Monday, 3 December 1900
A POLICEMAN MURDERED.
Shortly after 1 o'clock on Saturday morning, Police-constable Ernest William Thompson, 240H, stationed at Leman-street Police-station, was stabbed to death whilst on duty in the East-end. It is stated that Thompson saw a knot of men and women standing near a coffee-stall at the junction of Union-street and Commercial-road. They were quarrelling, and after some trouble he succeeded in moving them on. After going some short distance they stopped again and renewed the dispute, and Thompson made another effort to get them away. What happened then is not at present clear, but a police whistle was blown and there were shouts for assistance. Several officers went in the direction whence the sound came, and found Thompson lying on the ground struggling with a man. Thompson said, "Hold him," and then fell exhausted and unconscious from loss of blood. He was conveyed to the London Hospital, but on arrival he was found to be dead. The doctors discovered that the main artery in the neck had been severed.
At the Thames Police-court on Saturday, BARNET ABRAHAMS, 41, a cigar-maker, an English Jew, residing in Newark-street, Whitechapel, was charged with feloniously killing and slaying Police-constable Ernest Thompson, 240 H, by stabbing him in the neck with a knife while in the execution of his duty. Mr. Deakin, instructed by Mr. Ben Cooper, of the Cigar Makers' Union, of which body the accused is a member, defended. The prisoner had two black eyes and an injury to his nose and an ear, and told his solicitor that there were bruises all over his body. Mr. Deakin said it was impossible to go adequately into the matter that day, and therefore suggested that only short evidence be taken. Constable 100 H stated that at 20 minutes past 1 that morning, while he was on duty in Commercial-road he heard the blowing of police whistles. He ran in the direction of the sound, and at the corner of Union-street he saw Constable Thompson holding the prisoner on the ground. The officer was bleeding terribly from a wound in the neck. With the assistance of other constables Thompson was put into a cab and taken to the London Hospital. On the way he breathed frequently, but on arriving at that institution he was examined by Dr. Hilyard, who pronounced life extinct. Detective-Inspector T. Divally, H Division, said that when he charged the prisoner he first said, "Do you understand English?" and the accused replied, "Well." Witness then said, "I am an inspector of police and am going to charge you with feloniously killing and slaying Constable Thompson by stabbing him in the neck with this knife," at the same time pointing to a long pocket-knife covered with blood. The prisoner then said, "Then I am charged with maliciously killing?" Witness answered, "You are charged with feloniously killing." Abrahams said, "It is quite possible, I do not remember anything about it. I had no cause to do an injury to anyone." Mr. Frayling, from the Treasury, who was present, said that on the next occasion the Treasury would take charge of the case. Mr. Dickinson remanded the prisoner.