8 July 1889
At GREENWICH, PERCY CHATTERTON, 47, physician, of The Mount, Sydenham, was charged on remand with assaulting his daughter Grace, aged 15. It will be remembered that the prisoner is alleged to have struck the girl and given her severe black eyes because she went to the assistance of her stepmother, whom the prisoner was thrashing. She also alleged that the prisoner took up a knife and threatened to rip her up, saying that she had only five minutes more to live, and that "Jack the Ripper" would be nothing to it. Mr. Pook again appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. Hodson for the defence. A second charge against the prisoner of assaulting his daughter Amy, aged 13, was gone into. The child said that an April 14 the prisoner told her to sweep up the fireplace. She did not understand what he said, and he took up a poker and beat her with it on the back, shoulders, and arms. She did not know how many blows she received. She got under the table and he pulled her out by the hair and dashed her on the floor. She fell down and her father kicked her. She had not been impertinent or given any provocation to the prisoner. Cross-examined, witness said she complained on the following Monday of her father's conduct. She admitted that she had once been sent home from school for playing truant. Louisa Smith, of 3, Mount Ash-road, Sydenham, said she recollected Amy Chatterton's calling at her house on April 15. She showed witness 18 to 20 marks, about 3in. long, on her back. The skin was not cut, but the arm was black, and she thought the marks were too severe to have been caused by a cane. Amy begged witness not to tell her father she had complained, as he would, she said, beat her worse. Kate Cole, of 2, Mount Ash-road, gave corroborative evidence. Mr. Hodson submitted that the prisoner had acted under great provocation. He was a man of excitability of mind, which had developed of late under overwork. Lina Brabham, sister-in-law of the prisoner, was called for the defence, and said that Grace was idle and disobedient and was defiant towards her stepmother. The prisoner had been a kind husband and father. Cross-examined, witness said she had been to the police-station to ask whether Mrs. Chatterton could go home with her without the prisoner following her. The prisoner was then excitable. Her sister had a cut on the head and took out a summons against the prisoner, but withdrew it. Two or three times the prisoner's wife had taken refuge at witness's house. Sergeant Snelgrove proved that in 1879 the prisoner was convicted at Bremley of assaulting his late wife, and was ordered to find sureties in £50 and himself in £50 to keep the peace. Mr. Marsham said the case was an important one and he had no doubt the prisoner had used undue violence towards his children. He ordered him to find two sureties in £25 each to keep the peace for six months or to go to prison for a month. Prisoner said he could not find bail and his children would starve. He had been in prison for 16 days already.