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In ordinary circumstances if a man causes the death of another by violence it is murder. The only way in which it was reduced to a crime of less magnitude was by bringing forward circumstances to show that it had been an accident – that it was in self defence – or that there was justification. The question for the consideration of the jury was, did they think the prisoner had been the cause of the death of this poor man. Of course they would have to consider the statement made by the prisoner; but he (Mr Overend) thought it right to observe that if the prisoner was the person who caused the death, he was the only one living who could make a statement. He  (the learned counsel) put it on not as a confession, and without saying it was true, but merely as a statement to be placed in context with that previously made by the prisoner. No doubt it would be used to show that this case was only a case of manslaughter, because he was running away when Simpson attacked him. But there was one thing that showed that the whole of his statement was not true; because the gun barrel which was found in the thatch had not been discharged – it was found loaded. It would be for the jury to say how far the confession was true. The prisoner said that he ran away, but the statement he made before was that he would call the man to stand, and if he would not, “Ont goes the b—r’s brains”. He said that he stumbled and fell – that the watcher came up – and that they had a scuffle. Was this true? The inference was that it was not, for there was no mark either upon him or the deceased. His learned friend would argue that deceased having fired a pistol at him, he had a right in self defence to take the life of the gamekeeper. But he (Mr Overend) would show that the gamekeeper had a right to have a pistol; that he was there as the servant of the lord of the manor; and that it was the duty of the man to surrender. He told his brother that it was a double-barrelled pistol that was fired, but the pistol of deceased was single barrelled. The learned counsel dwelt at length upon the fact that the pistol had never been found, although the river had been carefully searched when it was very low, for two miles down the stream. He read a letter from Mr RB Moore, the prisoner’s solicitor, stating that he had been informed of the precise spot where the pistol had been thrown into the river, and as it was of the highest importance that it should be forthcoming, offering to conduct a search in conjunction with the police. In compliance with that letter a search was made at the place pointed out, but no pistol was found. If the prisoner had the pistol it would be for him to produce it, but if it had not been discharged he had every motive to conceal it. Where were the coat and the waistcoat, which deceased took with him? They had searched high and low, and neither these nor the pistol could be found. In conclusion, Mr Overend said it would be for the jury to say how much of the prisoner’s statement they would believe, and whether an attack was not made upon Simpson without being in self defence, and without any justification; if they believed that it would be their duty to find the prisoner guilty. He would lay the evidence before them, and he would ask them in a case of so much magnitude and so much singularity, to give it their serious attention.