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Colonial Cases

R v. Huckins [1887]

[manslaughter - aggravated assault]

R. v. Huckins


Supreme Court for China and Japan

June 1887

Source: North China Herald, 10 June 1887

Before Geo. Jamieson, Esq., Acting Assistant Judge.
  Charles Huckins, Second Constable in H.B.M.'s Consular Gaol, was put forward on remand,  charged with causing the death of a Chinaman named Wong Yan-nien at the Shun Yuen tea house on the Bubbling Well Road, by striking him on the head with a truncheon on Saturday last.
.  .  .  
  Mr. Latham asked that the prisoner be committed for trial.  Whatever doubt there was about Sergeant Reed's evidence was removed by Mr. Frank Reid who distinctly corroborated the Sergeant.  Counsel applied that the prisoner be committed on the charge of manslaughter, or causing the death of the man.  It would then be open to the Crown Advocate to put whatever charge he found necessary against him, and it would be by that time probably out of his (Counsel's) hands.  He thought the charge to be brought by the Crown Advocate should not be limited by any form of committal.
  Mr. Robinson said that if it was to be open to the Crown Adocate to bring any form of indictment against his client at the trial, he should object.
  Mr. Latham - I must then apply that the prisoner be committed on the charge of willful murder.
  His Honour said that there was nothing to support such an indictment.  He would have to commit the prisoner on the charge of the manslaughter.  The prisoner was then given the usual caution and asked if he had anything to say.
  Mr. Robinson said that his client was anxious to make a statement, but he (Counsel) would follow the usual course and reserve his defence.
  His Worship - Very well.
  Mr. Robinson - I apply that the prisoner may be allowed out on bail.  I do not know that my learned friend has any objection to this course.
  Mr. Latham made no reply.
  His Worship said he would accept bail in $1,000 from the prisoner himself, and two substantial householders in $750 each.  The bail should be good as the Chinese were concerned.
  The prisoner was then removed in custody.
.  .  .  
  It is understood that the Chehsien is endeavouring to get permission from the Viceroy of Nanking for a post mortem examination on the body of Tan Nien.


North China Herald, 10 June 1887
  An unfortunate incident, attended with fatal consequences, occurred in Saturday evening in a tea garden in the Bubbling Well Road, and the sequel is all the more serious because of the character and occupation of the prisoner who is charged with causing the death of the victim, Wong Dung-mee, a native attendant in the resort mentioned.
  It seems that on Saturday afternoon (4th) Charles Huckins, the second constable in H.B.M.'s Consular gaol, proceeded to the tea garden, as it is stated, to look for some sailors who were missing from their ships.  There he fell in with a number of men from the Audacious, and drinks were called for and consumed.  But it seems that there was some reluctance on the part of the men to pay for the liquor, and a quarrel ensued.  A matter of about a dollar and thirty-five cents is said to have been the amount in dispute.  It is alleged that Constable Huckins, who was, it is supposed excited by the drink, then struck one of the Chinaman who attended on the customers, on the head with a baton.  Anyway, the blow must have been a very heavy one, for the man was sent to the Shantung Road Hospital.  There he was attended to by Dr. Milles, who pronounced the injury a serious one.  Upon this being reported at the Central Police Station, Huckins was at once placed under arrest, and charged with assault. It was not at first believed that there was any likelihood of the blow ending fatally, but the man died at 3 o'clock on Sunday morning.
  The other side of the story is that the bill, according to the reckoning of the attendants in the garden, amounted to nearly six dollars, which Huckins and his friends thought exorbitant, and paying four dollars they left the pace.  They were followed by a large crowd of Chinese, some of whom had bamboos, and were being hustled about when the prisoner drew his baton and struck the deceased.  After the scuffle they all proceeded to Carter Road Police Station, where their names were taken.  The deceased, who was then quit sensible and apparently uninjured, was sent to the hospital.  Word was sent, after the man's death, into the City to the Chehsien and he intimated that he would attend at the hospital in the afternoon and hold an inquest on the remains.  During Sunday the street in which the hospital is situated was blocked by great crowds of Chinese gesticulating and talking, and apparently in a great state of excitement.  There was also a second Chinese who met an untimely and violent end lying inside the dead house, he having been killed in a scuffle in the opium shop in the French town and this increased the curiosity and commotion amongst the native population.  The Chehsien, with his picturesque, but dilapidated retinue arrived on the scene about four o'clock p.m., when the inquest on the body of Wing Dong-mee was opened.
  Mr. Carles, the British Vice- Consul, was present; Captain McEuen and Chief Inspector Cameron watched the case for the police. Mr. Latham was present on behalf of the Chinese. The body lay in the dead house, the body of the dad man along with his companion from the opium shop being laid on a stretcher on the ground in the ward, surrounded by crowds of natives. The witnesses included the son of the deceased, who took charge of the remains, a Chinese constable who was present in the tea garden at the time of the quarrel, and the manager of the resort.  The son merely identified the remains and said that the deceased was fifty two years of age.  The constable and the manager deposed to what took place at the garden.  As above stated, they said that there was a dispute about paying for the liquor, in the course of which Huckins struck the deceased twice with a baton, which they called a "bamboo!" The deceased fell, and the Chinese constable caught hold of the weapon which he said Huckins was swinging about his head.
  After the evidence had been taken, the court came out from the dead house to view the body, the Chehsien all the time keeping his scented beads pressed tight against his nose.  Two of his retinue and a native doctor then proceeded to make an examination of the remains, and a very cursory one it seemed. Some water from a broken tea pot was poured upon the head of the deceased to enable the wounds to be seen better.  They were not however very ghastly, being nothing more, externally, than two very slight and small abrasions, not bigger than the tip of a finger, the first the top of the frontal bone, and the other a little to the left side.
  It appears that Chinse custom does not permit a post mortem examination in such cases, which in the present instance would undoubtedly be desirable, and the court returned again after witnessing the formal measurement of the deceased's pigtail head and chest.  Dr. Milles, who was present, was not called upon to give medical evidence, but it is supposed that death resulted from facture of the skull.
 The Chehsien then intimated that he would have to confer with the British authorities, at the same time ordering the manager of the garden where the fight occurred to be taken into the City, presumably for more convenience in eliciting further information from him.
  Huckins was and [is] very much depressed by the unhappy termination of the affair, and at the charge of manslaughter being formally entered against him in the afternoon.
  He will be brought up at the Police Court on Monday morning (6th). Mr. E. Robinson has been instructed to defend him.


Source: North China Herald, 17 June 1887

Shanghai, 16th June 1887
  CHARLES HUCKINS, late second constable in H.B.M.'s Consulate, was indicted before Sir R. T. Rennie, Chief Justice, and a jury, that he on the 4th instant "feloniously did kill and slay Wong Tah-nien against the pace of our Lady the Queen, her crown and dignity."
  Mr. Alex. Myburgh, Acting Crown Advocate, prosecuted.
  The prisoner pleaded not guilty.
  His Lordship asked the prisoner if he had any counsel.
  Mr. Robinson said that he was not properly retained, but at the request of the court he would be willing to comply with pleasure.
  His Lordship them directed Mr. Robinson to defend the prisoner.
.  .  .  
His Lordship having charged the Jury they retired, and after nearly an hour's absence returned with a verdict of "not guilty."
  The jury was then discharged.
   Mr. Myburgh - Well, my Lord, he must now plead to the other indictment of aggravated assault.
  The indictment was then read over to the prisoner, who pleaded "not guilty."
  Mr. Robinson was again assigned for the defence.
  The trial was fixed for 9 o'clock on Saturday morning.

Source: North China Herald, 24 June 1887

Shanghai, 16th June, 1887
  CHARLES HUCKINS, late second constable in H.B.M.'s Consular Gaol, was indicted before Sir R. T. Rennie, Chief Justice, and a jury, for that he on the 4th .  .  .  
  The jury after about three minutes' deliberation without leaving the box found the prisoner guilty.
  His Lordship addressing the prisoner said - Charles Huckins, you have been found guilty upon evidence which is to me quite clear, of having caused bodily injury to this Chinaman.  You have been very carefully defended, your counsel has made a very powerful address for you, and I think that everything has been done to place your case in the most favourable light before the jury.
  I consider your case a bad one.  It is true that in passing sentence upon you I have to discard from my mind the fact that this unfortunate man died.  But you, being employed in the service of H.B.M.'s Consulate as constable, and carrying a truncheon with which to preserve order, without any serious provocation, lose your temper, draw this truncheon and strike the comparatively unoffending Chinaman a blow which might have according to the medical evidence, caused the man's death.  I cannot pass it over, and the sentence of the court is that you be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for two years.


Supreme Court for China

Shanghai, 16 June 1887

Source: Supreme Court of China (Shanghai), Judges' Notebooks, Vol. 3 (1880-1893), The National Archives (U.K.), FO1092: 340, p 209


Regina v. Charles Huckins.

Charge - Manslaughter.


Jury sworn. N. Dryer, C. J. Ure, W. Dobie, J. Farquharson, [N.][Henty].

Mr. Mayburgh, Act. Crown Advocate for prosecution.

At request of Court appears

Mr. Edward Robinson for Prisoner.

Indictment read.

Prisoner pleads not guilty.

Mr. Mayburgh opens case for prosecution, calls

'Joseph [Rice/Reid], sworn.  I am a Serjeant of the Sh'ai Municipal Police station Canton [210] Road.  I remember 4th June last.  I was sent for to go to Bubbling Well Tea house.  On the way I met the Prisoner & 2 sailors in a carriage in custody of 2 Indian constables & Chinese.  I asked the Indian what was the matter.  The prisoner got out of the carriage and said, "I'll tell you all about it.  He said I went to B.W. tea house to [arrest some deserters].  We showed them some [warrants] & [??????] one of the sailors asked me to have a drink and I had one.  One of the sailors paid a dollar for [211] what we had.  The boy wanted 20 cents more, asked me for it but I refused to pay as I did not owe it.  I got up to go out and the boy followed me and got hold of me and began to haul me about so I one pegged or clobbered him.  By one pegging is meant using a Policemen's truncheon.  He then shouted and a whole lot of Chinese surrounded me and got me down.  I called for assistance & the sailors came [fast?]

   I saw the deceased, the man who was  [212] struck.  After getting to the station I took name of prisoner & of the sailors.  I asked deceased what he had to complain of.  He said I wanted 10 cents of Prisoner for drink in tea house and he refused to pay it.  He then knocked me down with a policemen's stick.  I asked him if any body else had struck him besides the prisoner.  he said I don't know.  I was knocked down [insensible] by the first blow and I am sore all over.  One of the sailors then said No.  No one struck him but Charley (meaning the prisoner).  The prisoner [213] then said no one struck him but myself & repeated the statement he had made on going to the station.  I examined deceased & found two wounds on his head on the right side the other on the lefty.  They were not bleeding them but the one on the right side had bled a little.  He complained of his head being sore & being a little sick wanted to go to the hospital.  I went him there with a Chinese constable about 6.20 p.m.  I then returned [214] the two sailors [???] [????] the latter he would be summonsed for the assault.  Aftwds I [received] the truncheon I produce and three hats also produced from the [Compradore] of the house.  Two of the hats belonged to the sailors & one to the Prisoner.  I saw the body of decd next day at Shantung Road Hospital.

XXd by Mr. Robinson.  There was no attempt at concealment on the part of the Prisoner.  When I [??] the Prisoner [??] I thought it was a common assault.  I made a note in occurrence book that night about 9 p.m.  I made it from information [215] I had received from Chinese Constable & Steward of the Tea House.  At the station the Chinese Constable on the presence of the Prisoner said that the Prisoner struck the decd twice on the head with a stick & they then wrested the stick from the Prisoner with I think he said the assistance of others.  He said there were only 3 or 4 people (Chinese) on the Verandah.  The Chinese constable said that the Prisoner knocked decd first & aftwds assaulted him on the ground.  The Chinese steward confirmed this story.  [216]

   I am sure deceased said he was knocked insensible by the first blow.  The sailors were drunk.  I did not say so before the magistrate.

   It was the sailor named "Dayman" who said, "No one struck him but Charley."  The other sailor said nothing at all.  The sailors both seemed to know nothing of what was going on.  They said there was some noise & that was all they knew about it.

   I have had about 20 years experience in the police.  It is not usual to take down statements of charge when Constable [brings] a Prisoner.  My statement now is precisely the same as that I made before the Magistrate.

Re-Exd.  I was not [asked] as to the condition of the sailors before the Magistrate.  [217]

To a Juryman.  I spoke to the Chinamen and heard their story through an Interpreter.  The Prisoner did not say he was acting in self defence.  I understood him to mean that he struck decd to free himself from paying the 10 cent - and to get away from the boy.

Walter Jennings Mills, sworn.  I am a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England at present practising in Sh'hai and in charge of the Shantung Road Hospital.  I remember the 4than last.  I was called to see a Chinaman in the [218] hospital at about 10 o'C that night.  I was informed he had been brought there 3 hours previously & was then conscious & able to speak.  When I saw him he was unconscious.  I exd him and found two wounds on the [top] of his head one on the right and one on the left one on the left, each of them about an inch long.  I examined the man carefully and was unable to find any fracture of the skull or any other injury than the two wounds.  The man died about 5 hours after I saw him.  I should [219] [ ] he died from compression of the brain but whether produced by the wounds I saw or by disease or other causes I cannot say.  Such wounds as I saw on deceased's head might have produced compression of the brain but I am unable to state definitely the cause of death because I was not allowed to make a post mortem examination, i.e. to examine all the organs of the body internally.  The wounds I saw might have been produced by any blunt instrument [220] some such instrument as the truncheon shown me.  From the examination I made the decd appeared to be at the time [?????????? to his wounds in a [satisfactorily/supremely??] healthy condition.  He was [fine] like an ordinary Chinaman.

XXd by Mr. Robinson.   I examined the man all over.  There were no signs of any [external] [injury] [?????] the two wounds.  I cannot speak as to his internal condition.  A shock or fall may cause an internal injury.  The wounds were small trivial wounds and such as we [frequently] see & think very little of.  They might [221] have been caused as well with an ordinary walking stick as with the truncheon shown me.  I cannot say with any certainty whether the death was caused by the blows of either.  There [exists] a reasonable doubt as to whether the wounds caused the death.

Re-Exd.  If the blows had been heavy enough to injure the skull the injury might have been equally given from a blow with a walking stick as with the truncheon.

To a Juryman.

The cause of death may have been  apoplexy [222] falling or a violent fit of rage independently of the blows.

To the Court.

The apoplexy would have been more likely to occur after the blows than before.  In my opinion the probability is that the decd died from the effect of the blows he recd.  It occurred to me at the time there might have been some natural causes.  I think there is no doubt whatever that if I had been allowed to make the usual post mortem examination, I could have ascertained the cause of death with certainty.  The [Ch?????] refused to allow me to make a post mortem examination.  [223]

Chang-foo, sworn.  I am Medical Attendant at the Chinese Hospital.  Have been there about 36 years.  Remember the 4th June last.  At about 7 o'C in the Evg a policeman brought a Chinaman to the Hospital.  I saw him then.  He was suffering from 2 wounds on the head.  One to the left & one to the right.  He was not quite conscious.  I asked him for his age & he replied 50.  I did not ask him more because he looked so very ill.  I took hi [upstairs] & gave [224] him medicine.  I exd the wounds on his head.  I cannot say whether the skull was injured.  The wounds very small.  The man [got] [worse] & died.  From the examination  I made I think very likely the blood [squashed] the brain.  There were no other wounds or bruises on the body which could have caused death.

XXd by Mr. Robinson.  I did not ask him whether he was sore inside.

To a Juror.

I did not think it necessary to call in Dr. Miller at once but as the man got worse I sent for him. [225]

Tsu Yang Tang, cautioned [to] [??????] the truth.  I am the Steward in the [Seng Yun] Tea house Bubbling Well near [Slrs?] House.  On 4th June last a little after 5 o'C 3 carriages came in with Foreigners, some of them sailors from Man of War.  The Prisoner was one of the party.  He had on a blue coat.  They came in & had 5 bottles of lemonade, 2 bottles of beer & a glass of gin altogether $1.65.  They were served by decd.  One of them, I don't know which, paid $1.50 only.  Decd grabbed hold of the prisoner & wanted 15 cents [226] more.  [Took] him by the wrist with one hand & the Coat by the other.  The prisoner wanted to go out & decd wanted to prevent him going.  Prisoner pulled out his staff & threatened decd with it.  Decd still claimed the 15 cents & the prisoner struck him.  This shown me is the staff he struck with.  Prisoner struck deceased twice hard.  The first time he struck deceased did not fall.  Second time he did.  When decd fell down he got up again.  Then Constable No. 144 came & wanted to arrest Prisoner.  2 or 3 sailors were with him at that time.  The others had run away.  [227] The Native Policeman & billiard room boy went to arrest Prisoner.  The blows had been struck on the verandah.  Decd after he got up was standing there.  He afterwds went to the Police Station with me.  Then he was sent to Hospital and I did not see him again alive.  I saw his body at the inquest.

XXd by Mr. Robinson.  While the constable & billiard boy were arresting Prisoner I went out & called a Sikh Policeman.  I noticed the billiard boy try to catch hold of the Prisoner & then I went to call for the Policeman.  The Prisoner [228] ran away and would not be arrested.  I did not go back to the tea house.  The Policeman came [in] I went to the Station.  I did not[???] at the tea house. Deposition read to witness.  I did go back with Hindoo Policeman.  I went with him inside the gate and saw Prisoner struggling in custody of servant & constable.  He wanted to get away.  With my own eyes I saw the two blows struck.  I was witness at the Inquest and the [Chihsien] was there & also Mr. Carles.  I know that I am reported by the Shun-pao as having said then that there was only one blow.  The Magistrate [229] asked me how many blows were struck.  I replied one and then fell down.  I never said then that he was struck twice.  I was recalled by the Magistrate and asked how it was that I had only mentioned one blow and I made no reply.  After me at the inquest P.C. 144 was next witness.  He said there were 2 blows struck.  I did not then look up or turn my head round.

Not Re-Exd.

To the Jury.

The Prisoner was the [last] of the party going out & that was why deceased wanted to catch him.  I cannot say [230] who ordered the drinks.  I did not hear any violent language used by the prisoner.  I don't understand English.  I did not hear decd use any violent language.  He only wanted his 15 cents.

To the Court.

Deceased had been in employ of Tea house for 7 years, & was a quiet good tempered man.  He has never been sick while at the tea house.

   When going in Jinrickisha from tea house blood came from his head and all the upper part of his clothes was [smothered].  He complained of an awful headache.

   Decd had no stick or Bamboo during the row.  [231]

Wong No Ching, cautioned.

I am Sh'ai M.P.C. 144.  Remember the 4th June last.  Was at the [Sun Tuen] tea house on the B.W. Road.  Was on duty then looking after the carriages.  I saw the Prisoner there after 5 o'C.  he came to the Tea House with about 10 others in three carriages.  There was a disturbance.  I noticed the decd asking for money.  He asked the Prisoner.  There were then two or three sailors there.  Decd wanted his money.  Prisoner said no & pulled out his stick & hit deceased on the head [232]

   Prisoner struck decd twice.  Decd fell down.  When he recd the 2nd blow he was [falling] from the effect of the first blow.  Prisoner struck decd on the head both blows.  This took place on the verandah just outside the door.  After Prisoner had struck Decd I asked him what business for him to strike people.  He replied I belong to the British Consulate, am a policeman.  He spoke in Chinese.  Then I took the staff away from him.  This shown me is the one. [233]  After I got the staff away Prisoner struck me on the shoulder with his fist.  I then arrested him & wanted to take him to the Station.  When we were half way from the house to the gate, one of the Tea House gentlemen went to call a Sikh Policeman.  When he came he assisted me and we tried to get him outside the gate.  The sailors then rushed up & [pushed] us away from the Prisoner, Prisoner and sailors then went off in a carriage.  Then I caught hold of the [Pony??] and the prisoner descended from the carriage [234] and eventually came to the Station.  Deceased after he got up came out & got in to a Rickisha & came to the Station also.  The Sergeant No. 1 there ordered me to take decd to the Hospital which I did & left him there.  I saw his body at the inquest.  He complained of head ache on the way to the Hospital.  He could not walk very well, I had to help him into the Hospital.

XXd by Mr. Robinson.  My hours of duty at the tea house on that day were from 2 to 7.30 p.m.  I direct the carriage traffic from verandah or in Garden.  On that day there were not many carriages and I was on the Verandah.  [235]  The first I heard of the disturbance was decd asking for money.  All that time I was ion the storm steps of the verandah.  When the deceased first asked the Prisoner for money there were two sailors with the Prisoner.  They were below the verandah.  He on it.  This p[ape]r shown me is a correct plan of the tea house.  I mark in blue the place where deceased fell, in red the place where I was standing, also in black the place where the sailors were standing in the Garden.  The steps were straight in front of the doors.  Decd was [236]  asking for his money in the passage.  He asking money more.  I think he began inside the room.  I heard them arguing and that made me turn round & look.  I mark in blue on the plan the place I saw them first.  They were shouting loud but not very loud.  I should not recognize the two sailors again.  Prisoner had struck 2nd blow before I could get up to interfere.  There was a man named Tom a clerk in the tea house on the verandah also the Steward & a boy of the tea house.  I did not notice whether the billiard boy were there or not.  I at once interfered after the 2nd blow.  The two sailors were then standing below the verandah.  [237] Some of the Chinamen helped.  Five of us in all tried to arrest Prisoner.  He tried to get away from us, the clerk and I still held on to him.  The sailors helped the Prisoner.  They pulled my hand off the Prisoner.  At first some of the five Chinamen tried to hold him.  Prisoner is a strong man.  He did eventually get clean away from us & was going out when he met Hindoo Policeman.  The Hindoo could not arrest him.

   In the scuffle on the steps 4 or 5 of us [inhibiting] the Prisoner fell down the steps in a lump.  I did not see this. [238]  A number of the Chinamen set upon him and [????]  I did not take the truncheon away on the verandah.  When we were half way to the gate with the Prisoner, the Prisoner dragging three of us, the sailors rushed back and rescued him.  This was the first time the sailors attacked.  The sailors noticed [us] were pulling the Prisoner and ran in.  The sailors had small sticks.  Four sailors came in making with the two others who were in before, six in all.  They used force.  When the sailors rushed deceased was pushed down.  When I noticed the Prisoner first I saw he had no hat on.  [239]  I did not see any body with a hat.  I heard that one of the servants [has?] the prisoner's hat inside the room.  I did report to the sergeant at the Station the Prisoner had struck me with his fist.  I did not tell the sergeant that the Prisoner assaulted decd on the ground.  He did not do so, so far as I know.  Decd said he did.  The station interpreter interpreted all that the decd said. 

12.45 p.m. adjourned to 2 p.m.

Resumed at 2 p.m.

Shih Chen Chien, cautioned.  I am clerk in [Sun Yuen] tea house.  I remember 4th June.  In the afternoon I was inside the tea house.  I saw the prisoner there.  He came with about [240] about 10 sailors.  They had drinks.  After paying there was a balance of 15 cents owing from the party.  It was not paid.  Decd asked for payment and [decd = sic] [Prisoner] would not pay & wanted to get out.  Decd caught hold of his clothes.  Prisoner then pulled out his staff & struck him twice.  Prisoner struck decd on the head with the truncheon produced.  After that the decd got up again & [other man/men] seized prisoner's clothes.  The 144 P.C. came up and tried to arrest Prisoner.  The striking took place on the verandah.  The drinks they had inside the room [241] The Prisoner aftwds made his way half way out to the gate & then the Hindoo Policeman came.  The Prisoner got outside the gate.  Then the two Policemen wanted to catch hold of him.  Then one of the two sailors pushed down decd and struck decd twice with a stick on his leg.  Then the Prisoner got into the carriage.  The carriage started and Policemen and decd followed it.  I then returned to the tea house.  Before the prisoner struck deceased no one but the decd had hold of the Prisoner.  I have known decd 6 or 7 years.  He had no sickness, was quite healthy up to the day of the occurrence.  [242]

XXd by Mr. Robinson.  I was present all the time from when deceased began to ask for money.  I saw decd asking for money from inside the door.  I was then inside the bar.  When deceased asked Prisoner for money all the sailors had gone out.  Prisoner was then just inside the door.  I did not see him go out nor return by the back door of the passage.  I was in the passage while decd was asking the Prisoner for money.  That was at the door of the room opposite the [chains][stairs].  When he got to the door [on] the verandah the decd got hold of him.  Decd received two blows before he fell.  I said the same before the Magistrate.  Deposition read [243] to contradict witness.  I did say that.  I am reported there to have said but I swear that what I have now said is true.  Prisoner struck decd twice & then he fell down.  The sailors pushed decd down with force.  Prisoner had a hat on when decd asked him for money.  Before the blows were struck the native constable was in the garden below the verandah.  Then he came up.  At the time the blows were struck he was near the verandah just below the steps.  I [now] think the Policeman was on the steps.  I saw him standing there. [244]

   After the blows decd took away Prisoner's hat.  I did not see one of the servants take Prisoners hat off.  Decd took it away.  It is not true that somebody snatched away prisoner's hat & then they all tumbled down the steps together.  Prisoner walked down the steps alone.  There was no row at the foot of the steps.  When we got to the middle of the garden two sailors came up not before.  I did not see the sailors at the foot of the steps.  On the verandah at the time of the assault there was besides myself the tea boy.  On the [last] step there was the billiard boy & a Constable. [245]

   When very near the big gate some sailors, I don't know how many, made a rush up.  One had a stick in his hand.  Decd never had a stick from beginning to end.  I did not see decd hit a sailor with a bamboo.  There is no back door to the premises.  There is a back door to the [cook] house and you can come round the back of the house to the front.

Re-Exd by Mr. Mh  I did say before the Magistrate that decd did fall down after [being] first struck on the head.

By a Juror.  I did not hear any bad language used [246] by either the prisoner or decd, but the Prisoner spoke in English which I don't understand.


Wong No Ching recalled.

Re-Exd by Mr. Mayburgh.

When the Prisoner and [?] others went down the steps it was after the Prisoner had struck the deceased.

Shao Tse Pao, cautioned.  I am billiard boy at [Sung Yuen] Tea house.  I remember 4th June last.  At 5 o'C I left the billiard room & came out into the verandah.  I saw the Prisoner in the passage near one of the doors.  Decd was asking him for 15 cents & following him out.  After a few words Prisoner [out] with his baton & struck two blows.  Decd fell [247] fell down with first blow and then Prisoner struck again after he had got up.  At the time deceased had not hold of Prisoner.  After deceased fell down Native Constable came & took away Prisoner's staff.  Decd got up & [shouted] take him to the Station.  The Native Constable & deceased got hold of Prisoner.  They then came together from the verandah down the steps.  When they got half way to the gate the Hindoo Policeman came in.  Then the two Constables & decd took Prisoner outside the gate & I saw no more of the matter.  [248]

XXd by Mr. Robinson.  The first I heard of the disturbance was decd asking prisoner for money, 15 cents.  Prisoner was then alone.  I did not see any sailors.  Did not see deceased catch hold of Prisoner.  Prisoner would not pay.  Then prisoner took out his baton, knocked decd down.  The decd got up and prisoner struck him again but hew did nit knock him down a second time.  Policeman alone took staff away from Prisoner by force.  I was not on the verandah but in the garden below.  I never tried to catch told of the Prisoner at the time.  I was sick.  Deceased called out to [take] him to station but I preferred to keep out of the way.  [259]

   Prisoner had a hat on like that shown me at the time he struck deceased.  When he got up he took the hat from prisoner.  The tea boy took it inside.  The Constable was on the verandah near the top step.  No he was on the steps.

Not Re-Exd.

[To the Jury]

We did not know the prisoner before nor his address.  The verandah is a little wider than the [table] inside the witness box..

Ah-teen, cautioned.  I am tea boy at [Sun Yuen] tea house.

XXd by Mr. Robinson.  I remember 4th June last.  [250]  Decd was standing in front of the Prisoner preventing him from going out & wanting 15 cents.  After the sailors had left I did not see the Prisoner come in by the back door.  Prisoner was alone after the sailors had left.

[Gunidah] Singh.  [declared?]

I am a Constable of the S. M. Police.  Remember being called on the 4th June last by a Chinaman.  There was a row in [Sun Yuen] tea house near the B. W. about a hundred yards from the \tea house.  I met some sailors & a Native Policeman 144, also an Indian Policeman with the prisoner.  Sergt Reid was behind in a rickisha.  [251]  Prisoner got out of the carriage & walked with Sergt Reid.  Heard the sailors calling out Charley, Charley.  I know a little English & [thought] Charley was a song or something.

XXd by Mr. Robinson.  It was when the Prisoner got out of the carriage that the sailors called out Charley, Charley, & repeated it again afterwds.  These are the two sailors in question.  I was not called before the Magistrate.

Frederick William Burnett, sworn.  I am A.B. of H.M.'s [?????????] [252]  I was before the Magistrate.  I went out with about 11 other sailors & the Prisoner to B.W. Tea shop on the 4th June.  We went into the shop & had some drinks.  We had dispute about 15 cents with the house.  We that is our party had 2 beers, a gin, & a lemonade which was paid for by R. [Dayman].  The boy did not dispute that amount with us.  We were sitting at a table by ourselves, [Dayman], the Prisoner, I, & another man.  There was a dispute at another table about some money.  The table was near the door on your left as you went in.  [253]  Of our four I believe Prisoner got up first.  He went over to the table [where the dispute.]  The sailors then spoke to him and he answered back.  That was about the price of drinks.  After prisoner went over to the table we finished our drinks and left.  We went out in two's and threes.  Don't know whether the other sailors settled up that dispute.  There were 3 to 4 Chinaman in the room serving.  No police constable I noticed was on the verandah.  [254]  I went on to the gate.  I was [standing] [?????????????] when I head prisoner sing out for help.  5 or 6 of us and a Sikh Policeman ran back.  I saw Prisoner & 20 or 30 Chinamen around him,  They were hauling him about.  Among them was the deceased and a Chinese Constable.  We made a charge upon them and got the Prisoner out pretty quickly.  Neither [Dayman] not I had sticks.  I cannot say whether the other sailors had any.  I did not see any sticks in the house.  By & By we got to the station.  Decd was with [255] us.  He looked like a man who had had a knock & that was all.  He could stand up right & talk all right.  At the Station Sergt. Reid [????] the complainant.  The Interpreter was speaking.  I did not hear Sergt. Reid ask did any one strike him but Charley.  I did not hear [Dayman] reply no one struck him but Charley nor did I say so.  No one in my presence said no one struck him but [??????????].  I swear I spoke no words to that effect.  I did not then know [256] the prisoner's name.  I never called out Charley to the Prisoner on the road to the station.  If Constable 99 says so he is telling a falsehood.  I gave the same evidence before the magistrate at the station.  I said nothing about anybody striking anybody.

XXd by Mr. Mayburgh.  I had come ashore on Friday.  I had been drinking, not quite two sheets in the wind at 6 o'C on Saturday.  I addressed the prisoner as "chum."

Re-Exd by Mr. Robinson.   I was sober on the Saturday Evg.  [257]

Richard [C????????] Dayman, sworn.  I am A.B. of HMS  [A?????????].  Was on shore 4th June last, was on shore all day.  Met Prisoner at P of W Hotel & then to Globe Hotel & then to Bubbling Well,  I had been drinking.  I did not then know Prisoner's name.  Did not call him Charley.

XXd  by Mr. Robinson.  I left the tea house with Burnett. Before we left the room Prisoner had gone out of the door.  I did not see him all the way to the outer gate.  He did not go other [258] way.  I saw him aftwds in the scuffle about half way to the gate.  I did not help to get him out of the scuffle.  He was got out before I got back.  I heard him shout & ran back but did not get there in time.  Aftwds we got to the station.  I remember meeting a European sergeant, a Sikh and a man riding in a carriage.  Met the last first.  He stopped.  I had no conversation with him.  Some of the party had.  I have seen him since in the Magistrates Court.  I had been drinking when we met the [Gentleman?].  I was not sober but not drunk.  When we [259] got to the station there was a commotion amongst the Interpreter and the Chinamen.  I did not say "no, no one hit him but Charley" or "no, no one hit him but Huckins," as a matter of fact I did not see Prisoner strike decd.

Case for the Prosecution.

Mr. Mayburgh sums up for prosecution.

Mr. Robinson addresses jury for defence.

Self defence.

Cause of death.

Pushing down of deceased by sailors.

Sailor using a stick.

Possibly struck 2nd blow on the head.

Doubts of the Doctor.

[Sure??] proof post mortem.


Judge sums up.

Verdict, not guilty.

R. T. Rennie, C.J.




16 June 1887.

Regina v. Charles Huckins.

Charge:.  Aggravated Assault under 24 & 25 Vic. C. 100, s. 47

Plea. Not Guilty.

Prisoner remanded in Custody till Saturday next at 9 a.m.


June 18th 1887.

Regina v. Charles Huckins

(Remanded from 16th inst.)

Jury sworn.  C. W. Ure, J. R. Uzzell, A. Ross, John White, [Deleted - J. W. Stanbrook?], E Major.

Mr. Mayburgh opens case for Prosecution & calls

[J???? Reid], sworn.  Repeats evidence given on [Thursday] and [adds] Prisoner's clothes showed no signs of having been in a fight or of disturbe.  Evidence I have given is similar to that I had in notes made at 9 o'C that Evg.

XXd by Mr. Robinson.  The first information [262] I had of the occurrence was from a Chinaman who told me that a foreigner had assaulted a boy at the tea house.  I examined the wound on the left side

I think it was the Steward and the Chinese Constable who told me of Prisoner having assaulted the decd on the [ground.]  The decd did not make the statement.  I am quite sure one of the sailors [spoke up] and said "no one struck him but Charley."  The sailors were both drunk.

Not re-examined.


The Prisoner showed no signs of ill usage & did not complain of any ill treatment beyond the Chinese having got him down & ill [used] him. [263]

Tsu-zang-Tung, cautioned.  Repeats evidence given on Thursday with the following differences.  The prisoner struck the deceased one blow with his truncheon.  The decd fell down & then got up again.  Nobody had hold of the decd.  before the Prisoner struck the decd except the decd himself.  After the blow decd was feeling his head & the blood was coming out.  He has since died.

XXd by Mr. Robinson.  Prisoner struck decd twice on the head.  He did not fall a second time.  I said the same things two days ago.  The prisoners hat was taken away from him on the verandah  after the Prisoner struck decd. [264]

Chang-tso, sworn.  Repeats evidence previously given as to decd being brought to Hospital & dying there.

XXd.  In the Right wound the skin was not quite divided, in the left one the skin was broken and discoloured.  One was about an inch long.  The other wound like a [hill on brain??]

Re-Exd.  I did not ask him any more questions as he looked so tired.

Wang-tso-Ching, cautioned.  Repeats evidence from Thursday.

XXd.  I spoke to the Prisoner in Chinese, he replied in Chinese.  I am the Policeman of the English Consulate.

   When the Prisoner tried to get away from me [265] the clerk, the wounded man & I tried to arrest the Prisoner & stop him from getting away.  We all went down the steps together.  The two sailors interrupted at the point I have numbered in pencil on the Plan you showed me.  Some one helped me to get the baton away from the prisoner.  There was a little struggling.  There was then decd, the clerk & myself there.  At that time the sailors did not interfere but the Prisoner was shouting. I could not understand what he said but it was while I was trying to get the baton from him [266]. There were many Chinese about who might have seen what was going on.  They did not interfere.  When Prisoner got over the garden gate we followed.  Prisoner [????] to get into a carriage.  He here produced is the hat Prisoner had on when I first saw him. 

   When prisoner struck decd he had no hat on.  I mark the place on the plan.  When the decd was pushed down by the Sailors, the sailors wanted to get my hands off the prisoner.  Two sailors [each] had a small stick.  Decd was struck by one of the sailors.  Don't know which [hole in paper] it was.  Decd was struck on the leg [blank] [267]

   I was in company with decd all the time till we got to the station.  I did lose sight of him for a short time.  I came out of the Gate before him.  I never saw decd with a stick or bamboo in his hands during that time, did not see decd strike a sailor with a bamboo.

   Was present at the Station & heard the conversation.  Decd was not struck on the ground.  I never said he was.  I did not hear any one else say so.  The decd did say so to the Supt. through the Interpreter; he was almost senseless at that time. [268]


To a Juror.  The blows were given with force [by the] Prisoner, but not with great force.  If a sailor had struck decd on the head I would have seen it.

Dr. Miller, sworn.  [repeats]

Not Exd in Chief.

XXd.  The edges of the wounds were rather bruised as if they had been inflicted by some blunt instrument.

Re-Exd.  In themselves the wounds were not dangerous looking.  The wounds themselves would not have caused much pain.  Looking at the wounds I could not speak definitely as to the severity of the blow that had produced the wounds.  A blow that might have knocked a man down & inflicted serious injuries might have produced such a wound. [269]

   The wounds were similar and had the appearance of being both produced by the same instrument.  Might both have been inflicted by the truncheon shown me.

Case for the prosecution.

12 Noon.

Adjourned to one p.m.


Resumed at 1.15 p.m.

Mr. Robinson opens case for Prisoner, calls

Shih-Chen-Chuen, cautioned.  Repeats evidence given on Thursday.  Prisoner was [last?] to go away.  When near the big gates two sailors with sticks made me run in.  I cannot say how many sailors - that was the 1st time I saw the sailors interfere.  The prisoner spoke in English. [270]

R.C. [Dayman].

I was with Huckins at the Tea House.  There was a disturbance about a bottle of lemonade, 10 cents.  They wanted to make us pay.  We had not had it.  The disturbance did not begin at [once] till we [assaulted] them.  Huckins (Prisoner) got up & went to the door.  I left the room shortly afterwds & came out with Barnett.  Prisoner was not then in the room.  Barnett & I went over to the carriage.  Next thing I heard was Prisoner singing out.  Then we went to rescue.  There was a scuffle & a mixed crowd of [page smudged] Chinese & blue [jackets].  Prisoner was [restrained]. Repeats evidence in [contradiction] of Sergt. [Reid.]  [271]

To the Jury.  I should think it was 5 or 7 minutes from the time Huckins left the room till we heard him shouting.  Did not see any sailor his decd on the leg. I was not sober but I had my senses about me.

Barnett?  Repeats evidence given on Thursday.

   I was sober that time.

XXd.   The room was alongside a plot of ground inside the house.  Prisoner showed no marks on injuries.  Deceased followed us down to the station I being in a Rickisha.

Frank [Reid].  Makes solemn declaration.  I am a share broker in Sh'ai for the [???].  I was driving out to B. Well [272] I met a body of people near cross roads.  I pulled up at side of road.  One of the Chinamen had apparently been struck.  He had blood on his face.  I asked the sailors what was the trouble.  The Prisoner answered these Chinamen say that we owed them money.  My friends have paid all they owe.  [Then] it is Chinaman pitches into them & me and I hit him.  I said you seem to have hit him pretty hard and he replied Oh No not my hand.  The decd [wanted] them to go on to Station & I recommended them to do so. [273]

   One of the sailors said to me, You see we are sober.  I said yes, & drove away.  I considered them all to be sober.  The decd was particularly [????].  I saw blood on the side of his face but he did not appear badly hurt.  I saw no sign of  [????????????????????].

XXd.  The 3 Foreigners were all without their hats - and the Prisoner appeared to have been in the [????].

Cecil W. [Eldersley], sworn.  I am a Merchant on Sh'ai.  Was driving on Saturday 4th June [274].  On arriving at B. W. I saw a row going on between some sailors and a number of Chinamen on the road opposite the Tea House.  [Most] of the sailors ran away but 3 remained behind.  A native & Sikh Constable tried to arrest one of the 3, a blue jacket whom I don't know.  There was a Chinaman there, a tall [elderly] man with blood running down the side of his face.  He had a bamboo in his hand.  Apparently striking at the sailor who was being dragged along by the Constables.  I don't know whether he hit him.

XXd.  Did not see the Prisoner at all [275] the Chinaman I saw with the wounded head appeared rather [?????].  I recommended him to go to the Station.

Sergt. [Reid].  The deceased was a [Deleted = tall] short elderly man, about 4 feet 4 or 5 inches.

Alfred Barnes, sworn.  British Subject.  Prisoner was Constable at Cr. gaol.  I know him intimately.  He was a seaman of the "Albanian?" I never heard it mentioned that he has any knowledge of Chinese.  I do not think he could have said to Chinaman that he was a Consular Constable.  He does not even speak Pidgin English to them.

Mr. Robinson sums up case for Prisoner.

Mr. Mayburgh replies.

Judge sums up.

Verdict - Guilty.

Sentence two years imprisonment with hard labour.

R. T. Rennie, CJ.


Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School