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?-: _T___.._1f THE BUCKHURST…


? _T_1f THE BUCKHURST HILL ATTEMPTED MURDER. EXAMINATION BEFORE THE MAGISTRATES. At. eight o'clock on Tuesday morning the prisoner, Frederick Alexander Watkins, was brought out of his cell at Ilford Gaol, and having changed his dress was placed in a light cart and driven 13" miles to the Police- court at Waltham Abbey. He was in the custody of Walter Suitor, a prison warder, and on the journey he spoke on general subjects, but he did not allude to the tragedy. Upon hearing some birds amongst the trees along the road, he said, "I like to hear the birds sing." When he arrived at the Police-court, he was placed in a cell, and a solicitor, Mr. Abrams, of Bow-street, London, had a short consultation with him Considerable crowds gathered in the vicinity of the court, for the purpose of catching a glimpse of the prisoner as he alighted from the cart and entered the police-station. At a quarter to eleven the magistrates (Mr. J. b- Davies, chairman, Captain Edenborough, and Mr. J. Williams) took their seats on the bench, but some of the witnesses not having arrived, the clerk of the court said the court would investigate some assault cases while they were waiting for them. It was stated that Mr. Abrams was instructed by Mr. Watkins, the father of the prisoner, to defend his son. The prisoner is a young, active, and intelligent-look' ing man, with regular features. He appeared to be slightly anxious about his position, and continually walked backwards and forwards, up and down his cell, with his hands behind his back. When he heard the noise of the crowd outside he suddenly stopped walking) and stood in an attitude of deep thought. At twenty minutes past eleven o'clock the prisoner, Frederick Alex. Watkins, aged 23 years, was placed at the bar of the court on the charge of cutting and wounding Matilda Griggs, aged 17 years, with intent to murder her] Mr. Abrams Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I attend on behalf of the prisoner. I am instructed by his friends. I presume that in the absence of the prosecu- trix there will be a remand ? The Chairman Yes. Dr. Home, will the patient be able to attend?. Dr. Home She will be able to attend if a relapse does not take place and inflammation set in. Mr. Abrams I suppose if that noise, which has been spoken about, does not again take place. The superintendent of police said the noise spoken of was not so great as had been stated. Mr. Abrams paid a tribute to the press for the good that they did by publishing accounts of the occurrences, but he said that several of the statements that had ap- peared were not the exact facts, and he should be able to prove it. The first witness called was Mr. Edward Home, surgeon, Buckliurst-hill, who said: I was called in to attend Matilda Griggs on the morning of the 24th instant at lialf-past five o'clock, and' I went to the girl's father's house. The girl was lying on the bed partly undressed. She was covered with blood, and on washing away the blood I found a number of wounds. Captain Edenborough Describe the wounds, just as you told them to me, you know. Witness They extended across the upper part of her back from shoulder to shoulder. There were also wounds on the breast and two on the head. I should say that the wounds on the head were caused by some blunt instru- ment those on the body by a pointed instrument. all there were thirteen wounds, eleven on the body and two on the head. I found her in a weak state. I now believe that if the prisoner is remanded until this day week- Captain Edenborough Do you. think that it is likely she will then be able to attend ? Witness: She is progressing very favourably at pre- sent, but I cannot say positively whether she will be able to attend in another week. Mr. Abrams But you feel rather confident that she will be able to attend by next Tuesday ? Witness: Perhaps so, if there is no relapse or any- thing of that kind by next week. Mr. Abrams You mean if she is kept quiet, and that the noise outside the house is not continued. Inspector Wilding said that there was no noise out- side the house, such as was represented. Mr. Abrams I am requested by the friends of the prisoner, who are very respectable people, to ask you. not to believe the statements that have appeared. At all times we are indebted to the press, at all times it does a great deal of good, but on this occasion it has fallen into error. Witness Out of one wound in the back I took this (brass sheath protector of the dagger). It was covered with blood. Such an instrument would have caused the wounds. I examined two of the thirteen wounds that I found on the head and body of the young woman. I consider them dangerous. The piece of lead (which weighed about a pound) produced would cause the in- juries on the head. Mr. Abrams Are those two wounds direct stabs ? Witness Most certainly. She is now progressing favourably, and she is, I think, likely to recover. The Clerk We have other witnesses, but I do not think that it would be worth while to take up the time of the court by producing them. The Chairman said that the bench had decided upon remanding the prisoner. Mr, Abrams asked if bail would be accepted, and said I would refer you to a recent case before Sir Thomas Henry in connection with the murders in Jamaica, where, although the parties were dead, bail was granted to the accused but in this case the surgeon says he has no doubt that the girl will recover. We are provided with most substantial bail. Captain Edenborough We think that this is a very different case from that of Gordon's. The Chairman said that the bench would not take bail at the present stage of the proceedings. Mr. Abrams The remarks I made were not intended as a disrespect to the public press the errors that were committed were accidental, and not intentional. It is very difficult to get the exact facts in cases of this de- scription, and great good is done by giving publicity to such cases. It will transpire that the published accounts of the case are exact in almost every particular. As to the statement of the police inspector that there were no crowds near the house on Sunday, it appears that there were, and the commotion at the time excited the poor girl to such a degree that Dr. Home issued the written order prohibiting any person from going near the house. Dr. Home, in answer to a question by Mr. Abrams, deposed that on the Wednesday morning he believed that the girl was in immediate danger of death. The prisoner was formally remanded by the bench. When he was being taken back to Ilford Gaol at one o'clock a large crowd assembled in the roadway opposite the police-station. He was handed up into a one-horse cart, and when he was seated leg-irons were placed on him, and he was chained to the front part of the cart. As the cart galloped down the street, followed by a mounted policeman, a large crowd ran after it.



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