THE DEATH OF CLELAND DIXON.
VERDICT : DIED OF COLD AND
LANDLORD AND TENANTS CENSURED. . .
An inquest was &lcl yesterday afternoon at the Wynyards Anus Hotel before Dr. McArthur, coroner, and n jury of six, to inquire lino the circumstances surrounding the death of Cleland Dixon, who on Monday morning was found dead in bed in a shed in premises owned by Mr J. McNamara in Abererombie-street. Mr Geo. Donaldson whs chosen foreman of the jury. Sergeant Forbes represented the police. Mr Gregory (instructed by Mr Thos. Cotter) appeared for Mr J. MeXnmnra, the owner of the premises where Dixou died.
Thomas Jones deposed that he was a labourer, residing ut McNamara's at Aoer-eroinbie-street: MeXamara does not reside there at present. He lived there till about two or three months ago. He was a lodger and had lived there for about two years, tie did hot consider himself in charge of McXaiuara's house, although he l'lved there rent free. He wan authorised to state what the rent of the room was, and lie was also authorised to receive money from tenants on behalf of McXamara. MeXamara lives In Newton Knad, but visits the house almost dally. He goes round the house and sees each tenant. He saw McXamara on Saturday afternoon. Dlxoii, the deceased, had always lived, while In Abercrombiestrcot, in the shod in which the jury viewed the body that afternoon. Ho did not know What deceased paid for the shed he lived In. He had always been weak and delicate, but he was always able to j?o in and out. lie was almost sure that there was a mattress under deceased, and thonjrht he had a blanket, but never looked. He took him some tea on Saturday evening. Deceased was never In want, because he Rot what he wanted at Thomas' grocer's shop ill Wnke-fleld-street. Ho saw doeenHPd at dinnertime on .Sunday, and gave him some potatoes and a bit of meat. He called on deceased a little after 7 o'clock on Monday morning, and saw that he was dead. He then acquainted Mr Cox, who was coming out of his room. He was always astonished that he should be 1n the position in which ihe was, as he seemed to be able to ffct what ho with ted. He did not know that he was in such a filthy eoudltlon from vermin.
In answer to Sergeant Forbes, witness Sflkl he did not consider the place in which deceased lived wns fit far a human being to live in, but ho never mentioned tills to anyone,, not .even to MeXiunnru. He did not know anyone who would know more of deceased than he did. '
Alfred Vassal! Cox said he knew that deceased had all he Wanted in the way of food. So far as he knew deceased had plenty of money to pay for rent. Deceased got remittances from the Old Country amounting to an average of £1 per week, and presents from his sisters.
In answer to Sergeant Forbes, witness said he could not say whether deceased had bed clothes or not.
Joseph Thomas, grocer, said- deceased had dealt with him for about four or five years. .JTe was, n remittance man, and got a r>vnit about once every three months. Sometimes the amount varied between ,211 and £13 a quarter, averaging £1 a week. His correspondence was addressed to witness" care, and he handed him his letters closed. .
Joseph McNamara, owner of the premises, said he had known the deceased for about 11 years. He had the shed purely rp an act of charity. He had asked Detectives Maddern and Kennedy- to leave his place. The former said he must leave. . ... " '
Dr. King in his evidence safe! he had never in his experience met with such a case of neglect, or ever seen such a miserable hovel for a roan to live in. He also described the disgusting state of the body, some parts of which were wounded by vermin.
Sergeant Forbes corroborated the evidence of Dr. King as to the filthy condition of the place where deceased lived, and the state of the body. His only covering ■ was an old coat, which only partly covered the body. i The iury returned the following verfllct: "That Cleland Dixon, on the evening "of the Bth or the morning ol' Uie 9th July, did die of cold /tnd exposure, and the jurors desire to state thftt in their opinion the landlord of the premises and those cognisant of the abode in which the deceased lived, are highly to he connured for not reporting the matter to the Local Board of Health or Charitable Aid Board."
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