Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 26 January 2022), January 1873, trial of MARY ANN MORIARTY (40) (t18730113-131).

MARY ANN MORIARTY, Killing > murder, 13th January 1873.

131. MARY ANN MORIARTY (40), was indicted for the wilful murder of Daniel Moriarty.

MR. RIBTON conducted the Prosecution; and MR. STRAIGHT the Defence.

PATRICK CALLAGHAN . I keep the Wheatsheaf, in Vere Street—I knew the deceased man, Moriarty, and his wife, the prisoner—on 7th December, when I got home, about 2 o'clock in the day, I found them there—they were served with drink, and left at half-past 2—they were then sober—I did not see them afterwards.

Cross-examined. I had known the deceased about two years—I have never seen him sober but once, and I have seen him probably twenty times—I can't say that he was violent when drunk, he was rather abusive—he was a stouter and more powerful man than I—I heard the prisoner say to

him in my house on this Saturday afternoon, "You have given me no money to-day"—he said "No, I don't intend to gire you any"—after that there was an angry discussion between them—I told the man he ought to be ashamed of himself, and he said, "Mind your own business, and don't inter fere with mine"—the prisoner asked him to come home—he said "No, I shan't"—she said "Do come home, you have had enough to drink"—my wife said to him "What is the use of you having so much to drink?"—I knew nothing of the prisoner with the exception of her coming to my house—I knew she has had several children by this man—I believe both the prisoner and her husband are Irish—I turned them out of the house, I would not serve them with any more drink; I have made that a rule ever since I have been in the trade.

Re-examined. The prisoner only used to come there after her husband—I cannot say that I ever saw her drunk only when with him; I have seen her the worse for drink when with him.

JOHN KAY . I am a labourer, and live at 13, Granby Place, Drury Lane—the deceased and his wife, the prisoner, lived in the same house—and I occupied the second floor—on this Saturday I came home about 3 o'clock, and saw them going up stairs to their own room—I had to help Mr. Moriarty up stairs to his room because he was so drunk—I took him into his own room and put him into a chair—his wife followed me up, she was very drunk, too—I shut the door, left them there, and went up stairs to my own place, and about 7 o'clook I heard the prisoner's three children run down stairs hallooing—I had to go to market, and went down, and saw one of the boys with his back agin the wall not far from the door outside—I spoke to him, and in consequence of something he said I went back, and went up into their room—the door was shut, but on the latch—I opened it, and saw the prisoner standing up agin the door, and Mr. Moriarty lying on the floor, and blood all over the floor, and the bed was covered with blood—there was a great sheet bound about his head and shoulders, off of the bed, I think—after lifting the sheet off his head, I turned to the prisoner and said, "I'm d----d, Mrs. Moriarty, if you ain't killed the man"—she said, "Yes, I am the woman that done it, and I had an occasion for doing it, and a good job too"—she was neither drunk nor sober, she was excited—I saw her face all black or blue—she had a regular black eye—I noticed no other marks about her face—I went to Bow Street, and returned with two policemen—we were then met by Mr. Bowles, the deputy of the court.

Cross-examined. They had two rooms, which led into one another; one was used as a living room and the other as a sleeping room, but they had a bed in each room—I found the deceased wounded in the sitting room, and it was on the bed in the sitting room that I found the blood—I have lived there about eight weeks, and the Moriartys have been there about that time—I knew Moriarty before I went there; I only worked on one job with him, four or five weeks before, at the Gaiety—he was a bricklayers' labourer—my room was the third floor front—they had seven children, I believe, but his daughter did not live there, she was in service; the other six lived at home with their parents—I have known the prisoner about eight weeks—she used to work sometimes, not always; I did not see much of her—I buried my wife about nine weeks ago—the deceased was in the habit of getting very drunk—he was in my room the night before this about two hours, I believe, and we had several pots of beer in—he was not drunk, ut he had a little in; he had a little taken—he had had more than was

good for him—I was drinking with him—I was sober—I remember his wife coming up on the Friday evening and asking him to go down—I heard him tell her to get out of the room, and not come interfering with him—I did not hear him say that if she interfered with him he would give her a hiding—they were both jawing at one another and he called her a w—, and said that her mother was as big a was she was, and he flung a can of beer at her; I did not see that it hit her, but the beer went over her—I had never seen him use violence to her before, but I have heard her call out—I know that he was sent by a Magistrate for a month's hard labour for ill-using her—I did not tell the Magistrate that when I went into the room they were both on the floor; she was standing up and he was lying on the floor—I saw the police find a chopper in the small room where they used to sleep; we call it the back room—it was on the floor under a Covent Garden basket, a porter's basket—I had never seen that chopper before—I did not see from which bed the sheet round the man's head had been taken—I saw the prisoner on the stairs once between 3 o'clock and 7, but do not know whether she went out—we live, I dare say, 100 yards from Bow Street Station.

Re-examined. It was some time after 3 that I saw her on the stairs; I was going out and she was sitting on the stairs—I passed her, but she said nothing—I had not seen her the worse for drink before that—she used to drink.

HIRAM FIRTH (Policeman E 47). Kay called me at about 7. 45, and I want with him to Granby Place, on the first floor, and found the deceased lying by the side of the bed, and the prisoner standing by him—a sheet was wrapped round his head; I pulled it off, and saw two large cuts on the side of his head, and blood flowing from them—there was blood on the bed and on the floor—I spoke to him, but he was not able to answer—I asked the prisoner who had done it, she said, "I did it"—I said, "What with?"—she said that she had struck him twice on the bead with a chopper—I asked her where the chop per was—she said she did not know—I searched, but could not find it, but when I returned to the house a second time I found it in the back room, at the back of a porter's basket—I had not searched in that place on the first occasion—there was blood and hair on it—I assisted the man down stairs; he was put in a cab and taken to the hospital—the largest quantity of blood was on the bed—the prisoner said on the way to the station, "I will do it again when I come out."

Cross-examined. When I first went in she appeared very much excited—she had been drinking—she was partly under the influence of drink—I do not know whether Moriarty was under the influence of drink; he was stupefied by the blow—I did not investigate to see which bed the sheet came off—the blood was on different parts of the bed, as if he had been rolled over the bed—the bed in the other room had not been laid on—there was a bruise on each of the prisoner's cheeks—I did not notice her arms or her body.

GEORGE BEALES . I live at 9, Granby Place, and am manager of the house and court where these people lived—I live two doors off—on the evening in question, about a quarter to 8 o'clock, the prisoner came into my room very excited, and trembling so that she sat down, and then she told me that she had hit Mr. Moriarty on the head with a chopper—I said "Have you really hit him on the head with a chopper?"—she said "Yes"—I said "With the blade of it?" she said, "Yes"—I said "Whereabouts?"

she said "I don't know, but I have hit him on the head, and I think he is dying"—I said "If he dies you will be in for it"—she said "No, I won't; I only stood in my own defence, look at me," showing me some bruises on her arms, and a lump on her cheek-bone—I took a light and went to their house, and saw Mr. Moriarty on the floor with a sheet round his head, held up by his own hands—that was before the police came—I sent for them, and met them coming.

Cross-examined. I have known the prisoner some time—she has been in the buildings eighteen months, and I knew her before, but was not much acquainted with her—she was a sober person, and very striving for her family—she has five children at home, and one daughter out at service—the prisoner took a good deal of trouble to get her a good situation—she was in the habit of keeping her home neat and tidy—on this very morning she came to me and said, "Mr. Moriarty has got a pocket full of money, go after him for the rent"—I said "Where is he t"—she said "Gone down the court"—I said "If he is out of the court I cannot go after him"—she said "Then I must get some"—I generally get the rent on a Monday, but he was seven weeks behindhand, and owed me 28s.—therentwas 4s. per week—he was only a labouring man—she continually tried to get the rent for me—she is a peaceable, orderly, well-disposed woman; very much so as a rule—on the Saturday evening when this took place, I saw them come from Mr. Brown's public-house in Stanhope Street together, at a little after 3—they were both a little the worse for liquor—I saw them go home, and indoors—she looked to me as if she had been knocked down then—she had a kind of dirty face as if she had been knocked down, or had fallen down—I did not see her any more till she came to me—when she pointed to her arms, there were bruises there—she pointed to a place on her cheek-bone, which appeared as if it had been recently done, it was red, and was turning blue—it appeared to have been a violent blow, it was a goodish-sized lump, it was causing her face to swell—she said that she was so knocked about that she did not know what to do, and she had told me on the Tuesday previous that she really must take her children into the workhouse if she did not get some money to pay the rent—she had complained to me of being ill-used before, and said that she was driven out of her house nine days, and did not go in.

Re-examined. The dint was on both sides of her face in the afternoon, but the mark was only on one side in the evening—I have seen him with her tipsy, and she said he would not give her money but he would give her drink.

ANDREW DUNCAN . I am house-surgeon at King's College Hospital—the deceased was brought there on the 7th—his breath smelt of spirits—there were nine scalp wounds on the left side of his head, some of which com municated with one another—they could not be the result of one blow, they must have been the result of many blows—one wound ran into another—there were six different fractures of the skull, which must have been the result of at least six different blows—there was a wound over the left ear and a cut over the left eye—they were all on the left side, except a cut on the right thumb—two blows would have made the wounds over the left ear and eye—they were all clean cuts—there were nine scalp wounds visible—I did not remove the scalp to see them—he got worse in the evening, and the visiting surgeon removed some pieces of bone that were pressing on the brain—this was on the 10th—he lingered till the 13th and died—I made a

post-mortem examination, and found a fracture extending across the base of the skull in addition to those fractures on the vault of the skull—any of the wounds on the side of the head would be sufficient to account for that fracture—the fracture at the base of the skull was connected with the lowest fracture on the side of the head, and seemed to be the result of the same blow, in my judgment—there is no doubt the fractures of the skull caused death—this hatchet would produce the wounds—it is sufficiently sharp.

Cross-examined. The injury under the eye was a small cut through the skin, which might have been caused in the tussle with a sharp instrument—the wound behind the ear was connected with one of the scalp wounds—I mean that they ran one into the other, or, to the eye of a non-medical person it would appear the same wound—the wound under the eye might have been done by a side blow or an accidental blow, supposing the person were aiming at random—the six fractures could not have been caused by one blow, like the starring of a large piece of glass—they were not starred fractures—he was able to walk about when at the hospital—he was more conscious next morning—I saw from appearances on the post-mortem exami nation that he had been a confirmed drinker—he was a thick-set man.

Re-examined. The cut under the eye was half-an-inch long—it might have been inflicted by blows from this instrument, though it would probably inflict a larger cut.

FREDERICK GREENFIELD (Police Inspector). On Sunday, the 8th, I went to the hospital and took the prisoner with me, and placed her at the foot of the bed—the deceased made a statement, but the magistrate did not attend till next day, when I was not there.

Cross-examined. I knew the prisoner and the deceased well—I am acting inspector at Bow Street, and from time to time have to do duty in the Police Court—I know that Moriarty had a month for ill-using his wife—he has been charged on various occasions with ill-using her—we have had frequent complaints—I know that he was a drunken man, and that when he was drunk he was very violent; but I know nothing except from taking the statements.

HIRAM FIRTH (re-examined). I attended at the hospital when the Magis trate was there, on Monday the 9th—the oath was administered to the deceased in the prisoner's presence, who was at the foot of the bedshe cross-examined him—(Examination read: Daniel Moriarty says: "I lived at 13, Granby Place, Drury Lane—I was employed at Haggerstone gas works—on Saturday night I returned home about 7 o'clock—I then went to Twyman's house, in Little Wild Street—my wife came after me—I was then quite sober—my wife and I afterwards went to the Wheatsheaf public-house, in Vere Street—we had some drink there—I had some whisky, she had some also—I stopped there about a quarter of an hour, and then we returned home—I did not go to bed when I got home—there were not a man and his wife in the room when we got back—my wife and I did not quarrel—she struck me with a small axe twice on the left side of my head—I went up stairs to a man, and he came with me to the hospital—I did not fall down at all—that is all I know about it—I am certain I did not strike my wife before she struck me—I was sober—the small axe my wife struck me with was in the room at the time—my wife has not been living with me for three weeks—she went to another place, and did not come to me for a fortnight—I have been married twenty years, and have six children

by my wife—I have not been in the habit of ill-using her."

Cross-examined by the Prisoner: "The prisoner did not say to me at Twynam's, ‘Is this the way you are going to treat me and your five children—I did not have several lots of whisky at the Wheatsheaf, only one glass—I had 1l. 15s.—I am not aware that she said she would rather have the money to buy food—I am sure I went home without having more to drink—when I got home I did not go to bed in my clothes—I have been sent to prison about four or five months (ago) for giving my wife a blow—I did not catch hold of the prisoner's hair on Saturday night.—DANIEL MORURTY, his mark."

Prisoner's Statement before the Magistrate. "I have been his wife twenty one years, and the mother of his eight children. I have been a very good mother, but I am sorry to say my husband behaved a very great brute and a very great drunkard to me. I had to take my child in my arms and go in the street of a night from him. I have been always in and out of the workhouse with them. My husband turned me out, and kept me in the streets. This last accident that took place he was all the week drinking, and he left his work. He drew the last of his money on the Wednesday, and came home that evening drunk, and in a very bad temper. He asked for some dinner, and I gave it him. He seemed all the evening in a very bad temper. I tried to amuse him all I could. Between 5 and 6 o'clock a man named Dwyer came and asked my husband to assist him with some pota toes into his cellar. My husband was sitting by the fire drunk. He turned round and said, "What brought Dwyer up here?" I said, "He came for your assistance with some potatoes. "My husband said, "No, he did not;" and he said he came for a very bad purpose. Many words passed between us, and he got up and beat me round the head. I cried out very loud, but no one came to me. He kicked me with his naked feet; then he dressed himself and went out. I went out afterwards, and I went and told Dwyer what my husband had said. I did not go into my room again except when my husband was out. He was all the week drunk up to Saturday; he lay in bed with his clothes on. On the Sunday morning he took a lamp and other things to sell. He did not come home till late. He got up early on Mon day morning, and said he would not be home till late; he came home in the evening between 6 and 7 o'clock, and I left the room I was with my children all day. He worked on till Friday night, five days of the week. He came home on Friday about 9 at night; I went out, and a little time afterwards my husband went to the public-house; my third son followed him there, and asked for some money to get bread. After that my husband sent a child to me for two pawn-tickets, and I sent them to him He went up stairs to Kay's room and sent for drink, and he remained there till the public-houses were shut I called my children at 5.30 on Saturday morning to go to their work; my husband was in the room in bed, and I was afraid to go in. Between 10 and 11 o'clock on Saturday morning I saw my hus band washing himself in the room; he sent the boy for some coals; he gave him no money for bread. When my husband went out I went up to the room. After that I went to look for my husband, and I found him in the Yacht public-house having rum and water. I went next to Twyman's, in Wild Street, and there I saw him sitting down with the woman Twyman. I asked him if that was the way he was going to treat me; he laughed at me, and got up and took me to Callaghan's. Six months ago he took this woman up to my room and sent my children out. After leaving Callaghan's we went home, and my husband lay on the bed in his things. I sat down

and went to sleep; when I awoke it was dark. I went to the room where my husband was, and he beat me round the head. I got from him and went to Bow Street police-station and saw the inspector, and asked him to send for my husband; he took no notice, and I went back. My husband said, "You have been to Bow Street, as usual, and I'll give you cause to go there. "He drew me from the door towards the fender: this chopper was against the fender. He said, "I'll do for you now;" he picked the chopper up. I threw myself on his arm, and I wrenched the chopper out of his hand. He dragged me towards the door, and I hit him twice on the head. I saw him bleeding, and I went to Mr. Beale's, the deputy's, place. I gave my husband a month's imprisonment about eight months ago."


FREDERICK GREENFIELD . Q. Is it true that she came to the station on the Saturday? A. I was not on duty. Inspector Foinette was on duty, but she did not come.

FOINETTE (Police Inspector). I was inspector on duty at Bow Street on 7th December—I did not see the prisoner there that day—if any appli cation had been made to send a policeman to the house early in the day, I ought to have known of it.

The REV. JOHN DAVIS, a Roman. Catholic Priest, gave the prisoner a good character.

GUILTY OF MANSLAUGHTER .— Eight Years' Penal Servitude.