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BARRY LABOUR REPRESENTATION…

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SAD FATE OF A BARRY BOATMAN.

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SAD FATE OF A BARRY BOATMAN. PAINFUL SEQUEL TO A WEDDING PARTY. A SCUFFLE THAT CAUSED DEATH. REPORT OF THE CORONER'S INQUIRY. During the past week a painful occurrence has taken place at Barry Island, for the death of a dock boatman named William Frederick Dunn, aged 44, living at 13, Clive-road, occurred under circum- stances which at one time threatened to assume serious developments, It appears that on the 27th of May a son of the deceased was married to the daughter of another resident of the Island. In the evening of the same day a party was held in honour of the wedding, at which there were present a numerous company of relatives and friends of both parties. Towards midnight, how- ever, the decased man Dunn, who had unfortunately taken some drink, became somewhat troublesome, and having had a friendly scuffle with a man named Thomas Scourfield, he had a more serious struggle with another man named William Taylor. Dunn and Taylor fought several rounds, during which both men fell, and Dunn sustained a blow in the stomach which incapacitated him, and he shortly afterwards went home with assistance. Dunn went to bed that night complaining of severe pains in the stomach, and he continued very ill till Friday last, when he died. Drs Percy Billups and Neville Wilde, who had been in attendance, declined to certify to the cause of death, and a post mortem examination was ordered, with the result that an inquest on the body was held on Monday afternoon last, at the Marine Hotel, Barry Island, before Mr E. Bernard Reece, the divisional coroner, and a jury. The first witness called was Mrs Annie Dunn, widow of the deceased, who identified the body, and said that on the 27th of May her son was married. In the evening of the same day a party was held in honour of the wedding. She (witness) left about one o'clock on Wednesday morning. Before she left, her husband, who was under the influence of drink, became somewhat cross and troublesome, but he did not scuffle with anyone before she went home. Deceased came home about two o'clock, and complained of having been hurt about the stomach. He also had blood on his face. He went to bed shortly afterwards, and was very ill all night. On Wednesday morning she sent for Dr Billups, who attended her husband till his death. Her husband continued to keep to his bed, and as he did not improve, Dr Billups called in Dr Neville Wilde. She asked the deceased several times how he got hurt, but he would not tell her, stating he did not know. By Mr F. P. Jones Lloyd (solicitor), who appeared for William Taylor, with whom deceased fought on the night in question, Mrs Dunn said that deceased told her that he had only himself to blame for the row. It was," he said, entirely my fault." He had a quarrel with a man before she left, but they did not fight. Archibald Dunn, boiler-maker's assistant, son of the deceased, was next called. He described the proceedings at the wedding party on the fatal night, and corroborated his mother's evidence as to his father's conduct on that night. He said that after having an innocent scuffle with Thomas Scourfield, deceased had a few words with William Taylor, another of the party, and having taken off their coats, his father and Taylor fought for some time. After falling once, they got up, and the fight was resumed, when Taylor approached his father in a stooping attitude, and rushing at him he butted his father in the stomach with his head. His father again fell, and after being picked up he complained of pain in the stomach, and he was taken home with assistance. He fell twice on the way home. By Mr Jones-Lloyd—My father was very drunk and quarrelsome that night, but I don't know whether he quarrelled with my brother the same evening. The scuffle with Scourfield was a good- natured one, and they fell on the floor, but my father fought hard with Taylor for some time. I don't know who began the row, but father and Taylor threw off their coats, and fought several rounds, and both fell once or twice, and they had to be helped up. John Langford, 75, Phyllis-street, another of the wedding party, gave evidence silliilar to that of Archie Dunn. Charles Clarke, who described himself as care- taker of Barry Island," also gave corroborative evidence. Describing the fight between Taylor and Dunn, witness said that Dunn was in the act of returning a blow to Taylor from the right. Taylor ducked, and Dunn missing Taylor he lounged forward and fell on his right side, Taylor's head thus coming accidentally into contact with Dunn's stomach. The Coroner Do you think that Taylor butted the deceased intentionally in the stomach.- Witness No, I think it was quite accidental. Edmund Kinnersley, Barry Docks, corroborated the evidence of the last witness. William Taylor, the man with whom the deceased fought, was called, but said he did not wish to give evidence, as he had nothing to add to what Clarke had said. He denied that he had butted the deceased intentionally in the stomach, but his head might have come in contact with him accidentally as he was trying to avoid the blow aimed at him by the deceased. Dr Percy C. C, Billups, who had been in attend- ance upon the deceased since the 28th ultimo, gave evidence that when he was called to see the deceased he complained of violent pain in the abdorren. In his opinion deceased was suffering from bladder injury, and he treated him accord- ingly, as well as for peritonitis, of which symptoms bad set in. Dunn died on Friday, and on Satur- day afternoon he, in company with Dr Wilde and Dr Kent, conducted a post-mortem examination. Externally there was a slight injury on the bridge' of the nose. Internally there was general inflam- mation of the peritoneal and of the intestines, and there was a, rupture of the bladder at the top and back, about two inches in length. The Coroner Did this rupture of the bladder cause peritonitis ? — Yes. Witness, continuing, said all the other organs were healthy, except a small patch on the right lung, and an old injury on the forehead, and a slight thickening of the membrane on the top of the brain, but neither of these conditions had anything to do with the cause of death. In his opinion death was due to peritonitis, caused by an ulcerated bladder. The Coroner How might this rupture have been caused ?—Either by a violent blow or fall. The Coroner In a wrestle or a fight ?-It is possible. Continuing, Dr Billups said that if the bladder was distended a fall without a blow might have caused the injury, and in the present instance might have been caused either during the wrestle or the fight. The Coroner, summing up, said there could be no doult that deceased got his injury during the scuffle or the fight. It was an unfortunate thing for Taylor that he engaged in the fight. In law, a man had no right to engage in a fight, except in self-defence, and if an unlucky blow, whether intentionally or not, produced injuries which caused death, then that man was guilty of man- slaughter. In this case Taylor fought with the deceased. Both took off their coats simul- taneously and fought, and if the jury were of opinion that the injury was caused during the fight it would be their duty to return a verdict of manslaughter against Taylor, but if they found that the injury was caused during the scuffle the verdict would then be one of accidental death. The jury deliberated in private for some time, and returned a verdict of Accidental death, due to peritonitis, following upon rupture of the bladder, caused during a friendly scuffle on the night of the 27th of May.

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