A man who pushed his partner's mother died after he pushed her down some steps was sentenced to just two months imprisonment after the judge remarked that although manslaughter it was not an aggravated case.
In 1866 James Wilson and Mary Gilligan cohabited in Christian Street, a relationship that Mary's 50 year old mother Ann did not approve of. On the afternoon of 3rd December Ann and her 14 year old daughter Elizabeth went from their Marybone home to Christian Street and knocked at the door, which was answered by Wilson who told them to go away.
Mary was inside the house with another of her sisters Ellen, who shouted at Wilson to 'turn that old faggot out.' Ann then turned around to go and Wilson grabbed hold of her shoulders and pushed her down the steps, causing her to fall on the pavement. She called out that her leg was broken and was taken to the Royal Infirmary, where a compound fracture was confirmed.
Ann was drunk on admission and remained in hospital and died on 13th December, a post mortem revealing that the kidneys were severely damaged by alcohol abuse. The surgeon who attended to her said that death was hastened by the fall and at the coroner's inquest a verdict of manslaughter was returned.
Wilson was tried just five days later with the surgeon Chauncey Puzey repeating his assertion that Ann would not have died if she didn't have the fall, but also that if she was a healthy lady she would have lived. The jury found Wilson guilty of manslaughter but Justice Smith sentenced him to just two months imprisonment with hard labour, in light of it not being of an aggravated character.