13 December 1888
The resumed inquest on the body of the boy Searle, who was murdered at Havant recently, was held yesterday before Mr. E Goble, coroner. Mr. G Feltham, solicitor, appeared on behalf of the accused lad Husband.
Eunice Norris detailed the conversation she had with the prisoner's brother on the Wednesday following the murder, during which the brother asked her not to think that the accused took the knife from his pocket.
Charles Clark, aged ten years, said he saw the accused at six o'clock on the night of the murder, when he said, "Here comes Jack the Ripper," and simultaneously he put up an open knife. He pointed the knife at the witness. To the witness's knowledge no other boy saw the circumstance. He could not swear to the knife.
Professor Tidy, having repeated his evidence, expressed the opinion that it would be extremely difficult to suppose that the fatal wound could have been inflicted without the hands or clothes of the murderer being bloodstained. Considerable force must have been used, and it would be very improbable that any person could have held the knife in the condition in which it was handed to him without getting his hands stained.
Robert Husband, the prisoner's father, said he sent his son Robert at five minutes past six on the night of the murder to get some money from Mrs. Farnden. He returned about twenty minutes past six, saying a murder had been committed. He put a threepenny piece on the table, in the full view of himself and his wife. There was a double burner lamp burning at the time, and the witness saw no blood on his son's hands. His mother ordered him to wash his coaly hands.
Fanny Husband, the prisoner's stepmother, corroborated the evidence of her husband. She washed the towel on the following Wednesday morning, but there was nothing unusual upon it. The witness swore the clothes produces were those worn on the night of the murder. The prisoner had clean shirt before the day of the murder. She did not notice any stains.
Alfred Steele, a railway porter, said he saw a rather curious individual get into a second class carriage for Brighton at 6.35 on the night of the murder. He remarked upon his unusual manner to a companion.
On conclusion of the evidence, the coroner summed up at considerable length. He referred to the question of motive. The superintendent of police, he said, had tried to prove a motive, but the jury would decide whether the evidence was conclusive on the points. The coroner drew attention to the importance of Captain Boyd's evidence.
At five o'clock the court was cleared, and the jury at 7.40 returned a verdict of "Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown."
Collingwood Hilton Trenwick, 26, was charged with wounding Helena Worsfold with intent to do her grievous bodily harm. Mr. Poland and Mr. Mead prosecuted, and the prisoner was defended by Mr. C Gill.
The prosecutrix in this case is an "unfortunate" and on the night of the occurrence the prisoner met her in the Waterloo road, and accompanied her to a house in St. Ann's place, Waterloo road. Almost immediately after the parties had entered the room, and without any provocation or quarrel taking place, the prisoner took a penknife from his pocket and inflicted a very severe wound on the prosecutrix. She was taken to the hospital, and is still suffering from the injury. The prisoner disclaimed all intention of injuring the prosecutrix, and there did not appear to be the slightest motive for his extraordinary conduct.
Witnesses were called who said the prisoner was a well conducted, inoffensive young man.
The jury found the prisoner Guilty of unlawfully wounding and added that they did not believe he entertained any intention to do the prosecutrix serious injury.
Mr. Gill said the prisoner was ready to make some money compensation to the prosecutrix, and sentence was postponed.