Date: 26 Jul 1910
George Higgins was stabbed outside a house and died later in hospital two days later.
A man was tried but acquitted saying that it was someone else who had struck the blow.
The man that had been tried had been drinking earlier with another man and then later went to the house where he was asked to leave and was ejected. The court heard that there was a scrimmage outside when George Higgins was stabbed. The man said that it was someone else that had stabbed him.
A 15-year-old girl that lived in the house said that she didn't know George Higgins. She said that her mother and aunt went out at about 10.40pm on the Wednesday night, 18 May 1910, leaving her alone with her 10-year old sister.
She said that soon after someone knocked at the door, opened it and then walked in and sat down saying that a woman had sent him. She said that she didn't know him but identified him in court as the man on trial. She said that a while later her mother and aunt came back with George Higgins and another man with them. She said that when her mother came in she asked the man what he wanted, and he told her that a woman had sent him. However, the daughter said that her mother then asked the man to go out but he refused.
She said that George Higgins then pushed the man out and they went out into the street to fight. She said that she saw them fighting in the road and said that they struck each other. She said that she saw the man hold George Higgins with his left hand and hit him with his right hand in the side of his stomach. she said that George Higgins then staggered from where he was to the step and said, 'I have been stabbed'. She said that the man that George Higgins had been fighting with and another man then ran off down the street.
The girl said that her mother then went out to George Higgins and took him back into the house and sat him in an armchair.
The girl said that there were two gas lamps in the street and that she could see the fight but didn’t see anything in the man's hand when he struck George Higgins.
The girl’s mother said that she had gone out at about 10.45pm to get some beer and met George Higgins and another man and had a drink with them and then got her beer and went back to her house with them. She said that when she got back to her house she saw a man sitting in a chair but said in court that she could not swear that the man in court was the man that she had seen. She said that she asked him what his business was and said that he told her that a woman had sent him, and she said that she told him that the woman did not stop, and asked him to leave. However, she said that the man refused saying that he had given the woman money for the night. She said that George Higgins then told the man that he was the landlord of the house and pushed the man out but said that she didn't see him do that or see what happened on the road. However, she said that she was soon after called out and saw George Higgins leaning on the steps and then sent her boy off to get a policeman.
A collier said that he was walking along the road when he saw two men fighting. He said that he knew the other man, the man that was tried, but not George Higgins. He said that they fought for a couple of minutes and said that it was a fair fight. He said that another came along as though to assist in the fight but said that he shouted at the man, 'Keep off. One on one is enough’, and said that the man kept off. He said that he then heard a woman shouting that a man had been stabbed but said that he saw nothing in the hand of the man that was tried, saying that he was a few yards away from him at the time.
Another man that saw the fight said that it was a fair fight and that George Higgins was the better man of the two. He said that they fought with their fists and that they both had their coats on. He said that he didn't see George Higgins stagger but did say that he heard him say, 'Oh, I am stabbed'. He said that by the time he went over to George Higgins, the other man had run off. He said that the man ran up the road and then back down the road to the Iniskin Inn.
When the police arrived, they found George Higgins in the house in a chair and when they looked at his wound they found that he had a cut in his left side with what appeared to be a part of his intestine hanging out.
The policeman said that he called for a doctor and said that he went round to the house of the man that was tried and said that he found him in his house in the kitchen washing his face and hands. He said that he saw some blood under the man's nose and chin and that his face and hands were quite wet. He said that he told the man that he was going to take him into custody on a charge of wounding George Higgins and said that the man replied, 'I did not give him so bad as he gave me'. He said that he then searched the man and found a penknife with what looked like bloodstains on the blade.
When the man was taken to the police station he said, 'I have nothing to say, I was defending myself. I did not use the knife'.
After George Higgins died and the man was charged with his murder the man said, 'I wish to say that I never used the knife'.
George Higgins was taken to the hospital but died at about 11.15am on 20 May 1910. He was found to have had a wound a little below the naval that had penetrated through the abdominal wall causing prolific internal bleeding. A doctor said that the gut and bowel had also been perforated and that the injuries went to a depth of about three inches at least, and that considerable force must have been used. The doctor said that he thought that the wound could have been caused by the knife that he was shown.
He said that George Higgins's cause of death was collapse after internal bleeding caused by the wound.
see Hartlepool Mail - Tuesday 26 July 1910
see Aberdeen Journal - Tuesday 26 July 1910
see Irish News and Belfast Morning News - Tuesday 26 July 1910
see Wells Journal - Thursday 28 July 1910
see National Archives - ASSI 72/36/3