visible in both prints—I did not find any characteristic which is visible in the print on the cash box which does not agree; so far as the characteristics are visible, they agree—this (Produced) is a chart or an enlarged drawing of the finger marks—there is a line coming in from the right, dropping in the form of a crescent-shape where it is marked 1—we have a ridge dropping, nearly touching No. 1 a little to the right, which is marked 7—the next line above is a line coming up and forking to the right—it is a line immediately above 7—inside the prongs of that fork we have a short independent piece of line marked 6, which we call an island—above that we have a line opening at 3 and closing at 5, forming a lake formation immediately above 2—then the 3rd line above that, coming from the right, terminates abruptly, marked 4—8, is the commencement of a tuning fork pattern, which forks at 9 just a little to the left—the upper part of that fork forms a ridge marked I—you follow the lower prong and you will find a little spur which is not numbered—the next line immediately below abruptly terminates a little to the left marked 2—No. 10, the 4th line from 8, has three intervening lines coming from the left and abruptly terminating—I not only point to the form of the characteristics, but to the number of intervening ridges between each, and both the form and the number of intervening ridges and their respective positions are identical in the two prints—from my experience I should say that it is impossible that those can be prints of two different digits—I have prepared enlargements of the right thumb prints of Crutchett, Deacon, Mr. Farrow and the two prisoners—none of them agree, and
none of them agree with the print on the cash box except Alfred's—I have my apparatus here for taking prints—this (Produced) is a copper plate—a thin film of ink is spread over it by a roller, the finger is placed upon the inked plate, the ridges take up the ink, the finger is then placed upon the paper and leaves an imprint—we have paper forms for the purpose—this (Produced) is the print I took of Alfred's finger.
Cross-examined by MR. ROOTH. I have been employed in classifying and comparing finger impressions for between six and seven years—there must be ridges and lakes and peninsulas in every hand—the eleven characteristics which I have marked for the benefit of the Court are the only characteristics visible from the print on the cash box—they all differ from each other in points of position and character—the points marked 1 to on one enlargement agree with the points marked 1 to 11 on the other—I was not exactly a pupil of Dr. Garson; he was attached to the Anthropometric Office, and when I was working in that office he had very little to do; he was simply adviser to the Commissioner—I have no experience of his ability on the question of finger prints, but on the question of measurement I should value any opinion which he expressed—he taught me to measure criminals in Wandsworth Prison and he taught me something to do with finger prints, but previous to going there I knew the way to take prints—the thumbs in these two prints are looked at from precisely the same point of view—the photograph of the print taken from Alfred is a little more to the right, but it is practically the same—I see the line in print No. 2 forking to the right is more circular in the lower one than in the one above, but in little points of that description pressure would play a lot—it is simply perspiration in the mark on the cash box and in the other the finger is evenly coated with ink—pressure would give you a straight line from one and a curve from the other, but the patterns are the same—in the lower enlargement it is much more curved than in the upper one, which is much more broken up—in the upper one at the end of one part it joins, making a sort of triangle—it is simply a fork to the right, but I do not agree that it is a curve in the lower one—the bifurcation is arched equally in both—I cannot see that the line is much straighter in No. 1 than in No. 2; I cannot see any practical difference whatever—these vertical lines are scratches which were on the cash box—you can see them on it now—one point I depend upon is the little island between points 3 and 5—there is a difference in size and shape between it and the one in the lower print, but that is accounted for in my experience by pressure—in the lower one you have got ink on the ridges of the finger and by pressure you will fill in the ridges, whereas in the other one you have only got perspiration—the exact size of the opening does not alter my decision as to the point of identity, because I know by experience that pressure will alter it—you must remember the number of times this photograph has been enlarged and the difference is at the same ratio—the smaller the thing gets the smaller the difference appears and the more you enlarge it the greater the difference appears—it is enlarged thirteen times and I think I have accounted for the difference—the difference—in line No. 6 is where a scratch comes on the cash box—you
can compare it with the mark on the box—I cannot see any appreciable difference at the base of No. 6—lines Nos. 8 and 10 are practically the same, but you must understand that things such as the hand not striking the same angle make a difference, and the finger is very soft—if you take a soft rubber stamp and push it down with pressure you get a more or less blurred mark and the same with the finger; if it is not touched in the same way you are bound to alter the angle of the pattern—I make it about an inch and three-quarters from the line marked 1 to the line marked, 9; it is not only one-fifth of an inch—all the lines agree in the same ratio with the degree of enlargement, but there may be a slight difference in the degree—I do not make a difference of one-twelfth of an inch between lines 9 and 10 in the two enlargements, but I will concede you that point—between lines 1 and 10 I make the difference about four millimetres, but the degree of enlargement is more in the top than the bottom—I see that the lines in the upper photograph are running much more perpendicular than in the lower, but the pressure of the ridges, will alter that. [An impression of one of the Jurymen's thumps was then taken, one heavy and the other light.]
By the COURT. In my experience the termination and the number of the lines between the various terminations do not correspond in any two people, but the actual print will vary according to the pressure and scale of enlargement—unless you get the enlargements exactly the same, the degree of enlargement will be different.
CHARLES STEADMAN (Detective Inspector), I am in charge of the Finger Print Department at New Scotland Yard—my experience dates from October or November, 1894—I have heard Collins' evidence as to, the finger prints—I agree with him—in my opinion these two prints which he has reproduced are the finger prints of the same digit—I do not think, it possible that they can be the finger prints of two different individuals—I saw a photograph of the print on the cash box and compared it with the fingers of Mrs. Farrow shortly after her death—it did not correspond with any of her fingers in any way; it was a different type—I did not take a print of her finger, because I arrived at the hospital a few minutes before she died—I was quite satisfied with my visual examination.
Alfred Stratton, in his defence on oath, said that he had lived with Cromarty for about eleven months on and off; that she was in the family way by him; that he was on very bad terms with Mrs. Wood, who had sworn she, would be revenged on him; that he often let his brother Albert sleep in his bedroom, and would sometimes give him "kipp" money; that on March 26th he had struck Cromarty in the eye about a man; that he went out and returned, about 11.45 p.m. and found her with Mrs. Wood and Mrs. Chat field;, that they left, and he and Cromarty went to bed about 2.30; that a tap came at the window; that he stood upon the bed and saw Albert at the window, who asked him if he had any money for his lodging; that he (Alfred) said he could net spare any and added, "You had better wait a minute or, two, and I will
slip you in here "; that he dressed, but that when he pulled the curtain aside Albert was not there; that he went out to find him; that he found him at the top of Regent Street, and told him he ought to have waited; that he saw Littlefield and Compton; that he and Albert then went straight home; that he had a key, and the room being on the ground floor they did not make the slightest noise going in; that he slept on the bid with his clothes on and Albert laid on the floor; that he slipped Albert out just before 9 a.m. before Cromarty was awake; that he (Alfred) was wearing very close check trousers turning green with age, and a dark green jacket and waistcoat and the grey cap produced; that he had a very light brown jacket, which used to hang on the partition just alongside the door; that he had given it away, after the murder was made 'public, to a man he used to know in the Carrington lodging house', as it was discarded and of no use to him; that he had got into bed with his clothes on to comfort Cromarty, as she was upset over the row the night before; that he had got the paraffin on his trousers when filling the lamp the night before; that he had told Cromarty on March 27th the Same as he always told her, which was that if anyone asked her if he was out say no, as he had been in trouble; that it was not true that he or Albert had ever entered the deceaseds house; that at 7 a.m. they were indoors; that he had told Cromarty three weeks before the murder that when her child was born he would look after; it that he thought the money which he wanted for that purpose might be Stolen, so the best thing he could do was to bum it, and that he did not always tell Cromarty when he got money.
Evidence for the Defence.
JOHN GEORGE GARSON . I am a Doctor of Medicine, living at 12, St. John's Road—I have given special attention to medical legal work, and I have had experience of the finger print system since about 1890—I was engaged by the Home Office in 1894 to undertake the organisation of this, and also the Bertillon system, and I was engaged in training a staff of Officers in prison and police service—I had Inspectors Collins and Stead-man as pupils in one of my classes at Wands worth Frison—I have had these two photographs of the finger print on the cash box, and also of the thumb print of Alfred stratton, which have been produced here, before me, and I have made a thorough examination of those two prints—I heard Inspector Collins say that these were practically almost the same size—I have examined them, and I say they are the same site enlargements of that portion of the thumb, for two reasons; first, because the width of the ridges are, as far as one can make out, exactly the same in the two prints, and, secondly, the intervals are precisely the same and the measurements are the same between certain given points—if you draw a straight line through points 1 and 11 it is almost a vertical straight line in both the prints—as to point 1, that is a very characteristic point and occurs in both prints—point 2 I do not consider the same; I cannot agree to the correspondence of that point; if you take the lower print, there is a distinct shoulder at the spot which is marked in my print as "2," and if you take the upper print, you will see that, instead of being a shoulder, there is distinctly a curve rather in the opposite direction; in the upper print it is convex and in the under print it is concave—[The witness explained to his Lord ship and the Jury on the photographs]—the form of the upper fork
on which "2 "is, is of a different form from that in the upper print; you will see it is a good deal more convex in the under print and the arch is wider in the upper print; it also runs down in a different manner—it also joins the ridge in a slightly different manner below point 2; that is following the lower branch; the point in the upper print runs in a straighter line than is the case in the lower print—points 3 and 5 really mark what is called the "lake"—I do not agree that the lake in the upper print agrees with the in the lower print—it is very obvious, on looking at the prints, that in the upper print it is much longer and proportionately narrower than in the lower print—I have measured the lengths and I find that the length of the lake in the upper print is thirteen millimetres, while in the lower it is eleven millimetres—that is a difference of 11.8 per cent. or about one-twelfth of an inch in the length of that short line—Points 4: I do not agree to those being corresponding points in the two prints, because if you make a vertical line, which will pass through the ends of points 1 and 11, raise that up right through the prints, and take the distance between the point marked "4 "in the under print, you will find that the distance from the vertical is five millimetres—if you take and put a rule at the ends of points 1 and 11 in the upper print, and then measure to the end of point 4 from the upright, you will find that it measures thirteen millimetres, so that that is a difference of eight millimetres between the two prints, and I say that is impossible, therefore, to be the same point—I have another remark to make with reference to point 4, and that is that in the lower print that terminal end of point 4 is much nearer the next ridge than it is in the upper print—looking at the upper print I would say that the ridge in point 4 is as wide, as far as the actual ridge is concerned, as it is in the lower ridge—with reference to point 6 that has been described as an "island," I do not agree with Inspector Collins that these points in both prints are alike, because, in the first place, in the upper print that ridge measures fourteen millimetres in length, and in the lower print it only measures twelve millimetres; it measures longer in the print that is less clear—there is a difference of 11.7 per cent, of that whole length or two millimetres—let me explain that when I use the right and left I am speaking as regards the person who is looking at the print—you will find that that joins at the right hand side and forms a fork with the ridge below, just where the red line goes through; the red line passes through the junction, and I have had to ascertain whether there is a continuation by examining it closely to see whether the red line is superficial or not, and I find that it is superficial to that junction; it has gone right through the junction in my print—that could not possibly be the case in the under print, which is clearly a terminal end, and, if anything, it is thrown up in the opposite direction towards the top of the print rather than bending downwards—as to point 7, that is not very characteristic; one can deduce very little evidence as to that, but, however, it does not agree in the two prints, because it is continuous in the upper print, and there is a well marked break in the lower print—as to point 8, I am not satisfied that it corresponds in the two prints, because in the first place the ridges in the upper print are very
indistinct in this place and it appears to me that that point in the upper print is not situated on the terminal point, and is the terminal point of a ridge, but I am of opinion it is continued into the next and prolonged downwards to the right; it is totally different in appearance and direction to anything which exists in the lower print; it is the ridge which is very black—as to No. 9, I do not agree that those points coincide, because, in the first instance, if you take a measurement from the end of point 1 to point 9 you will find that it measures fifty millimetres, while in the lower print it is forty-five millimetres, a difference of five millimetres or one-fifth of an inch—these two points, 1 and 11, being stationary and the same in both cases, it follows as a corollary that point 9 is not on the same portion of the print in the two cases; therefore I say it is in a different position on the finger on each of these two prints—as to point 10, it is distinctly a perennial end in the lower print but in the upper it appears to me to be placed on the cross of an arch, which is running onwards to join the one above it—I have not got the measurement from 9 and 10, but I have from 1 to 10, and from 11 to 10; from 1 to 10 in the upper print measures eighty-four millimetres; in the lower one severty-eight, a difference of six millimetres or a quarter of an inch—as to point 11, I think that fairly corresponds in the two prints—taking off half an inch on the right hand side of the upper print and covering up the left hand side of both the prints about to the middle, there is a total difference in the direction of the ridges; in the upper print they form a very fair curve and fairly vertical, whilst in the lower they are much straighter; in fact, they do not follow the curve at all: there is a double curve, as it were, in the upper print; they curve and become vertical, while in the lower print they curve and become horizontal and rather tend to rise towards the right—from my examination of these two prints, I say as to their being those of the same person it is possible, but as to there being conclusive proof to be those of the same person I say they are entirely different fingers; they may be fingers of the same person, but they are not the same fingers—there is also a remarkable absence of any recognisable or distinct marks in the quarter of the print which may be taken of the lower and upper print as marked by the lines 5 and 7. in the lower set of prints there are at least eight extremely good points, and if you carry it down further there are a considerable number more; I mean by that the junction of forks and peculiarity of ridges, not a single trace of which is to be found in the upper print.
Cross-examined. I do not say that the different digits of one individual resemble each other more than the digits of different individuals resemble each other; there is the same variety between my different digits as there is a difference between my digits and yours—I said that the finger prints may be those of the same, individual, but not of the same finger, because both prints show the form of ridge which is called an arch—it is quite possible for anyone to have on two, three, or all the fingers of his hand that arch—it is also possible for two individuals to have arches upon two or three fingers, but it is not frequently found—it is found that different individuals have different arches; that is the primary type
—a great many different individuals have that arch on their thumbs—these finger prints are more likely perhaps to be the finger prints of different people—when I was retained by the Home Office the Bertillon system was used for classification only—that part of the system which consisted of measurements of bones required expert surgical knowledge—it is not necessary to know the position of bones to find the termini or anything of that kind—the system was based on the length of limbs and head—that is certainly determined upon the length of bones underneath—I was concerned with the whole system of identification, measurements, marks, scars, finger prints and photographs—I gave evidence before, the Commission that sat in 1900—I do not know that they recommended that the combined system of measurements and finger prints should be abandoned—they recommended that both should go on—I know the system of measurements has been wholly abandoned—it was owing to the difficulty of keeping the large staff over the country trained up to a certain standard to take accurate measurements—I agree to a certain extent that two persons measuring the same part of the same body get different results—very fine measurements were required, only a difference of a millimetre being allowed in the principal measurements—when the system of measurement was abandoned in October, 1901, my services were dispensed with, and I have not had any connection with the Finger Print Department since that date—I know that the use of finger prints has enormously increased since then—I leftover 20,000 finger prints when I left—a few hundreds or a thousand, perhaps, being taken under the new system—I was there in the later period of the new system also—the old system was classification by measurement, and the new was classification by the finger prints themselves—under the old system down to the end of 1901 the highest number of identifications in any one year was 503, but that number did not include 93 identifications by finger prints alone—I was not there the last two or three months of 1901—I will not dispute the figures for that year—the last complete year that I was there was 1900—in 1900 the total number of identifications was 462—I have seen the statistics for last ear and know that the number of identifications by finger prints alone exceed 5,000—you certainly cannot take it that the experience of the officers of the Finger Print Department since I left has greatly exceeded my own with regard to finger prints—I have been at it since 1890—I have seen a number of identifications since October, 1901, but I have had no experience of the working of identifications by finger prints since that date—I think I communicated with the defence first with reference to this case—it was after I had seen the report of what had taken place in the Police Court—I wrote to the solicitor on April 26th—I had not then seen any copies of these finger prints—what, made me write was that I saw Inspector Collins had spoken, according to the papers, a great deal of nonsense about finger prints in the Police Court; for instance, there was something in the paper that he said about the number of cases you would require before you found the same finger print occurring twice, a mathematical calculation of the chances—I believe that was one of the nonsensical things he said, but there were several
things which were not in accordance with my views—that is the only one I can recollect—it is rather a prominent one—in order, to check that calculation I would have to have the basis on which it is made, but the, basis was not given—I, as a scientific man, came to the collusion that, it was nonsense—I knew where he had got it—I accept the statement that one of those prints is the finger of the right thumb of Alfred Stratton and I am prepared to swear before the jury that the one above is not—I formed that opinion after ray examination of the finger prints—I saw them casually last week in the solicitor's offices, but they did not come to me for examination until this week, I think, on Tuesday night—I had not, formed any opinion until I had examined them carefully—I then made; an exhaustive study of them—you can read the letter that I wrote to the solicitor for the defence, as far as I am concerned [The letter of April, 26th; 1905, was then read, stating that the witness was not sure whether the Treatury were going to call him as an expert witness o" the finger print system in connection with the trial of the Brothers Stratton at the Central Criminal Court, but that if he should not be called he should be pleased to arrange to give expert evidence for the defence; that he had had the organisation of the whole department at Scotland Yard and had remained there until it was thoroughly established; that Inspector Collins was his junior assistant and that he (the witness) was familiar with the extent of his knowledge; that from Mr. Button's statements, made the day before, he gathered that he (Mr. Button), was not quite familiar with the finger print system; that it was a splendid means of identification when properly used, but that it required careful use, that he had no hesitation in saying that the way in which it was being used by the police was just that which would bring it into disrepute; that he (Mr. Button) must have medical authority to regulate its use as to what extent the prints were to be relied upon in any given case, and that he was without exaggeration the leading medical legal authority, as having had by for the greated experience of the work, with the exception of one man, who was aged]—on the same day I wrote to the Director of the Public Prosecutions, offering to give evidence on his behalf. [The letter was then read, dated April 26th 1905. in which the witness stated that he would be glad to know whether it was the intention to call him as an expert in the trial of the Strattons of the Central Criminal Court on the finger impressions which wire to be brought forward against them; that it was he who first worked the system up at Scotland Yard, and that he felt that the Government had perhaps the first claim on his services, especially as Sir Kenelam Digby had said to him that there were occasions when his services might be required; that he might say that if not retained by the Treasury as an expert he probably would give evidence for the defence, and that was the reason why he was desirous of knowing as soon as possible whether his services would be required by the Treasury for the Prosecution.]—I am an independent witness.
Re-examined. If I had had to give evidence for the Treasury it would, have been precisely the same, I have given evidence for the Treasury in many cases, and I have had to give reports to them which have altered totally their procedure.
By the COURT. I meant to go on the results of my examination of the
finger prints entirely—I offered to give the result of my examination—I meant I wanted to see the finger prints in order to give my opinion, although I did not say so in either of the letters.
CHARLES COLLINS (Re-examined). In consequence of the request of the Jury I have taken these finger prints of Russell and Chapman, headed with their names—they signed them themselves (Produced and handed to the Jury)—I find no resemblance in any of them to the finger print found on the cash box.
GUILTY DEATH .