Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 09 December 2023), March 1879, trial of GEORGE RICHARD CAIN (38) (t18790303-353).

GEORGE RICHARD CAIN, Breaking Peace > wounding, 3rd March 1879.

353. GEORGE RICHARD CAIN (38) , Feloniously cutting and wounding Eleanor Elizabeth Cain, with intent to murder her.

MR. GBOGHBGAN Prosecuted; MR. DARCY Defended.

THOMAS JOHN PHILLIPS . I live at 1, Diana Place, Euston Road, and am proprietor of a lodging-house at 6, Market Street—the prisoner lodged there with his wife and three children—they only had one room—on 3rd February, about 10.30 p.m., in consequence of information, I went to his room, and saw him sitting on the table—I went in and said "Cain, what is this I hear about you? what are the children afraid of?"—he said after a while, "I will confess as I done it; the child is on the bed"—I looked at it; it was covered over; Lockwood, I think, raised it, and I observed a cut at the back of the neck—it was bleeding—I fetched a constable—I have noticed the child, and know that it was one of the prisoner's children, but do not know its name.

Cross-examined. The prisoner has been my tenant about three months—I always thought he was on good terms with his wife; when I went up for the rent on Saturday night they seemed perfectly happy together, and very fond of the children—I had not seen her for a fortnight before that, but was not aware that she had left him; he evidently kept the thing very secret—he appeared to be in his usual state—he was sober—he used occasionally to drink half a pint of beer, but I never saw him drunk.

GEORGE ABBOTT (Policeman E 435). On Feb. 3rd, about 10.30, I was called to the prisoner's room, and saw a child lying on the bed bleeding from a wound in the neck—the prisoner was in the room, and I said to the land-lord, in his hearing, "Who has done this?"—he said, "Her father"—Towns-end and a little girl were also in the room—I said, "Where is her father?" the prisoner stepped forward and said, "I am her father, I done it"—he then walked to a chest of drawers, pulled open the top drawer, pulled out this knife, and said, "And that is what I have done it with; it is all through my wife"—I said, "I shall have to take you in custody"—he said, "I know you will"—on the way to the station he said, "I thought my wife would fetch the children away, and sooner than let her have them to live with that man I thought I would rather settle them; I intended to do it"—I made this memorandum directly afterwards—I took him to the station; the charge was read over to him—he hesitated a moment, and then said, "I am guilty"—the doctor attached to the station examined him.

HENRY FRAZER STOKES . I am house-surgeon at University College Hospital—a child aged 4 years was brought there at 11 p.m. by a constable—it had a small wound on the side of the neck under the ear, about an inch long and half an inch deep or a little more—this knife would do it, but it was not a sharp-cut wound.

Cross-examined. I did not see the prisoner that evening—the wound was within an inch of the large vessels of the neck—the child was under my care between 2 and 3 weeks—the wound was almost healed when she was discharged—I have not seen her since.

The Prisoner's Statement before the Magistrate. "I am very sorry for what I have done. I was under the influence of drink at the time, and my trouble preyed upon my mind."

GUILTY. Strongly recommended to mercy by the Jury. (The Prisoner stated that his wife had been criminally acquainted with a bricklayer for the last 3 years, and had at last deserted him and his children, and taken away the furniture when he was away at work; that he had seen her on the day in question, and what she told him had preyed upon his mind, and caused him to take too

much drink, and that he did not recollect what happened, and was too fond of the child to injurd it.)— Ten Years' Penal Servitude.