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PEMBROKE

FISHGUARD.

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FISHGUARD. THE ADJOURNED INQUEST ON THE BODY OF DAN WILLIAMS. VERDICT OF WILFUL MURDER AGAINST HIS WIFE, LYDIA WILLIAMS. The inquest on the body of Dan Williams was resumed Oil Monday morning week, in the School Room atRhos-y- Caerau, it having been adjourned from the 2nd instant, In Order that the stomach and other parts of the deceased "JSa might be submitted to an analysis by Professor fierapath. The resumed inquiry having been opened by T. Edwardes, Esq., Coroner for the Northern Division Pembrokeshire, Moses Griffiths, Esq., of Manorowcn, Justice of the Peace for the County, was examined. He deposed: |ro:n information I received from Superintendent Jones, went on the 20tli of May to the residence of the de- based, and, believing him in a dying state, 1, in the Presence of Mr Wathen, his medical attendant, and Super- Ititendent Jones, took down in writing the deposition. ,The declaration of the deceased was then read by William Vaughan James, Esq., the Magistrates' Clerk, is as follows 'On Sunday, the 12th of April last, after I bad partaken Of ray dinner, prepared by my wife, Lydia, I became very 81ck and vomited very violently and threw up blood: Jtid each time I partook of food prepared by my wife I became sick and vomited violently up to dinner time on the 23rd of April, after which time my daughter prepared food, through the interference and suggestion of my lister, Eleanor, since which time [ have not vomited. I Jaw my wife take something out of a paper, which, I believe, she took from her pocket, and put it into my fOOd twice or three times, and I vomited each time. She *Eta standing by the window in my bedroom the first ''He, and in the other room afterwards. I never gave ber any provocation to injure me; but on Saturday morn- the 25th of April, my wife got up between lour and o'clock a.m ,—earlier than usual,—and I called my daughter up, and she went to look after the cattle and s^6ep. I heard my wife lock the front door. She then into my room, and jumped upon me in bed, and Endeavoured to strangle me, and then to suffocate me by ^tenapUng to shove a canvass apron into my mouth, and "ten cover my face, endeavouring to choke me at the tittle with her hands. She pushed her thumb into my anauth, when I held it some time with my teeth, until 'he begged of me to let her loose. I believe I bit her thumb. After she had gone from the bed, she got a rope 41kd tried to put it round my neck. The first time I be- came sick and vomited I had partaken of broth, prepared tad given to me by Lydia for my dinner. The sensation I felt at the time was a burning in my stomach, my throat *as dry, shrunk up, and burning, my tongue much ?*ollen, my lips swollen and cracked, the skin on my Dody dry, withered, and peeling off. I make this declaration, believing that 1 am now tying, aud will not recover.' 8 The X of Dan Williams. William Phillips, a farm labourer living at Caerau,, JJW deoeased on the Friday evening previous to Sunday, 12th of April: he was then in his usual health, landing furze for his cattle. I saw him on the Tuesday Afterwards: he then appeared very ill. Deceased, on the rjnday Lydia left him, told me Lydia had been on his trying to choke him. Elizabeth Bowen, widow, a neighbour of deceased, Dan Williams being taken ill on Saturday, 12th ot April. She saw him after the Sundays'school, *hen he came to her house, close by his own, and com- Gained of violent pains in his bowels and stomach of a Peculiar nature, such as he had never felt before. He Kterwards went to chapel with his wife the same even- She saw deceased the following week in bed, and complained of pains in his stomach and bowels his tongue appeared quite white, and was thickly coated, *nd his lips dry like a cork. She attended him every 2*7, when he was in great pain, and retched frequently. She saw spme vomit nearly every day; it was yellow, green, and red in colour. He complained that his, eyes "ere very sore; they had a very red appearance. She Lydia leaving him about a fortnight after Ite commencement of his illness. By Professor Herapath: Deceased complained of burn- JjUj in the throat, and cramps, and suffered great weak- "tos, and had no feeling in his hands or feet. » ?y the Foreman of the Jury: Deceased previous to ie^g taken ill on the 12th of April possessed a strong though his limbs were weak from rheumatism. tl1 Elizabeth Davies deposed that she lived next door to ■be deceased. Was in the habit of going into the house or three times a day. Remembered deceased being **ken ill on Sunday, the 12th day of April. Saw white °,but coming from him, and afterwards green. Deceased Jaid he was very ill, and thought he was dying. I heard ?? noise in deceased's house the morning his wife left Could have heard it if any had been made in the 'Pper end. Deceased was at the time in bed at the lower I1d. :Heard no cry of murder. [At this stage of her the witness's memory appeared to have de- lerted-ber; it however returned in time to save her from ?°Qimittal.] Deceased complained to witness that Lydia ?ad tried to choke him y that she fell upon him on the aad .squeezed his throat, and pressed heavily on his and chest. She also at one time found a rope in her ??hd.r Remembered deceased telling her that he had 'ttenXydia's thumb. the Jury: Does not remember how long Lydia had turned to cohabitation with her husband before he was *«en iu. They appeared to live on tolerably good terras PJo the time of his illness. Examination continued Cannot say what caused tb^ir r'Svioas separation. Lydia appeared to treat her- hus- jJJ^d kindly during his illness. Deceased never attri- ki^ed illness to any particular cause. He had bitten waft's finger because she had tried to choke him. *d never seen any rats on the premises. v.% the Jury Deceased did not tell her Lydia had givtn Poison. Had no recollection of deceased complain- being in his food. He had told her that eh .a locked the door inside on the morning she tried to WjHiaEQS sworn, said she was a single woman, of deceased by a former wife: lived with ber hT,eiV Up to his death her father was in his usual Up to the time he was taken ill, on the 12ih of f P^Vtoer step-mother prepared and gave deceased bis thn j 0 had porridge giy§n him by her step-mother on w da £ he was taken ill. On one occasion she saw her b-Pf^o^her pUj. some white powder from a paper in a Which contained some gin, which she gave her to t er» who1 refused to take it. Witness then went out On ? *be sheep, and when she Teturned the basin was table empty. Her father vomited immediately taking food from her step-mother. Did not yomit huter taking food from witness, which she sometimes gave ^en her step-mother was out. Witness did not ita e of the broth prepared for her father, neither did fcth 8ec ^er mother take any. No one but herself, her w;er> and step-mother resided at the time her father *taken ill. Her father had told her that her Step- hen* ^ad given him some coffee'on the Saturday j/1ling preceding the Sunday he was taken ill. but he ^refused to drink it on account of its possessing a *HriK ly taste. Had never heard her lather °ut* his illness to vaj cause. He Ito^ueaUf said be thought he was going to die, and that he suspected Lydia had given him something. Witness had never seen any rats about the house. On the morning her step-mother left the house they were earlier than usual. Witness went out to look after the sheep, and on her return met her step-mother by the door as she was leaving. Eleanor Williams, single woman, sister to deceased, was sent for to attend her brother, after Lydia had left. He had told her that Lydia had jumped on him, and tried to suffocate him, that she had stuffed an apron in his mouth and pressed heavily on his breast and throat, that he had bitten her finger, and got away from her, and she had then tried to throw a rope about his neck. She after- wards found a paper containing a white powder, which she gave to Mr Wathan. Witness complained to Mr Superintendent Jones. Knew of no cause why Lydia should wish to destroy her brother. He appeared glad when she returned to him after their separation. De- ceasedsuffcrecl greatly, and complained ofcrarnps affecting his heart. Had no rest day or night. lie used frequently tb say be should not recover. Mary Williams, single woman, servant to Mr William Owen, Trellys, recollected Lydia Williams asking her for something to destroy rats. She afterwards mentioned the circumstance to William Evans, a mason. Could not recollect the precise period: it was previous to Dan Williams's illness. Hannah Nicholas, who gave her evidence unwillingly, and insisted upon being paid first, at length stated that, she was a labouring woman, living at Caerau. On a Sunday, nine or ten weeks aeo, Lydia Williams came to her house and asked her how she killed rats. Witness told her how to use it: that it was to be put in rags, and laid by the holes. Prisoner promised to inform her daughter she was using it, Saw her again on the fol- lowing Wednesday: prisoner said she bad seen two rats, and asked for more poison: witness said she had no more. Witness had procured the rat poison three years ago, at Crandruion, from Mary Davies. At the previous meeting prisoner left her immediately on receiving the poison. Mary Williams, re-called, said her step-mother did not inform her that she received poison from the last witness. George Jones, Superintendent of police, stated that the prisoner came to him at seven o'clock on the morning of the 25th of April, and asked for a warrant against her husband, who, she complained had bitten her thumb. On the 28th of April he went to Carau to investigate the matter, in consequence of information he had received the day previous. W. D. Wathan, Esq., M.K.C.S., and L.S.A.: I am a surgeon, residing at Fisbguard. I was sent for to see the decease! on the 27th of April: I could not see him then, but saw him on the 28th: T took some notes of his symptoms on that occasion; He was looking very pale,, and complained of numbness, and want of power in his arms and legs. Could not be aware he was holding a tea-cup in his hand without seeing it. He bad also a feeling of deadncss in the stomach and bowels. Not much pain. Slight distension of abdomen at the time. Not much tenderness on pressure. Bowels had been confined for two or three days. Observed nothing marked about his tongue, lips, or eyes, nor any excoriation about the anus. There were marks on his face as if from scratches. Pulse natural, about 70. Great difficulty in passing urine. I attended him from the 28th of April till he died. Deceased vomited only after taking castor oil. Skin exfoliating generally. No eruption. 1 suspected he had taken irritant poison, and treated him accordingly. Made a post mortem examination, at which Mr Brown, of Haver- ford west assisted: the following is the resultExternal appearances: No excoriation of the mouth or anus. Skin exfoliating. Body warm. Rijor Mortis not very marked, pupils natural. Meatus Urethra not irritated. CAVITY OF THORAX. Pleurae extensively adherent, for the most part, old. A few tubercle, in left lung, in other respects the lungs were healthy. Pericardium contained about an ounce of fluid; No adhesions. A patch of recent lymph on external wall of heart, valves healthy. Abdominal cavity, urethra, bladder, and rectum healthy. Descending colon peculiarly contracted and congested with echymosisnear the coBcum. Ilium containing a bloody coloured mucus. Kidneys—one mottled. Great congestion with echymosis along the great curvature of the stomach. Duodenum peculiarly granulated, mucous membrane easily peeled off. Liver and gall bladder healthy. A portion of the ilium, a portion of the jejunum, and a portion of the duodenum, the stomach with its contents, and also the liver and gall bladder were sealed down by me, and given in charge of Superinteneent Jones. By; Professor Herapath I administered castor oil and purgative dnemas to- deceased. Nothing irritating was given. Examination continued: I consider there was some- thing very peculiar in the case. By the Jury He complained of a burning in the throat, but not when I saw him. I have never seen similar symptoms in cases of natural inflammation. J. D. Brown, Esq, F.R.C.S.E., deposed I am a sur- geon, residing at Haverfordwest. Coroner: You have heard the evidence given by Dr. Wathan ? Witness'. I have. I Coroner Do you agree with it ? Witness: I do. We drew up the statement together and it is our conjoint production-the result of the post mortem examination, and signed by us. Coroner: Do you agree with all he has said as to the causes of death ? Witness I consider death was caused by exhaustion, but I am not prepared to say what induced the disease that caused that exhaustion. We found no disease of importance except in the stomach and intestines --not sufficient to cause death. I speak as a surgeon, not as a chemist. Coroner: Are you in the habit of examining in poison cases ? Witness: I have seen many cases. The last case of arsenicajL poisoning that I examined proved fatal in about twelve hours. The appearances were different—being more recent. The stomach was intensely congested and inflamed, and I found arsenic in great abundance. It WAS a case of suicide. By a Juror: It may happen that persons shall live along time after taking arsenic. This case is peculiar and strange, in consequence of the length of time he lived after taking the supposed poison. Coroner: Do you think the appearances were those of arsenical poisoning ? Witness: They certainly proved the existence of in- tense disease, but how produced I am not prepared to say. Mr Herapath is here to explain that. I take my stand upon this fact, that disease, produced by whatever cause it may be, will always present the same appear- ances the changes in the tissue must be the same, apart from the causes. I should not like to swear that poison caused the appearances enumerated by Dr. Wathan, nor attach any importance to the colour of the parts. [ Coroner Have you ever seen ordinary cases of in- flammation of those parts ? Witness: Yes, frequently. I have seen ordinary cases where the mischief was equal to destroy life. Coroner: How long do you think the disease had existed ? 0 Witness: Some months perhaps. Coroner: Would the time from his taking the supposed poison to his death be sufficient to produce it ? Witness: I think it would. Coroner; Would arsenic produce the symtoms you have heard described ? Witness r I- believe it would. The numbness especially is peculiar to arsenic. Coupling the numerous symp- toros evinced by deceased, the case presented an ex- tremely suspicious aspect. William Herapath, Esq, F.R.C.S., &o., deposed I am a Professor of Chemistry, residing in Bristol. On June 1st I received from Superintendent Jones a wicker basket containing a sealed jar. in that jar I found the various organs of the body described by Dr. Wathan. I also received the particulars of a post mortem examina- tion and a statement of the symptoms of the deceased from Jones. I thought it hopeless to discover arsenic after a lapse of 31 days. I subjected the whole to a very rigid examination, but could not detect arsenic. The state and appearance of the various parts exhibited all the secondary effects of arsenic. They were in a state of intense inflammation, and of that character which leads Almost to apcoofofita being the effect of a heavy irritant poison. I should tell those gentlemen who are not acquainted with poisons and their effects, that every poison has ita own peculiar character, in order that they may understand what I now show. Every poison has an inflammatory tint peculiar to itself. Phosphorus pre- duces a bright scarlet, arsenic a deep red, oxalic acid another, and mercury another. I now exhibit the pylo- ric end of the stomach through which food passes into the duodenum, and from thence into the intestinal canal; also the greater curvature of the stomach, to which, in man, anything of a heavy chuEaoter would naturally gravitate, on which will be seen two patches of ecchymosis tending ultimately to produce ulceration. (A healthy comparative- stomach was also shown.) I also produce a portion of the duodenum, which scarcely shows the granular character it did when moist: it was also very highly inflamed. (A comparative- duodenum was also shown of a pale yellow, while that of, the de- ceased bore a dark red colour.) I should, if these parts had been exhibited to me without any information of the previous symptoms, have judged they were the-result of a heavy irritant poison. I have seen a great many in- stances of general inflammation of the intestinal canal, but nothing of a natural character similar to this. Superintendent Jones brought me a parcel, which I now 'produce, which I have analysed and find it to be a com- pound of coarse flour and arsenic it weighed 90 grains. (The packet was here produce and identified by Jones.) The other small packet brought me by Jones contained 60 grains of oxalic acid. The quantitive analysis of the former packet is as follows White arsenious acid 27 grs. Coarse flour, containing a small portion of slaty matter 63 grs. By the Jury: I have never seen a case before where life existed so long after the administration of the poison. Professor 'Herapath: I think I may add a few facts which micht be of material use to the jury. I knew a cise in which a man had poisoned his wife by three different poisons., The ammonio-chloride of mercury, or white precipitate; the acetate or sugar of lead; and finally, by arsenic. She did not die from the effects of either poison, and was brought into Court in a chair to give her evidence when a shilling was placed in her hand. She was unconscious of the fact until pressed, and even scratched with some degree of force. This case I cite to illustrate the effect of arsenic over the nerves ofsensanon. The other was a case at Ply month, in which children were puisojcd in a paper manufactory. The "paper coloured by tile green ai>enite of copper distributed tiie same through the atmosphere of the room in a minute division. Corning in contact with the skin, and being absorbed, it produces sickness, ulceration. and death. After death, at my suggestion, one of the ulcers was cut out and forwarded to me, in which I readily detected arsenic. This I cite to illustrate the effect of arsenic on the skin. [Specimens of various arsenical preparations produced from the mixture were then handed round to the jury. These were the green arsenite of copper, the yellow sulphuret of arsenic-the metal itself being deposited on a slip of copper by lleinsch's process, and also sublimed in octahedral crystals by Marsh's.] The Coroner then expressed his thanks to Professor Herapath and the other medical gentlemen on behalf of himself and the Jury ior the very able and effective manner in which they had illustrated the case. Superintendent Jones proved the receipt and delivery of the jar and also two powders. P. C. Wm. Evans identified the wrappers, as being the same he received from Hannah Nicholas, and took to Superintendent Jones on the 31st May last. The Coroner having summed up, the jury retired to consider their verdict, and, after a consultation of about twenty minutes, returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against Lydia Williams, who will be tried at the next Assizes at Haverfordwest.

CARMARTHENSHIRE.

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