Unsolved Murders

David Hughes

Age: 69

Sex: male

Date: 1 Jun 1917

Place: River Don, Doncaster

David Hughes was found on a river bank near a pigsty where he used to sleep with head injuries.

He was taken to the infirmary where he later died.

The Coroner said that it was not safe to assume that his head injuries were accidental.

When he was admitted to the infirmary he was unconscious and death was stated as being due to haemorrhage and pressure on the brain caused by external injuries.

At his post-mortem he was found to have two clean wounds that had been stitched up which were not thought to have been caused by him falling or being trodden on or kicked by a horse.

He was seen on the river bank near a pigsty where he used to sleep on the night of 19 May 1917 by a horseman. The Horseman said that he had been going home when he had seen a man near the lock gate. He said that he greeted the man but that the man didn't answer him. He said that as he passed the man, the man started running. He said that the man was wearing a mackintosh and a light cap but that he didn't see the man's face.

The horseman said that as he then went along he found David Hughes lying on the footpath. He said that he spoke to him but that David Hughes didn't answer him although he did rear up and fall back on his head. The horseman said that he didn't report the matter as he was a bit scared and didn't know what was on. He said that he had seen David Hughes down there before and thought that he was drunk and didn't know that he was injured.

David Hughes was later found by two boat-hauliers lying on the bank with his head covered in blood at 6.15am but they said that they could not report the matter because they could not leave their horses and carts.

David Hughes was later found by another boat-haulier who said that the pig-sty belonged to him and that he occasionally let David Hughes sleep in it. He said that he didn't know whether David Hughes had any money although he said that he was rumoured have had.

A detective noted that it had been raining the night before and that the bank was slippery.

David Hughes had been a rag and bone gatherer.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Sheffield Independent - Friday 01 June 1917