Bundy accused of murder 1844

 supplied by Jim Bundy

Bedford Mercury & Huntingdon Express
Saturday March 23 1844

William 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 Stocker.

Saturday March 30 1844

William 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 several injuries.

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 intoxicated.

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 these injuries.

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

 No. 1651
 Name Leonard Bundy   Born Reynold
 Late Residence Bedford Gaol
 Age 26.
 Height 5 ft 11 inches
 Complexion Fresh
 Hair Brown
 Eyes Hazel
 By Whom Committed Habeas Corpus
 When Committed 14 March 1844
 For What Offence Manslaughter
 Sentence Acquitted.
 When & How Discharged Lent Assizes 1844
 Remarks on General Behaviour Orderly.

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