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THE WOODGATE MURDER.

As the case of the prisoner William Henry Woodgate was not finished in the Supreme Court till nearly midnight we are unable, owing to want of space, to publish the whole of the evidence &c, in this issue. The remainder of the report will appear in Saturday's Express, but in the meantime we may state that the other, persons who gave evidence were Mr and Mrs Russel, Mr James Heberly the grandfather, and Mr John Heberley the uncle of the girls Woodgate. The Court adjourned at six o'clock for refreshment and met again at half past seven o'clock when Counsel addressed the Jury, Mr Rogers and Mr Oonolly speaking for half anhour each. The'learned Judge summedup very carefully an address wh>ch lasted an hour »nd.three,quarters, and the general impression was" that, after hearing his direction, the jury would find the prisoner guilty, not of wilful murder, but of a lesser offence, namely the secret disposition of the body of the child. This was not the case however, for after 55 minutes' consultation the jury found Woodgate guilty of wilful murder, and he was .sentenced to death in the usual manner. Mr Rogers raised a point in the prisoner's favor, namely, whether Susan Woodgate's statement that prisoner had admitted to her before the birife of the child- that he would smother it, ana after the birth that he liad smothered it, required to be. corroborated by other witnesses or not. This is a ■ most important point, as it may be presumed that it was on the strength of it that the jury convicted the prisoner'of the capital offence. The point will probabiy be considered at a special sitting of the Court of Appeal, and should that court hold that the statement referred to does require corroboration . we assume that the effect will be that the conviction will be quashed and Woodgate liberatedi After prisoner had been sentenced

to suffer the extreme penalty of the law lie was handcuffed and removed from the dock to the lockup, where two sentries were on guaivl during the whole of the night. He was taken to the Picton gaol by train this morning and on his arrival there he will be placed in heavy irons. He did not appear t) be in any way affected when he heard his sentence. The way in which the case was got up reflects the greatest credit on the police. .

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/MEX18761206.2.12

Bibliographic details

Marlborough Express, Marlborough Express, Volume XI, Issue 873, 6 December 1876

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404

THE WOODGATE MURDER. Marlborough Express, Volume XI, Issue 873, 6 December 1876

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