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Daink, Degradation, and the Gallows.

The “ Times ”of August 1 says ; “ A very shocking case was brought to its inevitable conclusion yesterday at the Derby Assizes. On the 12th of July, a young man named Gerald Mainwaring, the son of a clergyman, and described as being of good manners and education was apprehended at Derby for being drunk and dangerous to himself and others. While the charge was being made out against him at the police office, he drew a revolver from his pocket and discharged it at a constable named Moss. Before he could be disarmed he tired three more shots and wo rsided another constable named Price. Boch of the wounded men were at once conveyed to the infirmary, where Moss died on the following day. Thus the case was very plain in regard to the facts and their proof, while the circumstances which led to the commission of the crime discloses a revolting story of degradation. Mainwaring, it appears, had been living at an hotel in Derby, where he had formed a connection with a prostitute. On the day of the murder lie entered the bar of th? hotel where ho was staying in company with this woman, and called for a bottle of brandy, which the two nearly emptied between them in a very short time, fie then went out for a drive, still accompanied by the woman ; they stopped for a short time at the house whore she lived, and when another woman wh kept the house refused to allow tlk: girl to go out again in such a disgraceful state of drunkenness, he at once threatened Co shoot her, and overcame her resistance by presenting his pistol at her in such a manner as to convince her her life was really in danger, fie then proceeded on his drive in company with the girl ; but the condition of both was so openly disgraceful that they were followed by the police and ultimately apprehended. What ensued whoa they reached the lock-up we have already stated. None of the facts of the case were disputed by the prisoner’s counsel, who only pleaded for reduction of the offence from murder to manslaughter. Tiie plea however, was not counteranced by Mr Justice Bindley I in his summing up, and the jury, after a long deliberation, found the prisoner guilty of murder, though they accompanied their finding with a strong recommendation to mercy. The life of an innocent man has been sacrificed to the drunken and dissolute passions of one whose education and breeding should have saved him even in his wildest excesses from such an abyss of degradation and crime. The case is a warning, written in letters of blood, to all who are apt to think lightly of youthful excesses, and who do not consider how narrow is the margin which separates unbridled passion from crime.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 20, 11 November 1879

Word Count

Daink, Degradation, and the Gallows. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 20, 11 November 1879