The jury conferred together for a few minutes, but there appeared to be little anxiety on the part of the spectators- and least of all, perhaps on the part of the prisoner – who throughout the day preserved the utmost equanimity of countenance. In place of the silence of suspense which usually prevails while the verdict on a capital charge is in debate, the densely thronged audience gave relief to their feelings in a buzz of expectancy. But at the call of the crier for “Silence” as the jurors turned to the court, there was a solemn stillness, and no one could have failed to hear the deliverance of the Foreman – ‘We find the prisoner GUILTY OF MANSLAUGHTER ONLY”
A hearty and even enthusiastic cheer burst from every part of the crowd, in loud clapping and stamping – which was several times repeated, despite the cry of scandalized officials for “Silence”.
His Lordship, addressing the prisoner, who now stood up to receive his mitigated sentence – said – “You have been found guilty of the offence which I believe you committed; for I entirely concur with the jury that that man Boustead’s evidence was utterly unworthy of belief – and I believe it to have been a most wicked falsehood, concocted by him for the purpose of obtaining the reward (Murmurs of indignant assent). But you have been guilty, upon your own statement, of the crime of manslaughter – which is a crime that varies from being a very pardonable offence, indeed, up to next to murder. And I am sorry to say that the manslaughter of which you have been convicted approaches to murder as nearly as it can be approached. And I take that, not from the evidence of any one else, but from your own statement – which I believe to be the true one”. His Lordship repeated the prisoner’s own description of the fatal affray, and then proceeded as follows: - “This is your own account of the transaction. I need not say more, a crime more nearly approaching murder cannot by possibility exist. I trust all who hear will take warning from what is now about to take place. You got drunk on that Saturday night, and were besought by your mother not to go out. Susan Hogarth also besought you to go home, and you promised you would. Your friend Stewart you also told you were going home to bed. But instead of that you went to this place, where you met a man doing only his duty, or what he thought was his duty- a man who had a wife and children, who by your act are made fatherless and a widow. For that crime you must suffer the heaviest punishment of the law, next to death – Transportation for the period of your natural life.
Charge of Assault
William Graham was then charged pro forma with an assault on Clement Richardson at Ainstable on the 23rd of June last. Mr Overend offered no evidence, and a verdict of Not Guilty was taken.
The Charge against Henry Graham
No Indictment had been preferred against this prisoner (who had been committed as accessory after the fact) and the Judge ordered him to be discharged.