Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 29 January 2023), September 1870, trial of JOHN BUONOVINO (36) (t18700919-785).

JOHN BUONOVINO, Killing > manslaughter, 19th September 1870.

785. JOHN BUONOVINO (36) , Feloniously killing and slaying William Lewis.

MR. BOTTOMLEY conducted the Prosecution; and MR. GRIFFITHS the Defence.

MARIA BEEDEN . I am barmaid at the Castle public-house, Camberwell Road—on 31st August, the deceased came in with a female—he called for liquor—the prisoner came in, and I served him with liquor, too—while I was serving another customer, I heard a blow and a full—I turned round, and saw the prisoner dragging a woman to the door from the compartment where the old man had been—when I saw the old man, his head was leaning on the table—I rang for the potman to fetch water to bathe his face—I found him motionless—he was dead—he was talking to the prisoner's wife when he came in.

Cross-examined. Q. Had you known Lewis before this? A. No—I had seen him and the prisoner's wife there before, together—I heard no words between Lewis and the prisoner.

EDWARD CHABOT . I am a surgeon, living at 129, Camberwell Road—I was called on the 31st August to the Castle public-house—I found a dead man there, lying on a table—he had a recent bruise on the forehead, a little abrasion on the nose, blood hanging about the nostrils, a bruise on the face, and the pupils of his eyes somewhat dilated—I made post-mortem examin-ation on the 2nd September—the cause of death was effusion of blood over the anterior part of the brain into the ventricles, which I attribute to the blows.

COURT. Q. It may have been caused by a sudden shock to the system? A. Yes, concussion and hemorrhage—the brain was healthy.

ELIZABETH DAY . I recognize the body of the deceased—I was his housekeeper—he left home between 2 and 3 o'clock on the 31st August he was in good health.

Cross-examined. Q. Used the prisoner and his wife to lodge in the same house? A. No, in one of Mr. Lewis's houses in Islington—Mr. Lewis used to be frequently at the house, twice a week in general—I do not know if he was very often conversing with the prisoner's wife—I only saw her once with Mr. Lewis—she was with him for collecting rents—I did not see her collecting rents.

THOMAS BERRY . I am a detective officer of the P division—I went to the Castle public-house on the 31st August—I saw deceased on the table, dead—I went in search of the prisoner, and found him next morning about 9.30 in a stable in Robin Hood Yard, washing himself—I said "John, I am going to take you into custody for causing his death"—he said "Very well, I am quite willing to go with you, I done no more than any other man would have done; last night I went home a little earlier than usual, found my wife out, and went in search of her; I saw her with the old gentleman, they were laughing and talking, I crossed over the road and allowed them to go past, and when I came back I saw them again, all at once I missed him, and went into the Castle to have a half-pint of beer, and saw them at the bar having a half-quartern of gin; I went round into their compart-ment, I could not stand it any longer; I went towards my wife and hit her in the face. The old gentleman got up and said 'Don't hit the woman,' that was the first thing he said, I then hit him two or three times, he dropped down on to the side of his head, fell on to the table, and his nose bled, but I did not think I had killed him; I then got hold of my wife and dragged her out"—on the road to the station he said "I used to five with that old gentleman in Islington, I removed from there; one day I was at home with a stiff neck, a little girl came to the door to see my missis, I put my head out of the window and saw the old gentleman beckoning her round the corner with his finger, I then went out and caught the two talking together; I cautioned him then that if I ever caught him along with her again it would be the wont for him.

Cross-examined. Q. He said he had only given the gentleman a thrashing? A. Yes.

JAMES DUNN (Police Inspector P). I read the charge to prisoner at the station—he said "I did not mean to kill him, he has been cautioned often enough before.