Death Penalty Inflicted: Poisoning Horses Capital Offense in the British Empire.; First Conviction Secured in 1811 and the Perpetrator Found Guilty and Pays Extreme Penalty., Daily Racing Form, 1923-01-02


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DEATH PENALTY INFLICTED Poisoning Horses Capital Offense in the British Empire First Conriotion Scoured In 1811 and the thePerpetrator Perpetrator Found Guilty and Pays PaysExtreme Extreme Penalty During the First Spring Meeting at New ¬ market in 1S09 several race horses in Stevens stables were poisoned by arsenic being put in the trough at which they were watered A reward of 100 guineas was immediately offered for the discovery of the offenders who however succeeded for that time in eluding the pursuit of justice but in 1811 emboldened by their Success they again per ¬ petrated a similar offense offenseAt At the commencement of the First Spring Meeting at Newmarket in 1311 Spaniard Peroutte The Dandy and Sir F Standishs Eagle colt died from arsenic poisoning Two other horses Reveller and Calebs recovered This atrocious act created general indigna ¬ tion and a reward of 500 guineas was im ¬ mediately offered by the Jockey Club for the discovery of the guilty party partyOn On August 15 in the same year Daniel Dawson a notorious touter was appre ¬ hended at Brighton and committed by M Conant the magistrate of Marlborough street to Cambridge jail a true bill having been found against him by the grand jury for poisoning horses at the Newmarket Spring Meeting of 1SOD 1SODAt At the ensuing Cambridge Assizes Dawson was tried for this offense Mr Sergeant Sel lon being the counsel for the prosecution The learned Sergeant dwelt much on the enormity of the offense with which the pris ¬ oner stood charged He said this was not an offense recognized at common law but was founded on the statute of the Ninth George I C 22 which was enacted for the purpose of punishing persons maliciously wounding maiming and killing cattle He was well aware that the mere killing would not support this indictment without an ob ¬ ject attached to it The statute ttpon which this indictment was founded did not specify further than unlawfully and maliciously killing animals but the motives which prompted the killing and maiming were to be considered consideredIf If it be proved that the horse the subject of this indictment was killed by poison then it would be necessary also to prove preexist ¬ ing malice If a man kill or maim an ani ¬ mal in the moment of anger the ofTense would not be recognized by this statute as revenge or malice to the animal alone would not be sufficient without an object The malice must be against the owner and it was not sufficient to apply direct malice against the owner even but as in this case the law im plied malice when the animal was killed for an object of gain or reward Though the effender had never seen the owner the case for the prosecution rested on the evidence of Cecil Bishop who had been apprehended wtih Dawson and was now admitted evi ¬ dence for the Crown CrownWAS WAS FOIOIERLY A CHE3IIST CHE3IISTThis This man who had been brought up to tho trade of a chemist and druggist deposed that at the instigation of Dawson he had prepared a strong solution of arsenic which he had injected by means of a crooked syr ¬ inge into the watering troughs on Newmar ¬ ket Heath by which means the horses men ¬ tioned in the present indictment were pois ¬ oned he deposed moreover that he had been tempted into this crime in the expecta ¬ tion of receiving a share of the gains which were to be realized by a confederate of the name of Trist who was to bet heavily against the horses thus made safe safeUpon Upon the conclusion of the evidence for the prosecution Mr King the counsel for the prisoner took an objection to the indict ment which charged the prisoner with being a principal in the alleged act of poisoning when in point of fact he was an accessory before the fact On these grounds the judge immediately directed his acquital but re ¬ fused to accept bail for the prisoner which was tendered immediately on the conclusion of the trial Dawson was accordingly sent back to Cambridge jail to take his trial at the autumn assizes on another indictment charging him with poisoning two brood ¬ mares the property of Mr Northey and a hack belonging to Mr Adams of Royston at Newmarket in 1S09 His trial on this in ¬ dictment took place at the assizes in July 1312 before Mr Justice Heath HeathThe The prisoner was indicted under the Act Sth George I C 22 for feloniously wilfully and maliciously infusing white arsenic into a watering trough at Newmarket on July 10 1809 and thereby poisoning certain horses ami broodmares etc etcThe The charges laid in tho indictment having been proved as clearly as circumstantial evidence would permit Mr King for the prisoner contended that no offense in point of law had been committed sufficient to con ¬ stitute a felony No malice had been proved against the owner inasmuch as Bishops evidence this accomplice having been heard as evidence for the Crown did not state that there was any wish to go to the extent of killing the animal The learned judge however thought to the contrary and over ¬ ruled the objection objectionThe The jury having found a verdict of guilty sentence o death was pronounced and Dawson was executed at Cambridge on Au ¬ gust 8 1S12 and although he confessed his guilt did not mention his having had any accomplice in the crime as had been gen ¬ erally supposed supposedThe The criminal was prosecuted by the Jockey Club at an expense of 7500 7500This This trial clearly established the fact that by the statute of the Ninth George I C 22 the offense of poisoning or maiming race horses so as to gain money by incapacitating them from running a race was made a cap ¬ ital felony and punishable accordingly

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