A case of inhumanity, almost incredible in its grossness, was heard at the Bristol Assizes recently. Thomas Ames, 23, laborer, was indicted for the murder of Albert Edward Miles, at Bath, in August last. Deceased, a boy nine years old, met his death in a lock on the Kennett and Avon canal. He clambered down the lock gales, and began fishing. On returning up the gates his foot slipped, and he fell into the water. The prisoner was standing on the side of the lock, and saw the deceased struggling in the water about seven feet deep. Some one shouted to him to jump in, and he replied, “ Let the little get out the best’ way he can.” His cries, however, reached two boys, named Vowles and Hillier, who, pulling off their jackets as they ran to the lock, immediately jumped in, caught the deceased, and held his head above the water by taking an arm each, and swam towards the gates, intending to hold on by them, or swim into the river. Cn their way they called to prisoner to throw them some poles which were on the bank. He did not reply, but began to close the lock gates upon the three boys. Although their progress to the river was thus stopped, they still hoped to save the deceased by clinging to the bottom of the lock gates, but to their horror they saw the prisoner take a winch and begin to raise the hatchways. A woman shouted, “For God’s sake don’t ; you’ll drown all three.” Prisoner only laughed, and went on raising the hatchways. The sudden rush of water washed the deceased out of the hands of his rescuers, and.they with difficulty saved themselves. The body was found sucked under close to the hatchway.Prisoner was found “ Guilty of manslaughter,” and sentence was deferred. The Judge, High Sheriff, and Bari raised a subscription to show their appreciation of Vowles and Hillier’s bravery, and the sum of three pounds was handed to each of them.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 259, 3 February 1881
Incredible Inhumanity. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 259, 3 February 1881
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