- Transcribed by Barb Baker Barb Baker
- Edition: January 10, 1874 January 10, 1874
The Quarter Sessions for Cumberland were held on Tuesday and Wednesday. W. N. HODGSON, Esq., presided. The calendar contained the names of fifteen prisoners, concerned in thirteen offences. The following is the only case possessing any interest in our district.
A WOULD-BE SUICIDE.
HENRY JAMESON, 37, miner (imperfectly instructed), was indicted for having attempted to commit suicide, by hanging himself with a rope, at Penrith, on the 27th December, 1873.
MR. BALDWIN appeared for the prosecution, and MR. THURLOW for the defence. MR. BALDWIN, in stating the facts to the jury, said this was a case of a rather peculiar nature, and one of a kind which was not very often before juries at Quarter Sessions. The law presumed that every man's life was of benefit to the community, and did not allow anyone to wilfully throw away his own life. The prisoner was a pitman, and worked near Barnard Castle. On the 27th Dec., he visited Penrith to attend his half-brothers funeral. After the funeral he seemed to have indulged very freely in drink. In the course of the evening Police-Constable SCOTT was called to a yard in Burrowgate, Penrith, where he found the prisoner hanging by the neck, his feet off the ground, and a clothes rope round his heck. At that time the prisoner was to all appearances insensible. The Constable passed his arm round the prisoner's neck, and finding no knot, at once cut the rope, and instantly the man fell forward on his face.
P. C. SCOTT was called and proved the facts stated by MR. BALDWIN.
MR. THURLOW addressed the jury on behalf of the prisoner, who, he said, was a man who had served his country in the Crimea, where he received a couple of sun strokes which had rendered him at times very excitable. He had also served his country in China. Up to the time of his arrest he had worked as a miner, and he contended that prisoner, who was very drunk, had got entangled in the rope while going about in the dark, and would, undoubtedly, have hung until he died if he had not been cut down. There was, he submitted, no intention to commit suicide.
The Chairman summed up, and the jury returned a verdict of Guilty, with a recommendation to mercy.
The prisoner was discharged upon his own recognisances of £20 to keep the peace for twelve months.
THE COUNTY BUSINESS.
The Court proceeded to the consideration of the County Business on Wednesday. The several reports were read and were of the usual formal character. With reference to Eamont Bridge, the CLERK of the PEACE read the letter adopted at the meeting of the Penrith Board of Health on the 13th December, calling the attention of the court to the dangerous state of Eamont Bridge, where accidents were constantly occuring, owlng to the faulty construction of the viaduct, and asking the court once more to take the subject into consideration.
The COUNTY SURVEYOR said he had laid before the court on a previous occasion, a plan for altering the bridge, and this court had approved of it, but when it was laid before the Westmorland Sessions, the magistrates objected and so the matter stood.
MR. PARKIN said the reason why the Wesmorland magistrates had refused, was that they would not bear any part of the expense, unless the county of Cumberland improved the approaches on the Cumberland side.
The CHAIRMAN said that it would involve a serious expense, which he did not think this county could at present undertake. He suggested that the best course would be for the Penrith Board of Health to place themselves in communicetion with the Westmorland magistrates upon the subject.