FATAL ACCIDENT.- CORONER'S INQUESr.
An inquest was held on Thursday morning; the 18th inst., at the Golden Fleece Inn, Currie-street, upon the body of Ann Bean, who had been killed on the preceding day.
a jury ot 15 having been empannelled, they proceeded to view the body. Tlie following evi dence was then taken :— Arthur Bean, of Thebarton, said the deceased was his mother. Was driving her a little after 4 o clock on Wednesday in a dog-cart. There was no one else in the vehicle. Was going along the eastern side of Light-square towards Weymouth- street, and just as he was passing the end of Currie-street he saw two horses and a dray gal- loping out of the street towards the square. There was no driver with them. There was a man driving a spring-cart in front of them trying to avoid them. Thought if he could get up near Light-square fence they would not come near him. He got as near the fence as he could, but the horses came right up to him, one taking one side of the cart and the other the other side. He was turned out immediately and the wheel went over him, and when he was getting up he saw the wheel going over his mother. People soon arrived, and Dr. Mayo came. His mother was sensible, but was bleeding very much from a wound in the fore head. When Dr. Mayo arrived she was re moved to the Prince Albert Hotel in Currie street. She lived about 10 minutes after she was conveyed to the house. Did not know who was the owner of the horses and dray. Thought they went along Weymouth-street towards the Post-Office. Did not know whether his cart was upset, but it was stopped in Weymouth-street. Asked a man whether he was the owner of the dray, and he said 'Yes.' Thought he should know him again. It was the wheel of his cart that he saw going over the deceased. Did not think McEnhill, the person present, was the man who said he was the owner of the dray. The man offered him no assistance, but went away at once. Was driving at a very slow pace at the time of the occurrence. Carl Woltmann, of Adelaide, licensed victualler, said he kept the Bristol Tavern, Franklin-street. Was in his own house about 5 o'clock on Wednes day afternoon, when four or five drays loaded with stone passed from the east towards West-terrace, and stopped about 150 yards beyond his place. The men helped each other to unload. One dray had been unloaded, and the second one was being unloaded. One of the wheels had sunk eight or ten inches into a soft place, and the men were trying to make the horses puil out. Saw McEnhill whip the leader, but not cruelly, and some one pokmg the shaft horse with the head of the pick axe— not the point. Did not know what vio- lence the man used, but did not think he injured the horse. Soon after the horses got out of the hole, and immediately bolted in a full gallop, towards the east. McEnhill ran after the horses, but could not catch the reins. The dray turned round into King William-street, and that was the last be saw of it. Saw no one pelting the horses with stones. Did not think any blame or negli gence was attributable to McEnliill. The men did not stop at his house to get drink. Had only known McEnhill a few weeks. He was in his house one day, and he was pointed out as the contractor for repairing the street. He had been in his house once or twice, but he was no customer of his. McEnhill had not spoken to him since the accident and asked him to speak favourably for him. By the Foreman— McEnhill had not hold of the horses' heads when they got free. Did not know whether McEuhill was drunk or sober. Edward Henry Cornock, of Adelaide, photo grapher, deposed that he was walking up Franklin street about half-past 4 on Wednesday, when he saw a dray loaded with stone,, and one of the wheels in a bog. [Here the witness repeated the evidence given by the last speaker about the means taken to extricate the dray, He continued ]— There was a man in the dray picking the stones out, and he took up about 3 or 4 lbs. weight, and let it fall on the back of the shaft horse. He got out of the dray just after that and commenced digging the wheel out. While doing so he poked the horse in the ribs several tines with the butt end of the pick. His treatment of the horse was crueL [Here the witness recapitulated the evi dence ot the last witness about the bolting of the horses. Saw McEnhill there. He was the man who had the whip. There was no cruelty practised on the horses at the time they started, except ordi nary whipping. Should not say it was cruel whip ping. Knew nothing of horses. The men had evidently been drinking but could not say posi tively they were drunk. They certainly appeared to him to be rather in liquor. By the Jury- The stone was not thrown down with force.
Alexander Jaffrey of Adelaide, clerk, reiterated the evidence of the last witness, and added that he told the man with the pickaxe that he was ill- treating the horse. Cautioned him to desist, but he only turned round and laughed. The man was the worse for liquor. Thought both the men treated the horses badly. Thought the whole affair was one of cruelty, considering the circum stances in which the horses were placed, Gave information to the police when he heard of the accident, because he considered the horses had been cruelly used, and in case he might be wanted. By the Jury— Considered the horses bolted in consequence of the ill-treatment they had received, and because there was no one at the head of the horses. He was accustomed to horses. Saw the man with the pickaxe strike the horse immediately before the animals started. About one-half of the stone remained in the cart when the horses went off. Mr. McEnhill was here called, and the Coroner :oid him that the evidence had assumed such a form as placed him in a. very serious position. He might, therefore, remain in the room and ask any luestioii:; of the witnesses. The last witness had ,'iveu such evidence as mitilit implicate him in the iccident. He would lead Mr. Jaiirey's statement -ver to him, and he could ask anv question he liked. The Coroner then read over Mr. JaflreyV evidence, and asked him whether McEnhill was the man who flogged the horses. A. JafFrey, recalled, said he could not see the man who used the whip. He could only see the thong coming round the horses. By Mr. McEuhiil— 1 was standing on the rijiht hanH side of the dray, and the man with the whip was on the left-hand side. The horses were heading towards West-terrace at the time the man struck the horse with the pickaxe. The animals were cruelly used under the circumstances, the j wheel being tight in the hole and no man licing at I their head, which made the horses unmanageable, as they sprang from one side to another. The ) dray was half full when the horses started, hut the | sudden spring tilted it all out. I dii I not see the horses struck with any part of the whip except the thong. Patrick Conway, of Adelaide, labourer— Was in the employ of James McEnhilL Was working with a dray in Franklin-street yesterday. Assisted to get the stone out of the dray that had bogged. The ilmy was near enough to the place where the stones were to be taken. At the time he got there half of the stones had been taken away, and he assisted to get out nuwt of the remainder so as to ea-e the wheel. Did not see either McEnhill or the other man strike the horses before the stone was taken out. Saw a man named Hoolohan poking the shaft horse with the pickaxe, liut he did not do it with force enough to hurt the animal. Of course, if there hail been any expectation of an accident the cart, could have Iteen entirely unloaded and the stone deposited in its proper place without any difficulty. The horses were good pullers, but they were overpowered from the wheel being in the bog. Was quite sober, but McEnhill and his mates had the appearance of having taken a glass or two. Could not swear that they were sober or that they were drunk. Thev were, however, sober enough to handle a dray and horses. Uy the Foreman-Saw a stone fall upon the shaft horse, but did not see it come from a man's hand. It might have been thrown, but he thought it came from the pickaxe while unloading. livMr. McKnhill— it is not usual to unload with the* hands a rip-dray except tlie wheel sticks. Sometimes the shaft horse pulls well and some times refuses. Saw you beating the horse, but not cruelly. There were no stones in the dray when the horses l»olted. The horses went some paces before they bolted, but only bolted when the body of the dray righted itself. There was no one at the horses* heaiLs when they lukeiL It was not usual for a man when he wastilting liis dray to be at the head of his horse. You were quite close to the animals' heads when they bolted'. By the Coroner— Never saw the horses bolt be fore, but had heard of their bolting liefore. James Byrne, of Fniuklin-street, bootmaker, said he saw the drays and the men.' Saw McKnhill strike the leader with a_ whip very slightly— not cruelly. Saw no one strike the horse with a pick axe. If it had been done he must have seen it. McEnhill was a decided stranger to him ; but, as far as he could judge, he was sober. He had more patience than he ever saw in a man with two horses. He had the reins in his left hand, and when the horses were getting out of the bog he touched the shaft horse gently, which caused the animal to swerve to the left in a moment. iMcKnhill lost the command of the horses and dropped the reins. The horses then ran away. McEuhiil followed them for 15 yards, but it was impossible to overtake them. Was as sober as when he was born. The Coroner, in his charge to the Jury, said no doubt they had been rather startled at the contra dictory evidence which they had heard. Tlie first evidence was that of Arthur Bean,- who knew nothing about the starting of the dray. They next came to that of Mr. Carl Woltmanu, an old resi dent, and oue likely to give unbiassed evidence on l-oth sides. From the tenor of his statement he saw nothing to implicate Mr. McEnhill in any actual guilt, though it showed he had been very negligent. He would read his evidence, so as to impress it upon the Jury. After reading it, he said it appeared to him to be vciy straight forward. He did not say that the men were solicr or 'drunk. He (the Coroner) thought at least as much attention might be paid to Mr. Woltinann's statement as to any of tlie other witnesses. With regard to the evidence of Mr. Pnmoek and Mr. Jattrey. it also should be read
'O tliem. L-Loe coroner lueu rcuu iuc cvmcncc, ind continued!— He should be very sorry to im iHign Mr. Jaffrey's evidence, because he thought [hat young man had acted as any one shocked at i-rueltv would have done. Ho, for his own part, thought the treatment was cruel; but that was a matter which would most likely come before another Court Inspector Peterswald was present to watch the proceedings, and he had no doubt would deal with the men for cruelty to animals. They had to consider whether the treatment by the men of their horses was the cause of thei bolting or whether that bolting was attributable to their culpable negligence, because if either such was the case McEnhill, and perhaps Hoolahand, would in the eyes of the law be deemed to be the cau«eof the accident that led to the death of Mrs. Beari. In that event their verdict would neces sarily be a verdict of manslaughter. He need hardjy repeat that the evidence was very contra dictor}'. It would, however, bo their duty to decide accordinc; to what they believed, after carefully weighing the circumstances of the case. They should in the first place consider the matter of floyging the hoises. He believed they would all a^'ree that only the lash of the whip, and not the butt end, had been used. With regard to the -stone and the pickaxe, the evidence wxs also very conflicting, due witness said the axe was not used at all, and another that it was not exercised with sufficient violence to hurt the horse. The others said it was cruelly u*ed. Then they had to consider what was the cause of the startinc. One witness said the pickaxe was not used for «ome time lwfore the horses started, and another «aid that it was used immediately l-efore. He would not like to lay too much stress upon the stone, as the witness who saw it fall said it was only dropped, and not thrown. He would leave the matter to the Jury as to whether it was necessary to hold the horses' heads while the men were flogging them. He knew some horses would bear that treatment, while others would not. With respect to the reins, he did not think jleEahiU had them in his bands, although Byrne
was so positive that lie had. He did not think Byrne would willingly utter a falsehood, but his evidence was peculiar, and made up with contradictions. Addressing McEnhill, he said he knew something about the treatment of horses and something about the cruelty that was sometimes used to them. He did not think it was very nice to strike the horses in the way he and his man had done just at the very spot where the stone was to lw deposited. They could have emptied tife dray with their hands when they found tlie horses could not pull the load out; and if they had had any humanity in them they would have done it He trusted Inspector Peterswald would take the proper steps by which he and his man might be severely punished for their very cruel treatment to the poor animals. He would now leave the Jury to con sider their verdict The Jury, after an hour's deliberation, returned the following verdict :— 'We find that the said Ann Bean came to her death by being thrown out from a dog-cart ; that the said Ann Bean was to thrown from a dog-cart in consequence of two horses and a drav, the property of and driven by James McEnhill, coming violently into contact with the said dog-cart: and that the said two horses and dray caused the death of the said Ann Bean in consei|uence of the neglect of the said James McEnhill. 'J. H. Howe, Foreman.' The Coroner told the Jury that their verdict was that of manslaughter, and he should formally have to add the following words:— 'And (hat in cousenuence of the said neglect the said James McEnhill did feloniously and unlawfully krll and slay Ann Bean agakist the peace of our Lady Sovereign the Queen, her crown, and dignity.' Tlie Coroner then called James MeEtmilL and addressed him as follows:— 'I need not tell you that this is not the final Court in which you will have to appear. The Jury have weighed the evi dence carefullv, and have come to the conclusion that 3'ou are guilty of very great and culpable negligence. They have considered that Hoolahand acted only as your servant, and have therefore omitted him from their verdict For this, however, I am not the more favourably inclined towards him ; but his case witl.be dealt with by the Police Magistrate, and I trust he will be made an example of for all who are in the habit of treating their animals with cruelty. It only remains for me to say that you arc a prisoner at present, and I shall now proceed to make out your commi.taL'* The prisoner was then committed, hail being refused. As the verdict was pronounced he re marked it was a \cry strange decision. * The room was Idled with spectators, and the case lasted from half-past 9 o'clock in the morning to 3 o'clock in the afternoon.