This case was tried at Worcester Assizes on June 9, before Mr. Justice Avory. The prisoner was a crane driver, 24 years of age. He was accused of having murdered his half-brother, at Dudley, during the night of March 5–6, by smashing in his head with an axe. The prisoner's father had died when he (prisoner) was about 6 years of age. The mother had remarried about two years later, and the murdered lad was the only child of this second marriage. The family lived at a public-house owned by the mother. The prisoner and the murdered lad slept in one bedroom. On the evening of March 5 the prisoner came home at a late hour, and was rebuked by his mother, who told him that he must keep earlier hours or find another home. Nothing unusual was heard during the night. Next morning the prisoner came downstairs, and asked his mother to give him some money, saying that he was going away, and that if he did not have money he “would give himself up.” No questions appear to have been asked, but no money was given, and the prisoner left the house. Later, the body of the murdered lad was found in bed. The prisoner gave himself up, that same evening, to a police constable in Birmingham, to whom he used the words, “I had cause to do it.” The facts of the case were not disputed, and the defence raised was that of insanity.
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