23 November 1888
At Southwark Police-court, yesterday, Collingwood Hilton Fenwick, 26, described as "a gentleman of independent means," residing at 34, Methley-street, Kennington on-road, was brought up on remand charged before Mr. Slade with unlawfully cutting and wounding Ellen Worsford, with intent to do her grievous bodily harm.
Mr. Sims prosecuted on behalf of the Treasury, and Mr. St. John Wontner appeared for the prisoner.
The prisoner met the prosecutrix in the Westminster Bridge-road and accompanied her to her lodgings in Ann's-place, Waterloo-road, and there without any apparent motive stabbed her in the abdomen with a penknife. He then effected his escape, but was followed and given into custody.
According to evidence of Dr. Farr, the divisional surgeon, the wound, although a nasty one, was not dangerous.
On the case being called on this afternoon, Mr. Sims said the facts of the case had been brought before the Director of Public Prosecutions, and he was instructed to ask that the prisoner should be committed for trial with intent to murder. Information had reached the Treasury that the prisoner had been guilty of other offences, viz., forgery and fraud, but as these had been committed beyond the jurisdiction of the court, he did not propose to take cognizance of them.
Mr. Wonter, for the prisoner, said he could not oppose the application to commit, but denied that his client had been guilty of the other offences imputed to him.
Mr. Slade committed the prisoner for trial at the Central Criminal Court.
Mr. Montagu William's denunciation of common lodging-houses, made on Monday last, was not characterised by the sound sense that generally distinguishes his utterances. "The whole crime of the district," he said, speaking in Worship-street Police-court, "is due to the registered lodging-houses." The attention of the Home Secretary was drawn to this magisterial comment in the House of Commons yesterday, and Mr. Mathews seemed by no means to share the convictions of Mr. Montague Williams on this point.
"In the opinion of the police," said the Home Secretary, "it could not be said that crime was due to common lodging-houses. There was no doubt that a certain number of the criminal class did reside in registered lodging-houses; but the owners were ready to assist the police with information, and the inmates were under better police supervision than they would be if driven elsewhere." That is just the merit of the common lodging-house, which is, it must be admitted, neither morally nor materially the most savoury place in the world. The criminal must live and sleep somewhere, and he is most easily tracked when he lives and sleeps in one of these houses.
No person was in custody last evening in connection with the latest East-end outrage. The detention of a man early yesterday morning on suspicion of being the woman Farmer's assailant was due to the cries of a woman, who said the man had drawn a knife, but it appears that the occurrence was an ordinary drunken quarrel, to which the police attached no importance. Several men have been brought to the police-station in the district on suspicion, but have been released after inquiries. There was an absence of crowds in the streets yesterday, but the district remains in a very excited state.
The man who committed the assault on Annie Farmer on Wednesday morning at a common lodging-house in George-street, Spitalfields, has not yet been captured. It is now believed that the wound to Farmer's throat was not made with a sharp instrument; also that a quarrel arose between the pair respecting money, as, when the woman was at the station, some coins were found concealed in her mouth. The authorities appear to be satisfied that the man has no connection with the recent murders, and expect that he will shortly surrender himself into their hands.
The house of a man named Daniel Parrott, on the outskirts of Dunstable, was burglariously entered last night, when some wearing apparel and food were stolen. A note was found on the table, as follows; "I am the man that robed this house, I am Jack the Ripper. I shall be back in a few days, so look out for me." The police are investigating the affair.