Bedford Mercury & Huntingdon
Saturday March 23 1844
Stratton and Leonard Bundy both received from H.M. Gaol at Huntingdon under
a writ of Habeas Corpus charged on oath with killing and slaying Francis
Saturday March 30 1844
Stratton and Leonard Bundy, both received from her Majesty's Gaol at
Huntingdon, under a writ of Habeas Corpus, was indicted for killing and
slaying Francis Stocker.
Mr Prendergast appeared for the prosecution, and Mr O'Malley for the
defence. John Darby knew deceased, who lived at Eaton Ford; and on the day
that his death took place, witness was waiting for him to bring his money;
after some time he saw two carts driven along by the prisoners at a rapid
rate in a direction from Paxton, being the road that deceased was walking
along; after this two men on foot came to witness and told him a man had
been run over, in consequence of that he turned back, and, after coming to
the place where the accident occurred, he saw deceased sitting on the bank
beside the road, with his head resting on the knees of the turnpike keeper;
blood was issuing from his mouth and ears, and he appeared to have sustained
William Thornhill lives at Belper in Derbyshire; was walking along the north
road on the evening of the 19th of August, in company with a man named Luck
when they saw two carts racing against each other; they had not gone far
before they saw some object lying on the road; upon coming up to it they
found that it was deceased, in a bleeding state.
By his lordship - There is a raised footpath by the side of the road.
George Garner was on the road on the night in question, when he saw
prisoners driving along the road at a sharp trot; shortly afterwards he came
up to deceased, whom he found extended on the road with one arm underneath
his body and the other bent back.
James Watts was in company with Garner and corroborated his evidence. Jane
Kidd lives at Little Paxton; on the night that the accident occurred
deceased called at her house, and shortly after he had left, prisoners came
up in two carts; they appeared to be rather intoxicated; and drove off in
the same direction that deceased had taken; the latter was quite sober.
Cross examined - Would not swear that prisoners were not sober.
Robert Brown keeps a public house at Eaton, on the evening of the accident
prisoners called at his house; Stratton appeared to be sober, and Bundy
rather "fresh". Rebecca Anderson lives at the Crown public house at Eaton
Socon; prisoners called at her house about 9 o'clock, they appeared to be
Joseph Rix is a surgeon, and attended deceased, whose skull he found
fractured, and the brain protruding from the right ear; one arm and his ribs
were broken; besides other injuries, from the effects of which he expired on
the following Monday; a cart or any other body of great weight would cause
Police constable Smalley apprehended Stratton on the same evening; upon
reaching his house he found Stratton upstairs, and called to him to come
down; he asked repeatedly "what for?" and after witness told him it was for
running over a man; he said, "I know all about it, and if you want me you
may come and fetch me;" witness then broke open the door, went up stairs,
and found Stratton in a state of partial intoxication, and nearly undressed;
after giving Stratton in charge witness proceeded to the house of Bundy,
whom he found fast asleep and in a state of great intoxication; on his way
he said, "it's a bad job, and if I had not been drunk at the time I should
have stopped and picked him up;" when on their way for examination on
Monday, Stratton, upon approaching the spot where the accident occurred,
said, "I think it was here where he stood," but Bundy said "No, it was not
here, it is a little farther on;" and afterwards pointed out the spot within
half a yard of where the body was found.
Witness underwent a severe cross examination by Mr O'Malley, as to whether
he was not under notice to quit the force; whether he did not know a noted
poacher previous to his entering the body, and been concerned in poaching
affairs himself; and whether suspicion had not been exerted against him
relative to a fire at Mr Pratt's to all of which he replied in the
negative. He had never said it was 11 o'clock when he took the prisoners
into custody, and not
half past nine.
Stratton said, "as God is my judge I did not run over the man."
Mr O'Malley addressed the jury for the defence, and impressed upon the minds
of the jury the fact of the learned counsel for the prosecution admitting in
his statement of the case that there was not the slightest ground to
conclude that the prisoners committed the act with which they were charged
from a malicious motive and he Mr O'Malley would call a number of witnesses
of respectability, who had known the prisoners for a lengthened period, and
would speak of their general characters for sobriety and humanity in the
highest terms; no one could regret more than the prisoners themselves the
fate of the unfortunate man; but, admitting that the carts belonging to the
prisoners were the cause of death; still, it must be observed, that the
deceased himself was guilty of carelessness in travelling along the centre
of a road much used by different vehicles, when there was a path raised for
the sole use and protection of foot passengers from casualties likely to
occur on a road of great thoroughfares, particularly at a season similar to
that when the catastrophe took place, when the traffic is not only much
greater, but it is extremely probable that the vision of the drivers of
vehicles going along the road might be obscured by the dust raised by the
carriages that had preceded them.
The following witnesses were then called to character; Ebenezer Cooper, of
Wymondham, had known prisoners for 14 years; John Cobbett, of Wyboston,
cordwainer, 13 years; Freeman, of Aylesbury, farmer, 30 years; and a number
of others were in attendance, but the learned counsel did not consider it
necessary to call more than those named above, as they spoke in the highest
terms of the general good conduct of the prisoners.
Entry in the
Quarter Sessions Register
Name Leonard Bundy Born Reynold
Late Residence Bedford Gaol
Height 5 ft 11 inches
By Whom Committed Habeas Corpus
When Committed 14 March 1844
For What Offence Manslaughter
When & How Discharged Lent Assizes 1844
Remarks on General Behaviour Orderly.