A Judge laid into Liverpool after sentencing a husband for killing his wife, saying there was too much brutality in the city.
In 1905 John Hughes lived with his wife Catherine in Raleigh Street in Bootle. The marriage was not a happy one and their children were neglected, with Catherine being fined six times in relation to this. On the evening of 14th December 1905 the couple began another of their numerous drunken rows during which 43 year old Hughes grabbed a table knife and stabbed her in the stomach.
Catherine died a few hours later and the following morning Hughes appeared before the Magistrates' Court charged with murder and was remanded in custody. The inquest on 20th December heard that the marriage was an unhappy one due to Hughes's drinking and returned a verdict of wilful murder.
On 21st February 1906 Hughes appeared at the Liverpool assizes before Mr Justice Grantham, where he was found guilty of manslaughter. The judge commented that 'there was too much of this horrible brutality and drunkenness' in Liverpool, although did say the situation had improved since he was last there.
Justice Grantham expressed astonishment that publicans continued to serve men like Hughes, who they knew so well, day after day and night after night. He then told Hughes, who had 36 previous convictions for drunkenness, that he had lived a life not fit for a dog and sentenced him to fifteen years penal servitude.