Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Co-operation Leads to Lenient Sentence

A man who killed another during a clubland fracas was treated leniently by the judge after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

At 10.25pm on Monday 2nd June 1952 police were called to some disorder near the corner of Seel Street and Back Berry Street. Two black men were taken to the Royal Infirmary and one of them, a railway porter named Joseph Williams, died at 5.30am the following morning after never regaining consciousness.

Four white men, three of whom were brothers, had been arrested at the scene and were then charged with the murder of Williams as well as maliciously wounding his friend Thomas Freeman. They all pleaded not guilty and were remanded in custody to await trial. 

On 9th July all four appeared at the Manchester assizes and one of the brothers, 39 year old George Kielty of Laxton Road in Hunts Cross, pleaded guilty to manslaughter. His brother Matthew, who was 29 and lived in Balkan Street, Dingle, took responsibility for the wounding of Freeman. The other two men, 33 year old Hugh Kielty and 43 year old Peter Murphy, were discharged after the prosecution offered no evidence.

The court heard that George Kielty had kicked Williams in the head while he was down. However the head of Liverpool's CID, Chief Superintendent Herbert Balmer, said he had done everything possible to help police with their enquiries after his arrest. In mitigation, his defence counsel Mr Cunningham said that he had seen his brother fighting and went to help. He had no recollection of kicking his victim but accepted that he had done so.

Prior to passing sentence, Mr Justice Byrne said he was of the opinion Freeman's injuries were as a result of cutting himself on broken glass when he fell into the gutter. He then fined Matthew Kielty £20. In respect of George Kielty's actions the judge said they were far more serious but in light of his guilty plea and previous good character he was sentenced to only nine months imprisonment.

No comments:

Post a Comment