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THE JPENGE MURDKR.

The following account of the sentencing of the Pen^'e murderers to deatu is given by the ' Pall Mall Gazette' :—

The trial of Lewis and Patrick Staunton, Mrs Patrick Staunton, and Alice Rhodes for tbe alleged murder of Mra Lewis taunton, at Penge, w>B continued at the Central Criminal Court on Friday, September 21. Mr Just cc Hawking began his summing up at twenty minutes to 11 o'clock on Wednesday morning. He commenced by pointing out to tbe jury the distinction between murder aud manslaughter, and then proceeded to comment minutely upon the whole of the evidence. It was a quarter to ten at night before he finished the address, and the jury then re'ired to consider their verdict. Ou their return, after an absence of an hour and a quarter, thej found all the prisoners. Lewis Staunton, Patrick "taunton, Elizabeth Ami Staunton, and Alice Rhodes, guilty ef wilful murder. Mrs Staunton was recommended to mercy, and Alice Rhodes strongly recommended to mercy. Although, it was a cold and foggy night the streets adj iceut to the Court were crowded, and when the verdict was made known there was a burst of che ridg from the crowd. The Judge, in pas>iiig jentence of deith in the usual form, said, " You have been

found guilty by a jury of your country of a crime so blajk and hideous that I believe in all the records j of crime it v, ould be difficult to find its parallel. With a barbarity almost incredible you plotted together to take by cruel torture the life of a poor, innocent, and outraged woman ; ami although you do not stind to-day cmvicted of the crime of having murdered her helplcsi child, I cannot help feeling satisfied within my mind that you are guilty of the crime of contemplating, and plotting, and having brought about his death. It is a sad thing to see four young people, as you are, standing there convicted of so cruel a mnrJer as that of this unb.-vppy lady. Terrible 1o my mind it is to think how you could have entered into so barbarous a plot, it is even more incredible to think how cruel was your conduct in relation to her .death, day by day, and hour by hour, gradually sinking into hi r grave, that poor unhappy ere ature whom you sent to her rest." Sentence having been passed, the Clerk of Arraigns formally asked the prisoners whether they had anything to say why there shonld be a stay of execution of judgment. All the prisoners replied in the negative, and Alice Rhodes said "No, I am perfectly innocent. ' The prisoners were fchen removed from the dock. They were all terribly agitated while the verdict was being taken and the sentence pronounced. The • Press's' London correspondent writes :—": — " The trial, which has daily drawn immense crowds, furnishes a revolting tale of avarice, adultery, and murder. Louis Staunton and Patrick are brothers ; Mrs Patrick i^taunton and Alice Rhodes are sisters About two years ago, Louis Staunton, then a youth of 24 years, married a Miss Harriet Richardson, who possessed a small fortune of L 1,400, besides a reversionary interest in other sums. This lady was of weak intellect, and more thau ten years Louis Staunton'ssenior. daving gained possession of her money, Louis commenced a course of neglect, if not of actual ill-treat-ment, towards his wretched wife. He also formed an improper intimacy with Alice Rhodes, a young girl of eighteen, the sister of bis brother Patrick's wife. The object of the four was now to get the miserable, half, imbecile Harriet Staunton out of the way, and out of the way they got her by starvation. This is just a rough sketch of the horrible story. The trial was one of thu most harrowing I ever recollect hearing of. The four prisoners are all young, the eldest being Elizabeth Staunton, who is only twentyeight, while her husband, Patrick, is four years her junior. I regret to say that ladies crowded to tbe trial, and on the last day, when the verdict and sentence were delivered, these fashionably-dressed creatures j of modern society sat scrutinising through I their opera-glasses the four wretches in their agony. And during that awful period of suspense, when the jury were away debating over their verdict, these ladies whiled away their time with champagne and periodicals. What hearts of stone these women must have had ! It was harrowing enough to read of Elizabeth Staunton's hys terical shrieks, her paeons appeal for water when the sentence was delivered, of her husband's efforts to calm her, of Louis Staunton's fixed stare as if terror had turned his brain, of Alice Rhodes's sobs— but to go and witness the spectacle with no other object but curiosity is disgraceful to humanity. While in Newgate awaiting trial, both the' female prisoners were delivered of ohildren'

An Indianopolis undertaker has introduced oosn,B of sweet-smelling center,

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TT18771212.2.45

Bibliographic details

THE JPENGE MURDKR., Tuapeka Times, Volume X, Issue 729, 12 December 1877

Word Count
824

THE JPENGE MURDKR. Tuapeka Times, Volume X, Issue 729, 12 December 1877

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