Thursday, 3 September 2015

Killed By a Negligent Carter

In 1877 a carter tipped a boy out of his cart causing his death leading to him being convicted of manslaughter.

On the evening of 21st May 1877 Thomas Whitfield was driving a two horse cart in Bootle, carrying a load of planks. He drew up outside a public house in Dundas Street and went inside for some refreshment, during which time a group of about eight boys jumped in the cart.

When he came out of the pub Whitfield drove the cart to Derby Road and Millers Bridge when without warning, he tilted the cart, causing the children to fall from it. He then drove away without checking to see if anybody had been hurt. 

An eleven year old named John McNulty had his thigh trapped between the cart causing a fracture. He was taken to the borough hospital but died two days afterwards. Whitfield was apprehended and charged with manslaughter, appearing at the next assizes before Justice Hawkins on 25th July.

Witnesses at the trial said that Whitfield had appeared to look around as if to see if anyone was watching before he tilted the cart, but in his defence he said that it had tilted without warning due to a fault. He was found guilty but due and sentenced to six months gaol with hard labour.

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