Wednesday, 1 July 2020

FOUL PLAY AT 17 WATERGATE STREET DEPTFORD

GEORGE LEADBEATER (38) , Feloniously wounding Emily Lewis with intent to murder her. Second Count, with intent to do her grievous bodily harm.

MR. GRAHAM CAMPBELL Prosecuted.
EMILY LEWIS . I live at 17, Watergate St, Deptford—I am single and a laundress—I have known the prisoner between four and five years by living with him as his wife—I ceased to live with him the week before Whitsun on account of his brutality to me he turned me out—I went to live at Mrs. Cromartie's, No. 2, Riley Street and from there to 17, Water-gate Street—I saw the prisoner on October 18th at about a quarter to six; he asked me if I should like to go to a play—we went to the Star Music Hall,



The Star Music Hall, Bermondsey.
and from there to Peckham; we went to a public house and had two glasses of ale; he threw one over me, and I walked out and took the tram to Deptford—I went home and came out again—I met the prisoner in Watergate Street—he drew out an open knife and said, "You and me for it before twelve o'clock to-night"—that is the knife (Produced)—I said, "Before you do that think of your boys down home; never mind me, go and see to them"—he quietened down, and I asked him for a halfpenny, which he gave me—I went to the Harp of Erin 


Harp of Erin
and got a glass of ale—he came in and landed me a blow on the face—he accused me of being with Mr. Cromartie—we were turned out of the public house—it was 11.30—Mr. Cromartie saw me home—I shut myself in the back room—three minutes later the prisoner came in; he had no boots on and a lightedmatch in one hand and the open knife in the other—he said he meant doing for me and stabbed me on my forehead three times—I tried to protect myself and got a stab in my neck and the back of my ear—I fell down on my left side—I said, "Oh, George, you have killed me, get me a drop of brandy;" he said, "My girl, I will," and jumped out at the window for it—I crawled upstairs to Mrs. Iiford's room—when he brought the brandy he had a cut on his hand—I was taken to Princes Street Police Station

Prince St Police Station
and from there to the infirmary—I remained there till last Tuesday.
The Prisoner. I had been out drinking with my brother-in-law; I was drunk; all I know is we went out for a walk; I do not know anything about beer being thrown over her; after we went to Peckham I do not know what happened; I did not recollect anything till Sunday morning.
By the COURT. The prisoner unloads bricks from barges—there is not a quieter man when he is sober.
JOHN THOMAS KIDDES . I am landlord of the Harp of Erin, King Street , Deptford—Emily Lewis was in my house on Saturday, October 18th about 11 p.m.—she had a glass of ale—the prisoner rushed into the bar and started using bad language, so I had him put out—he was perfectly sober—he called her filthy names and said she had been deceiving him.
The Prisoner. If he says I was sober he is telling a falsehood; I do not even recollect seeing him.
JOHN WILLIAM AMOS . I am a labourer of 17, Watergate Street Deptford—at 11.20 on October 18th I saw the prisoner in my back room—I asked him what business he had there; he said, "All right, Jack"—he came out at the door with a lighted match—he had a knife in his hand or a dagger—he shut it up and put it in his pocket—he rushed out of the passage—that made me suspicious, and I burst open the door of the back room—I saw Emily Lewis, who was a stranger to me, lying face downwards in a pool of blood—I went for help, and when I came back she had crawled upstairs under my adopted son's bed—Mrs. Cromartie and myself found her there, and put her on the door-step till the constable took her.
By the COURT. I know the prisoner by sight—I have seen him in the place three or four times—I believe he is some relation of Mr. Cromartie, but what I cannot say—I believe he was the worse for liquor, but I cannot say he was drunk.
EMMA CROMARTIE . I am the wife of George Cromartie, of 17, Watergate  Street, Deptford—at the end of August, Emily Lewis came to live at my house—on October 18th, at about 11.45, I found her in the back room and brought her down into my room—I saw the prisoner there; he brought a cup with some brandy or whisky in it—I took it out of his hand and said, "Leave my room, you brute"—he went away, and I did not see him any more until he was at Princess Street Station—I helped the constable lead Emily Lewis to the station, where her wounds were stitched up.
WILLIAM WIGGINS . I am assistant medical superintendent of Greenwich Infirmary


GREENWICH Infirmary 
Emily Lewis was brought to me on October 19th, at 2.30 a.m.; she was very faint from loss of blood—I found a wound 2 1/2 inches long over her right eye, and eight punctured wounds in her neck, chiefly in the back—they varied in depth from 1 inch to 2 1/2 inches; one of them reachedas far as the spinal column; the wound over her eye reached down to the scalp—there was a cut on her left arm and left hand, a contusion over her left eye and a cut on her lip—the wounds were such as might be caused by the knife produced—she remained at the infirmary till November 4th—dodo of the wounds of themselves would be fatal, but they were dangerous if either of the wounds in the neck had severed the jugular vein or one of the main arteries she would have lived but a few minutes—the position of the wounds was dangerous.
FRANK BEVIS (Police Sergeant R.) On October 19th, at 1 a.m., I saw the prisoner at 29, Charles Street (now Comet PlaceI said, "I am a police sergeant and shall arrest you for attempting to murder by stabbing Emily Lewis on head, neck, and arms at 17, Watergate Street at ten o'clock to-night"—he said, "I caught her with George Cromartie; I meant her murder; I wish the knife was longer so that it would have put her out; I wish I had the chance to do it now"—I produced the knife, and he said, "That is the knife I did it with"—I took him to the station—he was afterwards charged, when he said, "Very good, this is what a man will do when he is mad wild"—on being taken from the dock he said, "I meant to kill Cromartie as well"—when I arrested him he appeared to be perfectly sober.
Prisoner's defence. "I did not understand the charge when it was read over to me. I did not recollect anything that night. I plead for mercy. I do not know what I did it for. I had no cause for it.
GUILTY on the Second Count only. Three years' penal servitude.

Report from the Old Bailey Records

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