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SATURDAY'S INQUEST.

The following evidence was given at the inquest on Maurice Edward Barton :

Samuel Charles Phillips, aioler.identifiedthe body ag that of Maurice Edward Barton, who, he said, was remanded to gaol on Tuesday afternoon on a charge of drunkenness. He was remanded till tho sth of this month. He was in a very disfigured condition, principally about the face, and was apparently suffering from the effects of drink. He was admitted before noon, and was seen by the gaol surgeon within an hour. He was very confused and indistinct in his conversation. The surgeon gave certain directions regarding dietary treatment. He was ordered 'beef tea anil zailk, which diet was continued up till yesterday. He ate very little uolid food, but drank the beef tea and milk.| |He had two warm baths after his admission, and was allowed as much exercise in the open air as could be made convenient. The surgeon saw him daily. At about one o'clock yesterday afternoon he was brought before the surgeon in the office. Deceased safc down and spoke to the surgeon about his leg. He .was then attacked with a sort of fit. and the doctor attended to him. Deceased left the gaol for the hospital at about a quarter to three, hut died on the way. Witness did not see any signs of dilimtm tremens, but he appeared to be suffering from a long bout of heavy drinking. Dr Burns, surgeon at the Dunedin Gaol, said he saw deceased on Tuesday lust shortly after his admission to the gaol. He walked into the office unassisted. Witness noticed marks on his face, bruises on both eyes and upper lip, scratches on his nose, and & wound on the back of liix head, which -had been dressed with two stitches. The pulse wan feeble. Witness felt satisfied that the man was in for an illness, and directed him to be put on special diet and kept under special observation. Witness vWted him a<*ain that night between eight and nine o'clock. Witness saw him once a day after thK His condition continued mueh the same until yesterday. when he complained of his left leg. His leg wa» so swollen that witness ordered him to bed, and while he vroc there witness noticed the red blush of erysipelas from foot to knee. Witness made up his mind to send him to the hosuital, and deceased also asked to be sent there. The am?>ulance waggon was obtained without delay, but while they were sitting inside the gaol door deceased was seized with a fit. He was unconscious, but struggled feebly. This lasted two or three minutes. As he came to, witness administered a glassful of brandy. Some few minutes afterwards he was seized with another fit. On account of his condition witness hesitated as to whether he should send the man to the hospital, but decided to send him. Witness helped to place him in the ambulance waggon, and preceded him to the hospital. When the ambulance waggon reached the institution the man was dead. A warder and a prisoner accompanied the man in the ■waggon. Witness and Dr Stenhouse, surgeon at the hospital, made an external examination of the ?jody, but found nothing new to account for death. Witness was not very much surprised at his death. Knowing his drinking habit, witness had no doubt that his heart was diseased -in a fatty condition that followed habitual drunkenness. The cause of death was failuro of the hearts action from fatty degeneration. Deceased was said to be thirty-five years of age, but he looked more like a man ten years older. The bruises had nothing to do with the cause of death.

, Thomas Vincent, assistant warder at the gaol, said he and a prisoner accompanied IBarton in the •ambulance waggon. He was conscious when they left the gaol, and witness noticed no change until tchey arrived outside the hospital gate.". Witness remarked to the prisoner who was with him that tleceased had gone. Witness was kneeling down on the floor of the waggon, with his left arm round the man's shoulders, so as to keep him on hia right side, as he preferred to be on that side. He expired without the sligtest struggle. ..Sergeant O'Neill stated that he had knows deceased for some years past. He followed tbe occupation of a hawker, and lived in Filleul street. tie was a widower, and left three children, aged fourteen, twelve, and ten. On Sunday night last witness heard that he had been drinking and had »net with an accident Witness sent a policeman to visit his home. -He was in bed on the arrival of the policeman', who saw that he was suffering from the effects of previous drinking, but was sober then. He had a wound on the bade '>{ the head, and the. constablel advised him to go to the hospital for treatment, but ;he said he did not care to go. Witness ascertained that he had sustained the injury to his head through falling on the pavement in Moray place on r Sunday morning. The injury was attended to by Dr Martin. On arriving at the polite station on 31onday morning witness heard that deceased had been locked up for drunkenness. Ho was found lying drunk in the street by a constable. He was brought before the Court and remanded to the caol for a week. Witness applied for! the ttroand in consequence of the state ' the man was in. Witness was told by one of the Corporation e&iployes that he saw deceased fall face downwards before the constable arrested him. That would probably account for the bruises on his face. Deceased y/as a native of the Isle of Wight, aud was said to be thjrty-nine years of age. He had been at least twelve years (in New Zealand. j

the -ccmntry to see the mother of a young, lady who is a lay worker in. hia diocese, and who had expressed a desire to hear of her daughter, from His' Lordship. Practical Christian kindness such as this seems always to be associated with this bishop's name, and is in my humble opinion worth bucket-loads of sermons.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18971004.2.58

Bibliographic details

SATURDAY'S INQUEST., Evening Star, Issue 10436, 4 October 1897

Word Count
1,031

SATURDAY'S INQUEST. Evening Star, Issue 10436, 4 October 1897

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