On 11th May 1869 Stephen Brennan, described in the press as half witted, was invited for tea by a carter named Joseph White who lived at 249 Vauxhall Road. When Joseph went out, Brennan attempted to violate his 63 year old wife Mary. On being rebuked, Brennan struck Mary, breaking her nose and causing considerable bruising to her face.
Mary died on 7th July and a postmortem by Dr Samuels revealed the heart, lungs and kidneys to be in poor condition. He had no doubt however, that death had been accelerated as a result of the injuries inflicted by Brennan. An inquest revealed a verdict of wilful murder leading to Brennan, who was already in prison awaiting trial for assault, now facing a murder charge.
Brennan appeared at the assizes on 17th August and was found guilty of manslaughter. He was jailed for ten years, the Liverpool Mercury saying that the killing had involved circumstances of the most fearfully revolting character.