|Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide|
|This text is from the E-book Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide by Christopher J. Morley (2005). Click here to return to the table of contents. The text is unedited, and any errors or omissions rest with the author. Our thanks go out to Christopher J. Morley for his permission to publish his E-book.|
Henry Edward Leeke
Leeke, an oil and colour man, of Gilbert-street, was accused by two men, William Avenall, 26, a chimney sweep, of Adam and Eve-court, Oxford-street, and Frederick W. Moore, 28, a carver and guilder of Carlisle-street, of being Jack the Ripper.
On the 10 November 1888, shortly before 5 o'clock in the evening, Leeke described as a man of small stature, went into a public house in the neighborhood of Berners Street, Oxford Street, when someone shouted 'Here's a funny little man perhaps he's Jack the Ripper'. Upon leaving the man was seized violently hit repeatedly with a stick and dragged along the street in a brutal manner by Avenall and Moore, who said they were detectives in private clothes and were taking him to the police station.
In court the two men, who were described as hard working and respectable, said in their defence that they first encountered Leeke sitting in a corner of the public house with his head down and mumbling to himself his strange manner alerted there attention, they asked the man what was the matter - he replied 'Don't bother me, I'm in serious trouble'. When they asked the man where he lived and he replied '62 Berner-street', they knew this was not true as they did the chimney sweeping at that address and knew only females lived there. Avenall and Moore really believed the man was Jack the Ripper, and therefore were justified in their actions in taking the man along to the police station. The magistrate said that to drag a man along the street saying he was the Whitechapel murderer in the present highly excited state of public feeling was a highly dangerous thing to do, and such conduct might actually lead to the loss of life. On the charge of impersonating a detective the evidence was conflicting and was dismissed. On the charge of assault the magistrate said the acussed men would each have to pay a fine with the alternative one month's imprisonment, as there was no reasonable excuse for acting as they had. It was said that though Avenall and Moore did not beat the man, they so frightened him as to cause him to become ill and to get into a state of nervous depression that he had taken to his bed.
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