On the afternoon of 1st January that year four County Court bailiffs named Tomas Gallagher, Patrick Cummins, Michael McKew and James Langan, all aged between 20 and 24, seized some goods from a house in Dryden Street. As they were travelling down Great Homer Street in a cart the horse started going slowly and they used the whip without mercy.
Many passers by jeered the men, saying they should be whipped themselves. One of those was James Hincks, who worked collecting faeces from local cesspools. Whilst pushing his barrow he joined in the cries of 'shame', but his was one dissenting voice too many. After some words were exchanged the four men jumped from the cart and set upon Hincks, who was first beaten to the ground by McKew with a scoop used for picking up the excrement.
Gallagher followed up the beating by thrusting a screwdriver into Hincks's side, causing his bowels to protrude from the wound, while Mangan and Cummins hit him with forks. When crowds gathered around, Gallagher swung at them with a chisel and he also tried to fend of an attending police officer with it. All four men were taken to the Bridewell and appeared at the police court the following day charged with assault, where they were remanded for seven days, Gallagher claiming that Hincks's friend had struck them with scoops first.
On 7th January Hincks died of gangrene caused by inflammation of the wound. The four men were then charged with manslaughter and found guilty at the South Lancashire Assizes on 26th March. Gallagher was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, McKew 15 months, Cummins 12 months and Mangan 6 months