Monday, 7 March 2016

Killing of an Army Pensioner

When a Victorian army pensioner died from his injuries after being kicked at his home the man responsible was sentenced to only six months imprisonment. 

In the late summer of 1892 Thomas Manning, who lived in a court off Bevington Street and worked as a dock labourer, received a pension payout from the army. Rather than save it, the sixty year old instead set about on numerous drinking sprees.

On the evening of 2nd October that year a twenty two year old labourer named Thomas Heeney knocked at Manning's door and was let in by his daughter, who knew they had previously been on good terms. Without any apparent provocation Heeney punched Manning in both eyes and after he fell down, kicked him in the knees and groin before making off. 

Two days later Manning was admitted to the workhouse hospital at Brownlow Hill, from where he was transferred to the Royal Infirmary. On 31st October he died due to complications arising from an inflamed knee joint, but not before admitting how the injuries had occurred. Hospital authorities informed the police but Heeney had gone underground 

After being apprehended Heeney appeared at the Liverpool assizes on 9th December Heeney claimed that Manning had hit him with a poker and he pushed him over in self defence. After being found guilty of manslaughter, Mr Justice Grantham sentenced him to a jail term of six months.

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