A Bootle man was convicted of manslaughter after shooting another man dead, but the judge acted leniently due to his disability and the provocation received.
In 1916 a long running feud was ongoing between the Allen and Fletcher families who lived in Berry Street, Bootle. On the night of 19th September that year Esau Allen broke down the door of the rival's house looking for John Fletcher, leading to a fight between the two men.
The Fletchers took out a summons against Esau for the damage to the door, but John decided to take things into his own hands.The night after he went looking for Esau but was told he had re-joined his regiment. John then said to Fletcher's 21 year old disabled brother William 'I will follow him and kick his head and only for the way you are in I would do the same to you.'
William told John to leave his family's house but he then had his head beaten against the wall and was pushed onto the floor. William then went into his kitchen and took a revolver out of a drawer, firing it at John, who fell down wounded. Another shot was fired, which missed and John was taken to hospital where he died of blood poisoning. When William was arrested he replied 'I am the man, he was looking for it and got it.'
After being charged with murder William appeared before Mr Justice Ridley at the Liverpool assizes on 8th November, where he agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter. The judge said that there was no doubt that William was in serious peril as he was threatened by a big man who wouldn't leave his house, meaning he has a right to defend himself. However, there was still concern expressed at the revolver being there in the first place and William was sentenced to six months hard labour.