EXTRAORDINARY AFFAIR AT
A most sensational incident occurred on Wednesday night week when Wm. CRAIG, a supposed dead man, walked into the Whitehaven Police Office and gave himself up to the charge of cruelty to his children. It will be remembered that on the night of Tuesday, the 11th November, the body of a man was found floating in the South Harbour, near the Electric Light Station, at Whitehaven, and at the subsequent Coroner's inquest, some remarkable evidence was given.
After dealing with the recovery of the body, evidence was given by Police Sergeant JOHNSTON to the effect that the man's clothing was all on the body and there was an old razor and box of matches in the pocket, but no papers. He had not been able to trace who the man was, but the body had the appearance of having been in the water for some considerable time.
Further evidence was given by Margaret Craig, an inmate of the Workhouse, and a Mrs. RICHARDSON, identified the body as that of the former's husband - latter's son, Wm. CRAIG.
Margaret CRAIG said that the last time she saw her husband was two months ago. She explained to the Coroner that she and her and her husband had been summoned to appear at the Whitehaven Police Court for cruelty to their children, but he did not appear, and that on the Wednesday night he told her he "would go to a place where none of the police would bring him back." Her husband disappeared about eight o'clock on the Thursday morning that they should have appeared at the Court and she had not seen him since.
On being questioned by the Coroner as to how she identified the body, she replied that the clothing was not the same as he was wearing when he left the house, but she thought he might have got other clothing on the road. She also identified him by his hair, moustache, teeth, his feet and also an ulceration on one leg.
Mrs. RICHARDSON, the mother said she hadn't seen her son for the last two years, while Dr. DICKSON deposed to the man's legs bearing traces of ulcers.
Supt. HOGG, who was not sworn, said that Wm. CRAIG referred to had to appear at the Whitehaven Police court about the 18th of September on information laid by National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He failed to do so, and since then a warrant had been taken out, and every inquiry had been made with a view to finding the man. It had been stated that he had been seen in Liverpool, and there was also a rumour that he had been in the vicinity of Whitehaven. He, the Superintendent thought the body was a little like the man but he wouldn't swear that it was CRAIG, although there was a likeness to some extent.
Ultimately owing to the positiveness of the mother and wife the jury found that it was "William CRAIG" that had been found dead in the South Harbour.
On Wednesday evening when the man, William CRAIG gave himself up at the Whitehaven Police Station on the above charge, naturally the strange affair created something in the way of a sensation in the town.