Unsolved Murders

Charles Henry Boyles

Age: 43

Sex: male

Date: 25 Dec 1925

Place: Tottenham Pub, 6 Oxford Street

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Charles Henry Boyles died from a fractured skull.

He was a musical drum maker and had lived at 12 Victoria Villas in Kilburn.

Charles Boyles and his wife had been to the Tottenham Pub at 6 Oxford Street and as they left Charles Boyles remonstrated with a man for using bad language and the man responded by striking him a violent blow to the face which caused him to fall. His wife said that when the blow was struck she was looking in a mirror.

She called for a policeman but the man that she claimed had hit her husband denied that he had struck him and his friends said that Charles Boyles had fallen over a mat.

Charles Boyles was then taken to a hospital.

At his inquest the constable gave evidence stating that both Charles Boyles and his wife told him that the man had struck him in the mouth.

The manager of the pub said that he didn't hear any bad language and added that the throng of customers jostled each other whilst going out through the passage at closing time.

The doctor who examined Charles Boyles said that he had a fracture of the base of the skull and a contusion on his lip and that the injuries could only be explained by violence. He added that it was difficult to understand how an ordinary fall could have set up such a train of symptoms and that they could only be explained by direct or indirect violence. He also added that it was a possibility that the injuries could have been caused by contact with a door.

The house surgeon at the hospital said that death was due to a fracture of the skull caused by a blow on the face affecting the weakest part of the skull which he said was rather thin and liable to injury from a rather light blow.

A commission agent from Dresden Road in Highgate gave evidence after being cautioned that Charles Boyles either slipped or staggered on the mat. He said that he tried to prevent him from falling but that it was too late and that Charles Boyles went through the door and hit himself on either the partition or the wall. He also said that he didn't strike Charles Boyles. When the commission agent was asked to explain certain scratches on his hands he said that he received them whilst chopping wood.

The Coroner told the jury that if they believed the evidence of Charles Boyles's wife then they must send the commission agent to trial for manslaughter although he did add that the evidence was entirely uncorroborated. He then said that they could otherwise return an open verdict which they did.

The verdict stated that death was due to a fracture of the skull and inter-cranial haemorrhage caused by a blow, but that there was not sufficient evidence to show how the blow was caused.


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see The Scotsman - Saturday 26 December 1925