Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 22 August 2019), February 1864, trial of JAMES DEWALL (25) (t18640229-339).

JAMES DEWALL, Killing > manslaughter, 29th February 1864.

339. JAMES DEWALL (25), was indicted for feloniously killing and slaying John Williams. He was also charged, on the Coroner's Inquisition, with the like offence.

MR. KYDD conducted the Prosecution.

CHARLES THOMAS GORDON . I live at 5 A. Bridge-street, Mile-end-road—on the evening of 26th December I was at Mr. John's, Mile-end-road, and saw the prisoner—he was racing; he was in a cart and horse—there was another cart alongside of him—this was in the Mile-end-road; Globe-road crosses the Mile-end-road—I saw an old gentleman knocked down in Globe-road by the horse the prisoner was driving—there is a crossing there across the road—there were not many persons about—the two horses and carts were racing together; one was trying to get before the other—it was pretty light; it was about 5 o'clock, between 5 and 6.

Cross-examined by MR. RIBTON. Q. Were you returning from your work? A. Yes—there was no one with me—I was at Mr. John's door when I saw the old gentleman knocked down—I was about five yards from the spot where he was knocked down, as far as from here to the end of the Court—I saw the cart go past Mr. John's door before the old gentleman was knocked down—the driver never hallooed for the old gentleman to get out of the way; he was hooting and hallooing—the prisoner was sitting down in the cart; he had a whip—I saw him hit the horse with it—I heard him halloo—I am not able to say what it was that he hallooed—the man in the other cart hallooed too—the old gentleman was crossing Globe-road; the cart was going to turn into Globe-lane from Mile-end-road—Globe-lane crosses Mile-end-road; this happened at the corner of Globe-road—the old gentleman was about two feet

from the kerb when the cart came on him—it was not a costermonger's barrow; it is what they call a half-cart—there was a woman in the cart with the prisoner.

COURT. Q. Is Mr. John's place in the Mile-end-road? A. No, in Globe-lane—the carts were going down Globe-road to go into Mile-end-road, and they passed me in Globe-road—the cart the prisoner was driving passed nearest to me.

JANE JONES . I reside at 4, Globe-road, Mile-end—Globe-road runs into Mile-end-road—my house is about fifty feet from the end of Globe-road; the distance of four houses and a wall—on the evening of 26th December between 5 and 6 o'clock, I was standing at my own door—I saw the prisoner driving at a very rapid rate—there were two vehicles—I knew the deceased, Williams, merely by passing the door—I never spoke to him, but I had frequently seen him—I did not see him that night until after he had been run over, when he was carried by my door by two men—I did not see him run over—I particularly noticed that the carts were going at a very rapid rate indeed; I should say they could not go faster—the prisoner was driving one of the carts; he was in about the middle of the road—the Globe-road is very narrow; it is sixteen feet wide within a few inches, under or over—there is a crossing at the end of the lane, where persons are in the habit of crossing over; that is along the Mile-end-road—I did not hear the prisoner or any other person hallooing or shouting; I consider they were all tipsy—they were singing and hallooing as they passed my door—I can't say how long it was after they passed my door that I saw the deceased carried by; he was taken to the doctor's.

Cross-examined. Q. Were the carts driving towards Mile-end-road or from it? A. Towards it, coming down the road from Globe-road into Mile-end-road—the accident must have occurred almost immediately after they passed my house.

WILLIAM BACON . I live at 1, Albany-street, Whitehorse-lane, close to Mile-end-road—I was in the neighbourhood of Mile-end-road on Boxing night—I was at that part of Mile-end-road where Globe-road comes into it—it was about half-past 5 o'clock—I saw the prisoner coming down Globe-lane driving a cart—I was standing right in the middle of the pavement, some distance from Mrs. Jones's house, nearer the Mile-end-road—I saw the deceased man, Williams, cross the crossing at the bottom of the road; he was just against the gutter at the end of the kerb—he was in the Mileend-road, going to cross to the other side—when he was crossing the prisoner sung out two or three times to get out of the way; he was then about fifteen or sixteen yards off—as far as I could see the prisoner tried to pull up as quickly as he could, but it is a great deal down hill there—when he got to the crossing the shaft of the cart knocked the old gentleman down—I saw that—I should say the horse was going from six to seven miles an hour, as near as I could say—I have not been accustomed to driving—I saw the shaft of the cart knock the old gentleman down.

Cross-examined. Q. Did not the prisoner call out to get out of the way several times? A. Yes, two or three times, while he was fifteen or sixteen yards away—I distinctly saw him try to pull the horse up as well as he could—it was a costermonger's cart; I did not see any other cart—it was not a heavy cart.

COURT. Q. Is Globe-lane on the descent? A. Yes—I was coming from Whitehorse-lane across Mile-end-road, going to Globe-lane, on the same side as Mrs. Jones's house—I had not got so far as Mrs. Jones's—I was a very

few yards from the corner of the Mile-end-road—I only saw one cart; I was coming in the same direction as the cart—I crossed Mile-end-road, and the cart was coming down Globe-lane, and met me.

SAMUEL WHITE (Policeman, K 471). On 26th December, about half-past 5 in the afternoon, I was standing in the Mile-end-road, not on duty—there is a smartish slope from Globe-road into Mile-end-road—I saw two carts coming down Globe-road one after another—the prisoner was with the first cart; they were coming at a pretty good pace—I was standing at the south side of Mile-end-road, about twenty yards from where the deceased was, exactly opposite the Globe-road—the carts were coming down on the north side; I might be about twenty yards from the crossing—I saw the cart the prisoner was driving; it might have been twenty or thirty yards before it reached the crossing—I took particular notice of the cart coming down; I was watching him when he came through the mob of people that were passing, and I saw the deceased fall—the prisoner pulled up directly the man was knocked down—there were a great number of persons about; it was on the Saturday night after Christmas, and a great number of persons were passing—I should not like to say any particular pace at which the prisoner was driving, because I am not much of a judge, but he was going at a pretty fast trot.

Cross-examined. Q. You would not say it was furious driving? A. No—the prisoner's cart was coming towards me—I heard him call out once or twice—I can't say what he called out; I heard him hallooing to get out of the way.

COURT. Q. Look at that paper and see if that sketch is at all like the position of the roads? A. Yes—the prisoner's cart was not much ahead; the other appeared to be close after it—I don't think they had got abreast of each other before I saw the man knocked down; the prisoner's cart was first then—he pulled up directly the man was knocked down—there were persons passing to and fro athwart the crossing, right across the road both ways—the prisoner kept on the outside of the crowd—Globe-lane ends at Mile-end-road.

EDWARD WILLIAMS . I am a cab-driver, and live at 3, East-street, Globe-fields, Mile-end-road—on the evening of 26th December my father was brought to my house—his clothes were covered with mud—with the assistance of two men I carried him upstairs and undressed him, and sent for a doctor—he had a wound on his left leg below the knee, and he complained of great pain in his right hip—he remained at my house till the 29th January, when he died—he was confined to his bed the whole of that time, except that for the first three weeks we got him out of bed every day to have his bed made, but after that time he gradually sank, and we could not get him out of bed—I had seen him about 12 o'clock on 26th December; he was then in perfect health.

Cross-examined. Q. You had one doctor to him for a fortnight, had you not? A. Yes—he was within a few days of seventy-three years of age—he had been a permit-writer in the Excise, and had been superannuated for thirteen years—he was in the habit of walking about every day—on this day he had a carpet-bag with him; he had been to market—Dr. Atkins attended him for the first fortnight—he took very little substance; he mostly subsisted on wine and brandy, and so forth—he took no sort of substance from the time of the accident—he did not swallow two mouthfuls of food; he lived on nothing else but wine and brandy—that was by the doctor's direction—he took but little brandy, but sometimes he would drink a pint

of wine or more during the twenty-four hours—the brandy was given to him diluted with cold water.

MR. KYDD. Q. Was he an active man? A. Wonderfully so; quite as capable of moving about as myself.

AARON ATKINS . I am a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, and practice in the east end of London—I was called in to see the deceased on 26th December, about 5 in the evening—he had a lacerated and contused wound of about three inches long on the front surface of the left leg just above the ancle—he complained of considerable pain over the right hip, but there was no external appearance of bruise—the injury to the leg was such as would be caused by being run over; it struck me from what I heard, that the shaft of the cart might have struck him in the hip—I continued to attend him for nearly a fortnight—during the first two or three days he progressed favourably—I had known him for some years—his health was good prior to the accident—he was an active healthy man for his age—after the lapse of two or three days the wound assumed a very unhealthy character—there was effusion under the skin, and sloughing; erysipelas set in which extended up the leg to the knee, and ultimately to the hip, and from that time he rapidly grew worse day by day—I did not order the stimulants until after he became exhausted from the sloughing—I don't know the date of my last visit to him, but I think it was one day within the fortnight.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you order him to take as much as a pint of wine or more a day? A. I did not order him any given quantity till he began to sink—that was after—the two or three days, when erysipetal inflammation set in, and when the sloughing and discharge were going on—I directed a wineglassful about every four hours—I attended him daily—I had an opportunity of seeing what effect the stimulants had upon him—they have a very different effect upon a man when he is in suffering than they have at other times—a pint of wine would not be too much for him—I have seen a man take a quart of brandy in a night—this man's friends complained that there was a difficulty in getting him to take anything, and I pressed it upon them—I don't think it would have a considerable effect upon the muscles of the brain—I don't think it would account for the effusion—it was serous effusion.

COURT. Q. Might that result from extreme debility? A. It might—I saw nothing about the tongue or the action of the pulse to show that the stimulant was producing any injurious effects.

HENRY CHARLES ROBINSON . I am a member of the College of Surgeons—I was called to see the deceased on 8th January—I found him in a very low state, with excessive sloughing of the left leg, and extended erysipelas as far as the upper part of the thigh—I continued to attend him till 29th January, the day of his death—he was very low, and required to be sustained by beef tea and wine, and those kind of things—I made a postmortem examination of his body—I found all the organs of the abdomen and chest in a healthy state, particularly so for a man of his age—there were some slight adhesions of the pleura, showing some former trifling mischief, but nothing of any consequence—upon examining the brain there was serous effusion to the extent of three ounces—I have heard the account of the accident from the witnesses—the wound and the subsequent consequences were such as I should have expected from such an accident—the effusion of blood on the brain, I consider, was the product of irritative fever, and mischief which he had been enduring for five weeks, as the result of the accident.

COURT. Q. Were you enabled to form an opinion whether what you saw

on the whole might be attributable to natural causes, or to some violence, however applied? A. It is impossible to say; effusion of the brain sometimes occurs from natural causes—I think what I saw was the result of irritation caused by violence.

Cross-examined. Q. Were you able to form an opinion as to the length of time this effusion had lasted? A. I should say it did not occur in the earlier part of his illness, because he was so extremely conscious of everything that was going on—he did not seem to labour under any bad effects—I should say it had been gradually coming on for three or four days perhaps—if I had not heard of any accident, I should have said it might or might not be attributable to natural causes—by serous effusion I mean watery effusion on the brain—that produces unconsciousness—for the last two or three days he required to be raised in order to understand, but at the first part of his illness he was clear and collected; the unconsciousness came on during the last day or two—I will not say that was entirely attributable to the accident; it might or might not be—under the circumstances, I consider the serous effusion was attributable to the accident—if I had not heard of the accident, I should have said it might have been entirely independent of any accident—I am not able positively to say that the one was a natural sequence of the other—in a person of his age it would be more likely to occur from natural causes—it arises from weakness of the vessels of the brain; they grow weak as we grow older—I desired beef tea to be given—I did not order so much as a pint of wine to be administered, but a large quantity was necessary to sustain life with his feeble powers—both beef tea and wine were necessary—I did not attend him at the same time as Mr. Atkins—I desired him to continue the wine-glass of wine every four hours—if they had given him a pint a day it would not have been too much—if they had told me they had given him a pint and more, besides brandy, I should perhaps have said it was too much: if it was much more than a pint, a glass or two more would not have been too much, or a glass or two of brandy besides; in fact, he required the stimulant to keep him in existence—latterly, for the last few days, I believe he rejected almost everything—I don't think too much was given to him—too much stimulant might, in certain cases, account for effusion on the brain.

COURT. Q. Would it account for serous effusion? A. It might—a patient suffering from sloughing might take with safety stimulants that would not be given to another patient—I had no reason to suppose, from the action of the pulse or the tongue, that he bad taken more than enough—the abdomen was in a healthy state, and also the chest—looking at that fact, and at the lacerated wound on the leg, I consider the serous effusion was the result of the accident—I should have said it arose from some accident even if I had never heard of this accident, and that the ordinary course of life had been interfered with by some calamity.

NOT GUILTY .