Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Spaniard Transported For Stabbing

A Spanish sailor narrowly avoided a murder conviction after stabbing a man to death and only an act of mercy by the judge saw him avoid a full life term of transportation.

At around midnight on 22nd October 1853 John Crimp and Richard Crispin, two sailors attached to the Camlor ship that was berthed in Canning Dock, were walking down an alley off Whitechapel. They encountered American Thomas Williams and Spaniard Immanuel Monterro, and words were exchanged that Williams objected to. He then kicked Crispin in the belly and when Crispin punched him back Monterro ran at both with a knife, stabbing them in the groin.

Williams and Monterro both ran off and a police officer who heard the commotion attended to find Crispin and Crimp bleeding heavily. Both were taken to the Northern Hospital where Crispin died within ten minutes of arrival and Crimp remained in a critical condition.

The following afternoon Monterro was arrested at George's Dock near to his ship the Triumphante while Williams was apprehended at a boarding house in Peter Street, where Monterro had fled from. Both were taken to the Northern Hospital on the morning of 25th October, where the Coroner took a deposition from Crimp, who remained in a critical condition. He was able to state he had been punched by Williams and stabbed by a Spaniard, but couldn't positively identify Monterro.

The inquest into Crispin's death took place later that day. A man from the boarding house told the Coroner that the Spaniard had come into the house in a frantic state and washed a knife, before saying that he had 'rompe' two Englishman, which translates as ripped or broken. The jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against Monterro but acquitted Williams, leading tom some angry shouts from friends of the deceased.

Monterro stood trial on 8th December, by which time Crimp had made a full recovery. A female witness Anne Browne told that she had seen him with the knife and told Crimp that he was bleeding. James Thomson repeated the evidence he had given to the Coroner about the knife being cleaned at the boarding house. After a brief deliberation, the jury found the Spaniard guilty of manslaughter.

The following day, Monterro was brought back to the court where the judge, Baron Alderson, sentenced him to transportation for a period of twenty years. He was told that had he not been a foreigner, it would have been for life. He landed in Western Australia on board the ship Adelaide along with 259 other convicts on 16th April 1855.

No comments:

Post a Comment