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The Cornish Times
Saturday 23rd October 1897


Last month, the arrest was effected by the Cornish police of an elderly man named William Barrett on a charge of being concerned in a stabbing affray at Cargreen Quay, on the Tamar, the wounded man being William Edward Rawlings, a labourer engaged in the river work. Barrett was brought before Torpoint magistrates and pleaded not guilty, was committed to take his trial at Quarter Sessions, being allowed bail.

He surrendered to his bail at the sessions at Bodmin on Tuesday, to answer a charge of having "Maliciously wounded Rawlings with a knife on board the steamer Empress at Cargreen on September the 9th" Mr W.J Terill appeared for the prosecution; Mr. Percy.T.Pearce of Plymouth, for the defence. Prisoner was on the boat going to Cargreen and some of those on board chaffed him. It was alleged that he resented this by stabbing prosecutor in the back with a knife - Prosecutor, a labourer, of Devonport, said he had known prisoner for the last 20 years. Just as he left the boat, he felt a stab in his back, and putting his hand under his shirt he found blood there. Prisoner was behind him with a knife in his hand. Under cross-examination, prosecutor admitted having chaffed the prisoner; there were some people who were always worrying the old man-Mr J.E.Elliott, farmer, Pillaton, said prisoner was intoxicated at the time of the occurrence, and he was being teased all along the river by prosecutor and others. He went by the name of "Ratty" -Dr. Morris, house surgeon at the Royal Albert Hospital, described the nature of the wound, which was a slight one. Inspector Ebbett and P.S.Rowe gave evidence, and Rev. Sylvanus Gregory, of Landulph, and Messrs Snell and Elliott spoke as to the character of the prisoner. Mr. Pearce, in an able defence, commented strongly on the fact that the prosecution did not call certain independent witnesses who had been bound over to appear-The jury returned a verdict of "Not Guilty" and prisoner was discharged.

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