Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Rebuke For Cleared Killer

A man who killed another with a single punch was cleared as his plea of self defence was accepted, but he was still given a serious rebuke by the magistrate.

At around 10.30pm on the evening of Saturday 2nd August 1945 Thomas Mee and four others were stood at the corner of Moor Place and London Road when a man named Lawrence Palmeria walked past on his way to his Gill Street home. After some words were exchanged Mee followed the twenty nine year old labourer and ended up punching him to the ground.

Palmeria died the following day in hospital without ever regaining consciousness. Mee was arrested and claimed to have acted in self defence, but he was charged with murder and remanded in custody by magistrates. On  29th August Mee, an unemployed labourer, was allowed bail set at £20 and returned to his home at Alexandra Pope Street to await his committal hearing.

On 14th September Mee appeared at the Magistrates' Court in Dale Street, where he admitted striking Palmeira but only in self defence as he had already had to dodge a punch himself. His solicitor argued that these actions did not warrant a manslaughter charge and common assault was more appropriate. the pathologist who carried out the post mortem confirmed that death was as a result of an injury to the back of the head after falling against a hard surface.

The magistrate, Mr J. D. Towers accepted Mee's defence and said there was no case for trial. However before discharging him from the dock he told the twenty one year old 'It is a serious thing that men like you and others should be standing at street corners looking for trouble deliberately and bringing trouble for others through no fault of their own. Let this be a warning to you, go away from this court and make yourself a useful citizen'.

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