A young couple's New Year ended up in tragedy when the woman stabbed her boyfriend after he had pushed her to the ground.
In the early hours of 1st January 1893 Margaret Ward and James Skevington, who co-habited together in Rose Place, had a row over James's friendship with another girl. They went off their separate ways but when they met up again outside their house, eighteen year old Margaret took out a knife which she had concealed under her shawl and stabbed James three times in the chest.
A policeman immediately arrested Margaret for wounding and recovered the knife which she had thrown away. James was taken to the Northern Hospital where he died about an hour after admission, meaning that the following morning Margaret was charged with murder at the police court, where she sobbed throughout the brief hearing. She eked out a living as a hawker and was described as being of 'the lowest class' by the Lancashire General Advertiser.
On 24th March Margaret appeared at the Liverpool assizes where the Grand Jury reduced the charge to manslaughter. Witnesses said that during the first quarrel James had knocked Margaret to the ground and that he had been very drunk. A guilty verdict was returned with the jury recommending mercy. However, the judge said he would be setting a pernicious example if he did this and sentenced her to seven years penal servitude.