“Wounding Case in Sutton Coldfield”
From the Birmingham Daily Gazette April 4th 1876.
Heard at Warwick Assizes the case against Maria BIRCHER (nee HOPLEY) for wounding Joseph GODWIN (born 1843 Stafford).
The stabbing took place on 27th December 1875 in Sutton Coldfield.
The prisoner and the prosecutor who had been living together for 12 years had been drinking in several public houses in Stratford upon Avon before arriving home at Sutton Coldfield at 7 p.m.
The prosecutor wanted to go out drinking again, the prisoner ran after him and stabbed in the back on the left hand side, posterior to the heart.
The defence claimed that this injury occurred accidentally during a struggle but it was shown by the evidence of Mrs. Keightley a neighbour that the prisoner had said, “that it would not matter if the prosecutor was dead.”
Superintendent Galloway of Aston police station who had the prisoner under his charge said that she had been poorly, when the prosecutor (who had not been expected to live at one time) got better he called on Maria BIRCHER to tell him that he was better, she said “I don’t care, he is as well dead as alive.”
She was given mercy due to provocation and was sentenced to 6 months hard labour.
It is interesting to note that Joseph GODWIN married Elizabeth NEWTON in July of that year (just three months after the trial) and that their son William Henry GODWIN (father of Rose GODWIN) was born in the November of that year.
Whatever happened to Joseph GODWIN?
John Godwin Murderer
Samuel Millward: From Reg Godwin
Clifton & Gretton Scandal: By Paul Gebhard