Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Manslaughter Woman's 33 Previous Convictions

A woman who was convicted of manslaughter after a drunken row led to a stabbing had already been before the courts 33 times. 

On 2nd July 1921 Mary Ann Peden, aged 52, got into an argument with Jane Henshaw at her home in Boreland Street, Bootle. Mary accused Jane of telling others that her daughter was not good enough for Jane's son. Jane told Mary to shut up, then picked up a kitchen knife and lashed out at her, causing cuts above the eye. Mary managed to seize the knife from Jane and then stabbed her in the neck, narrowly missing the jugular vein. 

Twelve days later 42 year old Jane died of bronchial pneumonia which was related to the wound. Mary was charged with manslaughter and appeared at the assizes on 9th November. Her solicitor said that she was acting in self defence and this was a case of excusable homicide, but this was rejected and the jury found her guilty.

After hearing that Mary had 33 previous convictions, mainly for drunkenness, the judge sentenced he to twelve months imprisonment with hard labour.