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THE CITY TRAGEDY., Wanganui Chronicle, Volume XXXXVII, Issue 11813, 20 December 1902
THE CITY TRAGEDY.
ADMISSIONS OF GIRL CHARGED
A DIVORCE CITATION
The new Lord Matvor had an experience estJerday which is unprecedented in the history of the Mansion House Police Court. The first case brought before him as chief magistrate of the city was a charge of wilful murder against a young and pretty womaa. ' ' h . . The crowd which struggled for admission to the little court-room; was unusual in character as well as size. It was composed largely of City men, including many stockbrokers, who were in court to see the dress : maker accused of stabbing Arthur Reginald Baker in Lombard Street on Monday afternoon. „■"'-» As the gaoler .called "Kitty Byron, a slender, dark-eyed girl came timidly up the stairs, shrinking a little when she saw the dense throng about her. Then, looking around the court-room, she advanced composedly into the dock and leaned on the iron railing. . . The girl was very -white, but when the eaoler asked her if she felt faint she shook her head. She save him a grateful look, however, when he placed a chair for her in the corner of the dock. After sitting down she gazed steadily, oblivious of the curious spectators, at Inspector Fox, who entered the witness-box to relate the story of her arrest. Miss Byron is decidedly - prepossessing m atroearance. She wore a dark skirt and jacket, wiht a highi linen collar, and a sailor hat of white straw. She was very neat, and her features, though somewhat thin, are attractive. She looks younger/ than her age, which is given on the chargesheet at twenty-three. .. "KILLED HIM WILLINGLY." Inspector Fox, who was in charge at the Cloak Lane Police Station, was the only witness called. He said that, while on duty at about a quarter to three on Monday afternoon, the prisoner was brought in. He informed her that Arthur Reginald Baker had been stabbed in Post t>ffice Court., Lombard Street, and that she would be charged with the murder. The prisoner replied: "I killed him- willingly, and he deserved it; and the sooner lam killed the better." v Later in the afternoon the inspector.again visited the prisoner in her cell. This time tho matron was present/. Miss Byron made the following voluntary statement: "Inspector, I wish to so"- something to you. I bought the knifo to hit him——" "That is not true," interposed the prisoner in low, emphatic tones. Her solicitor, Mr C. O. Humphreys, asked her to preserve silence, adding, "I will ask a question about that." Inspector' Fox then testified that the statement .she made to him was: "Inspector, I wish to saiy something to you. I bought the knife to hit him; but I did not know I was killing him." A WEEK'S ADJOURNMENT. While the policeman was giving evidence, a brother of the murdered man entered the court room, and was conducted to a seat on the counsel's bench. He did not sit down for several minutes, but stood looking at Kitty Byron, who was seated almost within reach. She did not turn her head, but continued to divide her attention between the Lord Mayor iand Inspector Fox. A remand_TEaa ordered until 11.30 next Tuesday morning. The prisoner remained iv her seat until the gaoler motioned her towards the stairway, and then, with an apologetic gesture for the delay, she passed on to the cells below. Many of Baker's r>ersonal friends were in court. "Poor chap," said'one member of the Stock Exchange, "he was best man at my wedding." Baker was described by one broker present as a man of convivial habits and as well known in the vicinity of Throgmorton Street. ■ ' The' charge sheet showied that the prisoner had in her possession when arrested a gold wedding ring. ISs^ 6£d in money, five photograph)?, two knives, letters and memoranda, a pawnticket, a comb, brooch; two keys, and a ■pencil. HISTORY OF MISS BYRON. Miss Byrou comes of a highly respectable family. She formerly lived in Pimlico, but on the death of her father the iamily moved to Leytonstone, where the widowed mother is living at present with her married son, his wife, and their, three small children, and a younger sister of the prisoner, aged about fourteen. The Byron family occupy a pretty little villa in Napier Road, and are spoken highly of in the neighbourhood. The prisoner was employed as a milliner's assistant early this year at Mme. Timorey's Court dressmaking establishment in Old Burlington Street. It. was stated last night by a representative of Mme. Timorey that Miss Byron was forced to leave in June last owing to her apparent inability to keep proper hours. She was described by her former associates at the establishment as being a veiy pleasant 'girl, but very reticent about her private affairs. Mme. I»a Laide, who keeps lodgers in Duke Street, stated to an "Express" representative that Mr Arthur Reginald Baker first oame to her house about three months ago with another gentleman. Mr Baker engaged apartments for himself and his "wife." Miss Byron arrived several weeks later. The couple first) occupied a suite of two rooms, but afterwards changed, to a- bedsitting room. In this room, which has been sealed up, are> contained the personal ef- ■, fectia of the murdered man and the prisoner, including a, trunk and a portmanteau, which have been taken possession of by ! thDWORCE PROCEEDINGS BEGUN. Mme. La Laide stated that she had been forced to give the, couple, notice to leave on Friday last, owing to their bitter quar- ; relling On Monday morning tho prisoner i told her that Mr Baker had been served with a citation in divorce, at the instance : of his wife, adding that she. (the prisoner) was "named as co-respordent." Mr Baker left tha house, as a rule, about ten o'clock every morning, and went back sometimes at four o'clock Miss Byron frequently went out during the day. *ei--5S of them ever bad any -callers, and nothing was knowd'-at the house regarding the prisoner's family or friends. , Tho citation :"ni divorce against jjajter, which waTtaken by his wife, Mrs Alexandra BftfceaV waa served on November 4, at S Duk« Sta** apartment, by ex-Detective Inspector Litfclechild, who is now in charge of a private foquinr •- w ." Tlift Or To«sa*y cwtwpomMit says—l be
wife of Baker, the victim of the tragedy, is v. daughter of Alderman J. Harrison, who was Mayor of Torquay a few years ago. Before becoming proprietor of the Queen's Hotel, Torquay, Mr Harrison lived at Marlborough, where he also served as Mayor.
■Mrs Baker, who is staying with her father yt the Queen's Hotel, Torquay, cannot assign any reason for the tragedy. Though there was no arranged! separation, she has not lived with/ her husband since January.
- A few weeks ago she learned that her husband was living with Byron. She consulted her solicitor, and, acting upon hLs advice:, issued a writ for divorce, which was served on Baker on November 1. Baker, whose age was forty-three, was a son of Mr Baker, of the firm of Baker, Blaker, and Hoare, solicitors, of London. He was born at Crawley, Sussex, and married Miss Harrison in 1897. , Thew lived until January last at Charleville Mansions, West Kensington. One of Mr Baker's brothers-in-law is Mr Perkins, lasb year's Mayor of Taunton, and another, Mr Layton, lives at Cambridge. __________^_____
THE CITY TRAGEDY., Wanganui Chronicle, Volume XXXXVII, Issue 11813, 20 December 1902
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