Too starved to kill himself

Hertfordshire Mercury, 20th April 1912

Attempted Suicide, Hitchin – Herts Mercury, 20th April 1912

At the Petty Sessions on Tuesday, Charles Smith, a youth of about twenty, was charged with attempting to commit suicide that morning. Prisoner, who was stated to come from Rushmere, Suffolk, presented a pitiable appearance, being in a starved condition and on the verge of collapse. Two platelayers on the railway stated that about ten o’clock that morning they saw prisoner come along the road from Hitchin, and noticed his peculiar manner. They watched him and saw him get over the fence on to the line on the Cambridge branch and go up the bank on to the parapet of Stotfold Bridge. They rushed towards him and saw him preparing to jump off the parapet, but he hesitated and then selected another spot. As he was about to jump they shouted to him, and he got down and went on to the line again. When secured he made no intelligible reply, and was bordering on a state of collapse. The parapet was about thirty feet above the line. P.s. Freeman said he found the prisoner shivering and shaking, and not able to speak. Witness conveyed him to the police station, where food was placed in front of him and he ate ravenously. The Bench remanded prisoner for a week, and directed him to be kept at Hitchin as he required looking after and taking care of.

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