At St Albans on Tuesday morning,Martin Brennan, an Irishman, was charged with the manslaughter of George Smith of Fishpool Street, St Albans on 4 June 1900. He had resided in St Albans for only a few months.
P.C. Brotherton stated he was on duty in George Street, St Albans on 4 June. At 3.10 a.m. on 5 June, a cowman called Herbert Sibley of 124 Fishpool Street, reported the alleged manslaughter.
P.C. Brotherton and P.S. Phillips went with Dr Simpson to Fishpool Street and found George Smith lying on a bed in his own house, where the Doctor examined him. Later that morning, at about 7 a.m., P.C. Brotherton and P.S. Phillips went to the Cock and Flowerpot PH in Fishpool St and saw Brennan in bed.
Arthur Smith, the deceased’s son, identified Brennan as the man who had struck his father. P.C. Brotherton told Brennan he should take him into custody for causing the death of George Smith and cautioned him. Brennan said “I never hit him. I thought he was going to kick my leg and I shoved him.” P.C. Brotherton took the prisoner to the station.
Herbert Sibley, said that on 4 June he had been standing on doorstep of George Smith’s house for about 10 minutes. George Smith was on the pavement and Brennan was standing beside him. He saw Brennan strike George Smith twice on the side of the head and said that Smith fell down after the second blow. He had not heard any words and there was no sign of quarrelling. He did not see Smith strike Brennan.
After the fall Smith was insensible so Sibley and Mr Arthur Allingham helped him up and took him to his house. On the way, Smith fell backwards onto the pavement. A subsequent inquest found Smith had died of a haemorrhage of the brain caused by falling to the pavement when intoxicated. Brennan was commited for trial at Hertford Assizes.