Thursday, 8 October 2015

Killed by a China Dog

A woman who drank no more than some tea was killed when a drunken neighbour came to her home uninvited and threw a china ornament at her.

On Saturday 21st May 1859 William Evans, a blacksmith, and his 31 year old wife Sarah were sat in the living room of their Blenheim Street home drinking tea with some neighbours. Without warning Alice McAllister, who lived opposite, came into the house in a drunken state and began shouting obscenities, only to be thrown out by William.

Blenheim Street from
McAllister soon returned and picked up a candlestick which she threw at William, but he managed to duck and avoid it. His wife Sarah though was not so lucky, being hit on the head by a china dog ornament that was thrown with great force. McAllister then punched Sarah as she lay on the floor in an insensible state with blood pouring from her head.

William managed to fend McAllister off with a poker to prevent her doing any more harm and Sarah was taken to the dispensary where her wounds were dressed. She remained under the treatment of Dr Campion but she died the following Friday, 27th May. A post mortem revealed that there was a compound fracture of the skull and other injuries caused by great violence. 

When she was arrested McAllister said that the death was none of her doing and that William had struck his wife with a poker. However an inquest before Mr P F Curry returned a verdict of manslaughter against her, which led to her being committed to the assizes for trial. When she appeared before Baron Watson on 17th August, neighbours present testified to having seen Sarah get hit by the ornament, leading to a guilty verdict being returned. McAllister was then sentenced to three years penal servitude.

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