Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image


Dunedin, Feb. 7. A dreadful tragedy occurred in King street, this morning, at a house known as Lincoln cottage, situated between Union and St. David’s streets. The house was occupied by a family named Hayes, consisting of the father, mother, son, and daughter. It appears that one of the sons, who has been in the employ of Mr. R. T. Wheeler, of this city, has been suffering from ill health, and that this so preyed on his mind that he had became insane, and had to be confined in the lunatic asylum. This in turn is supposed to have preyed upon the mind of the father, Attwell Hayes, who is a contractor. He came home apparently all right last night, but this morning, on waking, he proceeded to cut his wife’s throat with a table knife. After succeeding in this attempt, he made for the children with the intention of murdering them also, but they ran into the garden, where he followed them, and succeeded in inflicting some wounds on the son. Not succeeding in catching either of them, however, he returned to the house. At this stage a neighbor, named James Gilks, greengrocer, was attracted by the screams of the children, and, throwing down abundle he was carrying, rushed into the house, and found Hayes in the act of cutting his own throat. This he prevented by taking the knife from him. He laid it down to attend to Mrs. Hayes, who was lying in the room. Whilst thus engaged, Hayes seized the knife again, and succeeded in severing his wind-pipe before Gilks observed that he had again got hold of the weapon. It appears that there was a lodger in the house also, and that Hayes on coming in from the garden where he attempted to catch the son and daughter, made an attempt to murder him also. The boy, who is not seriously injured, is about 12, while the girl is much older. The son, who is at present in the lunatic asylum, is 22 years old. The eldest son is at Oamaru. Dunedin, Feb. 8. First accounts regarding the case of murder and suicide were exaggerated as regards the attempt made by Hayes to murder his two children and lodger after cutting his wife’s throat. He made an attempt upon his wife and himself, in both of which he succeeded but too well. The facts are as follows : —The lodger, named Trenwick, was aroused at 6 a. m. by screams proceeding from the bedroom. He found Mrs. Hayes at her last gasp, sitting on the bed, with her throat terribly cut. Hayes was in a chair in front of the looking-glass, drawing the razor across his own throat. Trenwick, with the assistance of the two children, got the razor from Hayes, and then ran down the street for assistance. Gilkes and a warder from the hospital came, and all wont back and met Hayes, who got excited on seeing the lodger, exclaiming ti nt he had been the cause of all this. The lodger then went for a doctor, and Gilkes for his wife to attend Mrs. Hayes, leaving the warder to take care of Hayes, from whom he got loose, got a carving knife, and completely severed his windpipe. He died in a couple of minutes afterwards. Mrs. Hayes was dead ere Mrs. Gilkes appeared on the scene. Trenwick and others say that there was not the remotest cause for jealousy. It is presumed, therefore, to be a sudden attack of insanity, from which two sons had been previously confined in the asylum. (BY TELEGKAXUi.) Dunedin, Feb. 9. The verdict at the inquest was one of temporary insanity. The evidence showed that the illness of Hayes’ son had latterly preyed greatly on the deceased, causing excessive melancholy.

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 59, 10 February 1880

Word Count

SHOCKING TRAGEDY IN DUNEDIN. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 59, 10 February 1880