Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser 20 September 1850

Another of the many examples with which the Irish papers have teemed, time out of mind, of the hopelessness of strict justice from local juries, is supplied in the Cork Examiner of the 9th inst. We there find an account of a coroner's Inquest on the body of a child of between six and seven years of age, who is alleged to have come by his death from the cut of a whip, administered by Capt. H.K. Bushe of the 59th regiment of foot. It appears that the child was walking out with a servant girl, and, having a whip in his hand, he struck a dog belonging to Captain Bushe. The captain, hearing the dog yelp, immediately cut at the boy, who ran away quickly, and, in the confusion, knocked himself against a wall. On the child's return home, the servant obligingly told the mother that "Captain Bushe had killed her child." The mother questioned the child, who answered, at first, that he was not hurt. He subsequently complained of his head being sore but added that Capt. Bushe did not hurt him, and the next day the child was playing about the door of the house. Two days afterwards the child looked ill; the mother went for some medicine ; two days subsequently the child was seized with convulsions, and on the following Wednesday, one week from the occurrence with the dog and the falling against the wall, the child died. Upon the inquest Dr. Perry was examined, and we have from him the following facts :— He found no marks of violence whatever on the child. The child died from water on the brain ; there were manifestations of disease which must have existed prior to the child's last illness. It was quite possible that giving the child fruit, or treating it improperly, would have produced convulsions. If there was a welt on the cheek, (as alleged by the mother) on Wednesday, it certainly must have left some trace on Friday, when witness saw the deceased.

In addition to this testimony, a Dr. Braddel deposed that he had made a post mortem examination of the deceased. He made a very minute examination of the head, because he had been told that the child was injured there, but I could discover no trace of any injury on that organ.

In England we can pretty well guess what would have been the result of an inquest before whom such facts might have been adduced. At Mallow, they bring in a verdict of Manslaughter. In England, if all the evidence for the accused party is not at hand, the inquest adjourns. In Ireland they allow a witness to admit that his wife, who would have afforded material testimony in such a party's behalf, and left town that very day to visit a relative!

Of course, Capt. Bushe will now be tried on the charge of manslaughter, and another Irish jury will have to deal with that stage of the judicial [sic] proceedings. We will not express a hope that the jury will dismiss all prejudice from their minds, for that is a clear impossibility in the locality in question ; but we do most earnestly trust that the judge on the bench will exercise a discriminating authority, and protect the arraigned party from the consequences of the mischievous blundering of a Mallow jury. Capt. Bushe may be sure will possess the sympathy of every officer in the army and of the commander-in-chief.—United Service Gazette.

Submitted by dja

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