Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 30 September 2022), May 1898, trial of CHARLES BATSON (23), (t18980516-391).

CHARLES BATSON, Breaking Peace > wounding, 16th May 1898.

391. CHARLES BATSON (23), Feloniously shooting at George Fisher, with intent to murder him. Second Count—To do grievous bodily harm, also shooting at Alfred Gould, with intent to prevent his lawful apprehension.

MR. GEOGHEGAN Prosecuted, and MR. PURCELL Defended.

GEORGE FISHER . I live at 21, Upper John Street, Hoxton, and am a marble polisher—I have known the prisoner for some time, and about a month before April 2nd we had a row because I thought he was going to take liberties with my wife—that passed over, and on April 2nd, about nine o'clock p.m., I was in the Griffin public house in St. Leonard's Street, Shoreditch—on coming out I saw the prisoner standing outside, he said, "Hullo, how are you going on?"—I said, "Wait till my head gets better, and I will show you how I am going on for what you have done to my head"—he had wounded my head with a penknife—because of my wife—I had been in the London Hospital—I told him to wait—I said, "You have got a revolver"—he showed me that—he said, "Yes"—so I said, "You know what to do with it"—he said, "Yes"—he was about half a yard from me then—he put his hand inside the right pocket of his overcoat and took out this revolver (produced)—he fired two shots at me—the first passed me on the left side—he aimed at me, and the second hit me in the chest—I was taken to the hospital, and have been a patient for five weeks and two days.

Cross-examined. The stabbing business took place about a month before April 2nd—before that I had not been able to see my wife for about six months, and during the time I could not see her the prisoner could, and when I did see her I thought he had been too friendly with her—on the evening the stabbing took place my brother was not there—I am sure of it—my brother and I have been on very friendly terms—on one occasion I stabbed my brother—we were larking about—the prisoner did not say, about a month ago, when we were together, "Mind, you have stabbed him," referring to my brother; nor did I then draw a penknife, and this man did not draw his knife then and stab me—he did stab me—my brother did not say, "Be careful; do not stab me"—I was not in hospital for a month, only four days—the stabbing did not make me more friendly with the prisoner, but I did not want to charge him—when I came from the hospital I did not let people know I was waiting about for him—I know a man named Egham—I did not tell him I was waiting about for him—I let the whole thing drop—on April 2nd I had been in the Griffin public-house about half an hour, and I came out and saw the prisoner, but I did not call him some bad names—I did not say to him, "I will kill you"—when he spoke to me it was not in a friendly way—I said, "Never mind how I am getting on, when my head gets better you will know"—I meant I should give him a good hiding for what he

had done, and he should give me one, not with anything that came handy, but with our fists—I meant a fair fight; I then said, "You have got a revolver to shoot me with"—people had told me he had a revolver—I had not told them that it would be bad for the prisoner when I met him—my hand was not getting near my pocket—it would not be true to say I was slipping my hand near my pocket as if to take a knife out—the revolver was first aimed at my head—he was close to me—he said, "Take that," and then pointed it at me and fired—I have been away from the doctor a week—I have not quarrelled at all with my wife—she has not had any black eyes to complain of.

DAVID FRANCIS . I am a pensioned police officer—on April 2nd, at 9.30 p.m., I was in the kitchen of my house—it looks over the Griffin public-house—I looked out of the window, and saw a man, dressed in a long coat, fire two shots at Fisher—I did not recognise the man quite—he walked across the road to Willow Street—he went about twenty or thirty yards across first, and then back towards Great Eastern Street—I know a police Serjeant named Gould—he came up, and I called out to him, "That is him, going there, with a white cap on"—he had a white cap on—the prisoner started running, and Gould ran after him into Garden Walk—I saw a flash from a pistol in Garden Walk, and I saw Gould fall down—Gould is in active service in the G Division—it was the same man who fired at the prosecutor that fired at Gould—he ultimately escaped.

Cross-examined. There was no one else running after the prisoner then—my window is second from the level of the street—when I saw the flashes outside the public-house the man walked away, not fast—there was an alarm made after him—there were not many people there—I have not seen it quieter than it was then—when he walked away he was followed by some people, but they did not know who it was—he walked through some of them—they were perhaps 200 yards from me when I saw the second flash.

ALFRED GOULD (Serjeant, G.) About 9.30 p.m., on Saturday, April 2nd, I was on duty in Leonard Street—I heard two shots, one after the other, and went in the direction—from what I heard I went into Great Eastern Street, and saw the prisoner running towards Garden Walk—I gave chase, and threw my walking-stick at the prisoner, striking him about the legs—he turned half round and appeared to point at me with a revolver, which he had in his right hand—about a minute had elapsed from the time of my seeing the prisoner and his pointing at me—the revolver was discharged—I was not hit—I heard something go past my ear—I continued to follow the prisoner into Rivington Street—I lost sight of him there—on Sunday I saw the prisoner in custody—I have known him for years—I told him he would be charged with shooting at George Fisher with intent to murder him—he said, "I was in drink at the time"—I then said that he would be charged with shooting at me to resist his lawful apprehension, to which he made no reply, neither did he when the change was read over to him—the policeman Macklerick showed me a revolver.

HENRY MACKLERICK (G Division). I am a plain-clothes constable, and, from information I received, at four o'clock on Sunday, April 3rd, I went to St. John's Road, Hoxton—I saw the prisoner, and said, "Is your

name Batson?"—he said, "Yes"—I said, "I want you to come to the station with me"—he said, "I suppose it is over that row with Fisher. Fisher put his hand into his pocket as if to pull out his knife, so I thought I would be first, and pulled the shooter out and shot at him. There is the revolver on the table"—it lay there and these two bullets were by the side of it.

Cross-examined. It is a central fire revolver, but there is no stamp on it.

ARCHIBALD ROBERT JOHN DOUGLAS . I am house surgeon at St. Bartholomew's Hospital—the prosecutor was admitted on the night of April 2nd—he was suffering from a wound in the side of the chest caused by a bullet—we have tried the Rontgen Rays, and have ascertained the position of the bullet—it is still there—for the first day or two he was in a considerable amount of danger—he has now recovered completely—he is not likely to suffer from the bullet now—he might—it is lodged in the lower part of his chest.

The Prisoner's statement before the Magistrate: "I reserve my defence and call no witnesses here."

GUILTY of shooting at Fisher with intent to do grievous bodily harm .— Six Years' Penal Servitude.