The Times, Thursday 2 November 1882 (page 6, column G)
(at Carlisle, yesterday)
Joseph BELL was charged with having, on the 20th of June last, by the
explosion of a cartridge of tonite, damaged a dwelling-house at Dalston, in
Cumberland, with intent to murder his sister-in-law, Martha BELL. Mr. E.
PAGE and Mr. J. W. LOWTHER prosecuted; Mr. MATTINSON was for the prisoner.
The prisoner, it appeared, had on several occasions used threatening
language concerning Mrs. BELL. On the 19th of June he was seen on the road
to Dalston. At 2 o'clock on the morning of the 20th of June two Misses
BROWN, who slept in a bedroom over a shop kept by Mrs. BELL's husband at
Dalston, were startled by the fall of a heavy substance on the floor of
their bedroom. Seeing something "fizzing" on the floor, they called for help
to their nephew, who slept in the house, and who took the infernal machine
up and threw it down the stairs. A violent explosion followed, and much
damage was done to the house. The prisoner was apprehended a day or two
later, and made a rambling statement to the effect that he had not been near
Dalston at all. For the prosecution it was suggested that the prisoner could
have obtained a cartridge of "tonite" from the Mersey Tunnel Works, where he
had been employed. The jury Convicted the prisoner of throwing the explosive
substance with the intent to murder Martha BELL. The prisoner, who protested
that he was innocent, was sentenced to 20 years' penal servitude.