Birmingham Daily Post
1st January 1869
EXTRAORDINRY DEATH OF A WOMAN IN A POLICE CELL:
On Wednesday evening Mr. John Humphreys, Coroner, held an inquest at the Old Mermaid Tavern, High Street Hackney, respecting the death of Mrs. Hannah Saunders, aged 55 years.
The deceased was the wife of a Cab Proprietor, and her family alleged that her death had been caused by treatment which she had received while a prisoner in the Hackney Police Station, after the officers in charge of her had been informed that she was in a dangerous state.
Mr. William Saunders 58, Great Chard Street Hoxton, deposed that the deceased was his wife, and that the family had lived in one house sixteen years. Witness had had a quarrel with the landlord, and he gave notice to quit, but the witness refused to leave, and that fact preyed upon her mind. On Sunday he was informed that the Police had arrested her on the charge of attempting to commit suicide. He went to the station, and after seeing his wife, he told the police that she was ill, and he offered to bail her out, but they refused to allow him to do so. She died five hours afterwards, from the effects of the cold in the damp cell. Before her death, repeated applications were made to the police for additional clothing for her, as she was very cold, the cell being paved with stone. She had nothing to rest upon except a wooden bench, and that was so uncomfortable that she had to sit upon it. Her feet, she had only stockings on, touched the wet stones. She had been locked up in the cell for twenty four hours, and there was no light in it.
Jones Saunders, a boy aged 12, said that on Saturday evening, at half past six o'clock, his Mother bid him “Good bye” in so strange a manner that he was induced to follow her, but he lost sight of her while she was turning the corner of Huntingdon Street. She said to him when she was going out, “You will have to get a new mother.”
John Robson, a Policeman, said that between eight and nine o'clock on Saturday night he heard a splash in the Regent's canal, near the Sir Walter Scott bridge, and upon going to see what was the matter, he saw a dark object in the water. He procured the drags, and in seven minutes the deceased was taken out alive. She was carried to the Sir Walter Scoot Tavern, and her clothes were taken off. With the exception of her chemise. Dr. Thornton was sent for, and he said, “She is all right for removal.” and he left. Her chemise was quite wet, and she was then placed on a stretcher. The people at the Tavern did not find her any clothes, but Mr. Jones, a Fruiterer, seeing her lying on a stretcher in her wet chemise, covered her with a sack which he lent for the purpose. She was then carried from the Queen's Road Bridge, Dalston, to the Hackney Police Station. Witness charged her with attempting to commit suicide. The reason why he sent for a stretcher was that she was naked for a time before it arrived.
Coroner: What evidence had you when you arrested that woman and took her to a Police Station instead of taking her to an Hospital that she ever intended to commit suicide.?
Witness: None, The deceased was sensible when she was on the stretcher, for she said, “What are you going to do with me?” I told her, and she replied. “I never was in the water.”
Mr. Saunders said that his wife had stated that she was not sensible until after she was put in the cell.
The witness stated that the deceased was put into the cell at the station house about nine o'clock.
A Juror: With her chemise all wet.?
Witness: Yes, I was then sent to the workhouse for clothes, and I brought back two skirts, a petticoat, a chemise, a pair of stockings, and a gown.
Police Sergeant Hawkins, 33 N, said that when the deceased was brought into the station she was placed, lying on a stretcher, in front of the fire. She refused her name and address. Witness sent for clothing, and a female searcher to put the clothes on. At 25 minutes past nine o'clock she was placed in the cell. During the night she never complained. After she was put in the cell she got nothing to eat, but at seven o'clock on Sunday morning she was given some coffee. At half past four a.m. She gave the address of her husband.
Ellen Howes, the female searcher, deposed that the deceased said to her, “I hope you will take the wet clothes off, and put dry ones on.” She seemed quite stupid, witness thought from drink and from going into the water.
F Eden, 504 N, deposed that at seven o'clock on Sunday evening he found the deceased dead in the cell. A doctor was then called in to see her.
Sergeant J. Keenon said that he and his inspector had refused to allow the deceased out on bail when her husband requested them to do it, She had said to him during Sunday, “I do not feel well.” She did not say that her feet were cold.
By Mr. Saunders: He thought that the cell was a fit place for the deceased to be locked up in, taking into consideration the state in which she was after she had been in the canal. Witness let her husband see her in the cell.
Inspector J. Gibbons said that he refused to take bail on the ground that attempted suicide is not a bailable offence. The cell was warm, and was heated by a furnace underneath. The police regulated the amount of heat which the furnace was to give. The police have no regulations about the removal of half drowned people to Hospitals or infirmaries. It is left to their judgement. If the deceased had been insensible she would have been taken to an Hospital.
By the Coroner: Witness did not know the fact that sudden immersion is likely to produce shock, and cause death twenty four hours after the person has been taken out of the water. He did not think it necessary to send for the divisional surgeon to see the deceased.
Mrs. Mary Burdatt 60, Great Chard Street, said that she saw the deceased in the cell on Sunday, at 2 o'clock. She was very cold, and had not slept. She complained of her head and chest. She had nothing to lie on except a hard bench. Her feet were on the cold stone pavement, which was wet. The cell was very cold indeed. Witness gave her some brandy, and brought her some clothes, she said, “I am so cold.” She was so ill that she could not be dressed in the additional clothing. Witness told the inspector that the cell was dreadfully cold, and that the deceased begged for a coat to throw over her feet. Witness entreated of the police to let her out on bail. The family brought a cab to the door, and they asked the police to let the prisoner out, so that she might be placed in a warm bed. They asked the police to give the woman a bed while she was lying in the cell, but they refused to do so. The deceased told witness that she was not sensible until she awoke in the dark cell. The cell was not a fit place for a person in the condition of the deceased to have been placed in.
For the defence Inspector Gibbons called:
Mary Tuppley, the wife of a Boot Closer, who stated that she was an inmate of the East London Union. On Boxing day she became intoxicated, and the police put her in a cell. While she was there the deceased was brought in. There was no light in the cell, and the deceased was placed lying on a wooden bench, and she spoke of the cold. It was a very cold and damp cell, and it had a disagreeable smell. The deceased could not eat when she was offered a bit of bread and butter. On Sunday night she fell off the bench on to the stones, and then she groaned. Witness called the Policeman in, and he turned his light upon the woman's face, and it was very white. She was then dead. The doctor came and said so. She ought never to have been put in the cell. For she ought to have been taken to some place where a sick woman, who was very cold, could have been put into a bed to get warm. She asked the police for an old coat, during the Saturday night, but they would not give her one. The cell was in a filthy state, but the police refused to clean it.
Mrs. Burdatt deposed to the same fact.
Mr. W.H. Wright, Police Surgeon, said that he saw the deceased after death. A post mortem examination of her body proved that her lungs were inflated and distended with water. She was suffering from disease of the heart and liver. She had died from shock caused by immersion in the water. Great care ought to have been used to prevent fatal results after the immersion. Attention and warmth were absolutely necessary. The police cell was not a fit place for her to have been put in. She ought to have been removed to an Hospital, and if witness had been called in to see her, he should have ordered her removal to one. The cell was warm when witness was in it.
The coroner said that the police had, without evidence, charged a half drowned woman with attempting to commit suicide, and then carried her through the Streets only covered by a sack, She never had a chance for her life, for in the cell she was deprived of ventilation and warmth.
The Jury, after a long consultation, returned a verdict, “That the deceased expired from the effects of shook caused by immersion in the water while she was in a state of unsound mind, and they censure the police for not calling in the divisional surgeon, and for locking her in a cell the whole of a night when she might have been taken to the German Hospital or to a Workhouse Infirmary, and they say that the police should in future call in the divisional surgeon of the force to see persons who have been rescued from drowning.”
Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper
Sunday 9th August 1891
DROWNED IN THE DOCKS.
Yesterday Mr. Wynne Baxter held an inquest, at the Poplar Town hall, on the body of John Hazell, aged 18, a Lighterman, lately residing at 81, Park Street, Poplar,, who was drowned in the Millwall docks on Wednesday. Thomas Shaddick, Serjeant of the dock police, deposed that the watchman of S.S. Bele a Swedish Mail Boat, now at sea, told him that about 11.45 p.m..on Wednesday he heard cries for help, followed by a splash, which sounded from the middle of the dock. He made an attempt to reach the deceased, but was unable to.
Witness thought that the deceased had missed the water with the barge “sweep,” and had fallen overboard.
A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.
SAD DEATH OF A TEAM CONDUCTOR.
Dr. Thomas held an inquest yesterday at the Islington Coroner's Court on the body of' William Thomas Christian, 27, a Tramcar Conductor, lately residing at 31, Riversdale Road.
The deceased's father, a Coachman, of 11, Montague Place, W. said his son had been a Tramear Conductor for three years, and prior to this he was a Soldier and served through the Egyptian campaign. Other evidence was to the effect that on Wednesday evening the deceased was seen pursuing a lad in Upper Street runing fast. He overtook the boy, gave him a cuff or two, and asked whether “he would dare to cheek him again.” Then the deceased turned to join his car, and, as he did so, fell upon the pavement.
Dr. Beardmore, who was fetched, found life extinct. Having made a post-mortem examination, the witness discovered that the deceased was suffering from advaned disease of' the lungs, and was more fit for a hospital than for work. The immediate cause of death was syncope, or failure of the heart's action.
The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.
MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS
MONDAY 21st March 1892
A CHILD KILLED BY DRINKING BOILING WATER
A three year old boy named Herbert Gabbot, son of a Collier living in Haslingden Road, Blackburn, met with a shocking death today. The child was left with two other children, aged five years and eighteen months, and during its mother's absence got to a kettle on the fire and drank a quantity of boiling water from the spout. The little fellow suffered terrible agonies before death put an end to his sufferings.
FEROCIOUS ASSAULT AT BLACKBURN
At Blackburn, this morning, Charles Logan 35, Labourer, was remanded for a week on a charge of felonious wounding. The prisoner went to a house in which his wife lodged, and abused her shockingly. Her landlord, named Reddy, came to the rescue, and Logan smashed a chair on his head, inflicting a serious wound. The Chief Constable said the prosecutor was in the infirmary, in a very serious condition.
Tuesday 24th July 1906
EPSOM PETTY SESSIONS. Monday.
The Speed Limit.
Peter Robertson, of 71, Charles Mews, Paddington, was summoned for driving a motor car at a speed exceeding the legal limit, on the Leatherhead Road, Chessington. on the 8th inst. P.C. Chamberlain said he was on duty in the Leatherhead Road on the 8th inst., when he saw a motor car going at an excessive rate of speed. He timed the car over measured furlong, and found the distance was covered in 17 seconds, showing a speed of 28 miles 828 yards per hour. The car was stopped by signal by P.C. Smith, whose watch also showed the time taken to have been 17 seconds. On being asked if he was aware of the speed he was travelling defendant said he knew it. When told he would be summoned said he was not exceeding the legal limit. P.C.'s Smith and Jones corroborated.
Defendant said that according to the indicator on the car he was going between 19 and 20 miles an hour, he had travelled all over the kingdom, and had never been in trouble before. He could pull up within five yards. He had Lady Thompson as a passenger in the car, and she disliked a high speed. He saw children on the road, and was driving cautiously. Fined £l, and 12s. 6d. costs.
Jos. Duffey. Gaineboro' Road, Victoria. Park, Hackney, was summoned for driving a motor car at rate exceeding the legal speed limit, and with failing to produce his license. P.C. Greenaway said he was on duty on the Brighton Road, and in response to a signal he timed defendant's car over a measured furlong, and found the distance was covered in 17 seconds. P.C. Pattenden's watch showed 17 4-5 seconds. The difference in the watches was due to the difficulty of signalling properly in consequence of the heavy traffic on the road at the time. When told he would be charged defendant said “All right, we will havea game with you.” Defendant did not appear, and was fined £4 and 9s. 6d. costs on the first charge, and £1 and costs on the second. In imposing the fine the Chairman said that the difference between that case and the previous one was that although defendant in this case was not charged with driving the common danger the portion of the road covered by the car was always crowded and there was also a notice board a little distance down the road warning motorists, so that there was every reason for drivers being very careful.
Malcolm Comant of 25 Mortimer Street, W. was summoned at Epsom on Monday for driving his motor car at an excessive rate of speed, on the Brigton Road, Banstead, on July 1st, also for failing to produce his license. Defendant did not appear and P.C. Greenaway proved the case, alleging that the speed was 32 miles an hour. On the first summons defendant was fined £3 and 10s. 6d. Costs, and on the second £1 and 10s. 6d. Costs.
Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser
Monday 12th July 1909
During the hearing of a charge of cruelty to a child at Penge yesterday an Inspector said when he opened the door of the house he notice a revolting smell proceeding from the kitchen, where they found seven cats, seven dogs, two fowls, and some rabbits. One cat was on the dresser eating something, a cat and dog were in the oven, and another cat and dog were in a bath.