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Manslaughter on the High Seas - McGough Murder Charge

Hampshire Advertiser

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At the Hants Summer Assize, on Monday, before Mr. Justice Lawrence, sitting in the Crown Court, George Thomas [sic] McGough, 25, mariner, was charged with the murder of John Dwyer, on the high seas, on March 10th. Mr. Giles, M.P., and Mr. Barnes prosecuted, instructed by Messrs. Coxwell and Pope, as agents of the Public Prosecutor, and Mr. Bodilly defended. The history of the tragedy was, briefly, that on February [sic] 9th, while the British steamer Rushington [sic] was at Santos, the crew, including the prisoner and Dwyer, went ashore. The two returned together between nine and ten o'clock in the evening, and later, when all the men were assembled on the deck, prisoner, who was intoxicated, became quarrelsome, and challenged any of his companions to fight. Dwyer tried to persuade prisoner to go below, whereupon the latter seized deceased by the legs, butted him in the stomach an threw him over the hatchway into the hold. The fall was about twenty feet, and when picked up Dwyer was in a terrible state, bleeding from the ears, nose and moth, and died in a few minutes. When told of what he had done prisoner remarked "I have done it like a man, and I can swing for it like a man." Prisoner was afterwards put in irons, and was handed over to the police at Southampton, on the arrival of the Rushington at that port. - A witness, named Lumburg, stated that when prisoner attacked Dwyer the latter defended himself. The two fell, and prisoner, rising first, with his back to the hatchway, butted deceased into the hold. Afterwards prisoner offered to fetch a doctor, but Dwyer was dead - Mr. Bodilly's defence was that it was really and accident resulting from then hatchway being open. - Prisoner was given a good character by Mr. Havelock Wilson M.P.-the learned judge told the jury that there was no case of murder made out.-The jury found prisoner guilty of manslaughter, and he was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment, with hard labour.

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2013) Manslaughter on the High Seas - McGough Murder Charge (Hampshire Advertiser, Wednesday 4th July 1900, ref: #19327, published 21 February 2013, generated 1st February 2023 03:11:11 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/mcgough-manslaughter-on-the-high-seas.html