July 24, 1875

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July 24, 1875  - - - - of be to to to of ; if . SUMMER ASSIZES....
- - - of be to to to of ; if . SUMMER ASSIZES. HOME CIRCUIT. MAIDSTONE, Jclt 23.. Cnotrx Oocnr. Bort Mr. J utt i ft Brftt.) Tb grater prt of the day was occupied with the trial of a case of murder, in which th defence set up, insanity, supported by the usual medical evidence, was dealt with in a very decided manner by the learned Judge, who Your Lordshir ar distinctly repudiated tbe medical theory of insanity at a I what ar tha proper qu.tion. to be aubmitted t the jury defenre against a charg of crime. w - en a person aiiegeu to be afi3icteI with insane delusions fleorve i(lamried. a man of middle aw. described at a rwectina; one or moro particalar eobjecu or nenoas ia shipwright,' was iadleted for the wilful murder of James I charged with a crime (murder, for example), and insanity to those persons who labour under such partial delusions only, and are not in other respects insane. we are of opinion that notwithstanding th party accused did the act complained of with a view, under the influence of insane delusion, of redrettins or revenging tome supposed grievance or iujuij, ui oi lnuuucuig Mime puoiic orncui, ne u nereruie - less ptinishable according to tne nature of the crime committed if he knew at the time of committing such crime that be was acting contrary to law, by ;bich expression we unumuuu ;uux uunuaijn io mesa iu uv o xne lantl. pleased to inquire of us, seeoodlr. Catt, at Cliatham. on the 16th of April but. Mr. F. J. Smith and Mr. Harrow wcro fot the prosecution; Mr. Glyn, at the request of tbn learned Judge, defeated the prisoner. The two men had been for some time employed in the masttioute at tbe dockrerd, t'batbara. A few montba is set up as a defence 7 And. thirdlv. in what terms onrbt the question to be left to the jury as to the prisoner's state of mind a t the time when the act was committed ? And as thee two questions appear to us to be nwre conveniently answered together, we have to tubmit our opinion to be tnat me jury ongnt.to ne told in all eases tnat every man before the shocking occurrence tbev had had an altercation ; , i presumed to be sane and to poces a sufficient degree of rcapuu to vo mwnNoig i or uis crime nntu tne contrary be proved to their satisfaction, ami that to establish: a defence on the ground of insanity it mutt be clearly prorrtl that at tbe time of the committing; of the act the party accused.wae labouring under snth a defect ofreuKm from di - eaoeof the mind a not to know the nature and quality of the act he wat doing.or, if he did know it, that he did not know be waa'doing what wronz. The mode of nattine the latter rtof the quettion to the jury on theso eeeasiobt ha gsne - raily been wnetber tba accuse.! at tbe tima of doing tiie act knew the ditfereoce between right and wrong, which mode, though rarely, if ever, leaning to any mistake with the jury, it not, at we conceive, to "accurate when nut renerallv and in the abstract, aa whan put with reference to the party 'a jLuuwirugu ngu or wrung in respect o ice very act wim which be ia charred. If the ouestion were to be wit as to the knowledge ot tbe accused solely nd exclusively with TCicrcnco so h law oi toe. land, it migtit teoa to contaund tbe jury by inducing them to believe that an actual knowledge of the law of the land was essential in order to lead to a conviction ; whereat, the law it administered upon the firindple that every one mutt betaken conclusively to know t without proof that he doet know it If the accused was conscious that the act was one which he ought not to do, and if that act wat at the tame time contrary to the law of tbe land, be is punishable, and tbe usual course, therefore, ha been to leave th question to the jury' whether tbe party accused had a ufficient degree of Teaion to know that h was doing an act that wot wrong ; and this course wi think is correct, accompanied with such observation and explanation a the circumstance of each particular caae may require." . That is, ibe Judge laid down distinctly that, even although tbecact waa done under tbe influence of delusions, with the idea of doing a public benefit, still if the person knew it was contrary to law be would be criminally responsible for the act he had committed. The jury mutt bo satisfied that at tho time of the act the prisoner wa under such delusion as not to know tho nature of the act be was doing, or not to know that it waa wrong. Then, did the prisoner in this case kill the deceased, and did he know he was killing him, and did he know that it waa wrong ox. contrary to law to do it ? If the prisoner did the act knowing that "he waa killing the man, and knowing that it wat wrong to do to, then be wat criminally responsible for his act It had been urged that there was no motive, and that it wa a sudden impulse, as no doubt it was ; but if that were tufficient to establish the defence then tho. lest cause there wat for a murder the' more excuse there wat for it Again, it waa urged bat thenftn wts cool just after the act, and that therefore be was mad, though that surely depended on the state of his nerves ; for if they were strong then he would be cool and collected. If the defene was not fullv established, then the lurr Lwere bound to reject it It could not be leriouily disputed that the pnone struck the blow, and, H .could 'not bare been accidental, as the men were six feet apart Nor was it possible that (as the prisoner suggested) the deceased could hare done it himself, as it wat at the back of the head, and broke the bead almost to pieces. The other men wem from 30ft to COft off, and there, was no one who could bare done th act bui the prisoner, who was found with the adze ia bis hand. It was impossible, then, to doubt that the' prisoner committed the act, and then be was clearly guilty of murder, unless the .defence wa established. - But the defence required it to be shown that the rnan did not know the nature of tbe act he committed, or that be did not know that it waa wrong it, that be did not know he waa killing a man. or that he did not know it was wrong to do so, Ko doubt tbe man waa in a. sense insane ; that is, be was probably undertbe influence of delusion, and no doubt the act was sudden, and there was no apparent motive for it ; but all this fell far short of the defence set up. lie had been for two or three years working at his business, like other men, and as to the swimming in the head." why, it had nothing to do with insanity, and might nave been merely a symptom of the stomach being out of order., The man had been for two or three years practically sane, and treated as sane, and even though he were under tne influence of religious delusions, that waa far from showing such insanity as was required to establish the defence. Jt was said; there was no motive no known cause and that was true ; but, in truth, there never could be an adequate cause for a murder. Then, at to the circumstances of the act. There were none which indicated insanity in the. sense which was necessary. When be found the men coming up to him he put the adzo down and said, " He has taken my adze and killed him - ! elf. Did that how that he was not conscious of the; nature of the act, or that be waa not conscious that it was wrong? Did it not rather show that he was quite conscious of it, and i ought to avoid his liability for it T Then the prisoner went and made a itatement to the inspector, wld'h wa quite coherent ; but wa it true ? Waa it not the tort of account which a man would give who ought to avoid the consequence of bis act, rather than 1 tfae incoherent aero jit which would be riven of it br a man ! who did not know "w hat he bad been doing ? Waa there evidence of inianity in the sense which bad been explained to the jury? Xo doubt the man had been insane, and might have been so at this time, and it would be better to assume that at this time he waa of unsound miad. But the question wat not whether be was of unsound mind, but whether he. wat so insane as not to know the nature of the act he committed - - that is, that be did not know that he wa killing a man, or that he did not know be wis doing wrong in killing a man. If tbe jury were satisfied of this, then they would acquit the prisoner on the ground of insanity ; otherwise they were bound to find him ruilty of murder. Their re sponsibility, he reminded them, was limited to the true and faithful discharge of their own duty, which was to answer truly as to tbe fact. The ultimate responsibility as to the fate of the man would rest with others, who would, no doubt, discharje their duty as faithfully a the jury discharged theirs. But their duty waa clear and simple ; and it was simply to find their verdict with reference to the truth of the ease and the effect of the evidence. but since they had been apparently on rool terms. On the day mentionM they were at work together on the same uiai, about Git from each' othtr, and the prisoner was using an adze. Just before the act of homicid th prisoner went twice to the foreman for directions at to hit work, and seemed quite cool and sensible. Suddenly those who were netr the. two HKn beard the sound aa of a blow, and heard the deccaeed man cry out, "Oh: oh!" One of the workmen ran to the spot and found Catt lying down and the prisoner (tending close to him with the adze in his Land ; and another witness who came up aaw the pritoaer 'nSovo from the deceased. This witness cried out," He has killed Jemmy." On which the prisoner said. "No, be hat killed him.ielf tnd afterwards ho added that Catt had Ukn up hit adze and killed himself. But, from tb nature of the wounds inflicted, it appeared that thi wa impossible, the wounds being at the back of th head, and cue of them ot uch depth that it bad actually deft the tkulL The prisoner was quite cool and collected, and helped to remove the poor man to the surgery, where, however, he died in a few minute. Th prisoner went to tbe police office and said be had to report that Catt bad taken bis adzo and had struck himself with it severely. He was then charged with baring killed the man, and said he was innocent. There was nO doubt that ho had committed the act The defence set up on his behalf was insanity, and he bad certainly been in a lunatic asylum for some time, but be bad been three years ago discharged aa cured, and bad been in the service of tb Government in the dockyard at Chatham, to all appearance perfectly in the possession of his tenses. Tbe prisoner, when called upon to plead, pleaded " Not guilty ' with every appearanco of sanity. A shipwright, who was working with two other not far off on .the same masthonse, stated that he bad known the prisoner U or 13 years, but more intimately for the eight or nine months previous to the fatal occurrence. The prisoner, be said, had come to him for directions as to his work about half - past 2, and there was nothing then in hi aspect or demeanour at afl unutuaL Tho two men, he siid, had worked together eight or nine months, and, to fir a wss known, were on good terms. At the time of the dreadful occurrence the witness and two other men were from S0f t to COft from the prisoner and the deceased. and on bearinf the sound of the blow and coins up to tbe . k . 1. ( . . J : . i i . I t l i ryu ue mw B9 pnnaci wituoi; win mi auza in nit nanu. witness wt frixhtened and went back to get assistance, and on bis returning to the spot the prisoner, who had then put . the adze down, said that Catt had taken bia (tbe prisoner t) adze and killed himself with it The two men at the time, were working within Cft of each other. and a tbo adze ia Sf t or 3ft long the prisoner would only have to take a step in advance with his arm extended to brihg it down .OH the head of the deceased. Tbe prisoner just aiwr m act was quit cairn and collected, and tber waa nothing, tbe witnesses said, at all unusual in hi ppearacea. . Ine inspector of police stated that tho prisoner came to him and said he had something to report, and weutoa to ay, l nave been employed ia tb maathoust, and when I turned round James Catt, who was employed with me, took noid.oi my adze ana struer maaeu on to head witn it eriously in j urine himself. " The inspector said, " He's dead then?" To which th prisoner rcplici, ' No ; 1 uon t anow about tnat " wnere is ne I asked the in sictor. t the urrery.' said the prisoner, adding. " He was a good mate, a good workman, and a rood fellow." The. inspector', proceeded to write down tho man's statement, and read it over to nun, and he said it waa correct Tba prisoner wat soon afterward charged with muroer, ana laid, " i didn't ao n : ne did it himself. The surgeon who attends the dockyard stated that in April, lo7, the prisoner bad been under his care for a few days lor swimming of tbe bead, and again for a few days inuetooer sunennr I rom mtiancAMM. lint this witness said be knew nothing of insanity, and bad not studied. th subject The surgeon of the police at Chatham, who saw the prisoner in custody the day after, the occurrence and conversed with him, stated that be asked bun, " Do yen know what you an here for T and he (aid he bad knocked his mat on the head, and the stupid' fellow fell down dead." "Then you killed him fsaid the surgeon, to which the man replied, ' I knocked him on tb head, and he fell down dead." This witness stated that in December, 1, be had signed the certificate for tb removal of the prisoner to Banning Lunatic Asylum as a lunatie, where bo remained until December. 1872. when be wat ducharsred as cured. Tbe witness said be agreed with Dr. Taylor that impulsiv mania might como on shd go off suddenly, and leave the person quite cool tust afterwards. The lesrned Jvwt observed that every impulse, of course, - was auuaen, or it would not be an impulse. Tbe witness went on to say that ".twimming " in the bead might be the effect of the impuJae, and that if tho man had been suffering from mtlanckalin the swimming m tn neaa anient ne a tymptom oi an attack. Mr. Joy, the medical attendant of the raol. stated that since tbe prisoner bad been there he bad had frequent opportunities oi seeing mm. ana naa conversed witn. mm constantly, and was of opinion thst he was of unsound mind, being, ho aaid, mad on tbe subject of religion. In cross - examination he said the man had expressed strange opinions on the subject of religion : and. in answer to the learned Judge, said h considered bim of unsound mind on thoae subjects.: He thought, h said, that it waa a sudden act an act committed from a sodden impulse. Tbe learned J COOK. Do you think that be knew, when be struck that blow with the adze, that it was likely to kill the man! Tbo doctor aaid no doubt be knew that : but ha believed tb act was uncontrollable. Tho learned J CDC E said that would not do. The prisoner's counsel aaid it was laid down on hfeh authority that it was so, referring to Dr. Taylor's work on ' Medical Jcrlprulnc but Tho learned J Wat said though Dr. Tarlor was a hick medical authority, he waa not a lawyer, and was no legal authority st sR. Tbe medical witness said he believed tbe impulse to do the ect was " uncontrollable,'' The learned JVVQK., What do tou mean br that? Sun - pose a person takes it into his head to steal something, is that aa " uncontrollable impulse T" The Witness. No ! The learned Judge. Why ? In fact.he has not controlled himself, and in that sense the impulse was uncontrollable. ibe witness said tbe man bad been prtvtouilv in - a lunatie asylum, but Tbe learned JUDGE observed teat he did not see now this affcted the question. The man, he said, may be mad. I assume that be is so in the medical cense of the term, but tbe question hre is, whether he is so mad a to be absolved from tbe consequences of what bo bat done. He ia not to absolred,thougb h is mad.if he was not so mad a not to know what ne was come or not to know that be was doing wrong. I Tbe medical attendant of tbe Lnnatio Atrium at Harming, from which the prisoner was diwharred in 1872. stated thai his grandfather was insan and also one of his sisters, and that whan b wa received there ia 18C3 be wa suffering from vtclanchoiia caused by religious delusions. But he was discharged as cured, and was believed to be eared, and th certificate of hi discharge was absolute aid unqualified. . U Don mis evidence me counsel for tne crosecuuon sug gested that the prisoner, from some previous grudgr, tbo. cause ef which was unknown, had yielded to a sudden impulse to. murder his mate, snd that all the circumstance of tbe sit. esDccialtT bis denial of it were consistent with perfect sanity, and, indeed, indicated a perfect consciousness of guilt; If the man bad been mad be would bare avowed tho act, and given' some insane reason for it, in stead of which, however, be bad denied it, until on renee - tion bo bad soon that it waa naelesa to Jo ao. . . . . ... . 1 . . .. . . . . . J be prisoner a counsel, on tbe other band, urged that the medical evidtneo and the pre - rious history of the pri soner substantiated tbe defence, - on the ground of insanity, and he loudly and boldly declared that it was quite clear that ibe man wa insane at th tima he committed the act, and wa not , responsible for it He agreed that to make out tho defence it must be bown that the man did not know tb Batura oi tho aet bo committed : but ha urged that thi was manifest, from the nature of the set. itself, and the absence of ,caUj)i or tnotira. It was quite possible that Immediately after tb act be mizhi bar been sane, for nerhaM th shock of' tb act itself mirhi brinr him to bis sense. Moreover fit wa urged), ibe verr oolne of tne man just after committing uen a inocxmg xt was itseu ue strongest proof or insanity. Tbe learned Jerboa, in summing up the ess to tb jury, said the prisoner's , counsel had done bis duty, and now they bad to do theirs. Tbey were not entitled to follow their own opinions, and say what ought to bo the law, but simply.to answer the questions proposed to them. The firat question put to them was, whethtr the pri sonar struck the blow; and if to, be told them, a matter of lsw, that he' was iprimd Jtit guilty of iurder.; It this' were so, theo it was for tbe prisoner to satisfy them not that it was doubtful whtthex, be was mad, not even that he was mad, but that he was so mad as not to know tbe nature of th act be committed that it, that he did not know what' he did, or that ho did not know it wa wrong.. A to the medical evidence, be declared advisedly thst it was not enough to show that a man wat mad, or bad what medical mm called an "uncontrollable impulse, " for, even assuming this, .the law did n"t absolve: him from th consequences of his act., If be kae w what be wa doing, and if be know that it was wrong, teen be was responsible for it That had been declared ta tb House of Lord by the Judges f 'England many yean ago, and by the law so declared Judges and juries were equally bound. The Heue of Lords propounded ihete questions to the JodgesfrV r X J. '. - . u:' ,. .? What U tW Uwretpeotmg sieged crime, committed by persons afflicted with insane dalusioo ia rwpeet of e on vr more partkubitanbleet ",or Trons r - A :fcr tottanee, where at the time of the commission of the, alleged: crime th accused knew bwsaf acting eontrsry. to; law, but did tb act complained of .with a rlew, under, th infiuenea ,of . tosaae ddaslon, of ' redressiog or; icTcnging aotne supposed In answer to which question tbr Judges r answered aa Assuming that yonr Lordsbips' - bquiries are con fined The jury retired to consider their verdict,and after being absent for about a quarter of an hour tbey returned into Court with a verdict of " Guilty, but not accountable for his acts." The Clerk of Assize. That is, you acquit him on the ground of insanity ? Tbe jury. Yes. The learned J CDC E. Insanity ia the sense I hare ex plained to you ? The jury, Yea. The prisoner was then ordered to Her Msjesty's pleasure. be detained during OXFORD CIRCUIT. STAFFOED, Jcx.Tr 22. CB0W5 COCBT. (Before Baron FofXOCX.) William Luke and John - Batcliffe, miners,' were placed at the bar charged with the wilful murder of jCain Law ton, on the J9th of December, 1874, at Silrerdale. Mr. Underbill and Mr. John Bote conducted the pro secution ; the prisoner Luke waa defended by Mr.Sebastian Evans, and 'the prisoner Batcliffe by Mr. Alfred Young. The circumstances of this case were somewhat remark able. Tbe deceased was a miner, and h wa last seen aliv on the night of tb 19tb of Dvcerober, 1874. Oa tbe after noon of that day it appeared that be went witn hi brother - in - Uw to Newcastle, and remained with him at a pubuchouse there called the Black Horse, till half - past & His brother - in - law then went away, leaTjDg tritb 'the deceased a man named Grind! ey. Grtadley and deceased continued drinking till half - past II, and then started on their wayho.se to Silverdale, neither of them beisg sober. Upon reaching Silverdale they atoppad at tho bouse of a Mrs. Lloyd to light their pipee, and upon leaving her house, according to the evidence of Grindley, and going down the road, three men stepped off the causeway and accosted them.' The prisoner Batcliffe wat one of these men. In the altercation which followed the deceased waa knocked down by one of the men, Grindley picked bim up. Batcliffe then pulled off hi jacket aad challenged the' deceased to fight ; but Grindley interposed, and the deceased; taking advantage of tbii, turned back and retraced his steps in the direction of Mrs. Lloyd's house. Grindley sever taw him again alive. About the same time the attention of a man named James was attracted to the disturbance that was going on, and he deposed that be recognized the deceased and the two1 prisoners.. He saw the deceased knocked down by Luke. He then saw the deceased go in the direction of Mrs. Lloyd's bouse, and come back to. wher he had been knocked down. Batcliff was then seen to take bis coat off; and apparently to challenge the deceased. The deceased did not respond, but went away past the church gates in the direction of his own borne, in witness dames, unndiey, another man,' and the two prisoners all followed in the same direction, but after a. short distance.the only two men that kept to the road were the two prisoner. James saw no' more of tbe dsceased ; but. after an' interval of about ten" minutes the prisoners passed bim coming back along 'the road at a running pace. From that tint the deceased was never' again' seen alive. On the 0th of June, of this year, as a collier working in the ame pit wu exaxnimng an air shaft, on account of defective ventilation, be discovered resting upon a scaffold about 1$ yards from the bottom the .body of i man covered with soot and dust, and in an advanced state of decomposition.' .The body 1 was ' nakd, and one , of. the arms was lying detached at "the" bottom of the pit Near the bodr were some dothes with;mcney in the pockets, a stocking lay at a little distance, and further xmination showed that round the arm which has been spoken of there dung a fragment of linen and part of the sleeve of a'eoat The features upon , the fae of the body were past recognition,, but a peculiar conforeiation about the feet the dis - covery of more clothes, including the bat of the deceased, which bad been pieked up monuis before some yards from tbe mouth of the pit, were all relied npon as drcumstancea tending to show that the body in question was thai of Cain La'wtoo, the deceased. As to the shaft itself, it was proved that it w dUtant '1,400 yards , from the extreme end of Slrrrrdale. and that it was partlT connected . with it br a tramway. - The .shaft war in an isolated poaitlon and wat fenced au tne way round by a fence 4ft nign. Tn moata too was also' nrotected to a great extent by aa iron a not 6 was tbe December by of question told the that result foul of to with as Act for of with bard xz, bim translated had he at said, make to you of of went promissory Tbe sovereign on said and tary the of At tion to the the the was with on geant tbe on and point cards was At of giving with verr He spot tne and of were by he of and till went the were gentleman in mooed Mr. a, Ukro ded Mr.

Clipped from
  1. The Times,
  2. 24 Jul 1875, Sat,
  3. Page 13

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  • July 24, 1875

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