Skip to Content

Colonial Cases

R. v. Tourney, 1898

[attempted murder]


R. v. Tourney

Police Court, Shanghai
Kerr PM, 28 December 1898
Source: North China Herald, 31 December, 1898




Shanghai, 27th December.

Before W. P. Kerr, Esq., Police Magistrate.

28th December.


   Richard Tourney, 45, a native of Jersey, second engineer of the China Merchants' Stealer Feiching, was charged with feloniously, wilfully and of his malice aforethought attempting to kill and murder Arthur Eveleigh, Augustus Barrier, and Louis Fonceca, by shooting at them with a revolver on board the Feiching on the evening of the 25th of December. The first witness called was

   Inspector Howard, who said - At half last seven this morning prisoner came to the station and said he wanted to give himself up for what he had done. He was taken into custody and searched, and a six-chambered revolver, some papers and keys were found on him. Five chambers of the revolver had been fired and the empty shells were in it still. One cartridge (full) was found in his possession. The charge was made put and read to him, the usual caution being given him. He made no statement.

   Dr. Walter Jennings Mills, stated - I was called to the General Hospital about nine o'clock on Christmas evening to attend three men who were suffering from bullet wounds; Augustus Barrier who was injured in the back of the head, the bullet having entered and made its exit about three inches apart but without having penetrated the skull; Louis Fonceca who was wounded on the left thigh the bullet having been removed before admission to Hospital, and Arthur Eveleigh who had a circular, contused wound in the abdomen which was evidently produced by a bullet, which was afterwards found in his vest. There was a small circular hole in the waistcoat, the cloth being burnt round it. I identify the bullet produced. 

   Eveleigh was probably saved by the bullet impinging of one of the buttons of his trousers which was bent. Eveleigh has been discharged from the Hospital well, but the other two men are still in the Hospital, and doing fairly well.

   By Inspector Howard - I do not consider the wounds of the other two men dangerous to life nor do I think it necessary to take their depositions.

   Prisoner had no questions to ask.

   Arthur Eveleigh, third engineer of the s.s. Feiching, said - On Sunday afternoon I went ashore and went back to my ship about half-past five bringing some friends with me. At half-past six we had dinner, during which the prisoner entered and Mr. Barrier got up and left the room, prisoner followed and a few words took place between them outside.  I saw prisoner strike Barrier outside the saloon and I intervened and stopped the struggle. I then went back to the room, prisoner following and commencing to quarrel. A few minutes later prisoner went out and Mr. Barrier returned to dinner. Directly afterwards prisoner came back and fired at me.

   By Inspector Howard - The bullet struck me in the side. There were two shots fired at me, one passing my left hand causing only a very slight powder mark. Prisoner had had a little drink. I know of no ill feeling between prisoner and myself. The bullet produced was found in my vest.

   Edward Holger, chief officer of the Feiching, said - I came aboard about half-past seven and know nothing about the shooting. I saw prisoner go ashore ten minutes after with his overcoat on his arm.  When I was going aboard   I met one of Mr. Eveleigh's friends who told me there was some shooting going on. I don't think Tourney was sober. In fact, I don't think he was sober all day. He was a very quiet man and a nice shipmate when he was sober.

   Tong Hip-toy, steward on board the Feiching, gave evidence and deposed to Mr. Eveleigh bringing three friends to dinner which they sat down to at half-past six. At a quarter to seven prisoner came in and the second officer left the table.  Prisoner followed and he heard some hot words. The second mate went to his cabin and prisoner joined the party at dinner. The company asked prisoner to call the second mate back to dinner which he did, but Barrier refused to come. Prisoner came back and commenced arguing with Eveleigh, shortly afterwards getting up from the table. Eveleigh next got up and witness heard words between the two engineers and the second officer but what it was about he could not say. Barrier and Eveleigh then came back to the saloon, followed shortly afterwards by prisoner. Witness was in the pantry carving when he heard a report like a fire-cracker. The pantry boy told him that a revolver had been fired and they both ran away to the galley. He then saw the party go ashore, prisoner following shortly afterwards. Witness at once reported the matter to the Captain at his house in Hongkew.

   By Inspector Howard - He only heard one report, running away when he heard that. He did not see the fighting outside the saloon but heard scuffling going on. He did not know of any ill feeling between prisoner and the second officer.

   Inspector Howard wished to correct a statement. It was not a six-chambered revolver but a five-chambered one, all the cartridges having been fired. The five empty shells were in the weapon when found while one cartridge was found in the prisoner's possession. At half-past seven he went aboard the Feiching and discovered two bullet marks on the woodwork of the saloon. The bullet produced had gone through the pantry door and was picked up off the floor. There was also some blood on the woodwork of the saloon.

   Prisoner now asked no questions, and His Worship remanded him in custody for a week when the evidence of the other injured men will be taken. Should they not have sufficiently recovered to attend their depositions will be taken at the Hospital.


Source: North China Herald, 23 January, 1899


Before W. P. Ker, Esq., Police Magistrate.

18th January.


   Richard Tourney, 46, was again brought up on the charge of attempting to murder Arthur Eveleigh, Augustus Barrier, and Louis Fonceca by shooting at them with a revolver in the dining saloon of the China Merchants' steamer Feiching on Christmas Night. The case had been remanded three times for the evidence of two of the wounded men which was now forthcoming.

   Mr. Francis Ellis appeared for the prisoner.

   Augustus Barrier, who appeared with his head bandaged, said - I am second officer of the s.s. Feiching. On Christmas Night I went to Mr. Tourney's room and spoke o him about coming to dinner. He became quarrelsome and called me a ------- thief and that he would have me put in gaol for stealing his pipe on the Northern Pacific Railway eight years ago. He added that if I did not skip he would kick me out and kick me overboard. I replied, "Don't trouble about that, I will go without." I tried to avoid a quarrel and after leaving his room I mentioned it to Mr. Eveleigh saying, I am not going in to dinner with that man; he is fighting drunk and spoiling for a row with somebody. 

   When the dinner bell rang I went into the saloon and was immediately followed by Tourney. When I saw him I walked out by another door. He followed me out on deck and began to talk "fight." I told him I was not going to fight and that he had better keep quiet. He then struck me. I said "now this is enough of that" and I turned away and went to my room. After having soup in my room I lighted my pipe and went in deck. The third engineer, Eveleigh, came out to me and asked me if I was not coming to have dinner, adding that Tourney had gone away. I went with him and just as we got to the saloon door Tourney came along and commenced quarrelling again. Some few words passed between Eveleigh and Tourney and a blow was stuck which sounded like a slap in the face, and I saw Tourney stagger and fall on the deck. He was assisted to his feet by one of the young men who had been invited to dinner and I again protested against any fighting taking place, informing Tourney that if he persisted in his conduct I would send for the police and have him put out of the ship. Tourney went to his room and we adjourned to the saloon. We sat down for three or four minutes and I was just remarking what a disagreeable Christmas night it was, when prisoner made his appearance at the saloon door and fired two shots pointed at Eveleigh. I rushed at him and caught him by the throat and his revolver hand and we e fell to the deck together.

   I could not see what was going on around me as we were struggling on the ground for the possession of the weapon. Three shots were fired by the prisoner though my hand, one striking me in the head. Two shots were fired simultaneously but only one struck me. After he had discharged the fifth shot he said he would give up and we both rose to our feet. There was nobody then in the saloon but ourselves the Chinese having bolted and Eveleigh and his guests left. One of the boys washed the blood off my face and was tying a towel around the wound when the chief officer came on board and after assisting me sent me ashore to the doctor's. Dr. Lalcaca and Dr. Henderson on whom I called were both out and I went on to the Hospital where I have been detained until Saturday last. On Monday when I went to get my head dressed the doctor told me I was not fit to be out and again detained me.

   By Inspector Howard - The prisoner was decidedly drunk at the time. I could not say who struck Tourney but I am under the impression that it was Eveleigh. The last-named was sober.

   Louis Fonceca, an assistant on the opium hulk Wellington, said - On Christmas night I was invited to dinner by Eveleigh and when in the saloon a disturbance arose between Tourney, Barrier and Eveleigh. Some time afterwards Tourney came in and fired twice at Eveleigh. Barrier grappled with him and Tourney fired three shots one of which struck me in the thigh. I left the ship, and went to Dr. Cooper's where the bullet was extracted. I afterwards went to the hospital where I have been a patient ever since.

   His Worship administered the usual caution previous to asking the prisoner whether he wished to say anything.

   Prisoner however reserved his defence, and was formally committed for trial.


Source: North China Herald, 6 February, 1899

Shanghai, 30th January.
Before Sir Nicholas J. Hannen, Chief Justice and a jury consisting of Messrs. C. S. Taylor (foreman), W. H, Poate, F. J. Maitland, F. L. Crompton, and c. Middleton.
  Richard Tourney, 45, marine engineer, native of Jersey, was indicted for the attempted murder of Leslie Fonceca, Arthur Eveleigh, and Augustus Barrier, by shooting at them with a revolver on board the China Merchants' steamer Feiching on Christmas night, and on further counts with doing grievous bodily harm, &c.
[Not transcribed.]
The jury retired to consider their verdict, and after an absence of about fifteen minutes returned into Court having found the prisoner guilty of shooting with intent to do grievous bodily harm, &c.
  Prisoner on being asked if he had anything to say why sentence should not be passed upon him according to law replied in the negative, merely adding that that was the first time he had ever been before the law.
  His Lordship said - Richard Tourney, the jury seem to me to have taken a very proper and sensible view of what took place last Christmas Day. I never wish to aggravate the position of a prisoner and therefore I will say as little as possible., but it cannot be denied that when a man deliberately goes and gets a revolver and fires it off, and wounds three people, one of them in such a way that it was a miracle he was not killed, such an offence cannot be dealt with lightly.
  Whatever excuse you may have there can be no proper excuse for having used such a deadly weapon, and in such a manner. I therefore must inflict upon you a punishment which out here is a severe one, and that you be imprisoned for one year with hard labour.

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