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EVIDENCE OF THE ACCUSED. CHARGES AGAINST DR CLAYTON. TRESS ASSOCBATION. CHRISTCHURCH, November 21. The case against Henry Vincent Styche, charged with having on or about Juno 4th, 1900, at Christchurch, attempted to- procure Dr Geoffrey Sherborne Clayton to murder one Elizabeth Styche, his wife, was continued at the Supremo Court to-day, when the examination of expert witnesses for tho defence was resumed 1 .

The accused then gave evidence. He said he was in no financial difficulties, and was now in a better position than when he was married in 1891. His wife had been delicate since their marriage, and as she had been getting weaker during the present year, she consulted Dr Clayton of her own accord. After referring to his conversations with Dr Clayton, he detailed the occurrences of October 3rd, on the evening of which day he called on Dr Clayton at the letter’s request. Dr Clayton said: —“ It is not altogether about your wife that I wanted to talk to you. The fact is | am rather -short of money, and have been trying to raise £IOO, and I thought that you, through your wealthy employers, might he able to help me.’’ Witness said ho himself had no money to lend, and asked what security the doctor had to offer. The doctor replied that he had practically none. After some further discussion as to the loan, Dr Clayton said that some kind friend had offered to give or lend Em- £2OO for a very small favour—putting a patient out of tho world. He explained that it could be very easily done. It simply meant giving a litle extra morphia. Some more talk followed, and Clayton I then said ho had been much annoyed at 'receiving some anonymous letters, and he would hand them to witness in the order in which he had received them. (Witness read them, mostly to himself,* I but the light was bad. One part of one j of the letters was indistinct, and he could not make it out very well, and the • doctor, noticing this, asked Em to read it out aloud. When he handed over tho letter-card, he said: “Now, don’t you think this refers to Mrs Styche.” Witness replied that it was very suggestive. When speaking about the letters. Dr Clayton said he thought the word “terrible” indicated that a woman had written them. After having read the letter-card, witness -said that whoever was tho writer was a coward, using no pronoun. He, however, thought the letters were a hoax and told tho doctor so. The doctor said the proposal was absurd, and that the job w T as worth more like £2O \) than £2OO. Ho then asked if witness would go halves in getting in r. detective, but witness replied that he thought it would be better to wait to seo how things developed, and in that Dr Clayton agreed, and said he would show witness any further correspondence. The domestic, relations between himself and his wife were the

happiest that could be imagined. There had never been any friction between thcrii, and he had always paid her every possible attention. In 1893 he took out a joint life insurance policy for £3OO, the main object being to provide some sum for bis wife in case of his death. Of late years, .since he had mastered the machine he had never used the vertical stroke in mistake for the ’‘3.” Ho had never seen any of the original letters produced until he saw them at Dr Clayton’s house, nor had he written any of them or any- part of them. He hid ncicr found himself making sucu blunders as appeared in the letters. Ho was nor at the office after business hours, and ho did not know of his own knowledge whether ' anyone could obtain access to the offices after business hours. -Ho did not know until after his arrest that the folding doors had been found unlocked. The typewriter usually- stood at the end of the table, and in addition to the chair on which he sat there was another chair at the end of the table. He would swear that he had accidentally knocked the machine from tiic table to the floor, his coat sleeve catching in the machine as he was moving some hooks from the table to the counter at, his back. In its fail the machine struck the chair by the table. He had not tampered with the machine in any way, and he could not say that he know whether it hud any characteristic defects.

Mr Stringer asked no questions, ihe Court, then adjourned till tomorrow, when counsel will address the jury and his Honour sum up.

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Bibliographic details

THE STYCHE CASE., New Zealand Times, Volume LXXI, Issue 4210, 22 November 1900

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THE STYCHE CASE. New Zealand Times, Volume LXXI, Issue 4210, 22 November 1900

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