5 January 1887
5 January 1887
1 February 1887
12 February 1887
19 February 1887
12 March 1887
DEPRAVITY. Charles Lionel James Underwood, described as a clerk (43), was indicted for assaulting a lad named John Welsh, with intent, &c., at Kingston on the 11th of February. Mr. de Michele appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. Horace Avory, with him Mr. Broun (instructed by Mr. Young, of Kingston), for the defence. The particulars of this case, which are quite unfit to be reported, exhibited a sad case of depravity on the part of the prisoner, who is a retired paymaster, and notwithstanding that he received an excellent character, the jury convicted him upon the third count.
12 March 1887
AN ABOMINABLE OFFENCE. At the Surrey Sessions on Monday, before Sir William Hardman, Charles Lionel James Underwood, 43, accountant, 6, Orchard-cottages, Clifton-road, Norbiton, was indicted for committing an abominable offence at Queen Elizabeth-road, with a lad named John Welsh, on Feb. 11. Prisoner was found guilty, and sentenced to two years' hard labour. At the commencement of the proceedings at the Surrey Sessions on Monday, Sir William Hardman addressed the grand jury with reference to several cases of assault on very young children. He regretted that the Court was unable to inflict a punishment sufficient considering the heinousness of the offence, and he trusted that they would soon be empowered to order flogging. Later in the day the grand jury made a presentment, in which they stated that, having had several charges before them of the nature mentioned, they were of opinion that in all such cases the power should be given to judges to pass sentence of flogging in addition to imprisonment. Sir William Hardman said he was very glad that the jury had made this presentment, as it was entirely in accord with his own view and, he believed, that of the Secretary of State. (Surrey Comet)
6 May 1887
Mr. STUART-WORTLEY said the accused person was charged with an unnatural offence. On the application of the solicitor for the prosecution the court was ordered to be cleared, and, acting on the discretionary powers vested in them by the 19th section of the 11th and 12th Vic. cap. 42, the court was cleared. The case was remanded until Friday, and the offence being an indictable one, the magistrates could only have taken depositions of witnesses.
Mr. CONYBEARE My question was as to the refusal to allow the reporters of the public press to remain.
Mr. STUART-WORTLEY Reporters, sir, are members of the public.
Mr. CONYBEARE I think I have a right to press for an answer to the last part of my question.
Mr. STUART-WORTLEY I have quoted the section udner which the justices cleared the court. (Hear, hear.) It would not be proper for me to express any opinion on their action regarding the application for a remand.
Mr. CONYBEARE In my opinion this is a question of such importance that I shall call further attention to it. (Hear, hear.) (Morning Post)
7 May 1887
. . . Even the name of the prisoner and the nature of the charge against him were withheld from the members of the Press, who were threatened with all sorts of pains and penalties if they discovered and published the information. Mr. Stuart-Wortley, in reply, stated that the Magistrates had acted within their discretionary powers, but he omitted to add that the whole of the Judges of the High Court are quite opposed to the hearing of charges with closed doors, and never exercise this discretionary power. Judging from the observations of Mr. Conybeare, there was something behind the action taken which rendered it all the more necessary that the examination of the accused should not be quietly smuggled through in a closed Court. We notice, however, that the publicity which the matter has secured by being mentioned in Parliament has had a good effect upon the Magistrates, who, yesterday, when the prisoner was brought up on remand, conducted the examination in the ordinary and proper way, in the presence of the reporters, leaving it to their discretion as to what it was desirable in the interests of the public to publish in the newspapers. (Hampshire Telegraph)
11 May 1887
11 May 1887
14 May 1887
14 May 1887
A SERIOUS CHARGE. Joseph Rotthoff, of Denzil Avenue, for whom Mr. W. L. Bell appeared, was brought up, on remand, charged with committing an unnatural offence on Michael Saunders, aged 17 years, of 32, Bell-street. The case was heard in closed court, and occupied several hours. In the end prisoner was committed for trial at the Assizes, and Mr. Rogers agreed to take bail for his appearance, if offered, himself in £200 and two sureties in £100 each. (Hampshire Advertiser)
18 May 1887
Edward Davies, 25, carpenter, having pleaded guilty to committing an act of gross indecency on James William Bell, at Bath, was sentenced to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for 18 months. (Weston-super-Mare Gazette)
5 June 1887
ALLEGED EXTORTION. William Markham, aged 31, and George Gray, 29, alias "Billy at the Gate," and a boy named Frederick George Mooney, 19, who already stand committed upon five charges of attempting to extort money from young men, principally in the employ of noblemen, by threatening to accuse them of an infamous crime, were again placed in the dock. Mr. Sims, who appeared on behalf of the Public Prosecutor, said he had yet another charge to profer against Gray and Mooney. William Copeland, butler to the Marquis of Bristol, St. James's-square, Pall-mall, then gave evidence to the effect that he met the lad Mooney in Hyde-park on the 15th May last year, and got into conversation with him. They walked to the place where bathing is permitted, when three men pounced upon him and demanded money, by threatening to accuse him of an unnatural offence. Prosecutor took the men to St. James's-square, and there gave them a sovereign each. They subsequently called at his lordship's residence, and prosecutor drew, on different occasions, checks for £14 and £15, which he gave them. After some additional evidence, Mr. D'Eyncourt committed the prisoners for trial. (Reynolds's Newspaper)
18 June 1887
1 July 1887
Rosa Jarvis, 20, a young negro [male], well known as a member of the Salvation Army in Northampton, was charged with criminally assaulting a little boy named George Britten. Prisoner, who wore a blue guernsey under his coat with the words "Rosa Jarvis" and "Salvation Army" in coloured letters, stoutly denied the offence; but the jury found him guilty, and he was sentenced to the shortest period allowed by law ten years penal servitude.
2 July 1887
5 July 1887
. . . After hearing the evidence, Mr. Justice Stephen ruled that there was no case against Mooney, the prosecutor not being able to identify him.
The jury acquitted Mooney, but found Gray guilty.
The prisoners Gray and Markham were stated to have been previously convicted.
Mr. Justice Stephen, in passing sentence upon Gray and Markham, said he did not like to trust himself to say what he thought of this case. But he would just remark generally that he did not think that two worse men ever stood in that dock. Robbery was a bad crime enough, but what they had practised systematically (there were five indictments against them, four of which had been tried) and had apparently made a disgraceful living by what was nothing less than robbery by the most horrible form of torture. A man who used violence, who garrotted people or used other similar cruelty, did almost nothing in comparison with a person who used this mode of torturing others in order to extort money from them. Owing to a technical omission in one of the indictments his Lordship said he could not pass a sentence of penal servitude for life, but he would pass a sentence which practically came to the same thing. He would pass the full sentence that he had the legal power to inflict. He should direct, as he had legal power to do, that the punishment on one indictment should begin as soon as the punishment on the other indictment finished. His Lordship then sentenced the prisoners to five years' penal servitude on the fifth indictment; to 14 years' penal servitude on the fourth indictment for robbery with violence; and to five years' penal servitude on the first indictment. On the second indictment he sentenced Gray only to five years' penal servitude, as he only had been convicted on that indictment. The result was that Gray would be kept in penal servitude for practically his life namely, for 29 years; and Markham would be kept in penal servitude for 24 years.
Mooney was discharged. (Bury and Norwich Post)
27 July 1887
10 September 1887
14 September 1887
When Mr. Barstow next week deals again with the charge which Mr. W. W. Harris, of the Constitutional Club, and of 10, Finsbury Park-gardens, has brought against Reno Shrickert, of 154, Euston-road, we hope he will also investigate the charge which Mr. Harris says Shrickert and his friend have brought against him. By the 11th setion of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, the offence which Mr. Harris says was imputed to him is punishable by two years' hard labour. He may be most unjustly accused, and his accusers may repudiate their own accusation. But the facts testified to by Mr. Harris himself are suspicious. To pick up an unknown German scamp at the Criterion Restaurant, to bring him down to the Constitutional Club, and then to go off with him to spend a quarter of an hour in his bedroom in the Euston-road, are acts which may be capable of an innocent explanation, but which are also perfectly consistent with the grave accusation made by Shrickert's friend. It would be interesting to know what the committee of the Constituaional think of the affair. (Pall Mall Gazette)
24 September 1887
6 October 1887
Cross-examined: I did not say your children were too much for me to see after. Elizabeth Anderson, mother of complainant, said her daughter came to her on the 21st September and made a complaint to her; she was in such pain that she could not sit down. She had seen her in similar pain several times before. She came to her home on the 27th. Dr Dempster gave medical evidence. The Bench committed prisoner for trial. (The greater part of the evidence was unfit for publication.) (Southend Standard and Essex Weekly Advertiser)
19 October 1887
22 October 1887
22 October 1887
3 November 1887
4 November 1887
Mr. C. E. Jones, who appeared for the prisoner, asked his Lordship to quash the indictment upon two grounds. First, as to whether this offence could be committed upon a woman at all.
His Lordship: "Elizabeth Mead," it does not appear that that is a woman. (Laughter.) I know a great many men of the name of Ann. I shall not quash on that ground.
Mr. Jones: The indictment does not allege carnal knowledge, as the form requires.
His Lordship: I shall not quash on that ground.
Mr. Jones then said that the prisoner's wife had that morning been confined of a child. Would his Lordship adjourn the case to the next Assize to allow the prisoner to cross-examine? When the prisoner was before the magistrates, his wife was not cross-examined, so that no line of defence had been made. The prosecutrix would not be able to come to the court now.
Mr Grubbe (for the prosecution): I do not oppose the application, as the doctor assures me the woman will not be able to get here.
His Lordship said he would enlarge the recognisances accordingly, but the prisoner must find very serious and substantial bail.
Mr. Jones said he was in a position to offer almost any amount.
The case was accordingly adjourned to the next Assize. (Chelmsford Chronicle)
5 November 1887
Mr. Muir was for the prosecution, and Mr. Ogle for the defence.
The prisoners were found guilty of the attempt, and were each sentenced to 12 months' hard labour. (Essex Newsman)
10 November 1887
John Nash (34), soldier in the Welsh Regiment, and Henry Jones (20), of the Worcester Regiment, were indicted for having together committed an abominable offence at Cardiff Barracks, on the 9th October last. Mr Fea prosecuted. Both prisoners, under the new law of evidence, were allowed to be sworn and examined. They made a rambling statement denying the offence, and the jury acquitted them (South Wales Daily News)
13 November 1887
At Lambeth Police Court on Saturday Henry Valentine Pickering, described as a clerk in holy orders, residing in Lorrimore-square, West Newington, was charged on a warrant with an act of gross indecency with John Debour, a hairdresser's assistant. After hearing the evidence Mr. Chance remanded the prisoner, reqjuiring bailin twosureties of £500. (The People)
22 November 1887
10 December 1887
POLICE-CONSTABLE 243 C said that at 10 o'clock on Friday night he found the accused in a state of intoxication in Cork-street. She was surrounded by 20 or 30 persons, who were laughing and jeering at her, and from what witness could asceertain, it appeared that the disturbance originated by her refusing to pay a cabman "a matter of 7s. 6d." which she owed him. As she refused to go away he took her to the station.
Mr. MANSFIELD: What have you to say?
PRISONER: Sir, I had been taking exercise with a lady friend, and was returning to my residence when a wretched cabman stopped me and asked for money. It is some eight months ago since I engaged him as my driver and really I had quite forgotten the little affair. I certainly owe him something, but it is very hard upon a lady like me to be stopped and asked for a cab fare in the streets. I had taken a gentleman's arm, and was actually walking away when that rude policeman came up and seized me. With regard to a crowd collecting, of course it is only natural that a fashionably-dressed young lady should attract attention, and I certain'y found my progress somewhat impeded. But as for creating a disturbance, there is not a word of truth in it. It is a very long time since I was last in trouble, sir, and this time I am entirely innocent, I assure you on my word of honour as a lady.
In answer to the magistrate, Sergeant VINE, the gaoler, said that the prisoner's convictions from that court alone were numbered by dozens, and she had only been discharged from prison on the previous morning, having undergone a sentence of two months from the Westminster Police-court for assaulting a gentleman in the streets.
PRISONER: Yes, and now I have been taken up again all for nothing. Oh, dear me! the very idea of an innocent young lady like me being dragged here on such a charge. (Loud laughter). I really come from a good family, gentlemen, and my dear mamma (bursting into tears) will be deeply shocked when she hears of this. (More laughter).
Mr. MANSFIELD (sternly): I have not forgotten that you were some time ago, concerned in a conspiracy to obtain money from a young gentleman by charging him with an unnatural offence. Your confederates were properly punished, but unfortunately you were not included in the indictment. You will have to pay 40s. or go back to your old quarters for a month. (Worcestershire Chronicle)
28 December 1887
Mr. Arthur Balfour will, we trust, have already instituted searching inquiries into the grave charges brought against a highly placed official in Cork by Canon O'Mahoney. The Canon asserts that this official, who represents law and order and the Government of the Queen, in an important Government post, is a criminal guilty of unnatural offences against little children, which would, if proved in court, consign him to penal servitude for life. If Mr. Balfour hesitates to act let him remember the horrible scandal at Dublin under Lord Spencer's administration, and take warning lest any of the shame of unnatural crime should attach to the Administration which refused to make strict and searching inquiry into allegations publicly brought against its trusted officials. (Pall Mall Gazette)
2 March 1888
Mr. W. J. Grubbe, for the prosecution, said the case came on at the last Assize, but was adjourned in consequence of the confinement of the prisoner's wife. His learned friend Mr. Jones was instructed for the defence, but he could not be at the court before the afternoon.
His Lordship said he would ask a member of the bar to watch the case for the prisoner.
The brief was handed to Mr. H. C. Richards, who took a preliminary objection that the wife was not a competent witness against her husband. The only case in which a wife could give evidence was where her husband was indicted for personal injury.
His Lordship: Is not this personal injury?
Mr. Richards: Supposing that she is a consenting party?
His Lordship said that would have to be established by evidence, and therefore it would be necessary for the wife to give evidence.
Mr. Grubble then called
Elizabeth Mead, who said she was married to the prisoner on the 8th of June last; a child was born in November; the prisoner was a widower with two children when he married her. Witness then described the assaults complained of, which she said commenced three weeks after her marriage.
In the course of a lengthy cross-examination by Mr. Richards, the witness said she was not hysterical before her confinement.
Elizabeth Anderson, mother of the prosecutdor, said on the 21st September last the latter came to her house and complained of her husband's unnatural treatment of her; her daughter said she should soon if her husband kept using her so; witness, when she knew all about it, went to see Dr. Deeping a magistrate, and afterwards Dr. Dempster saw her daughter.
Dr. Dempster also gave evidence.
Mr. Richards called
Mrs. Poole, who said the prisoner's first wife was her daughter, and he had been a good husband to her; she had known the prisoner for seven years, and he was always a respectable man.
Thomas Morris, of London, said the prisoner had the character of being a decent man, and witness knew nothing against him.
George Wm. Mead, the brother of the prisoner, said he had never heard of any indecency on the part of the prisoner, who was known as a sober, well-conducted man.
Mr. Richards then addressed the jury, saying that the punishment for this offence was so awful that it behoved the jury to only find a verdict of guilty on the fullest possible evidence. He then reviewed the evidence, contending that the offence was not proved. He said the charge was brought out of the most wicked and most cruel animus, in the hope that a separation would result. But the jury must have something more to decide upon then the mere word of an excitable, angry woman, whose story did not tally in its vairous points.
Mr. Grubbe replied.
His Lordship, in summing up, said the jury must be very cautious, for as the learned counsel for the defence had pointed out, there was no corroboration of the wife's story.
The jury found the prisoner not guilty, and he was discharged. (Chelsford Chronicle)
SOURCE: Various newspapers, dates as given.
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