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News of the World
19 September 1886

SAVAGERY IN THE EAST END

On Wednesday, at Worship street Police Court, George Squibb, 21, carman, of no fixed home, was charged with feloniously cutting and wounding Ellen Marks, by stabbing her with a knife, and also of violently assaulting Constables Brown and Martin, H Division. The prosecutrix, a young woman, who said she was a tailoress, living at Duke street, Spitalfields, had formerly cohabited with the prisoner, but had left him recently. He had frequently threatened her with violence because she would not return to him. On the previous night, when they met in the Commercial road, he again asked her to home with him, but she declined. Without further provocation he drew out a pocket knife and stabbed her in two places on the left shoulder. She also exhibited an injured arm, which she stated the prisoner had broken on Saturday last. A girl named Bridget Reilly, who was with Marks when the assault was committed, followed the prisoner and caught hold of him, when he turned round and stabbed her with the same knife in the breast. Information was given to Constable Brown, who chased the accused to a lodging house. Squibb called out to some "mates" to help him, and several rough young fellows rushed in and attacked the officer, they as well as the prisoner striking and kicking him until he was exhausted and powerless. Fortunately some other policemen arrived, but considerable rioting took place while the accused was being carried through the streets. The constables said that thousands of people mobbed them on the way, throwing brick bats and stones and rescuing other men who had been taken in charge for assaults. Brown was now disabled, and two other officers complained of having been kicked by the prisoner. The knife alleged to have been used had not been found. The case against the accused was concluded, and he might have been committed but for the absence of the police surgeon. Mr. Hannay asked the reason the surgeon was not present, and the inspector said that the surgeons would not attend the Court unless subpoenaed. The magistrate said he could not understand such conduct. The doctors were paid a fee for giving evidence, and in the interests of the public service and of justice they should always attend the Court on the first hearing. As it was, he should be compelled to adjourn the inquiry for a week. The case had revealed an extraordinary scene of rioting and resistance to the police in the neigbourhood of Spitalfields. The prisoner, who said no more about the affair than that the young woman Marks had been drinking with him, was remanded in custody.