The death of Police-constable James GRAHAM, No 165, 1887

Liverpool Mercury, Aug 15th 1887

Sudden death in Liverpool

On Saturday night, police constable 165, James GRAHAM, was found dead in the lavatory of the police section house, Hatton Garden. The appearance of the body suggested he had died from a fit. Deceased was considered one of the finest and healthiest men in the force, and was a prominent athlete.

Liverpool Mercury, Aug 17th 1887

Coroner's inquest, Tues Aug 16th before Mr Clarke ASPINALL, coroner of Liverpool

On the body of James GRAHAM, aged 23, late constable of the city police force.

Police-officer Thomas GRIFFITH, No 144, deposed that the deceased had been in the force about 15 mths, he and the deceased did duty on adjoining beats in Scotland Rd. About 10.30 pm on Wednesday, the 10th inst, witness saw a crowd in Scotland Rd, near St Martin's Market. He went to the spot and found the deceased holding a man named MURPHY, who had his belt off and appeared to be in the act of striking the officer. Witness prevented the blow being struck by seizing the soldier's arm. A comrade of the soldier named HANNAH, was endeavouring to rescue him. The prisoner "butted" the deceased with his head, and then threw himself down and kicked both constables about the legs. Witness blew his whistle and other constables came to their assistance, both soldiers were removed to the Bridewell, and "booked" for drunkenness and riotous conduct, and both were convicted the next day before the magistrates for these offences and for assaulting the police. After the night of the assault the deceased complained of being sore, but not of anything special.

Police-constable J. B. BRYANS, No 421, Edward PARRY manager of the cocoa rooms in Scotland Rd, and Thomas NOLAN, a hostler, gave corrobative evidence, which went to show that the soldier MURPHY was extremely violent, and that the deceased had been kicked and assaulted. The last named witness stated that he heard HANNAH say to MURPHY, "Go quietly" to which MURPHY replied, "I'm no militiaman, I'm a soldier " then he started kicked and striking the deceased constable.

At 6 o' clock on Saturday the deceased was found dead in the water closet at the section house, Hatton Garden. Mr FISHER, senior house surgeon at the Northern Hospital said, the remains of the deceased were brought to the hospital on Saturday last. On examining the body witness found an abrasion on the right side of the chest, and a bruise on the upper part of the left side, but not of an important nature. These marks constituted all the external evidence of violence. All the organs were very much congested and presented evidence of suffocation. Internally there were marks due to injury, and a great amount of inflammation due to irritation, and not to injury. Witness could not in any way connect the death with the symptoms of injury. The jury returned an open verdict.

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