- Transcribed by unknown author unknown author
- Edition: May 5, 1882 May 5, 1882
THREATENING TO MURDER A MAYOR.
At the Central Criminal Court on Wednesday, before Mr. Justice HAWKINS, Samuel ASHBY (67), described as a painter, was indicted for sending a letter threatening to murder Mr. Wynne BAXTER, Mayor of Lewes, and one of the coroners of Sussex.
Mr. CRISPE prosecuted; and the prisoner was undefended. The letter in question ran as follows:
New Brentford, March 28th.
Dear Sir, - I have no doubt you will be surprised to know that I have my mind so deeply impressed with your disgraceful and abominable cruel treatment which in taking from my hard earnings which I have been working for all my lifetime, and bringing my poor wife to an early grave, and with the assistance of others by your kid permission. You have taken me from the balance which was due to me, and worse than all, you have such a false apology and have used the Judge’s signature, which is all humbug, to clear yourself of the abominable charge I have accused you of.
It is a disgrace to the society, and I will have my end. Through this I intend to go to Lewes, take all my papers with me, and I shall not expect to return if I carry out my views, which I hope I shall, for I would rather mount the gallows than be swindled, for I shall never forgive you nor your assistants. My life I do not value now, and it may be your life is shorter than mine. This is the only remedy I know, and it is a bad one. From yours respectfully, S. ASHBY.
It appeared that the prosecutor was a partner in a firm of BAXTER and VANCE, solicitors, and that the prisoner had some business with them in 1879. He appeared for the last two years to have brooded over imaginary grievances, until it resulted in the prisoner writing the above letter.
On the prosecutor being placed in the witness box, the prisoner, who had been visibly affected during the opening speech of the learned counsel, fell in a fit. The prisoner was at once attended by a surgeon, who happened to be in the court. After an interval, the learned judge said that it was apparent the prisoner was not in a fit state to bear trial or cross examination, and therefore he ordered the proceedings to be adjourned.