Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby bob. b » Sat May 21, 2016 10:20 am

Thanks Nicolas and Joe will watching that today.
great stories Joe
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby bob. b » Sat May 21, 2016 1:01 pm

Nicolas very interesting film worth a watch :D :D :D :D
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Sun May 22, 2016 12:28 am

Think we've all heard of this one Joe..."The Wallace Murder" famous because it was considered to be a bit of an unsolved mystery!
Perhaps the only way Julia Wallace could have been murdered was if William had an accomplice - Gordon Parry perhaps!!
Thanks for all these murders Joe..and I know you appreciate all readers comments!!

Nicolas, accompanying video really good... props and costumes looked to be a good representative of the time!!
Thanks to both of you!!
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon May 23, 2016 12:45 am

Thanks for that Shelagh. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon May 23, 2016 12:50 am

Tong Killer Acquitted

A German man who came to the aid of his landlady when she was getting battered by her husband ended up getting charged with murder himself but was acquitted by a jury.

On the evening of Sunday 14th January 1877 a German shoemaker named Frederick Walter was in his lodgings in Ashfield Street when his landlord Henry Rohr returned home in a drunken state and began quarrelling with his wife in their bedroom.When he went to see what was going on but Henry pushed him back out of the door. Then after hearing more screams, Frederick returned with a pair of tongs and hit Henry,with whom he worked in a salt refinery, on the back of the head.

Ashfield Cottages Ashfield St Image

Mrs. Rohr came to her senses and asked Frederick to go for a doctor, which he did. Dr. Lucas from Great Homer Street attended and found Henry to be in a concussed state and had him removed to the Northern Hospital. Two days later Henry died from compression of the brain to the dismay of Frederick, who had been on remand for violent assault.
After an inquest returned a verdict of wilful murder, 28-year-old Frederick was committed for trial at the assizes, where he appeared before Baron Huddleston on 20th March.
Baron Huddleston Image

Under cross-examination, Mrs. Rohr acknowledged that her 47-year-old husband was a drunken ill-tempered man who was bigger and stronger than Frederick. A servant named Anna Willenbrock admitted that she had heard screams from Mrs. Rohr but also said that she had not seen Henry with a weapon, whereas Frederick retrieved the tongs and went back into the room.

Dr. Lucas described the injuries, saying that although there were a number of lacerations many could all have been caused by the same blow and others as a result of a fall. He also said that Henry had a thin skull. The police officers who detained Frederick on the night of the assault acknowledged that he had co-operated fully and admitted striking his landlord.

The trial closed with Frederick's statement being read to the court. This said that he had been punched and struck with a poker by Henry, who had also been kicking his wife. In summing up the judge immediately directed the jury not to consider the murder charge, but instead to return a verdict only in relation to manslaughter. The question they had to answer, in his opinion, was whether or not Frederick had a reasonable excuse for doing what he did. In saying this, he drew particular attention to the fact that Henry was leaning over his wife, who was prostrate, at the time of the attack.

The jury did not even leave their box and immediately returned a verdict of not guilty. Frederick was discharged from the dock in the knowledge he would now be able to return to his native Hanover and see his wife and children again.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Mon May 23, 2016 7:30 pm

Another gripping piece of history Joe,, glad Frederick was acquitted and allowed to return home... He was only acting in a way that most would have done, by hitting the drunken old beggar over the head, how else could he have protected the poor abused women :?
Keep em coming Joe :wink:
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby bob. b » Mon May 23, 2016 9:04 pm

Great one again Joe
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon May 23, 2016 11:31 pm

Thanks for your replies Shelagh, and Bob they are much appreciated. :wink: :)
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon May 23, 2016 11:34 pm

The Woolton Hand of God Murder

One Sunday afternoon in 1857 the village of Woolton was horrified when an elderly resident was killed by her son in law, who was later found guilty but insane.

In May of that year Ellen Molyneux, a 66-year-old widowed milk dealer retired to Woolton and took up lodgings with the Moss family in Allerton Road. She was often visited by her daughter Mary and her husband Andrew O'Brien, who had remained in Liverpool and ran the Jolly Tars public house in Hanover Street.

Allerton road Woolton Image
On the evening of 30th, October O'Brien was drunk when he arrived with his wife, who left to return to Liverpool, at about 4pm the next day. The following morning, a Sunday, Ellen asked her landlords for some whisky for him to have with his breakfast. She then arranged for a local catholic priest named Mr Kershaw to attend and O'Brien recited prayers loudly, causing alarm to Mr Moss who was advised by a neighbour called Mr Atherton to notify the police of his concerns.

Ellen to the two men that they needn't worry and O'Brien would be returning to Liverpool and she replied that it would be on the 6pm omnibus. That afternoon at 2.30pm Mr and Mrs Moss went to Gateacre, leaving Ellen and O'Brien, who was sat in an armchair and much calmer, alone in the house.

Soon after Ellen was last seen alive a neighbour named Ellen Kaye was passing on her way to chapel and heard a female voice saying 'oh dear' two or three times but she thought nothing of it and continued on her way. Margaret Collins, the wife of a stonemason who lived two doors away heard a knocking sound and did decide to investigate. When she went to the back of the house she saw Ellen hanging out of the window, her head and one arm covered in blood.

Ellen's brother Richard Gore, a local shopkeeper, was sent for and he fetched Sergeant Green of the Woolton Constabulary and Mr Kershaw, a local minister. They forced entry into the house at 320pm and went upstairs, where O'Brien had now laid the body out on the floor. He calmly said that he had 'done it' and was taken into custody, with the news being conveyed to Superintendent Fowler at Prescot, who would conduct the investigation and present the case to magistrates the following day.

After hearing evidence from neighbours and Sergeant Green 36-year-old O'Brien was asked if he had anything to say to which he replied 'I was obliged to do it Mr Kershaw will prove my innocence.'Dr Cross then presented the results of the post mortem, which showed that Ellen was in a healthy condition and that the death had been an as a result of strangulation and severance of the windpipe. He explained that he had spoken to O'Brien at the police station and he had said 'the hand of God made me do it' and that he did not think the prisoner appeared insane.

O'Brien then spoke again, saying he was 'in a state never before after drink, the pictures all around the room moved and an influence came over me I was to do it. I would lose my life rather than take the woman's life. I would not take her life for all the money in the world. That woman was the same to me as my own mother and the only mother I had in the world.' O'Brien was remanded then formally committed to the assizes for trial after an inquest at the Coffee House pub returned a verdict of wilful murder.

The killing and O'Brien's appearance before the magistrates' court was reported in the Liverpool Mercury the following Wednesday. The paper described O'Brien as 'a man of dissipated habits' who was 'tall, athletic and excited but conscious of what was going on around him' as he stood handcuffed in the dock surrounded by three police officers. the paper also reported that O'Brien had been committed to the workhouse the previous August suffering from delirium tremens after attempting to drown himself at Bootle.

At the Liverpool assizes on 10th December neighbours again recollected the events of the day as the prosecution which proved that there was no doubt O'Brien had murdered Ellen. Mr Kershaw said he was in a state of agitation when he saw him, but Dr Cross felt that O'Brien was acting perfectly rationally. He also said that if the killing had been the result of any seizure, then the effects would not have worn off so quickly as he saw him only half an hour afterwards. With respect to any erratic behaviour by O'Brien at the magistrates' court the next day, Dr Cross believed this was being feigned. His opinion was backed up by Dr Rigg, who had assisted with the post mortem and been present at the magistrates' court.

The surgeon from Kirkdale gaol was also called to give evidence and he said he had not seen any signs of madness being exhibited by O'Brien whilst on remand. Mr Cleaton from the Rainhill Lunatic Asylum also said he had been asked to examine him on three occasions and each time he was well. However, doctors from the workhouse hospital explained that when O'Brien was committed there he had an attack of delirium fox, which led to him becoming very violent and delusional, attempting to eat his arm as he believed he was being starved to death. Other doctors who had treated O'Brien at the Infirmary over the last couple of years also said he had been prone to delusions and sudden violent tendencies. A police officer also described how he had once found him kneeling praying in the street at 230am, saying he was waiting to be taken away.

O'Brien's defence counsel Mr Monk told the jury at the end of the trial that he had been on good terms with his mother in law and there was no financial motive for the killing, as any income from her will was small considering he owned two pubs. He pointed to the alarming religious chanting beforehand as proof he was not in a state of sound mind at the time.

In summing up, the judge said that O'Brien had managed to run two pubs without assistance, but the jury had to concentrate on his state of mind at the time of the killing and if it was capable of exercising any reasonable understanding. The jury retired and came back into court after half an hour, with the foreman saying 'We find the prisoner not guilty, that he was insane at the time of the offence.' There was a great deal of clapping in the court which took a time to be quelled, then after it went quiet Justice Wightman told O'Brien that he would be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Tue May 24, 2016 6:30 pm

Strange one this "Hand Of God Murder"
Wife left him with her mother, knowing he was bonkers and had been at the whiskey,
Not as if he didn't have anywhere to go, he had two pubs to run..
Looks like Ma-in-Law Ellen had been saddled with him, while daughter went back home, for whatever reason..
O'Brien said he had no reason to kill his mother in law, and couldn't understand why he did it,
But he did...he strangled her, then calmly stated he was obliged to do it...
Definitely some strange goings on here!!
Jury found him to be insane!! (who knows whether he was or not) but we do know he was detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure!!
Thanks for all our murders Joe :shock:
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed May 25, 2016 8:19 pm

Thanks for all your comments Shelagh, they are much appreciated. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed May 25, 2016 8:24 pm

Life For Revenge Killing
A man who killed another resident of his lodging house as he believed he pushed his wife down the stairs was jailed for life after being found guilty of manslaughter.

Athol St Image

On the evening of 30th November 1867 Robert Porter, a 25-year-old labourer, burst into the kitchen of the lodging house where he was staying in Lincoln Street, now long gone but situated off Great Howard Street. He angrily said that he would fight any man who wanted to meet him in Athol Street, but when Bridget Counsel told him she had seen him knocked down there earlier, he said he had a knife for her.

Bridget went up to her room with her husband, Thomas who put a bedpost against the door to make it more secure after Porter followed them. About five minutes later Porter battered the door down and stabbed Thomas in the back with a ships scraper as he sat on the bed. Porter made off while Thomas, who had blood spurting from the wound, was taken to Collingwood Dock police station and then the Northern Hospital.

Porter was apprehended at a druggist's shop in Great Howard Street, admitting stabbing someone but saying he did not know who it was. Initially charged with causing grievous bodily harm, this was increased to murder after 34-year-old Thomas died from his injuries on 7th December. Porter claimed he had done what he did because his wife had been pushed down the stairs by Thomas or Bridget, but other residents who were present said they did not see this take place. There was no doubt that Mrs. Porter had tumbled down the stairs, though, as she was still being treated at the Northern Hospital when Thomas died.
Northern Hospital 1845-1902 Image
When Porter was tried before Mr. Baron Martin on 16th December, witnesses said that both parties were sober and medical evidence heard that the stabbing had taken place with considerable force. In summing up the judge said if Porter had known that his wife was pushed down the stairs by Thomas then there was an element of provocation, but if he had only supposed this then he was guilty of murder.

The jury deliberated for a short time and gave the benefit of the doubt, finding Porter guilty of manslaughter. Baron Martin was in no mood for leniency, however, telling Porter that it was as near to murder as could be. He then imposed a sentence of penal servitude for life.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Sun May 29, 2016 9:44 pm

Must have been terrible living in these lodging houses in the 1800s.. so much violence...
This man Porter, sounds like a bit of a thug, fighting in streets and threatening people with knives.. Residents, Bridget and Thomas must have been terrified..barricading themselves in their room.. Porter still managing to smash down the door and knife Thomas..
The verdict was manslaughter! (Probably should have been murder))
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby bob. b » Mon May 30, 2016 10:19 am

Two Crackers Joe :D :D :D must have been very violent in them days Joe seem to be the drink keep them coming. Bob. b
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby nicolas » Mon May 30, 2016 12:07 pm

I know it's not Bootle, nor was it Murder, but this is also a sad one -

SOUTHPORT TRAGEDY

Saturday 29th April 1916

Elderly lady found hanging in her room.

The dead body of Miss Catherine Freeman (53) was found today in an outhouse at the rear of her residence, 74a, Kensington road, Southport, hanging from a beam.

She was formerly employed by the Southport Corporation at the Science and Art Schools. She had left everything in the house in perfect order, and on the table was found a bill for her Corporation rates, together with the cash for the amount due.

Source: Liverpool Echo.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Mon May 30, 2016 3:58 pm

So sad. But she was referred to as "Elderly" at 53. How times change.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Mon May 30, 2016 6:09 pm

Hi Nicolas, agree with you, this case is very upsetting, the fact that the lady even left her rates money to pay the corporation seems heartbreaking.. (bit of a lump in my throat here)
Also same thought as Lynn..Considered elderly at 53 (I must be a xxxxxx dinosaur)
Thanks Nicolas!!
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:27 pm

Thanks for your kind comments Shelagh, Bob, Nicolas and Lynne they are much appreciated.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:32 pm

Killing Follows an Orgy
An orgy in the Scotland Road area at the beginning of the 20th Century ended in one of the participants being killed and a man being sentenced to fifteen years in gaol for manslaughter.

On the evening of 22nd December 1900, Margaret Roxburgh did some shopping then attended an illicit gathering in Raymond Street, which descended into some drunken chaos and led to her threatening James Maloney with an ash pan. Both then left and the arguing continued in the street, the issue seeming to be that Maloney had not followed his brother to South Africa to fight in the Boer War.

Maloney followed Margaret into her house where they struggled on the floor. Neighbours were alerted by Margaret's screams and entered to find Maloney with a knife in his hand and Margaret bleeding from the stomach. Maloney's father was quickly called and he managed to get the knife from his son and usher him out of the house. Margaret, whose bowels were protruding, was taken to hospital but she died on Christmas Day after peritonitis set in.

Margaret had been able to give a deposition stating that Maloney had been about to strike his father when she intervened and that she had had no previous bad relations with him. She described him as being very drunk but said that she had only had three glasses of beer and a small brandy during a four hour period.
Image Mr Justice Bigham
When Maloney appeared before Mr Justice Bigham at the Liverpool assizes on 18th February 1901, the Lancashire General Advertiser described him as 'a labourer of imperfect education'. He pleaded not guilty to murder and often burst into tears as the evidence was being given. After his defence submitted that there had been an element of provocation, he was found guilty of manslaughter and then sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:21 pm

Thanks Joe for another interesting murder,, poor Margaret.. looks like this was a quarrel that went terribly wrong.. Sounds like James Maloney felt remorseful afterwards.. fifteen years, a long time to think about that night in Raymond St....22nd December 1900..
Thanks again for all these historic murders..you do well finding them Joe :wink:
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:09 am

Thanks for your prompt reply Shelagh. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:15 am

Rat Catcher Hanged

A pest control expert was hanged after killing his wife due to her drunkenness, the jury refusing to believe his explanation that she had cut her head on a box after falling over.

James Trickett was 42 years old and lived with his wife Mary and two young children in Hopwood Street, Vauxhall. He worked as a freelance rat catcher, regularly being employed by the local corporation, dock board and large mercantile firms. He was also known as a bird fancier, having a number of cages in his house and yard from where he also sold seeds.

Image AS IT S TODAY.

At around 8pm on 26th December 1877 a neighbour Margaret Brown heard screams coming from inside Trickett’s property and looked through the window, where she saw Trickett kicking at his wife. A boy was screaming ‘please come to bed mother.’ After discretely waiting around Margaret saw Mary get up and sit on a chair, before going upstairs. She then heard Mary scream again and her husband shouting ‘Is this not a nice bed for a man to lie on.’

Demetrius Caralli, a carter who lived opposite also heard some of the commotions but was so used to it he did not investigate any further. Trickett’s son went over and asked for help but he would not intervene. A few moments later Trickett came out looking wild and with bloodied hands, went into a herbalist's shop next door saying ‘it is done’ and then returned home and put the shutters up. A flatman named John Shore who was returning to his home two doors away was passing Trickett’s house when he appeared and said ‘come in John I have killed the wife’. John went upstairs and saw Mary lying semi-conscious on the floor with a knife next to her, although there was no blood.

In desperation, Trickett’s son went to Susannah Bowen’s house at the corner of Hopwood Street and Latimer Street, saying to her ‘For God’s sake please come and see if you can help me.’ Susannah did go there and found Trickett bathing Mary’s forehead with a sponge and he asked her to send for Father Duggan. Susannah replied that a doctor was needed too and when asked by Trickett to lie for him and say she had fallen down the stairs and hit her head on a box, she said she could not do so.

It did not take long for the police to become aware that something was wrong and at 8.30pm Inspector Donaldson arrived, by which time Mary had passed away. Trickett was still bathing her head and said she had fallen down the stairs, but the officer noticed there was now a large amount of blood on the floor and bedclothes. Inspector Donaldson made a brief search of the house but could find no murder weapon, but he did notice there was no blood on the stairs which would have been the case if Trickett’s version of events was true. As he was taken into custody Trickett said ‘God knows I love her but if I am going to be hung for it so be it, she has been drunk for the last 31 weeks.’

As Trickett was being taken to the Main Bridewell he fainted twice. Constable Grayson made a more thorough search of the bedroom and found two parts of a broken stick, one of them having blood at the end of it. The doctor who carried out the post-mortem found wounds on the cheek and forehead, of the size that could have been caused by the stick that Grayson had found. A six-inch wound was found in the body which had penetrated the liver and was believed to have been caused by a knife. On 29th December, an inquest revealed that Mary was in the advanced stages of pregnancy and returned a verdict of wilful murder against her husband.

At the assizes on 24th January 1878, Trickett pleaded ‘not guilty’ firmly and gave a military salute. Neighbours gave evidence and Dr Costine said there was no way the wound in the body could have been caused by falling on a box. Trickett’s defence said that there was no forethought or malice and that instead he should be found guilty of manslaughter, albeit of the worst kind. After fifteen minutes deliberation, the jury asked for clarification as to whether any of Mary’s clothing had been penetrated during the stabbing. Dr Costine produced her gown and chemise, both of which had been cut and after another fifteen minutes a verdict of guilty of murder was returned, with a strong recommendation for mercy on account of the provocation received.

When asked by Baron Pollock if he had anything to say, Trickett gave quite a lengthy statement, saying that on returning home that evening he found his wife in a drunken condition and as he was preparing his supper and lighting a fire, she fell off the stool and cut her head. He finished it by saying ‘When my wife was sober I had a heaven of a home with my meals regular and rooms clean, but when she turned to drink it was the opposite


Image Baron Pollock


way.’ Baron Pollock though dismissed this statement saying he was at a loss as to how Trickett thought this explanation of her death could be believed given the evidence. Telling him he was supposed to be his wife’s ‘natural protector’ but had instead gave ‘considerable brutality’ the judge passed the death sentence and as he was removed to the cells Trickett waved to somebody.

After appeals to have his sentence commuted to life imprisonment failed, Trickett was hanged at Kirkdale gaol on 12th February 1878, safe in the knowledge that his children had been taken under the protective wing of their uncle rather than being admitted to the workhouse..
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:12 am

This has to be the saddest case so far..sounds like James Trickett and the children had all become victims of his wife's drinking..he said that his wife had been drunk for the past thirty one weeks..
An inquest revealed that Mary was in the advanced stages of pregnancy.. what chance would a baby have in such a troubled family :cry:
The only positive thing to come out of this heart breaking case, is that the two children were not sent to a workhouse, but taken under the wing of an uncle instead!!
Let's hope the poor little things went on to have a happier life!!
These cases do bring the history of times to life...thanks for posting Joe!!
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:41 pm

Thanks once more, for you analysis and in-depth comments Shelagh. :wink: :)
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:38 am

Stabber Transported For Life.
A man who stabbed another in Liverpool was fortunate to be cleared of murder but still got sentenced to life for manslaughter.

On the evening of Thursday 31st July 1834 two men got into an altercation on King Street (now covered by Chavasse Park), the reasons for which were never satisfactorily established. One of them, Patrick Brogan, took out a large knife and plunged it into the abdomen of the other, severing his intestines.

The injured man was Patrick Sweeney, who fell down immediately and was taken home, where he lingered until the following Sunday. Brogan had been picked up soon after the stabbing in a 'house of ill fame' in adjacent Atherton Street. On 4th August, an inquest took place and a verdict of wilful murder returned, leading to Brogan being committed for trial at the Lancaster assizes.

Image lord Lyndhurst

On 15th, August Brogan appeared before Lord Lyndhurst where he was found guilty of manslaughter after three-quarters of an hours deliberation by the jury. The judge made it quite clear that the twenty nine year old had been shown merciful consideration by the jury. He said it merited a severe sentence and told Brogan that he would be transported for life. On 28th August 1835 Brogan arrived in Tasmania on board the Norfolk, accompanied by 281 other convicts.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby filsgreen » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:03 am

Fascinating stories, thanks Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:24 am

I cannot find the difference in the crime between murder and manslaughter. It seems totally random to me. Thanks for the stories . Love them very much.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Liz H » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:09 pm

lynne99 wrote:I cannot find the difference in the crime between murder and manslaughter. It seems totally random to me. Thanks for the stories . Love them very much.


Lynne, it all has to do with the state of mind of the perpetrator. Broadly speaking, if they either meant to kill the victim or their acts were so reckless or negligent that it wasn't distinguishable from intention then it's murder. If they didn't actually intend to kill the victim, or the recklessness or negligence wasn't sufficiently great to equate to intention, then it's manslaughter. But you're right, it can appear random. When I was doing my law exams, I had to study and pass an exam in criminal law and I sat for hours studying cases until my eyeballs were crossing trying to work it out. At the end of the day, it's down to the jury on the day.
Lived in Garden Lane Bootle then moved to Netherton, where my mum still lives.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:59 pm

Thanks LH I will try to apply that to Joe's posts. Thanks again.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:08 am

Thanks for your comments Phil,Lynne,and a big thank you to Liz H, for your definition of murder and manslaughter. I hope it helps those who didn't know the difference between the two.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:26 am

The Suitcase Baby

One of the most callous acts in Victorian Liverpool took place in 1851 when a woman gave birth then put the baby in a suitcase and explained away the cries by saying it was an animal. Although the baby was rescued, he died the following day leading to the mother being transported.

In the autumn of 1850 Mary Kennedy, who was believed to be aged in her late thirties, took on a job as a cook for a solicitor named Matthew Lowndes who lived at 42 Edge Lane. She was pregnant but managed to hide her condition and give birth to a baby boy on 19th February, which she then placed in a suitcase which was hidden in a water closet.

She then prepared an evening meal for the Mr Lowndes and his family as normal and then a lady called Jane Turner, who sewed for the Lowndes family, came round. Kennedy asked if she could make some jackets from flannel and Turner agreed, leading to Kennedy asking her to wait a moment while she went into the yard. While out there, a crying sound was heard by Turner and another maid, Miss Harper, who was in the scullery. It appeared to be coming from the water closet but when Kennedy came back inside, she refused to allow the other two to investigate and said it was a hair.

Kennedy went outside and took the suitcase from the closet and shouted 'cats' before running down the garden, attempting to throw it over a wall. She was followed by Turner and a coachman named John Boland, who managed to prise the case from her. Kennedy insisted the case contained a hair, but on entering the house, they opened it and found the newborn child, who was barely alive. Boland went to fetch a local surgeon, Dr Pritchard, a one returning to the house they came across Kennedy on Laurel Road. She had slipped away during the commotion but was brought back to the house by the two men.
Image Former Old Swan police station now Nat West Bank.


Dr Pritchard washed the baby and placed him in a warm bath, but he was concerned about his condition and suggested that a baptism is arranged as soon as possible. Kennedy showed no emotion at all and when a clergyman arrived and on being asked what the baby should be named, she replied 'Thomas'. Kennedy then began to pack some belongings but was told she could not leave the house and information was sent to the police at Old Swan. Inspector Oxton sent a constable to keep watch over her, as she was too ill to be forcibly moved.

When the surgeon returned to the property the next morning the baby was in a critical position and died soon afterwards. He carried out a post mortem and found effusion of blood on the brain and some bone fractures on the skull, saying they had been caused by an act of force. An inquest was held at Old Swan police station before the coroner Mr Heyes on 22nd February, where Turner, Harper, Boland and Pritchard recalled the events of three days earlier. A verdict of wilful murder by Mary Kennedy was returned. She remained under the guard of a constable at the Lowndes' residence, being too ill to be removed to gaol.

On 1st, April Kennedy appeared at the South Lancashire assizes where her counsel could do little more than asking for mercy. In summing up the judge said if the injuries were a result of the baby being dropped during childbirth then Kennedy should be acquitted. If they were due to willful kicks or punches then it was murder, but if negligence or careless throwing off the suitcase was the reason then manslaughter was more appropriate. As so often happened in those days, with juries wary of putting women in the position of facing the death penalty, they returned a manslaughter verdict.

The judge told Kennedy that she was very fortunate the baby had been alive when the suitcase was opened, as if he had died then she would have been found guilty of murder. He then sentenced her to transportation for ten years, causing her to faint in the dock. In May 1852 Kennedy arrived at Tasmania along with 221 other convicts on board the Sir Robert Tipping.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby filsgreen » Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:46 am

A very sad story indeed. There was a good chance that the baby's head hit the floor on birth and the mother tried to conceal it. Terrible times,where women who became pregnant had to hide it, for fear of losing their job and in this case, their home. It's very easy to judge, but how desperate must this woman have been to do the things she did? I wonder what became of her after she arrived in Tasmania?
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:08 pm

I don't suppose they had heard of post natal depression either. So sad.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:49 pm

Two more interesting cases Joe..and both resulting in transportation to Tasmania..
Patrick Brogan getting life..while the callous baby murderer Mary Kennedy got ten years..
Would imagine by 1862..Kennedy would have had a chance to make a life for herself in Australia!
So many convicts sent out to Australia in the 1800s..sailing conditions must have been horrific, probably a punishment in itself!!
Thanks Joe for all our murders :shock:
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:33 pm

Thanks for your comments Phil, Lynne, and last but not least, Shelagh they are much appreciated. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
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