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THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF A…

THE TRAGEDY AT LIMElIOUSE.

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THE TRAGEDY AT LIMElIOUSE. Mr. Richards, the deputy coroner, resumed, on Friday, at the Salisbury Arms, Eastfield street, Limehouse, the investigation respecting the mysterious death, in a room at Temperance-cottage, North-street, Limehouse, of a young woman named Agnes Oakes, aged 22 years. The inquiry had been adjourned for the attendance of John Wiggins, a lighterman, who had stated that the deceased had cut his throat with a table knife and then nearly half severed her own head from her body. When a charge against the latter was entered on Friday at the police-station, the prisoner, who is a dark complexioned man of 35 years of age, made no statement. He is a short, stout, well-built, active- looking man. The Coroner read the following letter from Mr. Detchell, of the London Hospital:â" London Hospital, August 1,-Dear Sir,âOn Mr. Hutchinson's visit to-day, he discharged John Wiggins as convalescent. The police will take him in charge to-morrow (Friday) morning. He is perfectly able to appear before the jury." Ultimately the coroner decided upon taking no further evidence until the prisoner Wiggins was present. In the course of the day, the prisoner was brought before Mr. Paget, at the Thames Police-court, charged with the wilful murder of Agnes Oakes. He appeared perfectly recovered, and was quite collected, spoke in an audible voice, and frequently addressed the magistrate. Sarah Martini, wife of Alfred Martini, of No. 3, Rhodeswell-road, on the banks of the Regent's Canal, and the back of whose dwelling is facing the front of the prisoner's cottage, said that at 10 minutes to two o'clock on the morning of the 24th of July she was awoke by screams of murder proceeding from the direc- tion of the prisoner's dwelling. The screams were re- peated. She looked through her window, but could see nothing. She heard some words, and a female voice exclaim, You old you are murdering me." She put the blind down, and went to bed again, and without disturbing her husband. She was sure it was 10 minutes to two, because she looked at her own watch when she got out of bed. Directly after she returned to her bed the church clock struck two. Mr. James Horton, surgeon, of 12, High-street, Stepney, said: On the morning of the 24th of July, about half-past five o'clock, I was called to the prisoner's house, at the bottom of North-street. I saw him seated on a chair on the left side of the street, and with a wound on the left side of the throat. I did not particu- larly examine him then, but hastened on to Temperance- cottage, where he and his wife lived. I went upstairs, and in a room on the right hand I saw the deceased lying on her back on the floor, quite dead. Her head was under a chair, and her head was slightly raised, and resting on a rail of the chair. There was a sheet over the body, which only partially covered it. He first examined a wound on the throat of the deceased, extending below the left ear, of a semi-circular shape, an inch beyond the centre of the throat. It was a jagged wound, between four and five inches in length, and two other incisions in the skin on the left side, one above and the other below the main cut, running into it. The wound was deep, and penetrated as far as the spine on the left side, dividing the muscles, the large vessels extending across the throat, dividing the windpipe nearly an inch beyond it, and also dividing the left carotid artery and the jugular vein. Death might have taken place two or three hours when he first saw the body. He did not think it could be so recent as three-quarters of an hour when he saw the body. That was an opinion he formed by the symptoms he observed. There was a red neckcloth round the neck of the prisoner. His throat was bleeding profusely. In answer to a question by the magistrate, the witness said My opinion of that wound is that there is no doubt it was the cause of the woman's death, and it might have been inflicted by herself under very powerful excitement and determination. It is possible for a person to inflict such a wound on hferself if in a state almost amounting to frenzy. The prisoner, on being asked if he had any questions to put to Mr. Horton, entered into a very long state- ment. He said he lived on very bad terms with his late wife owing to her dissipated and drinking habits. She was continually pawning his clothes and things. On the Sun- day previous to her death she was drinking all day long. He frequently gave her a sovereign or a half-sovereign to procure food and other things for the house, but she spent the money in drink. On the morning in question he awoke at 20 minutes to four o'clock, and went down- stairs and ascertained what the time was. He returned to his room and lay down again, and his wife asked him to forgive her. He was dozing off to sleep, and she began cutting his throat. He raised his hand, and his thumb was cut. He never laid a hand on her. She cut her own throat. The prisoner then made the most solemn protestations of innocence, and concluded :â Before God and man, I am innocent. I hope I may be struck dead this very instant if I am not as innocent as the unborn baby." Mr. Bathurst Dove, surgeon, said he was house- surgeon at the London Hospital when the prisoner was brought there on the morning of the 24th ult. The wound on the throat might have been inflicted by the patient himself, or by another person. The direction of the wound was from left to right. The prisoner's clothes were then brought into court. They were stained with blood. A red neckerchief which the prisoner was wearing when he was first seen with his throat cut on the morning of the 24th July was pro- duced. It had been cut through many folds, but there was no corresponding wound on the neck, and no blood on the cuts in the neckerchief. There was one small stain of blood on another cut. The prisoner changed colour when the neckerchief was produced. Some other evidence was then given, and the prisoner denied having said to the policeman who accompanied him to the London Hospital that he saw his wife with the point of the knife in her throat, and turning it round. He asked to be allowed to attend the coroner's inquest to hear what was said against him. Mr. Paget thought that was a very reasonable request. Inspector Brady said the inquest was adjourned, and the coroner had written to the Home Secretary to allow the prisoner to attend. The prisoner then asked that bail might be taken for him, and said that he was employed by the most re- spectable firms on the river, and could procure bail to any amount but this request Mr. Paget refused to comply with, and remanded him.

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