Thursday, 29 January 2015

Ticket of Leave Killer Transported Again

A man who stabbed another during a fight was sent back to the colonies to complete his sentence after he had secured a ticket of leave.

In 1851 James Jeffers was sentenced to seven years transportation but secured a ticket of leave halfway through his sentence and arrived back in Liverpool early in 1855, taking a job as a tailor and finding himself a wife.

On the evening of 26th November 1855 Jeffers went drinking with sailor Patrick Baines at Blezzards public house in Addison Street. After drinking two quarts of ale each they went to Baines's lodgings in Gibraltar Row for more money then returned to Blezzards, where they found Baines's cousin John Craddock.

Baines ordered a half gallon of ale which was shared between the three, then him and Jeffers began to make arrangements to go to the theatre. Craddock pulled his cousin aside and told him that he should no better than to be hanging around with Jeffers and they stayed in Blezzards instead.

When it was time to go home Craddock told Baines he would take him back to Gibraltar Row as he was now quite drunk. Jeffers said he would do so but was told by Craddock that it wasn't necessary before being punched. The two men went out in the street arguing and Baines tried to calm then down but he was too drunk to do anything and collapsed. He was carried by some others into his aunts house nearby.

Baines's aunt Bridget Gorman went to Blezzards to retrieve his coat and Jeffers asked if he could go back to see his friend. Bridget said this wasn't necessary and saw he had a knife in his hand, which she told him to put away. Jeffers then said 'By my soul Jesus I will put this into Craddock.' Craddock heard this and went up to Jeffers, punching him to the ground. When Jeffers got up Craddock said 'come on then' which led to Jeffers stabbing him in the stomach and running away.

Jeffers was chased by Baines and a police officer who had been made aware of the situation quickly caught up and apprehended him. Craddock was taken to the Dispensary where a surgeon who attended to him said the wound would probably prove fatal. Craddock then opted to go to his Addison Street home, where he was able to give a deposition to magistrates the next day before he died of inflammation of the peritoneum.

After initially being charged with stabbing, Jeffers had this upped to manslaughter after the inquest on the 30th November and he was committed to trial at the Assizes. On 14th December it took the jury just a minute or two to return a guilty verdict. Jeffers' wife screamed and fainted, having to be carried out of court knowing that he was being transported overseas again.

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