Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 27 September 2022), October 1895, trial of GEORGE DUTTON (22) (t18951021-828).

GEORGE DUTTON, Breaking Peace > wounding, 21st October 1895.

828. GEORGE DUTTON (22) , Feloniously wounding John Hobson with intent to do him grievous bodily harm.

MR. MOORE Prosecuted.

JOHN HOBSON . I am a labourer, of 3, Duke Street, Aldgate—on 5th September I was in Warner Street, Clerkenwell, about 11.30 p.m.—the prisoner, with Alice Sims, whom I know, stopped me and asked if I passed a remark about his young woman, Alice Sims, when I was drunk, and I said, "Yes"—Sims asked me if I had said I saw her going home with a young man, and I said, "Yes"—it was no business of mine—she got out of temper and was about to strike me, I put up my hand to stop her—the prisoner hit me in the eye with something—my eye—bled—I put up my handkerchief and walked away, but as the eye kept on bleeding I went to the hospital, where they told me my eye was stabbed, and took it out—Sims did not say, "Why have you taken my character away?" she said it was not true—I did not say, "Goaway, or I'll kick your guts in"—that is all invention—I have heard she gave evidence before the Magistrate, but what she said I do not know—I did not try to hit the prisoner with a knife first—I had no knife in my pocket—I did not then carry a knife—Alice was carrying a baby—she passed it to her sister—I had simply said I had seen Sims out with another chap.

Cross-examined by the prisoner. I have been convicted of wounding a man's arm, it was not broken—I hit him with my hand—that was not my first conviction—I have been convicted of felony, attempting to pick pockets—that was five years ago—I can not tell you how long ago the next was—I have had more than half-a-dozen convictions—I can not say how many, I have not kept account—I hare never been charged

with using a knife—my last imprisonment was three months—I had been out of Wandsworth prison about twelve hours when this happened—the prisoner was very angry—I should expect him to be—I did not run after a man with a knife on Monday—I had some drink, and the man pulled out a chopper to me, which the constable can prove, who saw the chopper in the man's hand—I had this knife then in my pocket—I had not a knife in my hand in the presence of Warder Turrell.

HUGH EDWARD WINGFIELD . Last month I was house-physician at the Royal Free Hospital, Gray's Inn Road—on September 6th the prosecutor came and made a complaint that he had received an injury to his eye—he had a small recent superficial wound to the left of the eye on the temple with no distinctive marks about it—besides, on the left eyelid were two superficial wounds, a small cut one-eighth of an inch deep, and a wound parallel with the edge of the lid about an inch in length, completely cutting through the lid, an extremely clean cut—in the eye itself was a wound which corresponded with the second wound—the danger depended upon the depth of the wound, which it was impossible to determine without an operation by removing the eye at once—that was done—even then it was impossible to say how deep the wound had penetrated—it would endanger the man's life if it penetrated the bone—the wounds must have been done with a very sharp instrument.

FREDERICK CLEVELAND (Detective Sergeant G). On 6th September I, with another officer, arrested the prisoner—I told him he would be charged with stabbing a man called Jocko in the eye—that is Hobson's nickname—the prisoner said, "All right, I suppose I shall have to go through it"—on the way to the station he said he Should not have kicked my missus, and I should not have done it—at the station he said he would tell the whole truth, and make a statement—I told him whatever he said I should take down in writing and use as evidence against him—he made this statement and signed it—"Police Station, King's Cross Road, September 6th, 1895, George Dutton says: I live at 10, Peter's Lane, Cow Cross Street, and am a printer's labourer. About 11.15 p.m. on the 5th instant I was in Great Bath Street, Clerkenwell, in company with a man called Jocko, sister Kate, and George Wilson. I asked Jocko why he should take a girl's character away, meaning Alice Sims. He said, 'She is nothing but a whore.' Then Alice Sims came up, carrying a baby. She said to Jackot 'What do you mean by taking my character away like this?' Jocko replied, "Go away you f—whore, or I will kick your guts out.' At the same time I went to stop him from kicking her, and he made a blow at me with a knife, which I stopped, and I struck him in the eye with a knife, which I threw away"

Witnesses for the defence.

ALICE RICHIE . I am known as Alice Sims—on September 5th, about 11.15 p.m., I was with the prisoner at the top of Great Bath Street—when Hobson came up I told him I had heard he had said something about me—he called me a f—whore and said he would kick my f—guts in, and made a kick at me—Dutton stopped him—he drew a knife at Dutton and missed him, and Dutton struck him with a knife—I saw the knife in Hobson's hand—he took it from his pocket.

Cross-examined by MR. MOORE. I gave evidence at the Police-court in tavour of the defendant.

KATE DUTTON . I am the defendant's sister-in-law—I was present

when the row took place—I saw Dutton and Hobson standing and talking together—Alice Richie went up to Hobson and asked the reason why he took her character away—Hobson called her beastly names, and said he would kick her f—g guts out, and made a kick at her—Dutton went to stop him, when he pulled a knife from his pocket to strike the prisoner, but missed him, when the prisoner took a knife out of his pocket and struck Hobson.

NOT GUILTY .