|Central Criminal Court Report:
This court opened on Monday, 1 December, before his Honour the Chief Justice. John Bootle was indicted for the manslaughter of James Smith, by striking him with an iron bar, on the Western Road, on the 27th October.
Bootle, a publican, living on the Western Road, having had a few words with his wife, she left him in a pet*, and went home to the house of her father, leaving her sister and another lady, visitors of hers, at Bootle’s house; the next day she came for her clothes, accompanied by her father; Bootle, who had been engaged opening some syrup, and had an iron bar in his hand, refused to allow his wife to hand over her band-box to her father; an altercation ensued and Mr. Smith struck Bootle a severe blow on the forehead with the heavy end of a whip-handle, cutting it open; Bootle raised his hand and struck Mr. Smith on the side of the head with the iron bar; Mr. Smith fell, was removed to bed nearly insensible, and medical assistance called in; but he died in the course of the night. Bootle was described as a quiet inoffensive man.
Mr. Holroyd, for the defence, urged that the injury was most
probably inflicted by Mr. Smith’s head coming in violent contact with the bar when raised by Bootle to protect himself from a second blow with the whip handle.
Guilty, with a recommendation to mercy. Sentence, six months’ imprisonment.
* OED says
Pet (3rd meaning): Offence at being or feeling slighted; a fit of peevishness or ill humour from this cause, (now) esp. a childish sulk.
|Newspaper Report on Death:
Fatal Accident on the Bathurst Road.
A most dreadful accident occurred on the night of the 12th instant at Eighteen-Mile Hollow, on the Bathurst Road, which resulted in the death of Mr. John Bootle, carrier, a resident at St. Mary’s, South Creek. Mr. Bootle was returning with his dray from Bathurst, when, at the abovenamed spot, and, as it would appear, while asleep, the horses went too near the siding, and the dray upset, falling a distance of from six to eight feet, and crushing poor Bootle beneath its weight. With the dray upon his thighs and the lower part of his stomach, the poor sufferer lingered till morning, when he was discovered, and still had sufficient strength left to give directions as to the readiest way of extricating him. After the dray was raised, and he was drawn out, in less than two minutes he breathed his last. An inquest was held on the body on Friday, and a verdict of accidental death returned. Strange to say, the six horses are uninjured, save a few scratches to the shaft horse. It is painful to add that the cash handed over as the amount found upon him falls very short of what he ought to have had — some miscreant not only cut his pocket from his trousers, but actually ripped open the lining of his coat. The deceased has left a widow and two children.
Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser of 6 December 1851
Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser of of 20 January 1855