The murders by John Hughes

John Hughes was charged and imprisoned for the murders of two local men: Thomas Campbell Davis [1859] and Edward Cullen [1862]

The Murder of Thomas Campbell Davis [1859]

Hughes worked for Whitworths' at Lee Mill, Halifax.

On 21st July 1859, he had been given a warning by his overlooker, Thomas Campbell Davis, about his work, and Hughes threatened that ...

he would warm Davis, his nut, when he met him in the street

That evening, Davis was walking down Jail Lane, when the 2 men met.

Hughes picked up a stone, weighing about 4 lbs and threw it at Davis, striking the side of his head.

Davis recovered consciousness, and was able to give a clear account of the incident, but he died the following morning.

The Jury returned a verdict of Manslaughter against Hughes, but he went missing, and his whereabouts were not known.

He was subsequently apprehended.

At the York Assizes [12th December 1859], he pleaded guilty to the charge of manslaughter, and was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment at York Castle

The Murder of Edward Cullen [1862]

About noon on 27th September 1862, Hughes and 82-year-old Edward Cullen met in Winding Road, and without any provocation, Hughes, a desperado, pushed the old man to the ground, observing that he had been in prison for killing one man, and would kill another.

Hughes – whom witnesses described as mad with drink at the time – was about to attack Cullen further, but a passer-by intervened and prevented further violence.

Cullen was carried home, and was found to have sustained serious injury, he never left his bed, and died on 1st October 1862.

At the post mortem, Mr Cresswell found that the neck of Cullen's thigh bone had been broken, and that mortification of the bowels, such as might be caused by the fall, was the cause of death.

At the Inquest, the Jury returned a verdict of manslaughter.

At the Assizes, Hughes was found Guilty with a recommendation to mercy

on the ground that he was intoxicated

and was sentenced to be imprisoned for 1 month

© Malcolm Bull 2024
Revised 08:52 / 11th March 2024 / 5163

Page Ref: X588

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