Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 04 October 2023), July 1909, trial of DHINGRA, Madar Lal (25, student) (t19090719-55).

MADAR LAL DHINGRA,, Killing > murder, 19th July 1909.

DHINGRA, Madar Lal (25, student), was indicted for, and charged on the coroner's inquisition with, the wilful murder of William Hutt Curzon Wyllie and Cowas Lalcaca.

On being called upon to plead to the indictment for the "wilful murder" of Sir W. H. Curzon Wyllie, prisoner said, "First of all I would say that these words cannot be used with regard to me at all. Whatever I did was an act of patriotism and justice which was justified. The only thing I have to say is in the statement which I believe you have got."

The Clerk of Arraigns: The question now is whether yon plead "Guilty" or "Not guilty" to the indictment?

Prisoner: Well, according to my view I will plead "Not guilty. Whatever I want to say is in the statement that was taken from my

The Lord Chief Justice directed a plea of Not guilty to be entered.

To the indictment for the wilful murder of Dr. Cowas Lalcaca, prisoner pleaded Not guilty.

Asked whether he had any counsel to defend him, prisoner replied that he had not.

The Attorney-General (Sir William Robson, K. C., HP.), Mr. Bodkin, Mr. Rowlatt, and "Mr. Leycester prosecuted.

Mini HARRIS, 106, Ledbury Road, Bayswater. Prisoner came to lodge at my house on Easter Monday; he occupied a ground floor front room. On July 1 he left the house about two in the afternoon, returned just after eight and shortly afterwards went out again. He was then dressed an ordinary day clothes, with a blue turban; he left in a cab.

The Lord Chief Justice asked prisoner if he wished to put any questions.

Prisoner. No, I do not want to ask any questions; I want to say something.

The Lord Chief Justice. You can say what yon like afterwards. Do you want to ask any questions now?

Prisoner. No, I don't want to ask anything.

WILLIAM BURROW, an assistant at Gamage's, limited, Holborn, proved that prisoner on January 26 purchased there a Colt's automatic magazine pistol for ₤3 5s. He produced a gun licence taken out in the name of Madar Lal Dhinghra, of University College.

HENRY STANTON MORLEY. I am proprietor of an exhibition of automatic machines and a shooting range at 92, Tottenham Court Road. About three months ago prisoner commenced to frequent the range w revolver practice; he attended two or three times a week, bringing his own revolver, an automatic Colt, and his own ammunition. He used to fire 12 shots on each visit. He took a lot of care in his shooting and acquired considerable proficiency. On July 1, about

5.30 p.m., he was at the range, and I saw him fire 12 shots at a target at a distance of 18 ft. (The target was shown to the Jury; there were 11 hits.)

Police-constable FREDERICK JAMES PALMER, D Division, produced a plan to scale of the Jehangir Hall and other portions of the Imperial Institute.

Miss BECK, 168, Kensington Park Road. I am honorary secretary of the National Indian Association. Her Majesty the Quean is patroness of the association; Lieutenant-Colonel Sir William Hutt Canon Wyllie was a member of the council and honorary treasurer. The object of the association is the promotion of social intercourse between the English people and the Indian people in London, one of the methods being entertainments or conversaziones. I first knew of prisoner in March last. In May I sent him an invitation to call upon me; he did not call. I tent him an invitation for our entertainment at the Jehangir Hall of the Imperial Institute on July 1. I attended that evening and saw prisoner there. About half past ten I spoke to him, asking him what he was doing in his work; he said he had finished his course at University College and that he would be taking the examination for a.m. I. C. E. in October, and then going home. I asked him whether he knew many of those present and he said he knew some.

DOUGLAS WILLIAM THORBURN. journalist. I was present at the entertainment at the Imperial Institute on July 1. About 11 o'clock I was in the main hall. On looking through the doorway of the vestibule I saw prisoner apparently speaking to Sir Curzon Wyllie. Prisoner raised his arm and rapidly fired four shots in Sir Curzon's face—into his eves. Sir Curzon collapsed at the fourth shot. Aftar a short interval there were two more shots, but I did not see in what direction they were fired. I ran to prisoner to prevent anything further being done, and others also rushed to the spot. Prisoner had his right hand free and he placed the revolver to his own temple, but there was merely a click. With assistance I got him down. I asked him, "What have you done? Why did you do it? " Prisoner looked at me quietly but did not say anything. He later on said, "Let me put my spectacles on."

Sir LESLIE PROBYN.I was present at this entertainment. About 11 o'clock I was in the Jehangir Hall, going towards the exit door, when I heard the sound of three or four shots. On going forward I saw the prisoner, who fired another shot; he then held the pistol straight in front of him and apparently fired another shot. He next turned the pistol round to his own temple. I immediately went at him, held his arms, and got the pistol from him. There was a struggle, and I hardly know what happened, as I fell down and injured my nose and rlbs. I handed the prisoner over to a police-constable, also the revolver.

Captain CHARLES ROLLESTON, another guest at the entertainment, spoke to hearing five shots. One shot was fired deliberately by Prisoner at a native Indian gentleman in evening dress. The gentleman—Dr. Lalcaca—fell backwards. The body of Sir Curzon Wyllie was

lying three or four yards away. Witness asked prisoner his name and address, and he gave them as "Dhingra, Ledbury Road." Witless, speaking to him mostly in Hindustani, asked what could be his motive for the crime. He replied, "I will tell the police."

Police-constable FREDERICK NICHOLLS, 476 B said that on being called to the Imperial Institute he found prisoner being held by several gentlemen, and he took him into custody. On his being searched there were found in prisoner's waistcoat pocket the pistol and the dagger produced.

Detective-sergeant FRANK EADLEY, B Division, who was with Nicholls, spoke to the arrest and the finding upon prisoner of the second revolver and cartridges.

Superintendent ALFRED ISAAC, B Division. On the early morning of July 2 I saw prisoner at Marylebone Police Station. The charge was read over to him and he nodded his head.

Sub-Divisional Inspector CHARLES GLASS, B Division. At the police station I took the charge against prisoner. On its being read over he said, "Yes, " nodding his head. I said, "Do you wish any of jour friends to be communicated with? " He replied, "I do not think it necessary to-night, they will know later on.

Inspector ALBERT DRAPER, B Division. I was present at Westminster Police Court on July 2. Just before being remanded, prisoner said to the magistrate, "The only thing I want to say is that there was no wilful murder in the case-of Dr. Lalcaca; I did sot know him; when he advanced to take hold of me I simply fired is self-defence. ''

Dr. THOMAS NEVILLE, 123, Sloane Street. On July 11 went to the Imperial Institute and there saw the dead body of Sir Curzon Wyllie. Later that night I saw prisoner at the police station; he seemed quiet, calm, and collected. I asked him whether he was hurt, and he said "No." I felt his pulse; it was quite regular and normal. On making a post-mortem examination of Sir Curzon Wyllie I found a bullet entrance wound on the right eye, with an exit wound at the hack of the neck; another two wounds on the left eye and at the hack of the neck; two other wounds, one below the left ear, the other over the left eyebrow, the bullets being found in the head. The cause of death was injury to the brain; death must have been instantaneous.

This concluded the case for the prosecution.

The Lord Chief Justice (addressing the prisoner.) Do yon wish to give evidence in the box or say what you have to say there?

Prisoner. I have nothing to say. I admit that I did it. This evidence is all true. I should like my statement read.

The Lord Chief Justice. Do you wish your statement read that yon made at the police court?

Prisoner. Yes.

The statement was read, as follows: " I do not want to say anything in defence of myself, but simply to prove the justice of my deed. As for myself, no English law court has got any authority to arrest and detain me in prison, or pass sentence of death on me. That is the reason I did not have any counsel to defend me.

"And I maintain that if it is patriotic in an Englishman to fight against the Germans if they were to occupy this country, it is much more justifiable and patriotic in my case to fight against the English. I hold the English people responsible for the murder of 80 millions of Indian people in the last fifty years, and they are also responsible for taking away ₤100, 000, 000 every year from India to this country. I also hold them responsible for the hanging and deportation of my patriotic countrymen, who did just the same as the English people here are advising their countrymen to do. And the Englishman who goes out to India and gets, say, ₤100 a month, that simply means that he passes a sentence of death on a thousand of my poor countrymen, because these thousand people could easily live on this ₤100, which the Englishman spends mostly on his frivolities and pleasures. Just as the Germans have no right to occupy this country, so the English people have no right to occupy India, and it is perfectly justifiable on our part to kill the Englishman who is polluting our sacred land. I am surprised at the terrible hypocrisy, the farce, and the mockery of the English people. They pose as the champions of oppressed humanity—the peoples of the Congo and the people of Russia—when there is terrible oppression and horrible atrocities committed in India; for example, the killing of two millions of people every year and the outraging of our women. In case this country is occupied by Germans, and the Englishman, not bearing to see the Germans walking with the insolence of conquerors in the streets of London, goes and kills one or two Germans, and that Englishman is held as a patriot by the people of this country, then certainly I am prepared to work for the emancipation of my Motherland. Whatever else I have to say is in the paper before the Court I make this statement, not because I wish to plead for mercy or anything of that kind. I wish that English people should sentence me to death, for in that case the vengeance of my countrymen will be all the more keen. I put forward this statement to show the justice of my cause to the outside world, and especially to our sympathisers in America and Germany."

The Lord Chief Justice. Do you wish to call any evidence?

Prisoner. No. I only want the statement to be read.

The Lord Chief Justice. Do you wish to say anything more?

Prisoner. There is another statement on foolscap paper.

The Lord Chief Justice. Any other statement you must make now yourself.

Prisoner. But I don't remember it now.

The Lord Chief Justice. If there is anything you wish to say to the Jury say it now. You can say anything you wish.

Prisoner. It was taken from my pocket among other papers.

The Lord Chief Justice. I don't care what was in your pocket. The question of what you have written before has nothing to do with this case. You have got to say anything you wish to the Jury. What you have written on previous occasions or what was in your pocket is no evidence in this case. If you wish to say anything to the Jury in defence of yourself say it now. Do you wish to say anything more?

Prisoner. No.

Verdict, Guilty.

The Clerk of Arraigns. Prisoner at the bar, you stand convicted of the crime of wilful murder; have you anything to say why the Court should not give you judgment of death according to law f

Prisoner. I have told you over and over again that I do not acknowledge the authority of the Court, You can do whatever you like. I do not mind at all. You can pass sentence of death on me. I do not care. You white people are all-powerful now, hut, remember, it shall have our turn in the time to come, when we can do what we like.

Sentence, Death.

Prisoner, as he was being removed, said. Thank you, my Lord. I don't care. I am proud to have the honour of laying down my life for the cause of my motherland.

Mr. Tindal Atkinson, K. C. I have been instructed to watch this case on behalf of the family of the man who has just been convicted. I here been instructed to say that they view this crime with the greatest, abhorrence, and they wish to repudiate in the most emphatic way the slightest sympathy with the views or motives which have led up to the crime. Further, I am instructed to say, on behalf of the father of this man and the rest of his family, that there are no more loyal subjects of the Empire than they are.

The Lord Chief Justice. Mr. Tindal Atkinson, although the course may have seemed somewhat unusual, having regard to the nature of this crime and the wicked attempt at justification in some quarters, I am very glad you should have said that on behalf of the members of the family.