THE HOLYWELL MURDER.|1883-02-02|The North Wales Express - Welsh Newspapers Online
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THE HOLYWELL MURDER. William Roberts, 36, stonemason, was indicted for the wilful murder of Edward Thomas, a col- lier, at Holywell, on the 4th of N, vember. Mr Morgan Lloyd, Q.C., M.P., and Mr Bonks ap- peared for the prosecution; the prisoner beine; defended by Mr E. 'Swetenham, Q.C., and Mr Marshall. Mr Morgan Lloyd, in opening the case, said the I prisoner, wI; > was married in May last, lived in a cottage at i place called Pea-y-b.d Mountain, within a few yards of the road leading to Holywell. Tlio decasod had lived with his brother, both being 1 colliers fit Ba »'llt, about two mile. from Holywell. 0:1 Saturday i.oght, November 4, the deceased and his brother started from Bagillt between eight and nine o'clock at with the intenti .-a o £ going t: Holywell. They went to several public-houses on the way, and arrived between ten and eleven o'clock at the public-house cn the Yoli leading ■from liolywell to Pen-y-bal Mou) tir,and at eleven o'c'o k, that be.og fio c'osii-g time, they had to leave. Along this road to Peu-y-bo.l Mountain were some few cottages scattered ab ut, a:d amongst these was the cottage where the prisoner lived. The deceased and his brother in tae direction of the prisoner's houe. and Edward Thomas, the deceased, left his brother in the road and went up to the prisoner's house. He did not appear to have entered it, however, but timply went up the door or window, and stood there for a lew minutes. He then went back to his b-other, and remained with him for about ten mfnutes. He again went up to the prisoner's house, and once more returned to his brother without entering the house. For the third time he went up to the house and returned without entering He and his brother then seemed to have deter- mined to go down to Holywell. After going for a short distance they heard footsteps behind them, and waited to see who it was, in order to have company :to HolyweF. The prisoner then came up to them, and asked in Welsh, "WhÜ do you want here, vou devils?" To which the ue-'eased man replied, "Nothing, my lad." The prisoner, in reply to this, said, Yes, you do; and I would not mind a bit shooting you." He had a gun in his hand, and lilting it to his shoulJer he held the barrel in the usual way with his left hand, with his finger on the trigger. Before he could fire, however, the prisoner's wife rushed up to him and took hold of his left arm ani endeavoured to pull him back. She did not to have produced any effect, for immediate! she went up the gun was fired, and Edward Thomas fell dowr, and in the course of a few minnt-é1 he WAS a dead man, having been shot through the heart and liver. The cause of the crime was suggested to have been jealousy, the prisoner's wife before her marriage having kept house for the deceused and hi:, brother, and it WHS con- I jectured that th«y or nt least the deceased, went to the prisoner's house for the pur- pose of seeing his wire, b-t whether that was^so or not .he could not say. Thomas Thomas, brother of the deceased, bore out the opening statement as t) the visit to the neighbourhooof the prisoner's house, the con- ver.-atioz; which took place between the prisoner and deceased, and detailed the circurrstliiceg pre- ceding and following the shooting of his brother. In reply to Mr Swetenham, in cross-examination, the witness said the gun went off the instant the prisoner's wife jumped at his a-ms. In reply to a number of other questions as to his conduct and conversation after the death of his brother, he answered that he was so much frightened that he did act remember. Witness did not strike the prisoner with a bottle, nor did he see anyone else use i bottle that night. He did not kick the prisoner, nor did he knock his wife down. He did not see her near the house, nor did he see the prisoner until he came after them with a gun. He lcuew that the wife of the prisoner was examined before the coroner, but he did not know what sb said, nor had he asked anybody to toil him what she saiu. He kuew that her evidence appeared in the papers, in English, but he had never asked anybody "o reiid it to him. Bj the Judge I do not know now whht she s-id. The Judge: And do you expect the judge and jury to believe that ? Witness I cannot say, indeed (laughter). Police Constable M'Kinna stated that he received information of the murder from the deceased's brother, and went for a doctor, who pronounced life extinct: afterwards saw the prisoner appre- hended. He had no waistcoat, and accounted for this by spying that it had been torn off in a struggle. On the day after the murder he went up to the house, but could find no marks of a struggle. He saw a broken bottle near the window. He examined the face, saou'ders, arms, and hands of the prisoner, but could find no marks or scr-itches upon him. Superintendent Hughes, who apprehended the prisoner, gave similar evidence. This concluded the case for the prosecution. Mr Sweteuham, addressing the jury for the defence, said he could hardly address them as he ought, owing to the righteous indignation which he felt that the prisoner should be placed upon his trial owiag to the lying rascality "—for he could call it. nothing else—of the man Thomas Thomas. He was certainly :I.t going to ask the jury to reduce the offence to one of Jmanslaughter. He was going, instead, to suggest to them, and going tJ point out to them, step by step, thit they would net be able to come to any other conclusion except that the death of the deceased was the result of pure accident. He should ask them to believe that no morejdastardly attempt on any man's wife was ever made'than that attempted by the deceased and his brother Thomas Thomas upon Mrs Arn Roberts, and that in protecting his wife the prisor o fC ident-iJIy shot the deceased. At the close of Mr Swetenham's address the court adjourned until this morning.

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