Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 27 October 2021), March 1907, trial of HAWKINS, Arthur Parker (t19070318-33).

ARTHUR PARKER HAWKINS, Killing > murder, 18th March 1907.

HAWKINS, Arthur Parker . (36, labourer); murder of Mary Alpe, his sister.

Mr. Bodkin and Mr. J. F. Tindal Atkinson prosecuted; Mr. A, Ingleby Oddie, at the request of the Court, defended.

Police-constable WILLIAM ALLEN, 175 L, proved a plan of South Street drawn to scale, showing the house where Mr. and Mrs. Alpe lived and the "Princess of Wales" public-house.

LOUISA ALPE . 85, South Street, Walworth, daughter of deceased I know prisoner; he was the brother of my mother. On Saturday night, February 23, I left the house with my mother, and went to the "Princess of Wales," at quarter to eight. We went into the middle bar and had some refreshment. There was a Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Robinson in the bar. In a little while Uncle Roger (the prisoner)

looked into the bar and called out, "Mary, I want you. "My mother spoke to me and I went outside and taw pritoner. who said, "Tell your mother I want some b——f——money. "I went back and told her and she said, "Tell him I haven't got any. "Then prisoner looked in again, and called out, "Mary, I want to speak to you very particular. "He called out in a demanding voice; then mother went out, leaving the whisky she had been drinking. I stayed behind and heard prisoner say the same to mother as he said to me. My mother said, "I haven't got any; Jack hasn't given me any yet." Prisoner said, "That's the same b——f——tale every time I see you." He asked if Jack (my father) was in, and mother said she did not know. Then prisoner said he would go and see my father himself. Then Uncle Roger and nether went off. I put mother's whisky on the shelf and asked Mrs. Wright to mind it. I got back home at ten o'clock, but did not see mother or prisoner again that night.

Cross-examined. Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Robinson were sitting behind me and mother in the bar. We were standing on the left-hand corner. The seats were right opposite the wall, and they had their backs to the wall. They were at the right of the door, which was a folding door. Mother said she hadn't got a farthing—that was outside the door, I think. Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Robinson would not hear taat, as they were sitting down. I was right against the door. I did not hear uncle say, "You have found your b——pals. "He was on friendly terms with mother then as far as I knew. Prisoner looked in the bar twice, the second time very soon after the first. Mother went out to him after the second time.

JOHN ALPS , 85, South Street, Walworth, husband of deceased. I knew prisoner. He had been in the Artillery—in South Africa. after his money was squandered he paid me a visit. He would ask the wife for money—he has asked me once or twice. I told him all the money I had got I wanted myself. I have sometimes given him shillings. When he came home from India I got him a job where I was employed—the Phosphor Bronze Company—seven or eight years ago. On February 23 I was sitting in the kitchen when my wife and the prisoner knocked at the door. My wife said, "Roger wants a dulling." Prisoner said, "A shilling is no good, I want four or five," and I said, "You have come to the wrong place, old man, I want some money for myself." I then told my wife to go in the passage and I would see to prisoner. So I says to him, "You clear off as soon as you can," and I opened the gate and see him outside. I did' did not see what direction he took. My wife went out two or three minutes afterwards. Shortly after that a Mrs. Wright came to the door. I went out and found my wife lying in the road about four doors from the public-house. I believe the doctor was there then. This was about 10 or 12 minutes from the time when my wife went out.

Cross-examined. When I told my wife to go inside the house while I attended to him, prisoner must have heard me.

Mrs. EMILY ROBINSON, 183, Trafalgar Street, Walworth. Mrs. Wright is my niece. We went together to the "Princess of Wales" public-house. I saw Louisa Alpe standing in the bar with her mother. I was standing up a little while and sitting down afterwards. The first time the door was pushed open I didn't notice, but the second time I turned round and saw who it was. I never saw prisoner before. He said, "Oh, you have found your b——f——pals now." Miss Alpe went out, and then she called her mother. That. man over there is the man who looked in. (Indicating prisoner.) Mrs. Alpe went out, and then came back and finished her drink. When Mrs. Wright and I had finished ours we went out, and Mrs. Alpe followed us. I went across the road with my niece to go to her house, 104, South Street. Mrs. Alpe was behind us. Then we heard a bit of a scuffle, and I looked around and saw a man who seemed to be punching Mrs. Alpe in all parts. I heard her say she had not got a farthing, I suppose, in answer to him. I ran across the road and said to prisoner, "Oh, you are a vagabond," and he ran away. I was on the opposite side when I first saw it. When he ran away I was not a yard off, I suppose. I am positive the man was the prisoner. I attended to deceased, and as I put her cape on I felt something wet and found it was blood. I helped her off the curb. She dropped down and a policeman came round the corner.

Cross-examined. In the public-house I was standing for a minute or two. I do not think I said before the coroner that neither of us sat down. I stood up, but Mrs. Wright sat down. It was on the second occasion I saw prisoner open the door. I turned my eye round quick and saw him. I was not asked at the inquest if I knew the man or could identify him. Prisoner was present at the inquest. When prisoner came to the door of the bar I heard the daughter tell her mother he wanted some money, and deceased said she had got none. She did not say anything then about a farthing; that was outside. I was standing by the corner shop on the other side when the assault took place. There was no lamp there; it was a little bit dark. I can't see very well; I wear glasses. Prisoner was punching deceased five or six times. I went across to them alone. The man ran away directly—in the direction of Thornton Street. His back would be towards me when he ran away. My attention was sufficiently fixed on the man that I should know him again anywhere. I recognised him at the inquest. When I saw the man running away it occurred to me he was the man who looked in at the door. I said nothing about him to the constable. He did not ask me; the mob collected and I was nowhere near. I described the man at the in quest as a dark man, with dark clothes, and wearing a cap. I said before the coroner that the street was dark. I was not in Court at the inquest after I gave my evidence, and have never seen an account of the inquest at all. I talked about the affair with my niece and spoke of the man who struck the blow. I was not asked anything by the detectives or police about picking out the man till I went to the police court. I picked him out there in the dock—not from a

number of other men. I did not say anything at the inquest about getting within a yard or two of prisoner, nor about his being the same man that looked into the bar.

Re-examined. I was not asked to go to the Coroner's Court by a policeman, nor by a detective. I do not think so. From the time I saw prisoner in the public-house to the time I went out was only a second or two.

Police-constable JOSEPH PEARCE, L 397. On February 23 I was coming from St. Anne's Road into South Street, Walworth. As I turned the corner I saw deceased, supported by a woman. She said something to me and then fell to the ground. She was bleeding from a wound on the right side of the neck. The doctor came very soon after, and She was taken to Newington Infirmary. I did not see any man running when I came upon the scene. When I searched deceased found a halfpenny. I did not identify the woman who was attending to deceased.

Cross-examined. I saw no blood on the pavement.

Dr. FRANK ERNEST WELCHMAN, 129, Camberwell Road. On February 23. after being called to South Street shortly after eight. I saw deceased lying in the road in a dying condition. I made a postmortem examination on February 26 and found eight wounds, cut with a sharp instrument. (The witness described the wounds in detail. including one on the upper part of left arm, about 1 1/2 in. deep; another on the top of left shoulder, about same depth; another on the right breast in the nature of a stab; one on the right shoulder, and one in the top of the breast bone, which penetrated the bone and wounded the aorta.) This last would be the one which caused the death; from internal hæmorrhage. I think the wounds would be caused by the same instrument. There was no bleeding when I saw her; it had stopped. (Knife handed.) The wounds could be produced by that knife—the blades had the appearance of being recently sharpened. There was no trace of bloodstains. There would necessarily be blood on the blade after being extracted, but it is comparatively easy to remove same. It is possible that the person inflicting such wounds might escape getting bloodstains.

Cross-examined. There would be blood on the blade, but it does not follow that there would be any on the handle or on the man's clothes or hands. I know Mrs. Robinson did get blood on her, but the bleeding may not have started at the time the wounds were inflicted, as it was chiefly internal, and would not come out till later. There might be a great deal of hæmorrhage from a wound, even though it was superficial. (Witness was Cross-examined as to the wound in the aorta, and admitted that that was the only dangerous one.) The region of the aorta wound is a particularly vital one. If the blow had been above or below or to the right or left it might not have been fatal; it depends how deep the blow was. If it had been an inch above it would have required more force to have been fatal.

Re-examined. I examined the woman's clothes in the region of the wounds; her chemise was saturated with blood. (The witness pointed out the holes in the cape made by the stabs.) When the deceased was lying in the road I did not notice blood anywhere except on her. The blow on the breast-bone must have been a forcible one inflicted by a muscular person. I examined the knife only with my eyes, not microscopically.

FREDERICK PIKE , 73, South Street, carman. On the night in question I went into the public-house, middle bar, about 20 to eight, and saw deceased and her daughter come in. After that I saw prisoner push the door open. I am sure it was he. The daughter went out, then came back, and prisoner pushed open the door again and called, "Mary," and deceased went out. She was away seven or eight minutes. I saw her return and finish her drink—that was after the daughter had gone. When I went out I saw a man walking up and down; that was the prisoner. I went into my house, and soon after I was told something, so I went out to the gate. There was a tidy few people, but I did not go further than the gateway. On March 12 I picked out prisoner from about 10 others. It was two or three minutes after eight when I left the public-house.

Cross-examined. I did not hear anyone say anything about "b——pals." When I saw prisoner walking up and down he was looking towards East Lane, straight up the street, away from where the Alpes lived. Then I saw him turn round twice and walk backwards and forwards. Then I went indoors. When I picked out prisoner at the parade there were two men a little taller; the others were pretty much the same height; they were all unshaven. I was approached to give evidence on the last day of the hearing at the police court.

AMELIA ANNIE BERRY , 87, Great Southwark Street. I lived with prisoner for three years as his wife. He was not regularly in work during the last few months, and we were in want of money; we pawned and sold everything we had. We lived in a back room, at 3s. a week. On February 23 we owed five weeks' rent, and had notice to go. We only had a loaf of bread to eat, the first for a week. On the Saturday prisoner was out from 9.20 till seven at night. When he came back I asked him to have some tea. He wanted to know if there was any butter—there was none. He said, "I have got a penny, the last I've got." I told him what the landlady said. He answered, "I will go down to Mary and ask her to let me have 3s. for rent and 1s. for food." He went out about quarter past seven and came home again in about an hour or hour and a half. He said, "I have been to Mary and asked her for 3s. for Tent and 1s. for food. She said, 'Go back and ask your b——y woman to get it for you.' "He also said, "God pays all debts; I haven't the least doubt he will pay her before long." I was so worried and upset I didn't know what I was saying of. (Mr. Bodkin was allowed to treat the witness as hostile.) It is not true what I told the magistrate. I signed the statement produced, which was given to the detective. It is true as to prisoner

going out at 10 past seven and returning about quarter to nine, and his saying he had been to Mary to ask for 4s., and she had told him to ask his woman to get it. I told the officer and the magistrate that prisoner said, "I have paid her; I don't know whether she is dead or not." I don't remember him saying that; I was so upset. The day before yesterday I had two or three words with the daughter of deceased, but I did not tell her that I intended to say I had made a mistake and get prisoner off. When prisoner came home just before line we went to his brother Jack's. We walked out in the ordinary way. I told the magistrate I rushed out of the house the last thing at night, after we had been to his brother Jack's—that is in Queen's Buildings, Scovel Road, about five minutes' walk. We generally spend the evening there on Saturday and Sunday. Nothing was said there about the rent. While we were there prisoner went out for some beer with his brother—for about five or 10 minutes. After we returned home the police-sergeant appeared. I recognise the knife produced as prisoner's. He told me it was used to scrape his boilers with. He had it about 12 months. I have never seen him sharpening it.

(The previous statement of witness was read.)

Cross-examined. When prisoner came home that night he said, "Mil, I had no luck, I couldn't borrow no money of either. Never mind, Mil, the Lord pays all debts, and I think he will pay her. "I saw no stains of blood on him, nor did I see his knife. He didn't change his clothes or wash his hands. He seemed just as usual. He asked me to go round to his brother's. While there he said nothing about his sister. Prisoner has often tried to find work, going out at four or five in the morning. He is a boiler repairer. When I first lived with him we lived with his mother. He paid her rent sad allowed her 1s. a week and otherwise helped. Prisoner has been a good friend to me. He did his best to provide a home for me and was kind and fond of his child.

To Mr. Bodkin. We both suggested going to his brother Jack's. I said, "Are you going round to Jack's?" and he said, "Yes. "I don't remember him saying he was not going up when we got round there and that Jack's wife had to fetch him. I may have said so in the signed statement. I can't remember it. It is true that Jack's wife came on the landing and said, "Come on, Roj; come on in. "

Detective-sergeant EDWARD BARRETT, L Division. On February 23 I went to deceased's residence. From what I was told I went to two or three other addresses and finally to 87, Great Southwark Street, shortly after 10, and stayed there till midnight, when prisoner and Berry came home. I followed them to their room with another detective. I said, "We are police officers. I believe your name is Arthur Hawkins, known as Roger?" He replied, "That's me." I said, "Your sister, Mary Ann Alpe, has been stabbed to death this

evening. I shall arrest you for murdering her. "I then cautioned him. He replied, "I was there. I shall say what is right at the proper time." I found on him a pocket-knife, closed. I continued to search him. and he said, 'That's the only knife I have got." I have no money or anything. You can see how we are nearly starving." Soon after he said, "You might wait a few minutes while my wife lets my brother Jack know. I should like to ask him to look after my wife and child." I was at the inquest. Mrs. Robinson was not warned to be there. The Coroner was informed that it was desirable Mrs. Robinson should not be called then, but he insisted on it I had taken some statements from her, as also had Inspector Knell, before she went to the Coroner's Court. I was present when the statement was read over to, and signed by, Amelia Berry. (Witness described the bar of the "The Princess of Wales.") It takes 19 minutes to walk from the public-house to 87, Great Southwark Street. Cross-examined. Mrs. Robinson did not have an opportunity of picking out prisoner from other men. The lighting in the street outside the public-house is good; in some other parts it is not.

Inspector FRANK KNELL, L Division. I charged prisoner on February 24 at the police station and cautioned him. He made no reply. When the charge was read over afterwards he said, "All right, sir." I had been in South Street the previous night and found some blood on the pavement between Nos. 75 and 79.

Cross-examined. When Pyke identified prisoner there were nine men there of the same class as prisoner; the majority were the same size. Prisoner was unshaven; some of the others were and some not.

By the Judge. I found no trace of blood about prisoner when I arretted him.


ARTHUR PARKER HAWKINS (prisoner, on oath). I am 36 years old. I was 13 years in the Army, and am now a boilermaker's labourer. I worked at Babcock and Wilcox's for 10 years, leaving there on account of slackness of trade five weeks before February 23. On that day I returned home about quarter to seven, having been out all day looking for work. I told my wife (Berry) I would go round to my sister Mary and see if I could get a shilling or two off her. and I went out. Just before I got to my sister's I thought I would look in at a public-house that I knew the might be in. She was in the public-house; I just pushed the door open slightly and called her.—She came out. I said, Mary, I've come round to see if you've got a shilling you can spare." She said, "I've got no money at all, Roj. I said, "You know I'm out of work, else I would not have come round. I wonder if Jack has got it? I'll go and ask him." She said she would go with Mr. When we knocked at their door my brother-in-law came out. Mary said to him, "Here's Roj wants to

borrow a shilling. "He said, "He's come to the wrong place, I could do with some money myself," and he said to me, "You had better clear off, I've got no money. "I came right away from the house and went down South Street towards Kent Road. I was going down there, and I thought I would turn back and ask them again. I went back nearly as far as the house again. Then I thought, "No, it's no good," so I turned and went straight home. Having to past my brother's house on my way home, I thought I would call on him. He lives in Queen's Buildings, Southwark Bridge Road. It was, I should say, between quarter and 20 past eight when I got to his house. I saw my brother, and He wanted me to go in. I said, "No." I told him where I had been, and the result, and that I was going home. He said, "Won't you bring the missus round here and spend the night with us and have a bit of supper?" I said, "All right." I then went home. I told my wife, "I've been round there, but I can't get anything. Never mind, the Lord pays all debts, and I expect he will pay her. "My wife and I went round to my brother's tad we stayed there till midnight. When we got home the police were there waiting. They said they wanted me for the murder of my lister. I said. "I know nothing about it. "They arrested me. That is all I know. I am sure I know nothing whatever about this affair st. all. As to the knife found on me, it is one I always carry. Every fitter or boilermaker must carry one. When the officer arrested me be looked at my hands and my clothes. I had on the suit I had been wearing all day; they are the only clothes I have got I have them on now. Last night I was called out from my cell in Brixton Prison sad put up for identification with other men. A woman came in and picked out one man. I do not know who he was. Then another woman came and had a good look and said she could not identify anyone.

Cross-examined. When arrested I said to the officer, "I do not bow anything about it. "I also said, "I was there; I shall say what it right at the proper time. "I meant by "I was there" that I had been in the neighbourhood, going to my brother's and my brother-in-law's. When at the public-house I did not put my head inside the door. I just pushed the door open and caught my sister's eye and the came out. I saw her daughter there. She did not come out and speak to me, and I did not speak to her. I am certain of that. When my sister said she had got no money I did not say, "That's the same b—f—tale. "I never have sworn at her like that. I was not angry with my brother-in-law or with my sister. I did not go to the public-house a second time. I have never seen the witness Pyke. I do not remember that I said to my wife when I got back, "I have been round to Mary's and asked her for the money, and she told me to come back and ask my b——woman to get it for Mr. "I am petty certain I did not say it. It was not true if I did. My sister had not said that to me. I deny that I used the expression, "I have paid Mary; I cannot say whether she is dead or not. "When I said "The Lord pays all debts, and I expect He will pay her" I simply

meant that, being my sister, I thought it very hard of her not to lend her brother a shilling or two, and she might get paid out for it. It is not true that after this conversation my wife ran out of the house. I had not recently sharpened my knife; it had been in my pocket ever since I had been out of work.

Re-examined. I was on perfectly good terms with my sister. To the Lord Chief Justice. I never saw my sister after I left my brother-in law's house. When the police told me at midnight that she had been murdered I was much upset. I did not ask for any particulars of the murder. They told me I had better say nothing. I asked no questions. I do not know that my sister had any enemies. I can make no suggestion as to how this happened.

JOHN HAWKINS , 141 (I), Queen's Buildings. I remember prisoner (my brother) coming to my house on the night of February 23 about half-past eight. I asked him how he was going on and what brought him Chat way. He said, "I have just been to Mary. I want a few shillings, but I cannot get it. "I asked him to come in for a little while. He said "No" I thought he might be unwilling to come in by himself, so I asked if he would bring his missus and child round to have a bit of supper. He said, "All right, I'll fetch them." And went away. In three-quarters of an hour he came back with his wife and child. After about five minutes he and I went out and fetched some beer, and I sent one of the children for some fish and potatoes We were not long at the public-house and came back and had supper. He seemed just the same as I had always seen him. I never heard of any quarrels between him and his sister, only ordinary jangles. He did not ask for any water, or wash himself or his clothes while in my place. I did not see him with a knife; I did not know that he had one.

Cross-examined. When Sergeant Barrett came and asked me what time prisoner first called on me I told him it might be about quarter to nine, but I distinctly said he was not to be certain about it. I am sure I told him prisoner had been to my place twice that night. I did not tell Barrett that the second time, when prisoner came with his wife, was about 10 or 15 minutes to nine. I said 10 or 15 minutes to 10.1 have since the committal for trial had a little talk with Berry. She told me she was bewildered when the detectives came to her. I did not exactly "advise" her to say that they went over Blackfriars Bridge after prisoner's return from seeing Mary. But when she said they had been for a walk I told her, "Well, it's a matter of indifference where you say you have been."

FREDERICK PIKE , recalled. (To the Court.) I do not know how I Sergeant Barrett came to know that I knew anything about this matter. The landlord of the "Princees of Wales" is Mr. Craddock; he is not here.

Detective-Sergeant BARRETT, recalled. (To the Court.) Pike's employer sent a message to the station that his man knew something about this; that was a few days after the occurrence.

To Mr. Bodkin. I saw John Hawkins on February 24, in the presence of Berry. He said that prisoner and Berry had called at his place the night before, about 10 or 15 minutes to nine and had supper; he said nothing about prisoner having called earlier on the same evening; I am positive of that. I asked him, "Did your brother call here earlier in the evening?" and he said, "No" I put that question because I doubted the word of Berry; the girls occupying the ground floor of 87, Great Suffolk Street, had told me that Berry had said that it was not true about her going over Blackfriars Bridge.

This concluded the evidence. In the course of his address to the jury, Mr. Oddie made the point that out of six actual witnesses of the assault, only one (Mrs. Robinson) identified prisoner. The Lord Chief Justice pointed out that only two witnesses of the assault had been called to-day. Mr. Oddie elicited from Detective-Sergeant Barrett that the police had the names of four others, two of whom were cilled before the coroner. His lordship allowed further evidence.

Mrs. WARD, 27, Kingston Street, Walworth. On February 23, in South Street, I saw a man strike a woman. On Thursday last I was ant asked by the police about the matter. Yesterday I was taken to Brixton Prison and shown a row of men'; I could not identify amongst them the man I saw committing the assault I was in the "Princess of Wales" on February 23, and saw deceased and her daughter there; I knew them by sight. Deceased came in and took some whisky that was standing on a shelf; two or three minutes afterwards the door opened and a man's face appeared; I heard the man say, "I see you have found your b——f——pale." Mrs. Alpe soon afterwards left. I heard a scream, and on going out I saw a man punching her; he ran away, she staggered and fell. I cannot describe the man or his dress.

Mrs. FISHER. On February 23 I was in this public-house. Mrs. Alpe left there before I did. I heard a scream, and on going out I saw a man punching her. I did not see his face. Last night I went to Brixton Prison and saw some men paraded; I was not able to pick out the man. (Witness also deposed to a man pushing open the door and making the remark heard by the last witness.)

Detective-Sergeant BARRETT, recalled. Before the coroner a woman named Smithson and a lad of 12 named Such were called; they are not here to-day. Smithson did not witness the assault at all; Such saw part of it; he saw a man running away.

The Lord Chief Justice, after reading the depositions of Smithson and Such, said that they did not justify Mr. Oddie in including those two as witnesses of the assault; but it was a good point that out of lour eyewitnesses only one identified the prisoner.

Verdict, Guilty, the jury adding, "The crime was committed absolutely without premeditation, and we very strongly recommend prisoner to mercy."

Sentence, Death.


(Wednesday, March 20)