Monday, 5 October 2015

Hatchet Killing

A woman in Everton who killed a man by hitting him over the head with a hatchet was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment. 

On the morning of 8th July 1901 coal heaver Luke Crean went to Canada Dock to try and find some work but was unsuccessful. Him and his friends then spent several hours drinking in pubs before going to the home of one of them in Adelaide Place around 3.30pm.

A disturbance broke out in the street between two rival religious factions and Crean went out to get involved and he ended up fighting with a man named Thomas Jenkins whose wife also got involved, striking him with a slipper.  There was a large crowd watching including 24 year old Annie Turner, who was pointing to her chest and shouting 'True Blue' and 'No Surrender.' She then went into her house and got a hatchet, hitting Crean on the head with two blows. 

As shouts of police went up Crean and Jenkins fell into the cellar and when an officer pulled him out of there, he managed to escape and run away. Turner returned to her house with the hatchet and despite being a Protestant herself said to a neighbour 'I have helped to kill one Orangeman and I will kill another.' Crean did not manage to get far, collapsing with blood coming out of his ear. He was taken to the Northern Hospital where he slipped into unconsciousness and died that evening.

An inquest on 10th July returned a verdict of wilful murder against Turner and she was committed for trial at the next assizes, which were just three weeks away. On 1st August she appeared before Mr Justice Ridley, her defence counsel arguing that Crean's injuries were a a result of the fall. The jury found her guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter and she was sentenced to fifteen years penal servitude.

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