Home Crime Violence Fatal Challenge –  Miner Killed In Row – Manslaughter Verdict.

Fatal Challenge –  Miner Killed In Row – Manslaughter Verdict.

October 1911

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Tuesday 31 October 1911

Fatal Challenge.

Miner Killed In Mexbro’ Row.

Manslaughter Verdict.

A Mexborough jury sat, under Mr. F. Allen, Coroner, for five hours last evening investigating the death of John Henry Stanton (58), a miner, living at 4, New Buildings, Furlong Lane, Bolton-on-Dearne, which took place 17, Britain Street. Mexborough, early Sunday morning, from injuries received on Saturday night in the vicinity of the Albion Inn, Mexborough.

Many witnesses gave evidence, and though there were discrepancies in detail, the majority swore that the deceased man was knocked down by James Cairns (22) pit corporal, of 64, Loversall Street, New Conisborough, who was present in court in custody. Cairns had been brought up at the Doncaster West Riding Court earlier in the day on a charge of causing the death of Stanton, and was remanded, formal evidence having been given.

Superintendent Hicks, of Doncaster, was present at the inquiry, and Mr. Blackmore, also of Doncaster, represented Cairns.

William O’Brien, miner, of 4, Doncaster Road, Mexborough, said he was in the Albion Inn on Saturday night at about ten o’clock. Cairns and witness were talking about fighting, but the deceased did not take any part. Cairns said he could beat witness, and witness said he couldn’t. Then Caims said, I’ll go outside and fight you.” ”I jumped up and said come on,’ ” continued witness, ” and walked outside. Cairns followed me, and the deceased came after us, and tried persuade Caims not to fight. I did not intend fighting, as Cairns was too big for me.”

Was Stanton any the worse for liquor?—No, sir; he had had a drop, but he was not drunk. Neither were Cairns or witness, though they both had had some liquor.

The Start of the Trouble.

How did the bother start?—Stanton was trying to pacify and Cairns struck Stanton. The first blow was struck by Cairns.

Answering Mr. Blackmore, said there was nothing in Cairns’ manner of speech to lead witness to think that he was in temper.

Robert William Lawrence, miner, living at 8, Edlington Street, New Conisborough, said the  deceased was standing the bottom of the steps, when “this feller that is dead, let go at Jimmy Cairns, and hit him in the mouth.’’

Should you say that either Cairns or O’Brien was the worse for drink ?—No. they were about three-parts.

Asked for an opinion as how it was that Stanton came mixed up with the affair, witness replied. “Billy O’Brien, in opinion, was not man enough fight this man. It is my idea that he had Stanton, who was a bigger man, out to fight this man.”

George Baker, steam-hammer driver, 24, Frederick Street. Swinton, said he saw the man come out of the Albion Inn. He did not hear Stanton speak or see him do anything, but saw Cairns strike Stanton. The first time he struck he knocked Stanton’s pipe out of his mouth, and the second time he knocked him down. Witness did not see the deceased strike a blow. He had spoken to Stanton about 20 minutes before occurred. Stanton was then sober. O’Brien, too, appeared to be sober, but Cairns was in a very excited state.

William Liversidge, butcher, 6, Orchard Street. Mexborough, said he saw Cairns go up and strike Stanton. He only saw one blow.

Edwin Frauds Birch, labourer, of 23, Walker Street, Swinton, said he was passing, and heard James Cairns calling out. “Where is O’Brien?” Turning round, he saw Cairns strike a man, who fell to the ground, his head striking the roadway. Witness put his hands under the man’s head, and found a stone, bedded in the road way underneath. The man did not appear to have a chance to defend himself.

Inspector Fairbairn, who arrested Cairns, said he asked him to accompany him. Cairns replied “He is not hurt, is he?” He was first informed of the man’s death on reaching the police station at Mexborough. He said “He (Stanton) struck first, and cut my lip.” Cairns then produced a blood-stained handkerchief. There was a slight cut Cairn’s lip.

Dr. L. Ram said he found the deceased suffering from concussion, followed by compression of the brain, due to internal bleeding. The man must have received several blows.