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London, Oct. 25. George- Ernest Thompson Edalji, aged 28 years, a solicitor in practice at Birmihgham, and son of the Eev. Shapenji Edalji, vicar of Great Wyrley, was, on September sth, committed for trial on a charge of maiming a horse belonging to the Great Wyrley Colliery Company. The case excited unusual interest in fchb district, owing to the fact that during the preceding six months a number of similar outrages had been committed, in spite of the vigilance of the police. Horses,' cows and sheep left quietly grazing m the fields at night had. been found next morning shockingly mutilated. Some of the animals were still alive and writhing in an awful agony. The authorities were informed of the plague of destruction, detectives patrolled the high, roads^ and the whole countryside became alarmed. When ah arrest was made, although for one specific charge only, popular indignation became intense. ' The actual offence with which the prisoner was charged was that of maiming a pony by cutting open its stomach and letting out the bowels in an extremely cruel manner. During the progress of the outrages the police received a number of extraordinary letters, some of them descrf bing how they were committed. In one it was stated : "You have made a mistake in not keeping all the plam-clothes men at hand. You sent them away too soon. Just think, close where two of them were hiding only a few days gone by. But he has got eagle eyes, and his ears are as sharp as a razor, and he is as fleet of foot as a fox, and as noiseless, and he crawls up on all fours to the poor beasts, and fondles them a bit, and then he pulls the hook smart across i them^ and out their entrails fly afore they guess they are hurt." , These letters were alleged to have been written by the accused, and one of them contained a threat to murder a police sergeant. ', The letters were signed in ttie l name of Wilfred Greatorex, who -turned out to be a schoolboy whom Edalji knew. The evidence on whiohithe prosecution placed most reliance, was the finding at the vicarage of clothing belonging to the prisoner on which were found horsehair and blood stains. A pair of boots, belonging to the prisoner, were muddy and dirty, and the footprints in the Afield;corresponded with thoseof the ; prisoner's boots. When arrested prisoner at first denied that there were any haira on his clothes, but afterwards said, they might ; have got there by his Waning on gates and rails about 'the fields. Four razors were found in prisoner's bedroom, all of which were more or less stained.

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Bibliographic details

CATTLE MAIMING., Feilding Star, Volume XXV, Issue 121, 4 November 1903

Word Count

CATTLE MAIMING. Feilding Star, Volume XXV, Issue 121, 4 November 1903

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