BIftWFRGM BOTTLEi CAUSES DEATH.
VERDICT OF. MANSLAUGHTER. The' unusual : circumstances surrounding the death of "Benjamin Mores (40), boardinghouse-keeper,' who died ill the Auckland Hospital on March 27th from injuries received a fortnight previously, were, further investigated by Coroner Gresham at the adjourned inquest this morning.. ,
Joseph Griffiths, the ■ man who. was arrested last week in; connection with the affair, was present in custody. . The first witness was the widow, Mary Casseroni Mores, who .lives in Federalstreet. r a She,, stated- that on the night of the IltH of March, at 11.30, her husband got.out -of bed -and; left-the room. Not understanding his long absence slie got up herself, and found the deceased being assisted to the back door by a lodger named Henry Johnson. Mores exclaimed, "Joe cut mc; in'tbe head, with a bottle!" and Johnson also told witness that the deceased had had his head cut. The witness dressed a. wound in her husband's head, and the latter then remarked, 'Tm all right!" -,- <: After Mores had gone to bed, the witness went into the room where Griffiths was and said, "Joe, what have you done this for?" Griffiths replied, "Missus, 1 am sorry! I did it in a passion." He, witness thought, had drink in'nini. This conversation took place in the bedroom occupied by Johnson and Griffiths. A man named Lees was also present, but he was lying on the floor, drank. Coroner: In what condition'was Johnson?— Johnson was not drunk. Had any drinking taken place in your hoyse to your knowledge before 11 o'clock?—No, none. ' ' 'Mores went to. work next' day, and seemed all right for nearly a fortnight, when he complained of pain, ana was sent to the hospital. In reply to the foreman of the. jury, Mrs. Mores added that Griffiths had lodged with her for three months, and up to the night of the llth had always .behaved himself.
Griffiths:' Didn't your husband take a piece 1 of wood to mc first? Witness: No, not that I know of. A Henry Johnson, an elderly man, said he was a seaman by trade, and had lodged in Mores' for about a year. He occupied a room''with Griffiths, and on the night of the llth Sam Lees was also present. Af*er ten. o'clock Griffiths! kicked up an awful row," which caused Mores to come into the room. The deceased said;"! don't want no loafers in here." The remark Was addressed to Griffiths, who had brought Lees in. Griffiths replied that he didn't bring any loafers in, and an argument ensued. Eventually Griffiths picked ; up an empty bottle off the table, andjatepping back, threw it at'\the deceased. The bottle, ■which was", a square Schnapps bottle, was smashed on the deceased's head. The blow knocked Mores down. Griffiths seized another bottle, but witness took it away, and picked uj> the injured man. - ' • Before Mores entered the room Griffiths had >een declaring that he waej. | the strongest man in Auckland, and' frightened of nobody. He was neither drunk nor sober, but "between and oeItwixt."
The Coroner: That,:is the position everybody is in when they do these sort of'things.
Dr. Scott Brockway said that when he first saw the deceased on March 22nd, the -wound "onithe .head was nearly healed. He complained of. pains all over• him, however, and had a sore throat. The sear of .the "wound was about an-inch and a-half long, above the left brow. Four days later, however, Mores was unconscious when the witness called, and the latter ordered his. removal to the hospital. Later the witness performed a post-mortem, and found a cerebral abscess, which was evidently the cause of death.
Dr. J. R. Cross, senior medical - officer at the hospital, Btated that the skull was fractured, the injury, having caused an abscess to form.
By the Foreman: He could not say that it would have made any difference to the patient's chance,of recovery had the latter been treated for the depressed fracture on the #2nd. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter against Griffiths.
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