9 August 1888
There ought to be a howl of indignation raised by certain publications against the police who arrested a gentleman in Regent-street at one o'clock yesterday morning, charged with being drunk and disorderly. The accused gave a very remarkable version of the circumstances to the Magistrate. He and a friend had been spending the evening together, and when standing at the corner of the street, perfectly quiet and perfectly sober, he "felt a hand on his collar," and was marched off to the station there and then. This statement was confirmed by his friend, who said the police acted without the smallest provocation. Two policemen and one inspector, on the other hand, all swore that the prisoner was drunk and talking to women, one of whom he kissed. He was asked to go away, but refused. He called the police "cads," who were kept by the ratepayers, and he was only taken into custody because he refused to conduct himself properly. The Magistrate believed the police, and inflicted the usual fine on the delinquent. The case would not be worth mentioning but for the evidence it affords of the growing disposition to treat every constable who makes an arrest as guilty of interference with the liberty of the subject. There are men among us who believe, or affect to believe, that policemen go about with a concealed bludgeon, ready and eager to knock down inoffensive people, from pure love of violence. It is difficult to imagine that a sober and peaceable citizen standing at a street corner can be seized and marched off to the station as a "drunk and disorderly." Conduct of this kind would render the constable liable to instant dismissal, and no man but an idiot would run such a risk without any advantage to counterbalance it. The police have, no doubt, plenty of faults, and folly can be laid to them, as it can to other men. But it requires a faith strong enough to remove mountains to believe that they go about looking for opportunities of violating the law, and leaving no stone unturned to get themselves drummed out of the Force.
Whether either of the revival versions of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are to catch on or not in London, Mr. George Grossmith's burlesque, Hyde and Seekyll, is to be brought out shortly, with Mr. Lionel Brough in the dual part.
NO TRACE OF THE MURDERER.
INQUEST ON THE VICTIM.
Although two days have passed since the body of a woman-who is not yet identified-was found in the passage of 37, George-yard-buildings, Whitechapel, the discovery is still enveloped in mystery. The officials at the Criminal Investigation Department have been actively engaged in searching for a clue which may lead to the capture of the presumed murderer, but no arrest has yet been made. The inquest was opened this afternoon by Deputy Coroner Collier, in the library of the Working Lads' Institute, Whitechapel-road.
Inspectors Ellisdon and Reid watched the case on behalf of the police authorities.
Elizabeth Mahoney said she lived at 47, George-yard-buildings. It was an artisans' dwellings' house, and one of the rules was that all the lights should be put out on the staircase after eleven o'clock. Witness went out on Bank Holiday and returned with her husband about two o'clock on Tuesday morning. She afterwards went down the staircase again to get something for supper. She saw no one on the staircase, and heard no noise, but she admitted that she had no light with her, and it was possible for her to pass up the staircase without being aware of the body of the woman lying there.
Alfred George Crow, a cabdriver, said he lived at No. 35 in the same block of buildings. He returned home on Tuesday morning at about half-past three, and passed up the staircase in which the deceased was found. He noticed some one lying on the first landing. He took no notice of the fact, as people constantly slept on the stairs.
John Reeves, the man who first discovered the body of the deceased, was then examined. He said he lived at No. 37, George-yard-buildings. He was a waterside labourer. On Tuesday morning he left home about five o'clock to go to work. On reaching the first landing he found the body of a female. The woman was lying in a pool of blood, on her back. He did not examine her further. He was frightened, and gave information to the police.
THE VICTIM'S STATEMENT.
The stabbing affray in Bethnal-green yesterday was undoubtedly a most cowardly affair. As stated in yesterday's Echo, a bricklayer named John Holland, aged 28 years, was the victim. While in the Bethnal-green-road, during the morning, he was attacked by three men, who knocked him down and stabbed him several times in the abdomen. They then absconded. Holland was left in an unconscious condition, but was ultimately conveyed to the London Hospital. It was there found that his clothes were cut in several places, and that he had received very severe wounds in the abdomen. He was placed under the care of Mr. Jarvis, one of the house surgeons. On inquiry at the hospital this morning an Echo reporter was informed that although Holland is still in a critical condition, he is progressing as favourably as can be expected. E recovered sufficiently yesterday to make a statement. He said he was asking a man to pay him some money which he owed him, when the man, and two others who were with him, set upon him (Holland). They knocked him down, and during the scuffle he was stabbed with a penknife. Two of Holland's assailants have been arrested by the police.
APPLICATION TO COMMIT MR. BANDMANN.
Last week, before Mr. Justice Stirling, in an action brought by Messrs. Longman, Green, and Co., the owners of the copyright in Mr. Stevenson's book, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Mr. Daniel Bandmann gave an undertaking not to infringe the copyright of the plaintiffs in his production of the play at the Opera Comique. The piece was produced, and to-day Messrs. Longman applied to the Judge to commit Mr. Bandmann for a breach of the undertaking, they alleging that the production was an infringement of their copyright. The case was not gone into, but was postponed on Mr. Bandmann's undertaking to produce the piece again before the second motion day in next sitting.