Sunday, 5 April 2015

Stone Throwing Scavanger Cleared

A man who threw stones back at youths who had pelted him was arrested on suspicion of causing the death of one of them, but cleared due to insufficient medical evidence.

On Monday 25th September 1882 John Hair, who lived with his mother in Raymond Street, returned home with a cut on his shin, saying he had got it by falling over an ashpan whilst playing in Tenterden Street.

John went to work in a nearby flour mill on the Tuesday and Wednesday but had to stay off on the Thursday as he was in more pain. He was taken to the workhouse hospital the following day where he died on the morning of Sunday 1st October.

Whilst at hospital John admitted that there had been more to his injury then he had first revealed. He stated that he and some friends had been throwing stones at a scavenger who was looking in middens. This man, named William Bennett, then chased John and his friend and knocked him down then kicked him.

After John died Bennett was apprehended in relation to the death and told the policeman that he had been wheeling his barrow and came under attack from stones but although he chased John he did not strike him.

At an inquest at the police court on 4th October, a shopkeeper in Tenterden Street said that she had seen Bennett kick John, but the doctor who carried out the post mortem said although the cause of death was tetanus, there was no evidence as to how the shin injury came about. As such the jury returned an open verdict and Bennett was released.

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