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ALFRED BROWN, Killing > manslaughter, 7th January 1895.
Reference Number: t18950107-170
Offence: Killing > manslaughter
Verdict: Guilty > with recommendation
Punishment: Imprisonment > hard labour
170. ALFRED BROWN (26), was indicted for and charged on the Coroner's Inquisition with the manslaughter of James John Barnard.
ANNIE BARNARD . I am the widow of James John Barnard, and live at 20, Chatham Street, Rodney Road, Walworth—my husband was thirty years of age—he was carman to Mr. Wells—he enjoyed very good health—on Saturday, October 13th, ho left home at six in the morning—a little after nine in the evening two of his workmen brought his money home—he was then in Guy's Hospital—I went and saw him there—he came out after three weeks, and came homo on November 4th—he seemed to be going on very well for a day or two—I called in Dr. Mitchell, but he got worse—on November 17th he went into St. Thomas's Hospital, and died there—before he went there the prisoner called at our house and saw him, and he asked him if he remembered the few words they had outside a public-house, and did he remember who struck him in the second offence—my husband said: "I am too bad to answer you that. If I don't, someone else does."
Cross-examined by the prisoner. I did not hear you ask him to forgive you—you brought your father with you and he sent for a little ale—my husband had no drink; he was sitting up at the time—I did not see you shake hands with him.
GEORGE WARREN . I am a messenger employed by Mr. Wells in the same yard as the deceased—on Saturday night, October 13th, I was with the deceased in the van which he was driving; we were passing the Rising Sun public-house, in Weston Street, and I saw the prisoner—I had known him before—the deceased was driving close to the kerb on the left-hand aide—the prisoner was standing on the kerb with a stick in his hand, and he hit the near-side horse with it three times on the back, and the horse reared up—the deceased had not said anything to him—he pulled up in about the length of this Court, and got down and went up to the prisoner—I stood by the horse's head—the deceased said, "I have got a whip for my horse if he wants hitting" and before he could well get the words out of his mouth, the prisoner knocked him down and kicked him when he was down—he had not attempted to strike the prisoner—he got up and said, "I did not think that of you Alf "—the prisoner said, "You should not think anything these days"—the deceased got up into the van and we drove off to Mr. Wells' yard—Mr. White, the manager, was there when we drove in—some conversation took place between us there, and we all went to Bermondsey Police-station—as we came back the deceased stopped against the Market Tavern while I went round to the Wellington to see if I could find the prisoner—I did not find him, and I and the deceased went back to the yard—about a quarter past eight the deceased went out by himself—I went after him, and found him talking to the prisoner at the corner of Weston Street—the deceased said to him, "You kicked me"—the prisoner said "Did I kick you?"—the deceased said, "I shan't say, because you have got a mob round the corner," and he. walked across the road from the prisoner—the prisoner was carrying a basket, and he threw it down and ran across the road to the deceased, and hit him in the face and behind, and the deceased fell down—I came up to where he was lying, and he was in a pool of blood, and insensible—after he had struck him the prisoner ran across the road towards the Wellington, and took the basket with him—I ran and told Mr. Wells—I saw the deceased again a fortnight afterwards.
Cross-examined. You did not say to the deceased, "It is only a lark, Jim; it is nothing to make a row about"—nor did he say, "I am not going to make a row about it"—I say you kicked him—you came off the pavement into the road and kicked him, and a woman took you by the arm and said, "Don't, Alf, don't"—there were two women with you.
By the COURT. The prisoner was not sober.
ETHEL GERMANY . I am twelve years old, and live with my parents at 178, Long Lane—on Saturday, 13th October, about eight or nine in the evening, I was in Weston Street—I saw the prisoner speaking to the deceased—the deceased said, "You kicked me"—the prisoner said, "Did I kick you?"—the other said, "I don't know"—Brown said, "Well, you will have to know, you will have to know"—the deceased then went to run away quickly—Brown rushed after him, and caught him—he had a basket in his hand; he put it down on the ground, and ran after him, and pushed him down with his closed fist—it was a hard push—I saw him fall—I went up to where he was lying—I saw blood coming from his head—he did not appear to be sensible—I saw him picked up and taken away—he appeared to be sober—Brown was the worse for drunk—I saw him again that evening outside the Wellington; he picked up his basket, and went and sat on it outside the Wellington—the deceased did not strike Brown when this occurred—I was in the middle of the road, and they were on the pavement, as far as from here to that desk. (A few yards.)
Cross-examined. I did not see him make a blow at you, and knock the basket off your shoulder.
WILLIAM WHITE . I am manager to Mr. Wells, carman and contractor, Long Lane, Bermondsey—the deceased, Barnard, was in Mr. Wells' employ as a carman; he was a sober steady man—the prisoner was not in the employ at this time—on 13th October, about half-past seven in the evening, I was in our yard—I saw Barnard come in with his van; Warren was with him—Barnard made a complaint to me; I saw that he limped—in consequence of what he said I went with him and Warren to Bermondsey Police-station, and afterwards returned to the yard—he after wards went out—I saw him again that evening—he had been knocked about; he was partly insensible, and was carried out into the yard—he had a cut over the eye, and was bleeding; he was afterwards taken to Guy's Hospital.
Cross-examined. He walked between two men, and I walked behind him.
GEORGE LAWRENCE . I am a registered medical practitioner, and was house surgeon at Guy's in October, 1894—I saw the deceased there in the ward after he had been brought in; he was unconscious—I examined him—his lower jaw was fractured in two places on opposite sides, and he had a very dirty cut about two inches long over the left eye, going down to the bone, and his face was bruised—considerable force would be required to produce the fracture—I could not say whether it was done with one or two blows—I have heard the evidence—I don't think a fall would cause the fracture; I think it must have been a blow—I treated him; his condition continued to improve—he left the hospital on the 4th November at his own desire; he signed a paper, saying that he took the responsibility on himself—I never saw him again—there was a considerable amount of dirt in the eye, very likely to be from a heavy fall—a blow would certainly accentuate a fall—I should rather have expected to find a severe bruise, but I did not; he had not complained of any kick—I said at the inquest that I had been told of a man who had been going about with a fractured jaw—I did not know anything about it—I said if he had not left the hospital I should have been inclined to think he would have been cured.
GEORGE A. MITCHELL , M. B. I practice at 44, Rodney Street, Walworth—on November 5th I was called in to see the deceased—he seemed very ill—he was suffering from a wound over the left eye, and his jaw had evidently been fractured, and had been wired to keep the fractured portion in position previous to his leaving the hospital. I attended him from day to day until the 17th November—for three or four days he appeared to improve, then he gradually got worse and worse—he made complaints to me, and I formed a conclusion—eventually he was sent to St. Thomas's Hospital—I could not say that if he had remained in Guy's Hospital he would not have died; what he required was to be kept quiet.
LEONARD JOHN MITKIN . I am a registered medical practitioner and house surgeon at St. Thomas's—the deceased was admitted there on November 17th—I examined him—he was drowsy—he could not give any clear statement at one time—he said at one time that this occurred three weeks ago, at another time three months—I found a sinus above the left eye, a small discharging wound, a lot of surrounding redness and cedema of the skin—I probed the wound and detected a gap in the frontal sinus—there was a lot of dead bone, resulting from the suppuration of the wound—at the time I put it down to erysipelas—he has erysipelas—I did not expect any cerebral mischief—the erysipelas got worse—it cleared up in about a fortnight, but he still remained drowsy—a more complete examination was then found necessary, and we decided upon an operation—I did not perform it—I was present when it was done—we thought there was some pus under the bone—the night after we decided to do this he became comatose and the operation was made at once—he improved after the operation, he recovered his senses—the improvement remained for two days, then he suddenly became absolutely comatose, unconscious, and died on 7th December—I assisted in making a post-mortem—we found an abscess in the left frontal bone and meningitis at the base of the brain; that was the cause of death—the suppuration spreading through the wound, and the fracture, caused the meningitis—the wound was the original cause.
MARGARET YOUNG . I am a nurse at St. Thomas's—I had charge of the deceased four days, he was in my ward—I was not present when he died—I saw him just before and just after; that was on 7th December.
FRANK KNELL (Detective M). On 14th October I received information about the prisoner, and attempted to arrest him, but did not succeed in doing so till 8th December, at 9, Ackworth Street, Bermondsey—I saw him in a back room there—I said "We are Policeofficers, and are going to take you into custody for violently assaulting a
man named Barnard"—he said, "I was in the first affair, not the last; I saw Brown and touched his horse with a whip, and I pushed him;" he said, 'I am surprised at you, Brown,' and I said, 'You should not be surprised at anything.'
ALFRED HENRY COLLINS (Inspector). On 10th December last I was on duty at Bermondsey Station—the prisoner was in custody in the cells—he sent me a message, in consequence of which I went and saw him he said he wished to make a statement—I told him he need not make any statement, but if he did I should have to take it in writing, and it would probably be used in evidence—he persisted in making it—I took it down in writing at the time—this is the original attached to the depositions. (Read: "On the night in question I and my wife were standing outside the Rose public-house when three of Wells' vans came along, Barnard driving the last one. I had a small cane in my hand, and hit one of the horses in fun; he got off the van and said, 'I am surprised at you, Frank.' I thought he was going to strike me. I then struck him in the mouth with my left hand, and he got up in the van and drove away. I and my wife then went into the public-house for a little while, and then went home; crossing the lane I saw Barnard walking lame. I said, 'How is that?' he said, "It is where you knocked me down;' he fell, and my wife's sister lifted him up. I and my wife and sister then went home. That is all that occurred."
JOHN OTWAY (Detective Sergeant M). I was with Knell when he arrested the prisoner—I have heard his evidence—it is correct—at the Court during the evidence of a witness the prisoner said, "Barney knocked a basket off my shoulder, and went across the road. I went after him; he tripped over the kerbstone, and as he fell I hit him"—I have made inquiries about him—I know nothing against his character up to this time—no doubt this was caused by drink.
The prisoner received a good character.
In his defence the prisoner put in a paper containing a statement in substance to the same effect as that made to the Inspector, and denying having kicked the deceased.
GUILTY. Strongly recommended to mercy by the JURY — Six Months' Hard Labour.