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  • Co. Tyrone Assizes Jul. 1836

Co. Tyrone Assizes Jul. 1836

Transcribed by Teena from the Derry Journal 26 Jul. 1836

Tyrone Assizes

Peter QUIN, Roger MAYN and Timothy NUGENT were tried on Monday and convicted of an aggravated assault on Robert HUNTER, when returning from the market of Omagh, on the 11th of June last. Messrs. BUCHANAN, John ORR and Andrew ORR gave the traversers an excellent character, especially QUIN, who was the master of a National school near the town of Omagh. Several witnesses were produced to prove that QUIN and MAYN could not have been present. They were found guilty and the learned judge concurred the verdict and sentenced the culprits to be imprisoned for 12 months.

John M’CLOSKEY accused of a rape on Elizabeth LOUGHRAN near Castlecaulfield, was acquitted.

John CARR was found guilty of having stolen the hat of the Rev. Benjamin MARSHALL at Dromore on the 4th instant.

Bernard M’MENAMEN and Edward HARN were indicted for an aggravated assault on Robert MILLER at Mountcastle, on the 4th May

George MILLER sworn and examined – ls brother of Robert MILLER; lives at Donagheady; recollects coming from Derry market on the 4th May; knows M’COLGAN’S public house at Mountcastle; went in there that day; there were a great many there and among the rest, the prisoner, M’MENAMEN; was not in the same company with M’MENAMEN; witness, his brother and Hugh DEVINE and his wife were together; went to light his pipe at the kitchen fire when M’MENAMEN, who was fighting, caught him and said he could beat him; his brother then came down out of the room where he was sitting; M’MENAMEN seized him, knocked him down and kicked him; witness went to take the neck-cloth off his brother, when he was knocked down himself; he then ran to a neighbouring house for assistance, but two men with sticks came out of M’COLGAN’S and drove him away; he afterwards overtook his brother about a mile on the road; he was in a very bad state and was covered with blood; had cuts also himself; assisted his brother to the next house and got a car to take him home; he did not mind his own injuries, his brother’s were so great; he and his brother lost their hats.

Cross-examined – This occurred on the 4th May; never had a quarrel with M’MENAMEN; was drinking that day at the Waterside; did not drink a pint of whiskey; took some beer and some whiskey; if he was very drunk he could not escape when so many attacked him.

Robert MILLER examined – This witness corroborated the testimony of his brother. He deposed that the prisoner, HARN, struck him as well as M’MENAMEN; he got nine cuts on the head and one on the leg; his skull was fractured and two of his ribs were broken; his right hand was burned when he was knocked down, in consequence of having fallen in the fire; was attended by three surgeons; was five or six weeks confined to bed.

Dr. BAIRD examined – Recollects being called on the 5th of May by MILLER’S wife to attend her husband; MILLER had several cuts on his head; the scull <sic> was fractured; several bones were extracted; Dr. SMYTH was there and assisted witness; fourteen or fifteen pieces were removed; his hand was badly burned; considered his life in danger; it will be long before he is strong; the scull was trepaned.

In reply to a juror, R. MILLER said that his family and M’MENAMEN’S were not on good terms, because he had executed a civil bill decree on M’MENAMEN.

For the defence, there were examined 3 witnesses, one of whom was the innkeeper M’COLGAN, to whom the judge observed that his license ought to be taken from him. The jury found the prisoners guilty and they were sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and hard labour; to pay the prosecutor his expenses; and to find security to keep the peace.

John M’CAUSLAND was found guilty of the manslaughter of Andrew KENNEDY at Castlecaulfield and sentenced to 3 months imprisonment from the date of his committal.

Owen M’CAFFRY sen., Patrick M’CAFFRY and Owen M’CAFFRY jun., were convicted of the manslaughter of Owen CAMPBELL at Ballynagorragh, on 12th November and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and hard labour and to find security to keep the peace.

Sarah COULTER was acquitted of the charge of having robbed James M’SORLEY of the sum £3 7s. 6d. on the 4th April, in a lane in Omagh, into which, he had been dragged by women of loose character.

James M’AULEY was found guilty of having exposed a child (suspected to be the offspring of his sister) at the door of Pat. GRIFFIN, in Tattahana, for the purpose of making it chargeable on the parish Cappagh, or, on said Pat. GRIFFIN.

Hugh GORMAN was found guilty of having on the morning of 10th July, when the family were in bed, broke into the shop of John NELSON, Clogher, and taken therefrom 5½d. He had an associate in the crime of the name John M’CUSKER, who was the principal witness against him. Guilty. Transportation for life.

Conviction for Murder
Thomas M’CORTE was found guilty of murdering a person named BRIENS, at Dungannon, in January 1833. It appeared in evidence that the unfortunate prisoner, who has a very remarkable countenance, his upper lip being divided in two places, came to the deceased man’s residence, which was a cellar, to call for some bread, at a late hour of the night, and that being refused admittance, he threatened to burst in the door; that the deceased then opened the door and that thereupon, the prisoner struck him a blow on the head, which caused his death a very few hours after. The sister and niece of the deceased identified the prisoner. He had been in Dundalk gaol in March last for an assault, when the Governor charged him with the murder and prisoner stated to him that it was hard that he should suffer for what another had done; that he was present at the murder, but another had done it. Two countrymen who were in the house at the time, proved that it was impossible the witnesses for the prosecution could have seen the person by whom the fatal blow was given, from the situation in which they were placed and other circumstances.

The learned judge, who, in charging the jury, had treated the case as one of considerable doubt, deferred postponing sentence until Thursday; when he addressed the prisoner in the most feeling and impressive manner, imploring him to make his peace with God, whose laws he had outraged and in whose presence he was soon to appear. His lordship alluded to the humane act, which had just been passed (the Murderers Act) which, in a case of this nature, allowed fourteen days to intervene between passing, and execution, of a sentence; and said that he would not pronounce sentence until Thursday. While thus addressed, the prisoner appeared as if mentally engaged in prayer.
(The sentence was pronounced on Thursday and the 30th inst. fixed for his execution.)

Belford GRAHAM, who stood indicted for the murder of John WALKER at Clogher, on the 16th of March last, was acquitted. It appeared that a scuffle had taken place between the prisoner and deceased, but that the deceased had been frequently working in the fields and attending his ordinary business afterwards and that his death was not caused by any injury inflicted on him by the prisoner.The crown did not prosecute.