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Occasional historical notes

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Location: Brunton in the heart of Fife

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:47 am    Post subject: Occasional historical notes Reply with quote

Not one of ours?

CUTTING AND MAIMING. JAMES REYNOLDS, 26, a sturdy looking ruffian, was charged with having maliciously cut and wounded JANE REYNOLDS, his wife, at the parish of Perranzabuloe, with intent to murder her; another count charged him with doing it with intent to do her some grievous bodily harm. Mr. GREENWOOD conducted the prosecution and the prisoner, who appeared to be unmoved by the danger of his situation, was undefended.

JANE REYNOLDS examined: I live in Perranzabuloe, and lived there in April last; on the 4th of April, I was preparing dinner between twelve and one; my husband, James, was there; he asked what was for dinner, and I had a kettle on to make some tea; I said a bit of fry; he said he would not have fry again, he had had it for breakfast; he did not say any more; he kicked over the kettle; he asked why I did not bake something; I told him that I could not; he then took up the kettle, looked at it, and then struck me with it in his hand; it struck me in the face, and knocked me out of my senses; I believe I fell on the ground; I came to myself; I don't know how many times he heaved to me; I don't know what I felt after I was on the floor; I came to myself after I was hoved from the floor; when I came to my senses I asked him not to beat me again, and I did not know any more till I was heaved up from the floor by his mother. I don't know whether he beat me after I asked him not. I laid hold of the tea kettle while it was in his hand. I kept my bed a week. The marks over my left eye and under the right eye were the work of that day. My jaw was broke right in two in front.

By the JUDGE. This child is 16 months old; I have been married four years, and have two children. The Prisoner, in reply to the Court, said he did not see that it was any good to ask his wife any questions.

MARTHA REYNOLDS examined: James Reynolds is my son; I live with my husband in an adjoining room to the prisoner. I heard the dispute between the prisoner and his wife. He said why had she not baked something for dinner; he said he would not have fry again he'd had it for breakfast. I heard something like a kettle, and then she screeched, and then I ran in; when I came in he was standing in the middle of the room with nothing in his hand; his hands were upon one another; I never heard a blow or saw him strike after I came in.

Prisoner, You are contradicting yourself. Witness - No, I am not. I heard blows before I came in. Examination Continued: The wife was lying on the floor, the child a little way off; she was "blood and bad, and frightful to see;" the wife said as I lifted her up, how could you do this to me, my dear? I helped her up, and she went herself to get some water to warm, to wash away the blood from the wounds on her face. You could hardly see her face till she washed the blood away. She went over stairs, and went up to bed. I saw the dag (hatchet) on the floor, near the fire wood, but I never saw the dag with he, or whether he touched it or not I don't know. The blood was very nigh. I took up the dag and heaved it up over the wall for fear he would interrupt (strike) me for coming in. I saw the kettle, but I was so hurried I can?t tell where it was.

By the Judge. The kettle was bruised up. The kettle is here and the dag is here, but no man, woman, nor child can say he did it with the dag, for I was the first to enter the house.

The Judge. Prisoner, do you wish to ask the witness any questions? Prisoner, surlily - no, no questions at all. WILLIAM STEPHENS, constable of Perranzabuloe, produced the hatchet, which he said he found in a hedge before the prisoner's house, and also the tea kettle which was greatly bruised, and had the spout broken off.

By the Judge. Do you wish, prisoner, to ask the witness any questions? Prisoner. I can convict him of a lie at once; he did not find the dag where he said he did.

The Judge. That is not the way to ask a question. He says, constable, that you did not find the dag where you say you did? Mr. Stephens. I found the dag in the hedge, adjoining the father's house, within a few yards of the prisoner's door.

Mr. CHARLES DOBLE examined: I am a surgeon, and live at St. Agnes. The overseer of Perran desired me to look at Mrs. Reynolds. I saw her about one at night; I was called about half-past eleven on the 4th of April. She was in bed with her husband, the prisoner, covered with blood, but her wounds were tied up securely. I did not like to remain, and went for a constable, who did not, however, like to go without other assistance. He said he was afraid of his customer. I found her jaw was fractured. I observed nothing that night but a broken jaw. I was timid about remaining, and went away. I saw her again the next day, about twelve o'clock, when I found, on the left eye, a large jagged wound, as if occasioned by some blunt instrument. The skin was quite broken to the skull. It was about two and a half inches in length. I observed a wound under the right eye, a smaller sized wound, of a similar character to the first. I passed my probe, and found no fracture of the skull, but it had gone to the bone. There was a wound in the left cheek, that appeared to have been done with some sharper instrument, as if with a blunt nail, or something of that kind, which had passed through the cheek into the mouth. It was a smaller sized wound. I should think the wounds over the left and under the right eye were such as would be produced by an instrument like the dag. The other wound might have been made by the spout of the tea kettle. She was under my care for three or four weeks.

The Learned Judge then summed up, and the Jury found the prisoner GUILTY on the second count of the indictment; namely, that of having committed the assault with intent to do his wife some grievous bodily harm.

His Lordship, in passing sentence, said he did not think that any observations he could make to the prisoner would have the slightest effect upon him, but he should pass a heavy sentence upon him, for the benefit of society. The sentence of the court was that he be Transported beyond the seas for fifteen years. The Prisoner - Thank you, Sir; I can live there as well as here. The prisoner was then removed, followed by his aged mother, who cried bitterly. As for his poor wife, she sank on the ground with her child, when she heard the sentence, and was with difficulty removed from the court.
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