THE DERBY MERCURY WEDNESDAY MARCH 27TH 1850
Derbyshire Lent Assizes.
William Spendlove,aged 58,charged with having at Alderwasley
killed and slayed one Jedediah Winson.-Mr Flood,for the prosecution: Mr
Nesfield,for the prisoner.
The evidence before the coroner has already appeared
in the Mercury,and it will therefore be unnecessary to repeat more than
the leading facts.The prisoner and deceased were friends,and on the 8th
September they were drinking together at several public-houses.There was
nothing to show any malice on the part of the prisoner.During their drinking
the deceased made a remark which none of the witnesses heard,and which
led the prisoner to call him a rogue.Deceased challenged him out several
times,and at length the prisoner went out,and after a struggle or fight
in the yard prisoner returned into the house : deceased followed him,and
challenged him to go out again and have another round . A second struggle
took place :both were down together,and on getting up deceased insisted
upon having another round and "ran into the prisoner, "who struck him,and
he fell and never spoke again,though he lived several days.The prisoner
went for his ass and cart to get him home,but in the mean-while he was
wheeled in a barrow.
Mr Poyser,surgeon,descibed the injury inflicted by a
blow behind the ear ,which produced death.
Mr Flood believed the prisoner quite incapable of meditating
the death of the deceased,but submitted that they must find a verdict of
Mr .Nesfield,having elicited on cross-examination that
the prisoner had a bottle and basket in his hand when deceased ran at him,
and that he left the house with these in his hands,
Mr.Flood said this important imformation did not come
before the coroner.
His Lordship suggested to the jury,that without going
further into the case they must aquit the prisoner,as he was justified
in defending himself,when attacked,in a resonable degree.If two parties
fought voluntarily,that was clearly illegal,and if one killed the other
was guilty of the crime of manslaughter ; but in this case the prisoner
was attacked when he had a basket and a bottle in his hands,and he struck,as
he had a right to do ,in self-defence. no blame whatever was attatchable
to the coroner.-he was then aquitted, his lordship remarking it was a pity
he had been in prison so long..