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Freemans Journal, 30 Jul 1875

The business of the assizes was resumed today by Judge Battersby and Baron Dowse, the former presiding in the Crown Court and the latter in the Record Court.

In the Crown Court, Michael Kavanagh and Benjamin Henderson were indicted for the manslaughter of a man named Thomas Mulligan, at Enniskerry on the 24th of March last.

Mr. Ryan Q.C. and Mr. William Anderson, instructed by Mr. M'Mahon, prosecuted on the part of the crown. The prisoners were defended by Mr. John Gibson, instructed by Mr. Toomey.

From the statement of Mr. Ryan it appeared that the prisoner Kavanagh, who is a smith by trade, was drinking in a public house in Enniskerry with Henderson, who is a small farmer in the county. In the publichouse were a number of persons, including the deceased, and a dispute having arisen amongst them, the proprietor of the house, named Telford, put the parties out, and after this the two prisoners proceeded towards the place where Kavanagh lodged. Having arrived at a spot close to the Powerscourt grand gate, they remained, as counsel believed the jury would find, in wait with the object they would presently see. Some time after this, the unfortunate deceased and a man named Malone passed towards where the prisoners were standing, when they were accosted by Kavanagh, who, adressing Mulligan said-"You are the man I want," and accompanied the observation with a blow which left him senseless on the ground. Henderson then said, looking at Malone. "We had better serve both of them alike," and he struck Malone, who fell heavily. Having knocked the deceased to the ground, Kavanagh kicked him. Counsel contended that the two prisoners were equally guilty of the manslaughter of the deceased, both having taken part in the most lamentable transaction which resulted in the death of their fellow-creature. Evidence would be produced to support the case, which he maintained was complete in every respect as against the accused and amongst the rest, Dr. Darby and other medical men would be produced to prove that the act the prisoners had resulted in the death of Mulligan.

Witnesses were examined in support of the case of the Crown. Dr. Darby who made the post mortem examination deposed that he found a would in the forehead and a quantity of clotted blood under the skin. 

Counsel having addressed the jury,
His Lordship charged, and
The jury returned a verdict of guilty.

Judge Battersby, in pronouncing the sentence, said the prisoners had both been found guilty of manslaughter, committed under circumstances which made the case very little removed from one of murder. The judgement of the court would therefore be a heavy one for the purpose of giving an example to others. His Lordship then sentenced prisoner Michael Kavanagh to penal servitude for life, and Benjamin Henderson to penal servitude for five years, he being guilty in a less degree, not having actually struck the blow which caused the death of the deceased.

Benjamin Henderson Murder Charge

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