Saturday, 12 March 2016

Cap Theft Leads to Death

A man who took his friend's cap as a joke paid for it with his life, dying as a result of a single punch.

On Thursday 18th June 1846 a group of men were drinking at Paine's public house in Vauxhall Road. One of them, John Davies, took the cap of John Frost as a joke and began passing it around the others present. Frost didn't see the funny side and struck Davies just below the ear, causing him to fall down and die shortly afterwards.

Frost escaped but was apprehended soon afterwards at his home in Gascoyne Street. An inquest heard that Davies had died from effusion of blood on the brain and returned a verdict of manslaughter, leading to Frost being committed to the assizes for trial on a coroner's warrant.

At the assizes two months later Frost pleaded guilty but in light of the circumstances was immediately discharged at the instruction of the Grand Jury.

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