Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 27 October 2021), September 1890, trial of MARZIELLI VALLI (24) (t18900908-669).

MARZIELLI VALLI, Killing > murder, 8th September 1890.

669. MARZIELLI VALLI (24) was indicted for, and charged on the Coroner's inquisition with, the wilful murder of Ugo Milandi.


GEOGHEGAN Defended. The Prisoner only understanding English imperfectly, an interpreter was sworn to assist him.

ROSE TEBAU . On 13th July I lived at 38, Camden Passage, Islington, with Ugo Milandi, as his wife; he was an Italian, and was about twentytwo years of age; he carried on the business of a barber there—he went out of the house about half-past eight or a quarter to nine, without saying where he was going—I did not see him again alive—next morning, about a quarter to four, a policeman fetched me to the hospital in Gray's Inn Road, and I there saw his dead body.

ARTHUR SEWELL (Detective-Sergeant G). I prepared a plan of the locality of Laystall Street and the neighbourhood; it is drawn to scale, and is correct.

ARGENO PERGAMI (Interpreted). I am an Italian—I am an image maker, and live at 4, Fleet Row, Eyre Street Hill—I knew Milandi for about five years, and Valli I have known about two years; he is a looking-glass frame maker—I know the Anglo—Italian Club—I have been there from time to time, and have seen Milandi and Valli there—on Sunday night, 13th July, I went there about ten—I went through the big room into a small room at the back; I saw Valli there, and Mascarini sitting down, and Milandi standing up—Valli and Mascarini were speaking to each other when I went in—I went into room No. 3, and as I came back to No. 2 I heard Milandi say to Mascarini not to believe that what Valli said was true—Valli told Milandi that it was not the first time he had told a story, and that he did not like it—Milandi replied, "I only said it because we are friends, and I shall not say any more"—Valli then hit Milandi in the forehead—Milandi wanted to fight him back; he tried to get hold of something—one of the people then prevented him, and kept them apart, and they threw Valli out of the door—I saw Valli feel in his pocket like that (describing)—Milandi was then standing inside the lobby—Valli was outside on the pavement; Milandi said to Mascarini, "You let Valli give me a blow on the head, but you will pay for it"—I did not see what happened after that, because I went into the third room, leaving Milandi in No. 1—afterwards, when I was in No. 3 room, Valli came in and sat

down by himself, just by the corner; a girl came up and said to him, "Your young woman wants you," and she came and spoke to him, and said, "Let us go"—he said to her, "You go to where you have been up to now"—about eleven Valli left the room—I stopped there till one—I had not seen Milandi since I left him standing at the front door about a quarter past ten—I stayed at the club till I heard of Milandi's death.

Cross-examined. I was in No. 3 room when they were disputing, but I did not pay attention to what they were saying, I was only there about a minute or two, and then I came back.

AGUSTO ROSSI . I am Secretary of the Anglo—Italian Club, and live on the premises—I was in the club the whole of Sunday evening, 13th of July—I saw Valli, Milandi, and Mascarini there—about 10 o'clock I saw Valli strike Milandi, it caught him between the chin and the shoulder—Mascarini was talking to Valli about selling his furniture, and Milandi said to Mascarini, "What do you want to do business with that man for?" alluding to the prisoner—the prisoner did not say anything at first—Milandi repeated the words, and then the prisoner asked him what he meant; there was one word and another, and then one blow was struck—the prisoner said, "What did Milandi say?"—he said, "He only said it in a joke"—the prisoner said he would not mind if they were alone, but he objected to it before other people—there were some other harsh words, but I do not quite remember them—as soon as Valli struck Milandi he took up a chair as though to hit Valli—I jumped off the table where I was sitting and stopped him, and took him into room No. 1—I left Valli in the other room with Mascarini—after that Milandi came back to room No. 2, then they renewed the quarrel, and Milandi invited Valli to go outside and fight; Milandi proceeded to the door first, and Valli followed, and as soon as he got to the door Milandi struck out at him, and the porter, Parnallo, took hold of Milandi and brought him in; at the same time I caught hold of Valli and said, "Don't have any row here," and he dropped his stick and said he did not want any row there, it was all over—this (produced) is the stick, the porter picked it up and gave it to another person, who gave it to Valli afterwards—Valli then came back into the club, Milandi was there—Valli came in to No. 2, and afterwards went upstairs to the dancing-room—Milandi went away with Mascarini, and came back a few minutes afterwards—Valli left the club a few minutes before 12; at that time Milandi was playing cards in No. 1, at a table under the shop window—he was sitting in such a place that he could see anybody pass out; he did not finish the game, he threw down the cards, and went off in a hurry.

Cross-examined. I have been about seven months in this club, since the 15th February—the club is for the social meetings and enjoyments of Italians—it is a well-conducted, orderly club—I have known Valli and Milandi since I have been there—I have no special friendship for the one or the other—Milandi I have known four or five years, but Valli only since I have been secretary—Milandi was a stout and very powerful man; when he had a drop too much he was of a violent temper—he began this quarrel at the time Mascarini and Valli were speaking quietly—Valli is a cabinet-maker—he has always been a quiet, inoffensive man since I have known him; that has been his character and reputation; he is a hard working man—Milandi seemed very excited before the

blow was given—he used a few words before the blow; lie used the word besta, that means a beast—he called Valli that before the blow was struck—he very likely used the word villiaco, but I was excited keeping him quiet, I can't pledge myself to exact words, they were insulting words—afterwards, when they were at the door, Milandi struck Valli, and they closed, but were separated—afterwards Milandi was playing cards with Gravachi, Mingatti, and Silvestrini, that was about eleven—Milandi was first sitting by the side of the door, and he afterwards changed his seat to the other side; from that seat he could see the door better, because he would be opposite it—I saw Valli leave; he passed through the first room, and a few minutes afterwards Milandi threw down his cards, and left quickly.

Re-examined. I had often seen Milandi and Valli together—this was the first time I had seen a blow struck in the club—there were a great many words said in the excitement, before the blow was struck—Valli had been drinking, he was a little under the influence of liquor—Milandi was not—I had always seen the prisoner with this stick.

FREDERICK GOBLE . I live at 110, Farringdon Road Buildings—I work at a brewery—on the morning of 14th July, about twenty-five minutes past twelve, I was coming up Great Bath Street, Clerkenwell, going home—I saw two men standing in Farringdon Road, just above Vineyard Walk, as if talking together, about a yard apart—as I looked at them I saw the one who had his back to me, close with the other, and the other jumped away and said, "I am stabbed," and cried out, "Murder"—I was about seven or eight yards from them—the man who cried out ran across the road towards the Fire station, calling out "Murder" as he ran—the other man started after him, and stumbled; he had a stick in his hand, it was raised about level with his head or a trifle higher; he held the ferrule end, and the top was upwards—that man appeared to be the prisoner, when I saw him in charge of the Police—the other man ran down Mount Pleasant, round the corner in the direction of the New Road, and the other man after him; when he stumbled the other in front gained on him, he ran down Cold Bath Square; I lost sight of both of them there; I then turned and went back the way I had come; when I got a little way down Bath Street I saw the prisoner, a policeman, and another man (Till) standing together at the corner of Cold Bath Square; the other man was a long distance down Bath Street, on the ground on his back, bleeding—I waited there till I saw him put on a shutter and taken away.

Cross-examined. I was walking from Holborn at an ordinary pace when I saw the two men; there was nothing particular to attract my attention to them; I did not stop till I heard the deceased call out, "I am stabbed"—I am sure those were the words—it was said in English—he called out "Murder" as plain as I could—there was only them in the road—it was not a very dark night; there were lights there—they were standing just above a gas light; the lamp was between me and them—I had not walked many steps between first seeing them and hearing the cry.

Re-examined. I was about seven or eight yards from them at the time this occurred.

LINDSAY TILL . I am a cabdriver, and live at 7, Mount Pleasant, Clerkenwell—on this Sunday night, about twenty minutes past twelve, I

was in the passage of my house; my attention was attracted by cries of "Murde"—I went to the door, and saw the deceased running past, continually crying "Murder" as he ran—close behind him I saw the prisoner also running—lie had this stick in his hand, holding it about the middle, with the knob end towards the deceased—I saw blood on the pavement—I ran after the prisoner and caught him in Cold Bath Square—I called to him, "What is this?"—he stopped and turned round and faced me, and said, "That man," moving his head in the direction of the deceased, "came up and struck me twice in the face," making a motion with his fist of a blow in the cheek—I said, "What did you do? have you struck him with that stick?"—he said, "No; I will see if he has robbed me," and he put his hand in his pocket and pulled out his watch; he examined it back and front, and said, "No, no; it's all right," and put it back in his pocket—I did not think it was all right, and said, "You will have to come round the corner and see"—he said, "Yes," and turned round and started to run in the same direction as the deceased had gone—I ran also, and when I got into Great Bath Street the prisoner stopped dead—I took hold of his arm, and following the direction of his eyes, I saw a police constable coming up on the other side of the road with his lantern on the ground tracing the blood—I called him, and said, "This is the man that was running after," and he took hold of his arm, and said he would have to go back—I went with them, and some distance down we saw the deceased lying in the road saturated with blood—after that I went to the station—the prisoner's remarks were in English.

Cross-examined. He had his hat on, his tie and collar were broken, a little disarranged; that might have been in the scuffle—I did not see that his hat was indented.

WILLIAM WHITE . I am a clerk, and live at 67, Eden Grove, Holloway—about half-past twelve in the early morning of the 14th July I was passing along Mount Pleasant, on the side of the Parcel Post Office; I heard very loud shouts of "Murder," and saw two men running, one after the other; one I afterwards identified as the deceased, the other was the prisoner; they were running from the direction of Farringdon Road, down Mount Pleasant—the deceased turned round into Cold Bath Square—I crossed over and said to the prisoner, "What is all this about? what is the matter?"—he said, pointing in the direction of the deceased, "That man has been trying to steal my watch; he has given me two punches in the eye"—he took out his watch in a very excited manner and looked at it—I said, "If he bas been trying to take your watch you had better come down and see if he will be caught"—we then half walked and half ran down the street, and presently I saw the deceased fall in the middle of the road, and I went up—I did not see the witness Till, not till he appeared at the police-court—I lost sight of the prisoner just for a moment, and saw him about a minute after wards in charge of two constables—I told them what I had seen, and accompanied them and the prisoner to the station—on the way the prisoner said, "That man insult me in the club; he give me two punch in the eye;" and a little while after he said, "That man insult me in the club; he give me two punch in the head."

Cross-examined. It was not a particularly dark night; not more than usual—he said this man had insulted him in the club; he said it two or three times; first when I met him—he said, "That man has given me

two punches in the eye; I shall see if he has stolen my watch"—he appeared to be very excited—it was on the way to the station that he said the man had insulted him in the club—I did not notice the stick.

WALTER SELBY (Policeman G 218). About ten minutes past twelve, on the morning of 14th July, I was on duty in Eyre Street Hill—I heard cries of "Murder"—I went into Great Bath Street, and there saw the deceased running towards me; he fell on his face into the roadway, close to Little Warner Street—I went up to him and turned him over on his back, and then saw that he was bleeding from his left thigh—I was within about ten or fifteen yards from him when he fell—he had no stick or anything—another constable came up; I left the deceased in his care, and went in the direction from which he had come—when I got to the corner of Cold Bath Square I saw the prisoner and Till come round the corner—I was following the blood with my light; I crossed over to them, and Till said, in the prisoner's presence, "This is the man; he was running after him"—I told the prisoner he would have to come back with me—he said, "I was struck in the face from behind"—I took him to where the deceased was lying, and handed him over to Constable Bullen—at the time I spoke to the prisoner he was carrying this stick—the deceased was put on a shutter and taken to the Royal Free Hospital—I tied a handkerchief round him, and attempted to stop the bleeding—Sabini, an Italian, assisted me—on the way to the hospital I heard Sabini speak to the deceased in Italian; when we got to the hospital he was dead.

WILLIAM BULLEN (Policeman G 220). I was on duty on Eyre Street Hill in the early morning of 14th July—I heard cries of "Murder!" and went in the direction, and found the deceased lying in Bath Street—the prisoner was given into my custody by Selby—I took him to the station—on the way he said, "Someone struck me in the eye from behind, I followed him; I did not know if he was the man I quarrelled with in the club"—at the station, Inspector Radley instructed me to search the prisoner; I did so, and found this knife in his outside left breast pocket—it was closed—there were a few wet blood stains upon it—the inspector opened it—I noticed the prisoner's face; he had no marks on him.

Cross-examnined. I did not notice his collar, or that his hat was knocked in; he did not appear excited.

OCTAVIO SABINI . I live at 1, Little Bath Street—I helped to carry the deceased to the hospital; he knew me—I spoke to him; I had got hold of his hand or arm—I asked him how he felt—he said he did not feel very well—I told him to be quiet, we were going to the hospital—he died about five minutes afterwards, before we got to the hospital—he said nothing further as to how he felt.

JAMES RADLEY (Police Inspector G). I was on duty at King's Cross Station at about a quarter to one, when the prisoner was brought in by Bullen, who said he was charged with stabbing a man—I asked the prisoner if he could speak English; he said, "Yes, a little"—I said, "You are accused of stabbing a man"—he said, "I know nothing about it; a man struck me two times on my head; I ran after him; he fell down, and the policeman brought me to this station"—I said, "Have you got a knife in your pocket?"—he said, "No"—I then directed Bullen to search him, and I saw him take this knife from his breast coat pocket, it was closed; I opened it; it had on it what appeared to me to

be wet blood; there are the remains of it on it now—I afterwards learnt that the man was dead—I then entered the charge of murder on the charge-sheet, and had it interpreted to the prisoner, and he said, "I have not murdered nobody, I followed behind; if I have done anything, I have done it in self-defence"—an hour or two afterwards I went to the hospital and saw the body of the deceased—I saw his trousers, and found through the left thigh a cut corresponding with the cut in his left thigh—it was such a cut as might have been produced by this knife—the deceased had no knife in his possession—I afterwards went to the spot where this was alleged to have occurred, and in the centre of the Farringdon roadway, between Vineyard Walk and the Fire Station, found traces of blood on the right-hand pavement—I traced them across the road, past the Fire Station, down Mount Pleasant to Cold Bath Square, a distance of 270 yards, to where the man dropped—the distance from the club to where I first saw traces of blood was about half a mile—that was from Laystall Street, along Clerkenwell Road, down Eyre Street Hill, Little Bath Street, up Great Bath Street, into Farringdon Road; that was the shortest way.

Cross-examined. The first answers the prisoner gave me were in English; the last was through an interpreter—besides those answers he spoke a great deal in Italian, both before and after; he was anxious to talk a great deal more—he said several things I did not understand before the interpreter arrived.

ARTHUR GALE . I am a registered medical officer at the Royal Free Hospital—I saw the deceased when he was brought there about a quarter to one; he was then dead—I saw that he had a wound on the left thigh—it was about 3 1/2 inches deep—he had died from loss of blood—I afterwards made a post-mortem examination, and found that the femoral artery had been half divided; a fair amount of force must have been required to cause such a wound—such a wound could be caused by this knife.

Cross-examined. The wound was on the outside of the left thigh, a fleshy part—the femoral artery is more on the inner side—the knife went right in and caught the artery; had it fallen short of that it would not necessarily have been fatal.

AGUSTO ROSSI (Re-examined). The deceased lived in Camden Passage, Islington—Valli lived in Goswell Road—they would both go home in the same direction.

MR. ADDISON stated that the Prisoner was anxious to make a statement, before he addressed the JURY, to which MR. JUSTICE CHARLES acceded. The prisoner then produced a written statement, which MR. ADDISON stated was entirely his own production; being in Italian, an interpreter was sworn to translate it; it was very long, and purported to give an exact account of his proceedings on the day in question; the material portion, relating to the occurrence in the club, was in accordance with the evidence given by the Witnesses, and as to the fatal act, it alleged that it was done in self-defence.

Witnesses for the Defence.

ANTONIO GRAVACHI (Interpreted). On Sunday evening, 13th July, I was one of a party of four playing cards at the club; Mingatti, Silvestrini, and Milandi were the others—Milandi changed his position at the table; when he threw down his cards and left the room he was in a bad temper, enraged.

Cross-examined. He only played for two or three minutes after Valli had left the club; I can't say to a minute or two, but it was directly after.

THEODORE METTINI . On this Sunday night, after twelve, I was standing outside the club, when Milandi came out; he was my mate, he was in a very bad temper; I tried to stop him from going away, but he knocked me back—I left him outside the door, looking about.

PAUL MARCHINI . I am a hairdresser and live at 14, Eyre Street Hill—I knew Milandi; he was a hairdresser, and was a friend of mine—I do not know Valli—on Sunday, 13th July, a little after midnight, I was outside Milano's restaurant, on Eyre Street Hill, talking to three constables, when Milandi passed by; he was not going very quick, and was not in good temper—I said, "Good-night;" he did not answer me as he ought to have done—I went with him to the bottom of Eyre Street Hill; he turned round abruptly, and asked me if I knew Valli; that was just at the corner of Warner Street; I left him there—I had not seen Valli that evening.

ALFRED MEMORY . I am a looking-glass manufacturer—I have known the prisoner about five years; he has worked for me three separate times, first as a boy at ten shillings a week; latterly he has been working as a cabinet-maker—he lived directly opposite the end of Colebrook Row, within about fifty yards of the Angel—if he was going home from his club he should go behind Sadler's Wells Walk, Exmouth Street, by the Fire Station in Farringdon Road; or from Laystall Street, on Mount Pleasant, to the Fire Station, and then up Exmouth Street to the Angel—I think the nearest way would be by Mount Pleasant; I always walked that way myself—the prisoner was in my employment at the time this occurred—I have always found him very quiet and trustworthy and industrious.

GUILTY of Manslaughter. Ten Years' Penal Servitude.