Hide Articles List

2 articles on this Page

NORTH WALES SPRING ASSIZES.…

Detailed Lists, Results and Guides
Cite
Share

NORTH WALES SPRING ASSIZES. I MONTGOMERYSHIRE. I The commission of Oyer and Terminer and general gaol delivery for the county of Montgomery was opened In the Assize Courts Welshpool, on Wednesday, before the Hon. Sir John Barnard Byles, Knight. His lord- ship was escorted to town from the railway station by Robert Simcox Perrott, Esq., high-sheriff, Messrs. How- ell and Jones, under-sheriffs, Mr. Hodgson, chief constable, Mr. Danily, superintendent-of-police, Sergeant Strefford, and a posse of police, with trumpeters, &c. After the commission was opened, hio lordship pro- ceeded to the parish church, to hear the assize service and sermon. Several of the townspeople were also in attendance. THURSDAY. This morning, at ten o'clock, the court opened, and the following gentlemen were sworn on THE GRAND JURY. Sir Watkin Williams Wynu, Bart., foreman wiiiitm Corbett, Esq. William Curling. Esq. Joseph Davies, Esq. John Dugdale, Esq. John Heyward Heyward, Esq. Edwin Hilton. Esq. John Robinson Jones, Esq. Richard Edward Jonen, Esq. Henry Nicholls, Esq. John P. Pryse, Esq. Offley Malcolm frew Pkeatle, Esq. John Edmund Severne, Esq. Septimus Scott, Esq John James Turner. Esq. Edward Salisbury Rose Trevor, Esq. R. P. Buckley Willlames. Esq. Charles Watkins William. Wynn, Esq. The proclamation against vice and profanity having been read,- His LORDSHIP proceeded to charge the grand jury. Although there were only six prisoners for trial, some of the cases were, perhaps, deserving of a few remarks. After touching upon the case of arson, for which a pri- soner had been committed for trial on his own admission, and alluding to the evidence, his Lordship expressed his regret that this description of offence had become so general in that part of the country. But, although tramps and other wanderers might commit this crime for the purpose of being provided for in prison for a long period, still it was necessary to sentence them to a long period of penal servitude, in the hope that they would be induced to regret the steps that they had taken. Penal servitude had recently been rendered less desira- ble than formerly to the class of persons who r ought imprisonment. His Lordship next referred to the coies of manslaughter, and then dwelt on the charge of arB m at Llanidloes, stating that the impression indicated in the evidence as pointing to the prisoner Higgs, did not necessarily indicate guilt. The jury must be satisfied that the evidence v/aa sufficiently clear to justify them in sending the case for further investigation. His Lordship then briefly dwelt upon the melancholy charge of wilful murder against the young woman Price, explaining the law of the case. To constitute the crime a wilful murder, it must be proved that the young woman had intended destroying her child when con- scious of her actions. His Lordship complained of the indistinct manner in which many of the depositions had been drawn up, and the unnecessary trouble that was thereby caused. The grand jury were then discharged to their duties. TRIAL OF PRISONERS. NIGHT POACHING. Edivard Davi-T, 29, admitted to bail, was indicted for having, on the 8th of December last, poached at night, between twelve and four o'clock, on certain lands, the property of W. Curling, Esq. Mr. M'lntyre appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. Morgan Lloyd, instructed by Mr. Hancox, for the defence. Mr. Harrison instructed counsel for the prose- cution. Morris Isaac deposed that he was assistant game- keeper at Maesmawr, the property of Mr. Curling. On the night in question he and a man named Francis Arthur, a woodranger, were out in the Big Forest. They heard the sound of guns, and about three o'clock in the morning they heard further shots fired in a place called Clawdd Dingle. Saw five men who were each armed with a long stick and a gun. Witness squatted down by a hedge, and recognised Davies among the men, as there was a bright moonlight. Saw his face quite plainly, as he was only two yards off, as near as he could tell. Witness went across the road and went over a stile, as he was afraid to meet them on the road. The five men lio had seen before again passed him. The pri- soner was in the middle. They were only two or three yards from where he (witness) stood. Prisoner had on a dark hat add light trousers. Cross-examined by Mr. Lloyd-The men passed about two yards from me when I saw them in the wood. There is no path there. It was about half-past three o'clock when I recognised the prisoner. The moon had not/gone down. I can swear it had not. Mr. Lloyd, on refamug to his almanack, asked the witness whether he IrqSSI swear that the moon had not, gone down that mining at 1.48. The witness said he could swear that thjjtnoon had not got down. Wr. Lloyd-What say you if the almanack states the moo went down that morning at 1.48 ? (Laughter.) :fm-1 suppose that the almanack is wrong. (L"'er) ?ot6onRtal,le Thomas proved having apprehended prisone?t his father's house. Prisoner is the son of a IrrL'?r NI ant of Mr. Curling. Mr. "LI addressed the jury for the defence. He adverted tosthe insufficiency of the evidence. Only one witness could be called to speak to the identification of the prisoner. In a case of that kind, when the conse- quences involved were so serious, it might have been expected that the evidence presented to'the jury would have been clear and satisfactory. It was true that,,the witness did speak most positively to the identity of one out of the five prisoners; but it must be remembered that he said he could see the prisoners by moon- light. On referring to an almanack of last year, he found that the moon set at 1.48 a.m., so that it was clear that if the almanack was right the witness was wrong in a very essential point, and the case must neces- sarily fall to the ground. But as counsel he felt his .'?Mponsibility, and would, if the jury thought it ne- ary call the prisoner's father and mother, to prove t?at the prisoner was in the house all the night in question. The Jury, at this stage of the proceedings, consulted togethiC, and said they would not trouble the learned counsel to proceed with the defence, as they were dissatisfied with the evidence, and had determined to re- turn a verdict of not guilty. The prisoner was then dis- charged. ARSON AT TREFEGLWYS. William, Goodicin, 20, bootcloser, was indicted for maliciously setting fire to a house, the property of Miss Margaret Elinor Hayward, in the parish of Tref- eglwys. The prisoner in the first place pleaded guilty; but he afterwards withdrew his plea. William Jones deposed that he lived in a farm called Esceireith, the property of Miss Hayward. On the night in question he found that a small place in which he kept turf had been destroyed by fire. There was a door to the cottage but anyone could open it. There were four loads of turf there. The weather was dry. Police-Sergeant Owen, of Llanidloes, deposed to hav- ing taken the prisoner into custody, in Llanidloes. On questioning him, he said that he had slept the previous night in an old building, about six miles on the Machyn- lleth road, and that he had lit three fires there of the turf with which the place was partially filled. He made a fire in the oven first, but as that would not burn well, he lit two others. He then said he would as soon be in prison as tramping about the country doing nothing. The depositions before the Magistrates were also put in, when the prisoner said he put the place on fire because he had no work. The prisoner made no defence. The Jury found the prisoner guilty, and his LORDSHIP said that the only mitigating circumstance that he could see in this case was that the property burnt was not a farm house, or dwelling, or rick of hay or corn, or any- thing of great value; but the property of all must be protected from such persons as the prisoner, who would be sentenced to seven years' penal servitude.—Mr. Mc- lntyre appeared for the prosecution. MANSLAUGHTER AT CAltREGHOFA. I David Davies, labourer, an elderly man, who had bpen admitted to bail, was indicted for having, on the 21st day of September last, caused the death of James Da- vies, his son. The prisoner pleaded not guilty. Mr. Mclntyre appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. Morgan Lloyd for the defence. David Davies deposed thai he was the son of the pri- soner, and the brother of the deceased. He was work- ing in company with the father and brother, at a quarry, on the day in question. His brother and his father had some high words. The deceased called his father a grey-headed devil. He also used other offensive expres- sions. Witness turned away to resume bis work, and when he turned again, he saw his brother leaning against a waggon, which was near. He then went on his knees and took up a stone; but witness took it out of his hand. In cross-examination, witness said that powder was used in blasting the quarry. The truck was empty. David Evans said that he also worked at the Llany- mynech rocks. On the day in question he saw James Davies lying down in the quarry. His father was near enough to hear. He asked the injured man what was the matter with him. Mr. Lloyd objected to hearing anything the deceased stated, when prisoner could not perhaps have heard the question put. Mr. Mclntyre said he would not press the question if his Lordship thought that the prisoner was not near enough to hear. After some discussion, this evidence was allowed to be received. The evidence of a man named Richard Ellis, who has died since he was examined before the coroner, was next put in, and read by the clerk of the court. Evans had deposed tot finding the other deceased lying down in the quarry, where he (Evans) was also working. Helped him up, and saw a little blood on the left side of the head. He appeared to be confused and sick. Took him to a stable in the neighbourhood, where he vomited. Took him next to his house, and put him to bed. The deceased was in the habit of using violent and abusive language to his father, and also of threatening him (Owen). The deceased's brother was again called, and said that the deceased had called hia father a liar before he fell. Mr. John F. Highly deposed to having been called to examine the deceased. He found him suffering from fracture of the skull. Made a post mortem examina- tion of the body in the presence of the prisoner. The latter said, "It is a bad job. We quarrelled." Mr. Lloyd objected to the statement of the prisoner to a medical gentleman who had not first cautioned him. His LORDSHIP-Is that aU your objection Mr. Lloyd—Yes, my lord. His LORDSHIP—Then it is worth nothing. (A laugh.) The witness then proceeded to state that the prisoner told him that it was a bad job, and that he threw a lump of "delf" or hard day at his son in consequence of the abusive and insulting language that he made use of. The witness explained that death had ensued from fracture of the skull. Mr. Harrison, the coroner, was examined, in order to prove that the prisoner was present at the inquest, and that he did not ask any question in regard to the evidence adduced. He (the coroner) would have been very wil- ling to have had any question put to the witnesses if they were not impertinent or improper ones. Other witnesses were examined to prove that the de- ceased pointed to the prisoner as the cause of his death, and to the prisoner admitting that he had thrown a lump of "delf" or hard clay at deceased. After hearing the address of the counsel for the de. fence, His LORDSHIP summed up, and the jury re- turned a verdict of guilty. The learned Judge, in pas- sing sentence, adverted in a feeling manner to the melancholy circumstance which had transpired in con- sequence of indulgence in passion. A father had been induced to slaughter his son, although uninten- tionally, owing to the undutiful conduct of the latter. Taking into consideration the provocation received, and the pain that had already been inflicted, his Lordship sentenced the prisoner to two months' impri- sonment. BILLS IGNORED. I The Grand Jury ignored the bill against Edward Higg, admitted to bail, charged with having, at Llanidloes, on the night of the 2nd of August last, maliciously set fire to certain farm buildings, the property of William Lefeaux, Esq. The Foreman intimated to his Lordship that nearly all the evidence against the accused was merely hearsay. There was not the slightest direct evi- dence against the prisoner which warranted his being put on trial. Of all the witnesses examined, not one i* of them could say that he had seen the prisoner commit the offence, neither was there the slightest tangible evi- dence against him. The Grand Jury, therefore, recom- mended that the court would not grant the expense of the prosecution. His LORDSHIP said that he had himself come to the same conclusion as the grand jury, in regard to the want of evidence against the prisoner. The Grand Jury also ignored the bill in the case of John Shute, admitted to bail, indicted for having, on the 18th day of October, caused the manslaughter of William Bywater, at Llandyssil. FRIDAY. I Mr. Justice Byles took his seat on the bench at 10 I a.m. THE CHILD MURDER IN WELSHPOOL. I Elizabeth. Pryce, 23, single woman, was charged with having, on the 23rd day of September, ] 864, wilfully and with malice aforethought, killed her illegitimate child, Anne Pryce. She pleaded in a firm voice not guilty to the charge. Mr. Morgan Lloyd and Mr. Horatio Lloyd, instructed by Messrs. Howell and Jones, Welshpool, appeared for the prosecution; and Mr. M'lntyre, instructed by Mr. E. M. Jones, for the defence. Mis. Elizabeth Pryce said-I am the wife of John Pryce, and the mother of the prisoner. She has always been residing with me; in May last she was confined of an illegitimate child, which was a female, and called Anne Pryce; the child remained at my house, and was nursed by us for five days, when it was taken into the country by a Mrs. Davies, of the Frochas, to nurse; Mrs. Davies kept it for three months, and then returned it on account that there was 7s. 6d. owing, although I had recently paid her 5s.; after Mrs. Davies had re- turned it, I got a Mrs. Davies, of High-street, in this town, to look after it; this was on the same day; this person kept it for a fortnight, and it was brought home, because it was not well; I kept the child for two days, or until it got well, and then it was taken by a Mrs. Jones, who kept it for a week, and returned it on Wed- nesday, the 21st of September; she said that she had brought it home because it was a noisy little thing, and her husband would not allow her to keep it, as he could get no sleep the child remained at our house all that day and all the next day, the prisoner nursing it, and no one could be kinder to the child than she was; the last time that I saw the child alive was in the prisoner's arms, on Friday, the 23rd; she took it out of the house then; I did not see it again until I saw the body at the pheasant; the child was very cross, and she (the prison- er)jwas very unhappy we had a few high words that daf; I told her that she must find lodgings for herself and child that she must take some small room, and go and live in it; she had a good trade in her fingers, and she must get a living for herself and child; when the child was cross, she was rather irritable; upon the Wed- nesday morning, about five o'clock, the child was very cross, and she shook it; I told her that if she shook the child I would send for the police-officer; she on that threw the child into my arms on the bed, and said, If you talk to me I will go and drown myself;" this was all; after this she took the child down to the fire and nursed it; all day on Thursday and Friday the pri- soner looked wild—her eyes looked full and big; I no- ticed this on Thursday, during the time she bad the child. Cross-examintd—My daughter has been in the Na- tional School; she has been a pupil teacher there; there never could be a better girl she was very kind to her family she would work night and day for their support all her earnings she brought home for to sup- port her sisters and brothers; with her school money she bought clothes and shoes, and coal in the winter, and was their main support, as their father did not sup- port them; she was as good a girl as ever was born until this unfortunate accident happened; during the last two days she had but little to eat; the reason that she hadn't it was because we hadn't it; what food she managed to get she gave to the child; she fed it within a few minutes of the time that she left on Friday; for the last two days the little girl was very cross, and the pri,goner mt)st unhappy it was on account of this state of things that I told her that she must leave home; it is true that I put the boxes outside the door; her bro- ther Ned also said that he would go to Shrewsbury and bring home her biother Jem to settle matters with her; for three days she had but little food; the reason was that we had but little for ourselves; I cannot say that she ever threatened to drown herself more than this once; I cannot say that I ever told Elizabeth Dayies that I would do so my daughter left home about five o'clock in the evening. Mrs. Mary Griffiths, sworn, said—I am the wife of Richard Griffiths, a grocer, residing in High-street, in this town; on the evening in question I was on the Shrewsbury road, near to the Gallows Tree Bank, going in the direction of Shrewsbury; this was from twenty minutes to half-past five o'clock; as I was going along I observed a female in the canal; there was no one oil the towing path; the bridge in question is near to the gas works the place where I saw the woman floating in the canal was about twenty yards from the bridge the woman was in the middle of the canal; there was no one on the towing path above the bridge, but below the bridge a boat was coming up in the direc- tion of the town; I did not call to the boatman, but to a man and a boy who were driving by at the time in a cart, and they ran on and called to the boatman; I did not see the child I saw a bonnet and shawl and child's hat on the towing path the baby's hat now produced is the one that I saw. Cross. exaiiiiiied- It was from twenty minutes to half- past five when I saw the woman in the canal; I did not pick up the articles; the boy who did so is here. All, David Lewis, examined by Mr. Horatio Lloyd, said —I am a canal boatman; on Friday, September the 23rd, I was coming up the canal in the direction of Welshpool, and when I was near the Gallows Tree Bank bridge, I was called to come on, and I saw something in the water; I went to it, and found that it was a woman, and 1 drew her out; it was the prisoner, who was insensible at the time; she came to herself in three or four minutes; as soon as she became sensible, she cried out, "Oh, my child ob, my child!" I afterwards searched and found the child, which I gave to Edward Newins, of the gas works; I saw a shawl and a hat on the towing path, .which were about ten yards from where I had drawn the woman out; the child I found three or four yards from her. Cross-examined—The things were wrapped up toge- ther; they consisted of a bonnet, shawl, mantle, and child's hat; I WM not the fi?mt who touched them. John Davies said that he was assistant to Mr. Davies, butcher was, on the day question, with a man on the load near the Gallows Tree Bank; saw something black on the towing path; I left the cart and went and touched them; I saw the boatman come up and take the prisoner out of the water; I took up the parcel; it was about 15 or 20 yards from where the prisoner was got out; there was a bonnet, a shawl, and a child's hat; they were not tied round with anything, they were sim- ply lying together; the hat produced is the one I saw there; after this I went to see for Strefford; did not see anything more. Edward Newins, labourer, was called, and said that he was employed at the gas works; recollected on the day in question going to the canal, and saw a woman ly- ing on the towing path; received from the witness David Lewis the body of a female child, which he took to the gas house, and gave to Mr. Edmond. Sergeant Strefford deposed that, on the 23rd of Sep- tember, he was sent for to the gas house between five and six o'clock; was shown by the last witness the body of a dead female child in an out-house; it was dressed, but had no hat on; I immediately sent for a doctor; the child was quite dead and cold; I then went to the house of the prisoner's mother, and saw the prisoner there; she was dripping wet, and appeared almost dead; I then returned to the gas works and took possession of the child's body; took it to the Pheasant Inn, and locked it in a room there, and kept the key; at the in- quest I showed the child to the prisoner's mother, who reoognised the child by its clothes to belong to the prisoner; I produce two letters, one dated September 23rd, and the other September 24th; I cannot swear to the writing. Cross-examined—I got the letters from the superin- tendent, stationed at Crewe. William Gill-I am a "shunter on the London and North-Western Railway at Crewe; I know the prisoner, Elizabeth Pryce; I was acquainted with her in this town; I had received letters from her, and by post on the day after they were written. Cross-examined -The superintendent of police came to me and demanded the letters; after some conversa- tion they were given up to him. The letters were then put in and read. The witness continued—I know Mr. Bridgewater; lie lives at Montgomery when he is at home; he is in court. To the court-I pay my addresses to the prisoner; have done so for two months before this happened I am sure of this; I came to the station at Welshpool on the 16th of May.from Manchester. Mr. Henry Morris Lemon deposed-I am a doctor of medicine, residing in Welshpool; on the day in question I was asked to go to the gas works, in this town; it was about six o'clock; I went and saw the body of a female child there, which was quite dead; I made a post mor- tem examination of the body; there was no evidence of disease about the child; it was well nourished; there was about announce of some white-coloured food in the stomach, which appeared as if it had been milk and flour; I could see no other symptom than that the child had died from want of air or was drowned. Mr. M'lntyre applied that the cross-examination of this witness should be allowed to stand over until the evidence of Mr. Bridgewater had been taken. His LORDSHIP acceded to the request. Mr. Thomas Brigewater, sworn, said-I am a black- smith working in this town; I lodged with the prison- er's mother. Cross-examined—I have seen the prisoner three or four days suffering from want of food; I' offered her seme of my food; she did not take it at first, but after- wards I noticed that she had taken a small quantity; she told me that her box had been turned out of doors; she was in very low spirits; I have heard her threatened by her brother and mother. Dr. Lemon, re-called and cross-examined, said-I did not see Elizabeth Pryce before the 23rd; I have heard the evidence as to her looking wild, which I think may be produced by great grief, which with the absence of food for about forty-eight hours, would have a great effect upon her, mentally and physically, and would go so far as to deprive her of all control from committing acts of violence. If you were to submit a person to deep distress, want of food, and loss of rest, the effect would be to destroy the power of self-control. It would de- prive them of the power of not doing what they know to be wrong. It would not necessarily deprive them of the knowledge of right or wrong, but it might do so. I have frequently heard parents complain of this ten- tency to do wrong acts. I have attended the prisoner till she was sent to gaol. I saw her in three hauls after the event. She appeared to be very incoherent. I could scarcely get her to answer me. I cannot say when she took any food. I think that she was nearly drown- ed. The nearly drowning would produce the shock I have described. To the Judge-She was confined four months ago. Females after confinement are subject to a disease known among medical men as puerperal mania, which conti- nues for many months. I have known it continue for a year and a half. A desire for self-destruction very fre- quently is an accompaniment of this disease. This closed the case for the prosecution. Mr. M'lntyre then rose to address the jury for the prisoner, and made a lengthy, able, and feeling defence. The learned JUDGE then lengthily and lucidly sum- med up the case, and put to the jury the following questions:—Did the prisoner kill the child with mali- cious intent ? Second, was the death of the child acci- dental ? Third, did the prisoner kill the child whilst in an unsound state of mind ? The jury immediately returned a verdict of "Not guilty," on the ground that it was done when the pri- soner was in an unsound state of mind. The JUDGE said—Let the prisoner be confined du- ring her Majesty's pleasure; and she was immediately removed. The assize then closed.

MERIONETHSHIRE. I