Sunday, 8 February 2015

Wife Kicker Not Guilty

A man whose wife died after he kicked her was found not guilty when he appeared at court.

45 year old Edward Larkin, a ships cook, and his wife Catherine lodged with a man named John O'Donnell in Burlington Street.

On 23rd September 1855 the couple argued and Edward went into the parlour to escape his wife, but when she followed he then went upstairs and locked the bedroom door. Catherine then beat the door down and scratched Edward's face.

Edward went back down to the parlour and was followed by Catherine who was now carrying a poker which she struck him with. O'Donnell tried to separate the pair and Edward kicked out, catching her in the stomach. Catherine was taken to hospital with severe stomach pains and she died the next day, her bowels having been ruptured.

The inquest found that the cause of death was manslaughter by Edward and he was committed to the South Lancashire Assizes on a coroner's warrant. He told the court that he had not intended to cause harm, only kicking out to get the poker out of her hand. The jury accepted this explanation and he was found not guilty and discharged from the dock.

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