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Thomas Johnson

Witness at Frances Coles' inquest.

An Able Seaman belonging to the ship Mandolar, he appeared at the final day of the Coles inquest and stated:

"I was at the Sailors' Home, Well-street, and I know Duncan Campbell, who was at the Sailors' Home with me. I was in the hall on the morning of the 13th inst., and was standing by the fire. Campbell was there also, and I saw another man going out of the hall. That was about 10:30. I did not notice him much, but he had a mark on his left cheek. He was wearing a cap with a shiny peak. I think he was wearing a striped coat, but I am not sure. After the man had gone Campbell told me he had bought a knife for a shilling. On Sunday I went to the Leman-street Police-station, and I recognized the man I had seen in the hall. He was among a lot of others. On Tuesday last, at the Thames Police-court, I again recognized the man I had seen in the hall on the Friday. When we went to Leman-street first I was not asked to identify any one. Several people came in, and Sadler was picked out. At that time I was standing in the row."

It was then suggested to Johnson that he had not been asked to identify the man until somebody else had done so in his presence, to which he replied, "No. I was in the hall before Campbell came in, but I did not see the man speaking to Campbell. I only saw him as he was going out of the door. I did not notice any scar on the man's forehead. It is not an uncommon thing for a man to have a scar on his face. I recognized the man most by his beard and moustache, and also the mark on the cheek."

Johnson recognised the man in the lodging house as the one picked out at the Police Station (James Sadler).[1]


  1. Inquest report, The Times, 28th February 1891

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Related pages:
  Thomas Johnson
       Press Reports: Croydon Advertiser - 13 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Croydon Times - 13 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 8 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 9 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Star - 8 October 1888