Friday 22 April 2022

Backside Kick Means Lenient Sentence

When a man was convicted of manslaughter following a fight at Aintree, he was gaoled for just one month as he had only kicked the other party in the backside. 

On 14th November that year two boatmen, James Watkinson and James Aspinall, were engaged in carrying coals between Burscough and Liverpool along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. At the Anchor Lock in Aintree, they got into a quarrel, which was a result of an old grudge. 

Thirty year old Watkinson punched Aspinall several times in the face and kicked him, causing him to fall own. Aspinall was taken to his home in Burscough on his son's boat, but died the following evening.  

Watkinson appeared at the Liverpool Assizes on 15th December. Medical evidence was heard that Aspinall had died from inflammation of the bowels, however this only 'might' have been caused as a result of the external injuries. 

After the jury found Watkinson guilty of manslaughter, witnesses were allowed to tell the court of him generally having a good tempered disposition.  The judge, Baron Bramwell, sentenced Watkinson to imprisonment with hard labour for just one month. However he warned nobody should be misled by this sentence. The reason for it, he said, was that he was satisfied Watkinson did not intend to kick Aspinall in any 'tender part' but instead give 'a kick of contempt on the buttock'. 

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