Saturday, 24 December 2016

A Fatal Quarrel

When two men had a fight after buying some whisky one of them died from his injuries, leading to the other being jailed for two years.

In the early hours of Sunday 5th April 1852 two men named John Dowd and Thomas Conway began arguing in Albert Street, which is situated off Smithdown Lane. This then developed into a full blown fight and lasted five or six rounds which were fairly fought in front of a number of watching witnesses. 

Eventually a woman named Mary Holland stepped in and persuaded Conway to discontinue the fight. However as he walked home he was followed and stabbed in the side by Dowd, who was immediately apprehended by a passing policeman. Conway was taken to the Southern Hospital and a deposition was taken in which he stated that the pair had bought whisky shortly beforehand, then argued over who had known Albert Street the longest. 

Southern Hospital from www.liverpoolpicturebook.com
Two days later Conway died due to an acute inflammation to the wound, which was six inches deep and had penetrated the bowels. An inquest heard that Conway had struck Dowd first but returned a verdict of wilful murder.

At the assizes on 20th August Dowd appeared before Lord Chief Justice Campbell. After hearing the evidence the judge asked counsel for both sides if they could agree to a verdict of manslaughter, which they did so. After directing the jury to return this verdict, the judge then sentenced Dowd to two years penal servitude.

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