28 November 1888
Mr. T. P. O’CONNOR inquired whether the Home Secretary had any information to give the House with regard to the appointment of the new Commissioner of Police.
Mr. MATTHEWS. - No, sir, it has not been decided.
EXTRAORDINARY SCENE IN A POLICE COURT
At the Southwark Police Court, yesterday, John Baines, 25, who described himself as of no home, was charged on remand, before Mr. Wyndham Slade, with violently assaulting Elizabeth Gunn, an unfortunate, in the London-road. On the prisoner being brought into court by Sergeant Duncan and his colleague, the deputy-goaler, Butcher, he showed signs of impatience, and when about to be placed in the dock he became suddenly fractious. Sergeant Alexander Osbeston took his hat away, as he evidently intended to throw it. The prisoner, with great agility, freed himself for the moment, struck the sergeant a violent blow on the eye, and scratched his face. There was great consternation in court, but the officers at once surrounded the prisoner and secured him. He was removed for a time and brought back, his arms being fastened behind him. On being placed again on the block, he used most violent language, threatening everyone with dire consequences for their conduct, adding he was a "lunatic," and had been sent to an asylum for a previous assault. The facts connected with the specific charge against the prisoner were of a very simple character. It appeared that he had lived with the prosecutrix for nine months, and took all the money she received, till at last, through his ill-usage, she left him. Prisoner then assaulted her, and she forgave him. On the 14th inst. he met her in the London-road, asked her for money, and, being refused, knocked her down and kicked her. She was rescued from further violence by a police-constable, and prisoner was taken into custody and conveyed to the station, after much difficulty. Prosecutrix was examined by Dr. Farr, who found her much injured on the body, and her jaw bone seriously injured, so much so that, although there was no fracture, she was even now unable to open her mouth properly. It was proved that the prisoner had already suffered two months’ hard labour in prison for an assault on the woman, and further, that he had assaulted another woman.
The prisoner, on being asked if he had anything to say, or any witnesses to call, said "No. All my witnesses are God, or to the Devil. I don’t know which I shall call."
He was committed for trial, and was conducted out of the court, using threats to doctors, witnesses, and others, and nearing the door exclaimed, "You have heard something to-day; in two days’ time you’ll hear something else."
With the view of assisting the police in the Whitechapel district to detect the perpetrator of the recent crimes, several tradesmen have, with the consent of the local police authorities and with their promise of protection, formed themselves into a committee for the purpose of employing the services of private detectives. The committee, which recieves the support of several metropolitan members of Parliament, is presided over by Mr. C. Barham, Mr. J. A. Cohen, Crispin-street, Spitalfields, being the hon. Treasurer.