Victorian London - Crime - Violence, murders and assaults - The murder in Bermondsey (Sarah Ann Rogers)

The Times, Friday, Jun 28, 1872

THE MURDER IN BERMONDSEY

Sarah Ann Rogers, who was wounded by her husband under circumstances reported in The Times of Monday last, died yesterday afternoon at Guy's Hospital.  About an hour before this the husband, James David in, a hairdresser, was charred at the Southwark Police Court with cutting and wounding her with intent to murder. He was also charged with attempting to commit suicide. 
 Mr. Inspector Watson, M Division, prosecuted on behalf of the Commissioners of Police; Mr. Moore attended on behalf of the Associate Institute for the Protection of Women, &c.
    Mr. Joseph Moore, surgeon, of Linden-villa, Blue Anchor-road, said, a little before 3 o'clock on the morning of the 17th he was roused by. constable, and called to No. 11, Williams-terrace. He there saw Mrs. Rogers sitting on the doorstep, with a stream of blood issuing from her throat.
    Some one called to him to go into the back room directly. He told the constable to bring the woman after him, and then he entered the back room and saw the prisoner sitting on a chair with a wound across the left aide of his throat. There were two cuts running into one, between three and four inches in length, dividing the superficial muscles. He was bleeding a little, and witness, after binding up the wound, turned round to the wife, who had been placed on the bed and attended to her. He found the deep jugular vein wounded and the superficial jugular vein divided. The wound was three and a half inches in length and about an inch in depth. He found a clot of blood on the wound, and on removing that the blood gushed out freely, causing imminent danger to her life. As soon as he discovered the serious nature of the wound he sent to Guy's Hospital for Mr. Howse, one of the assistant surgeons, as he was afraid to leave hold of the bandage round her throat. As soon as Mr. Howse came they fixed a ligature on the wound and sent her to Guy's Hospital The prisoner was also conveyed to the same institution. A razor was then brought to him covered with blood, and he had no doubt the injuries on both were inflicted with it. The prisoner said his wife had done it.
    Mr. George Davidson beeping, house physician, Guy's Hospital, gave similar evidence.
    MR. PARTRIDGE asked what state the woman was in at the present time.
    Witness replied that she died about an hour after the prisoner left the hospital with the constable.
    The prisoner here burst into tears, and exclaimed, "We were always quarrelling and fighting."
    Witness added that the cause of death was blood poisoning, caused by the wounds. She had been under his care ever since she had been in the hospital. Believing that she was dying, on Saturday night he sent for the magistrate to take her dying deposition. She was then conscious. After it was read over to her she signed it. The prisoner had not appeared strange in his manner since he had been under his care. On Monday evening the deceased expressed a wish to see him, and he was taken to her bedside. Witness did not take any notice of their conversation.
    Robert Duff, sawmaker, said he lived at 11, William-terrace, Blue Anchor-road. The prisoner, deceased, and two children had lodged there about three months. On Sunday evening, the 16th, they came home and went to bed quietly, but about 3 in the morning he was roused by hearing screams proceed from their room. He got up and called out to them, "What do you mean by disturbing the house at this time in the morning?" He received no answer, but a minute or so afterwards he heard Mrs. Rogers call out, "Come and help me, as I am bleeding; he has cut my throat." He ran down, when their little girl opened the door, and called out, "Father's cutting mother's throat." Mrs. Rogers then came out of the room and said, "Oh, do come and help  me; he's cut my throat," and then she ran in again. Witness looked in the room, and saw the woman standing up bleeding from the neck. Mr. Dight, a lodger, came  downstairs, and entered the room and took hold of the prisoner while witness fetched the doctor and constable. While he was going out to fetch the latter the deceased came out of her room with her child in her arms and said, "Then you are going to help me?" At the same time she fell down exhausted. Shortly afterwards the constable carried her inside and placed her on the bed, and, after attending to her, she was sent on a stretcher to the hospital. He had not observed anything strange about the prisoner's conduct. They were frequently in the habit of quarrelling, but on Sunday, the 16th, they went to Victoria Park, where he met them in the evening comfortably enough, and had ginger-beer with them. They were both sober. He left them at 9 o'clock, and saw nothing more of them until roused up on Monday morning.
    George Frederick Dight, a waiter, who lodged in the upper part of the house, and Mary Anne Dight, his wife, gave evidence.
    Henry Hockley, 31 M Reserve, said that he was called to the house, where he saw the deceased woman lying on the door-step bleeding and insensible. By direction of Dr. Moore he took her up in his arms and carried her into the back room and placed her on the bed. She was saturated with blood, and the bed-clothes were in the same state. The surgeon then came and attended to her. He saw the prisoner sitting on a chair bleeding from a cut in the neck. He was quite sober; and he did not observe any signs of drink upon his wife. Witness told hold of the prisoner and said "Who did this?" The prisoner pointed to his wife, who was being attended to by the doctor, and said she did it. The deceased called out in a feeble voice "How can you say so; you turned round in bed and kissed me, saying how you loved me, and then you cut my throat." The prisoner then exclaimed, "She knifed me before," and held up his wrist, pointing to an old scar. Witness sent to the police-station for assistance, when the deceased was conveyed to the hospital on a stretcher, and the witness took the prisoner to the hospital, where he left him until the afternoon, when he moved him to the station-house, and he was charged with cutting and wounding his wife, with intent to murder her. 

Times, June, 1871