Saturday, 12 March 2016

Farmer's Hay Selling Trip Ends in Death

A farmer died of head injuries after a trip to Liverpool to sell hay, but nobody was convicted of killing him as he got himself into more than one altercation on the day.

At midnight on Saturday 21st March 1846  William Rimmer returned to his home in Ditton after a trip to Liverpool to sell hay. His horse and cart was missing and he had a large cut on his head, but couldn't recall how he had sustained it.

Rimmer died on 1st April and after enquiries found that he had fought in Brownlow Hill with the man named Smith who bought his hay, the buyer was arrested. However witnesses testified before the Coroner that the fight was with fists only and no weapons were used, leading to Smith being released.

This led to further tracing of Rimmer's route home and it was found that he had stopped at The Lamb in Wavertree and left his horse in the charge of the hostler Thomas Ivey before drinking several glasses of ale. Ivey was then arrested after admitting hitting Rimmer with a poker after being woken abruptly by him. The inquest was resumed on 6th April with Ivey in attendance and after a verdict of manslaughter he was committed for trial.

On 17th August Ivey appeared at the Liverpool assizes before Mr Justice Wightman. He admitted hitting a drunken Rimmer with the poker, but pleaded that he had been woken suddenly by being shaken. After what the Liverpool Mail described as an eloquent and able speech by the defence, Ivey was acquitted and discharged from the dock.

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