Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

46 articles on this Page











"iness of Prince Esterhazy.!

Overdue Liner Safe.I


A Mother at Thirteen.







Charged with Murder.


Charged with Murder. THE TRIAL AT CARMARTHEN TO-DAY. Prisoner Thomas Brought Up to Answer for the Death of a Sixteen Year Old Girl. Telegraphing at 10.30 this morning our special reporter says :—The ancient borough of Car- marthen is being surfeited with sensation this morning. Not since 1888, when David Rees, the Llanelly murderer, met his fate, have the morbid- minded people of the town had such a delightful time. Reversing the lament of the old prophet, the present times are better even than the for- mer, for are not all the characters in this play, I THE PRISONER. from the central figure down to the humblest' Carmarthen people? And is there not in this case, in addition to the sight and taste ef blood, a. half formed suspicion of a sensation of another kind ? Ladies in Court. A number of "ladies" got into the hall at eight o'clock, and the crowd has for hours been surging backwards and forwards around the hall. The prisoner was brought to the court about quarter to ten, and was rather warmly greeted by the crowd. The officials of the court, members of the har, jurymen, legal I gentlemen, and pressmen had the greatest difficulty in gatting into the hail. The officials inside the court proffered assistance to pressmen, I THE VICTIM. but they were unable to infuse the same readi- ness into those at the entrances of the hall. The The first batch of copy sent to Cardiff was half an hour on its way to the messengers, who were, like the peri, at Paradise's gate. The judge was twenty minutes late and took his seat at 10.40. The prisoner was immediately brought up, amid SCENE OF THE MURDER. the breathless silence of the crowd in court. In answer to the challenge he pleaded not guilty. The first twelve jurymen called were sworn, there being no challenges. It is a strong jury. Mr. John Jenkins is the foreman. Counsel Engaged. Five members of the Bar have been briefed in the case, Mr. Rees Davies, M.P., and Mr. S. T. Evans, M.P. (instructed by Mr. H. Brunei White, Carmarthen) appear for the Crown; and the defence is conducted by Mr. Bowen Rowlands, Q.C., M.P., Mr. F. C. Philips, and Mr. E. Marlay Samson (instructed by Mr. James John, Carmarthen). The court having been filled, the doors were shut. When the case opened, the hall was becoming exceedingly hot. Prosecuting Counsel Speaks. At five minutes to eleven Mr. Rees Davies, M.P., rose to open the case for the prosecution. Mr. Davies, who spoke in clear tones and a calm manner, without repetition and with no i verbiage, outlined the facts of the case. Prisoner watches the case with apparent interest seated n a corner of the dock leaning on his knee. A ghost of a smile appeared to flit across pri- soner's face when Mr. Rees Davies mentioned the new evidence, showing how he reached the spot of the murder on the night in question, having taken a short cut across the fields, coming out at a gate close by where the body was found. Mr. Rees Davies in opening occu- pied about half an hour. Judge Makes Inquiries. The Judge twice interposed, once to suggest that the prisoner's statements to the police should be given in general terms only, and the next time, when Mr. Davies referred to Dr. Pringle's examination of the prisoner, his Lord- ship interposed to suggest that nothing might be said which would prejudice prisoner. Mr. Davies said he was not going to indicate the character of Dr. Pringle's evidence, and, pro- ceeding in his address, said that every man was presumed to be sane, and if the defence intended to plead insanity it would be necessary for them to prove that he did not appreciate the nature of his action on the occasion of the murder and did not realise that it was a wrong- ful action. When Mr. Davies resumed his seat the judge asked whether he had furnished the defence with a copy of any new evidence or had stated the nature of that evidence. Mr. Davies said he had furnished copies of the evidence, and had stated the whole of it except any that he might call as submitting testimony to the defence. After further conversation Mr. Rees Davies said he had determined to put in all the evi- dence, and would call Dr. Pringle and other witnesses in chief. It was further agreed that expert witnesses should give their evidence without a preliminary statement by counsel. First Witness. A plan of the locus of the murder having ti#«n nnt in and nmved. the father of the deceased was examined. Painful interest was created by the examination of the aged and feeble grand-aunt of the girl. The prisoner showed more interest when Mrs- Dyer described how one day, about a fortnight before the tragedy, prisoner called at her house — I MRS. DYER (the Girl's Grandmother.) I and attempted to center. She stopped him, and he asked for water. She gave him water and he left. Mary Jane was in the house, hiding behind a door, and trembling like a leaf. In cross-examination, Mrs. Dyer said Joseph Thomas, the uncle of the prisoner's father, was in the-asylum, said to be insane. Interest in the proceedings, which flagged somewhat during the examination of deceased's aunt and Mary Morris, was whipped up by the appearance of David Jones, deceased's brother, a lad of thirteen, who spoke to accompanying her from her aunt's house past the prisoner's house on her way home on the night of the murder. David Jones, spinner, a new witness, spoke to repeatedly lending a razor to prisoner, the first time being about seven weeks before the murder. The day before the murder witness asked for the razor. and it was returned. The next time he saw the razor it was shown him by Police-sergeant Harries. The broken, bloody instrument found by the THE RAZOR (with which Crime was com- mitted). 1.—The Blade. 2 and 3.—The Broksn Handle. Broksn Handle. body of the deceased was here produced an identified by witness. Mrs. Jones, wife of the last witness, spoke to prisoner borrowing the razor on Sunday morn- ing. It was the same razor as he (Thomas) returned the night before. Evidence was next given showing that the prisoner was at Lammas-street Chapel on the Sunday night, and left at a quarter past seven, before the service had concluded. James Lewis, the lad who proved this, also stated that on a day about three weeks before the murder he saw the prisoner and deceased walked arm in arm up the Asylum-road. Prisoner's Confession. Police-sergeant J. Jones deposed that at quarter to ten on the Sunday night prisoner came to witness in King-street, and stated that he had killed a girl, had cut her throat, and that she was £ quite dead. I DAVID JONES (the Victim's Brother.) I — Prisoner added that he was determined to do the crime, and had had the razor for the pur- pose. Thomas gave further details and came quietly to the police-station. How the Crime was Committed. Police-sergeant John Harries bad further sen- sational evidence, including another statement by the prisoner that the girl had a muffler on, The Mother of tie SfurtJered Girl. I and struggled with him, or he would have killed her sooner. Prisoner sajd, "She screamed, and I put my knee on her throat a,nd cut it .with a razor." Cro-is-examined. witness said that prisoner was calm and collected, like a, man whose mind was at rest. Public are Unruly. During the luncheon adjournment the crowd in court spread out and occupied seats and gang- ways :-2"CT\"c¿i for the convenience of those en. gaged in the case. The greatest difficulty was experienced in dislodging them. When the court resumed, the Judge had to interpose te support the authority of the officials. Prisoner's Mental Condition. After Dr. Thomas's evidence respecting wounds. Mr. S. T. Evans said that completed the evidence respecting the crime, but he was prepared to call other witnesses respecting prisoner's condition if Mr. Rowlands still de- sired it.—Mr. Rowlands, replying to the judge, said he would prefer those witnesses examined in chief. Governor of Carmarthen Gaol. Mr. Forbes, governor of the gaol, said the prisoner had been of calm and apparently rational demeanour while in the prison. The only peculiarity was his callousness—his utter carelessness. Cross-examined by Mr. Rowlands He was struck with his callousness. A Prison Surgeon Called. Mr. E. R. Williams, surgeon to Carmarthen Prison, said he had seen prisoner every day since he had been in the prison, and had made several special examinations. He discovered nothing in the way of hallucination or illusions on the part of prisoner. From conversations with prisoner Dr. Williams said he had io"med the opinion that prisoner knew the nature and quality of the act he had committed. He owned that the act was wrong. It struck him prisoner was sur- prisingly callous and indifferent, and lie con- cluded that he was morally very depraved. He knew chat moral perversity or moral aberration was one of the most striking indications of men- tal derangement. Taking the act and the callousness together he argued moral perversity, and then he asked prisoner more questions, the result being that he concluded prisoner was less callous, and that he did appre- ciate ..the nature of the act. In homicidal mania the commission of the act in most cases brought peace and rest to the mind of the doer, so that the feelings which had been disturbed became calm when the passion was gratified. It was also common for homicidal maniacs, after com- mitting the deed. to go and deliver themselves up. Homicidal mania generally broke out without warning and fiom trivial causes. He would hesitate to say that a person who committed such a ferocious act and im- mediately became calm, was necessarily insane. He believed in hereditary insanity, but could not say such tendencies might be dormant in the nearest relatives. He learned from the prisoner that in his own judgment he was sane when he committed the murder. That, together with the other phenomena, did not suggest to witness that there was something wrong with prisoner mentally. Two of the prisoner's mother's first cousins were, he had been in- formed, queer in the head. Mary Williams, half-sister to the prisoner, was also queer." Relatives Visit the Gaol. On Saturday morning- prisoner Thomas was visited at Carmarthen Prison by his stepmother and his young brother Dan, who presented themselves outside the accused's cell at eleven o'clock with fresh underclothing for the criminal. When he had, in the presence of a warder, made the necessary exchange, the unfortunate man turned to talk to his relatives whilst the stepmother made the returned apparel into a bundle. On seeing his imprisoned and well-guarded brother—whose colour momentarily left him-the lad began to cry bitterly. The brothers had not met since the Sunday on which the murder was committed, and now they were face to face neither could speak for some time. Eventually the elder, apparently harden- The Father of the Murdered Girl. I ing himself for the interview, asked why the little fellow hadn't been to see him before. The reply given was that he had been very busy. He has. by riie way, to earn his own livelihood and assist, though slightly, to maintain his brother and sister, who are much younger than himself. The conversation that ensued was very brief. The wretched man made no recriminatory admissions, but he alluded to the approaching trial, and asked what counsel bad been engaged. The step- mother, in faltering tones, told him that all that could be done had been done, and besought him to do his part. He then became very reticent, and gave no sign either of attrition or contrition. It was, in fact, difficult to know what interpre- tation to put upon the demeanour of the man. The interview seemed a most fruitless one, and the visitors, on leaving, piteously bemoaned the very deplorable position of their relative. Details of the Crime. The deceased, who was vcr^n^ on sixteen years, lived with her great-aunt, Mrs. Rosa- mond Dyer, at a small cottage called Dawelan, situated in a not much frequented lane at the back of Carmarthen Asylum and about a. mile or so from the town itself, but still within the borough boundary. Mrs. Dyer is reputed to be the owner of considerable pro- perty, and people, with that readiness with which they always jump to conclusions in such matters, put down her grand-niece as being destined to inherit at least a portion of the money. Moreover, she was naturally vivacious, and was considered good-looking, and so she was regarded among her friends as being very eligible," to use a term in vogue in a higher social circle. She must have been unknown to Thomas previous to his return from the Army, for she lived only two years with Mrs. Dyer. Her childhood was spent at Fforestfach, near Swansea, where her father is a weaver. How Thomas first became acquainted with deceased, who was nearly ten years younger than himself, has not been ex- plained. He, however, soon became pas- sionately fond of her, and he used to fre- quently meet her at the Coopers' Arms, where she used to visit the landlord's daughter, Ma.ry Morris, a. close friend of hers. The dis- parity between the ages of the deceased and t-he accused caused Thomas's suit to be looked upon with much disfavour by Mrs. Dyer and family, and even member. of his own family teased him in a playful manner about his going with so young a girl. He, however, used to reply with the jemark that "Alary Jane is all right." But sIrt., if the evidence is to be believed, did not reciprocate any of the devotion he so lavishly bestowed on her, and she did not love him, and, it is stated, she feared him. Mrs. Dyer even used to lock the gate in front. of her cottage because lie was in the habit of loitering about its vicinity. On the fatal 19th of November (which was Sunday) the deceased left her great-aunt's cottage early in the afternoon, and seems to have spent her time in company with her friend, Miss Morris, finally partaking of supper at the house, in Johnstown, of her aunt, Miss Phillips. On her way home she had to pass the house of the prisoner in the Asylum-road, and she asked her young brother, who was staying with Miss Phillips, to accompany her past the house. She and her brother left about twenty minutes to nine. They parted oompany after proceeding a little beyond the prisoner's house, the brother going back to Johnstown, and she pursuing her way homewards. It was a bright, cloudless night, and the moon shone with a ,clearness that lit up all around, but it was bitterly cold. She reached in safety Pentrenieurig Farm, which is some three or four hundred yards from her aunt's cottage, and while parsing the farm she cheerfully wished "Good-night" to the Misses Scurlock, who were standing at the gateway. A little time after the Misses Scurlock saw a man hurrying by; he was coming from the direc- tion of Dawelan Cottage. About twenty minutes to ten a man, who proved to be the prisoner, went up to Police-sergeant- Jones in King-street, in the town, and said, "I have killed a. girl." He readily went with the sergaant to the police-station, and voluntarily saidthe had killed the girl with a razor, and that! she was lying on the road between Dawelaai and Pentremeurig, adding, 1 did it because she would not come with me. His story, improbable as it .seemed at first, received ghastly confirmation from his blood- stained hands and the large patch of blood which dyed one of his knees. Mr. T. Smith, superintendent of police, and Dr. R. L. Thomas and two or three others proceeded in a fly to the spot indicated by Thomas, and there, in a pool of blood, they found the body of the girl. There was a cut from the ear to ;he chin, and another fearful gash -almot;t severed her head from the body. Life was extinct. A razor covered with blood, the blade separated from the handle, was lying by. The body wa, put in any. A few minutes after a. "Western Mail" reporter, almost breath- less after a futile attempt to find the exact scene of the murder, met the fly. It presented a weird spectacle as it moved slowly through the lane. Inside sat Sergeant Jones, with the body of the girl on his knee, the light of his lantern striking full on her blood-stained features. We have given a simple narrative of the facts. One cannot help noticing that, had Thomas not given himself up and voluntarily confessed his crime, if he had kept silent, destroyed his trousers, and secreted the razor, it would not be an easy matter to bring the murder home to him in a manner which would have excluded reasonable doubt. The only available evidence with respect to his movements on the day of the murder shows that in the evening be attended service at Lammas-street Chapel, and that he left before the service was over. From the I moment he left the chapel to the time he gave himself up his movements are not accounted for except by the information volunteered by him- self. It was at first reported that a certain person had seen Thomas near the spot where the murder was com- mitted, but that person will not figure among the witnesses to-day. There are, how- ever, a few fresh witnesses on the side of the Crown. The young man David Jones, a weaver, living at Johnstown, will be called to identify the razor with which the deed was done. Thomas was frequently in the habit of borrow- ing it. He returned it to Jones on the day previous to the murder, but on the morning of he tragedy Thomas again borrowed the razor from Jones's wife. Mrs. Jones, it seems, has not recovered from a recent illness, and it is feared that she will not be in a condition fit to appear for examination at to-day's pro- ceedings. But the one witness on whom all eyes will turn is Dr. Pringle, medical superintendent at the Bridgend Lunatic Asylum. His evidence is awaited with an interest bordering on the sensational. Dr. Pringle was appointed by the Treasury to make an examination of the mental state of the prisoner, and Thomas's fate must greatly depend on the doctor's testimony. The drift of that testimony has, we believe, been correctly outlined in the Western Mail. It should not be supposed, however, that should Dr. Pringle's evidence be unfavourable to the prisoner, the defence will collapse. Evidence will be submitted to the jury by a number of witnesses, who will show that insanity exists, both on the paternal and the maternal, side of Thomas's family.








Miners and Friendly Societies.

[No title]

Signalman Cut to Pieces



The Turf Sick List.


---Mitchell and Corbett.




[No title]


J Tramway Men on Strike. .