Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

32 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



GUFF CRIME TRIAL. Jury Unable to Agree. PRISONER IN WITNESS-BOX. After a remarkable hearing, lasting three J^ys, the jury at Winchester Assizes late on °&turday night disagreed in the trial of John •Francis McGuire, aged 21, the ex-Guardsman Accused of murdering Miss Emily Sheriff on e cliffs at Bournemouth on February 18. Mr Justice Lawrence, in summing up, said whole point of the case was as to whether "}e prisoner was in Bournemouth on the fright of February 18. If the jury were satisfied that lie was, could they say beyond all reason- able doubt that he murdered the deceased *oinan ? The jury retired, and after a long absence Returned with the announcement that they disagreed. They were sent back by the Judge, and after a further protracted stay came back state that there was no hope of agreement. Altogether they were absent three hours, •■nd the suspense must have been a terrible ordeal to the prisoner, whose fortitude through the long day had shown several signs of breaking down. The Judge discharged the jurors, and the Prisoner was ordered to be held over till the Assizes. It was 11 o'clock at night before the trial concluded. The Divided Jury. The Press Association understands that 10 of the jurors were in favour of acquittal and two of conviction, but when they first retired their opinion, it is said, was more equally divided, although throughout the majority ^ere against a verdict of guilty The strenuous insistence of one gentleman that the evidence ^as too inconclusive as to McGuire being at Southbourne on the night of the tragedy had the effect of bringing others round to his view. The two gentlemen, however, who held out against this contention could not be moved after three hours of effort on the part more or less of all their colleagues. Hence it had to be announced that an agreement was hopeless. The next Assizes for the county of Hants are J not held till about November next, so that Prisoner will have to wait some six months before he is tried again. No suggestion has been made of a change of venue. The case for the prosecution was continued by the calling of Mrs Nutter Scott, the lady who alleges she saw the prisoner in the tram- car near Southbourne on the night of the tragedy. Mrs Scott, who was looking ex- tremely ill, was seated whilst giving her evi- dence. In examination by Mr Radcliffe, K.C., lead- ing counsel for the prosecution, the witness said 8he was riding in a tramcar at about 8 o'clock on the pight of the tragedy, when she noticed a man board the car, which at that time was Moving. Did you notice anything about the man's appearance ?—Yes I noticed that he was breathless, pale, and when he sat down I noticed that he was biting his lips. His hat ^as pulled over his eyes, and he was wearing a long coat. When he came in I noticed that he ^as unusually tall, and that is why I noticed him. When he got in he sat opposite to me in the middle of the car. I was right at the top, and he was not quite halfway up. There were four other girls in the car. I got out close to my home at Tuckton Green. Upon alighting I commenced to run, and stumbled over a stone and hurtl my ankle. I wrote a letter in a hurry and my little girl posted it at the letter- box, which is closed at a quarter to 9. Witness went on to say that she mentioned the matter to Sergeant West, of Bournemouth, on March 9th. Three days afterwards she went to the police station at Bournemouth and entered the yard for the purpose of identifying the man. She saw McGuire there amongst a number of others. She stood opposite to him for some time and could not make up her mind about pointing him out. She never had any doubt or uncertainty, but she felt very bad about it, and that was why she hesitated. She then felt she must say something, and she turned to- wards the police and said, "That is the man." Was that only your impression or did you feel sure of it ?—I felt absolutely certain of it. SEVERE CROSS-EXAMINATION. Cross-examined by Mr Hawke, the lady said she was an Armenian. She remembered telling the magistrates that when she left the tramcar went home, wrote a letter, and posted it herself. Did you not swear that you posted the letter yourself, and that you saw by the plate on the box that it was in time ?—Yes, I swore that I posted the letter. Did you not also say that it took you two tttoutes to run with the letter to the box ?— ask you, was your memory in the hiviit6 &nd cleAr state that you assert it to it was not clear just at that moment. i ou.r statement then that you posted the ter is incorrect ?—Yes. It was a slight in- correction. Mr Hawke then subjected the witness to a severe cross examination as to her identifica- tion of accused. Upon reaching the corridor outside the court Mrs Scott fainted and collapsed. Restora- tives were given to her, and she soon revived. Supt. Hack, of the Bournemouth police, stated that when Mrs Scott saw McGuire she said, To my belief, he is the man." Hayes, the tramcar conductor, said, I think this is the man and Wingrove, the bootblack, said. This is the man. I knew him in London." This concluded the case for the prosecution. Mr Hawke (to the judge) Does your lord- ship think that in view of the nature of the identification that this matter should go to the jury ? The Judge I think it must go to the jury. Mr Hawke then addressed the jury forHjje defence. Prisoner's Own Statement. At four o'clock the prisoner went into the witness-box. Resting his arms on either side of the box McGuire answered the questions put to him in a quiet tone, but with no indica- tion of nervousness. He was the son, he said, of an Army pen- sioner, now deceased, but in his lifetime was caretaker to the Bath Young Men's Christian Association. Mr Alabaster took the prisoner quickly through his boyhood, and elicited the fact that the relations of Miss Sheriff and himself were as brother and sister. Uliinjrately he joined the Horse Guards, and afterwards was trans- ferred to the Life Guards. Whilst there he Wet Major Powell Moore, and was adopted by him, so he left the Guards and took up picture dealing. tIn January last he wrote to Miss Sheriff. He wrote to her about some letters, which she answered. It was arranged that he should go to Boscombe. He went about Januaryv6th. He brought a picture from a Mr Lister and took it to a Mr Clarkson. That gentleman had not the purchase money, and prisoner pawned it at Attenhorough's for £25. The money he used for his holidays and to pay some bills- He intended returning from Bournemouth on the Saturday, but changed his miriJTbecause Miss Sheriff wanted him to stop, and his ticket was available until the Monday. Two letters found in his hip pocket he wrote on the Saturday evening, intending to post them when he arrived in London on the Monday. The letters were to Mrs McGuire and Miss Sheriff, announcing his safe arrival in town. They remained in his pocket a week because he forgot all about them. He arrived at Waterloo Station at 4.10 and took a taxicab outside the station. He was driven to the East Strand Telegraph Office and saw a news- paper boy outside and asked him to send a wire for him later In the day. This was to Clarkson, Who' witness knew would see Lister, and he did not want Lister to know he was back. As the boy could not be there after five o'clock he gave up the idea of wiring and drove to Vic- toria, where he was to meet Clarkson. Win- grove was there, not Clarkson, and he asked the former to post two letters late. These were to Miss Sheriff and Mr Hynes. He wished the letters sent late because he did not want his another to know he had gone back to Bourne- mouth that evening. Continuing, McGuire stated that he returned to Bournemouth by the 4.10 train. On arrival at Bournemouth he took the tram to the cross- toads, where he met Miss Sheriff. On Tues- day morning he left Bournemouth by the 11.23 train. He did not know of the existence of an 11.4 train He arrived at Waterloo at 2.10. From there he went to Denbigh-street, wrote a. letter to Miss Hayman, and went out to post it himself. He also sent a wire to Miss Sheriff from the Vauxhall Bridge Post Office. He then saw Wingrove, and later saw Mr Holder, a 'bus driver. He passed Victoria at 3.30. McGuire asked Wingrove if he had posted the letters for him, and the bootblack replied in* the negative. He then went to Bonham's, auctioneers, of Oxford-street, and saw there a Mr Tyrell, and another whose name he did not know. After leaving Bonham's he had tea ac a restaurant in Oxford-street, and then re- ttirnedto Denbigh-street. There he wrote a letter to Mrs McGuire, which he posted him- self at a few minutes to eight. On the way to the post office he called at a newsagent's shop, and afterwards went to the Windsor Castle, and on leaving there went for ride on a 'bus from Victoria to Walham Green and back. He had no recollection of seeing Hetty Holder that /evening. The next morning he sent a telegram to Miss Sheriff, and went down by the 12.30 train, reaching Boscombe at 3 o'clock. Upon arriving there he went to Palmerston-road, and the first persons he saw were Mrs Mc- Guire and Mrs Lane. He did not see Miss Sheriff on the Tuesday. He did not murder her. He did not know she had made a will till after he was arrested. The result was as stated above.


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