Herts Autumn Assizes

Hertfordshire Mercury, 17th November 1906


The Herts Autumn Assizes will be opened today (Saturday) at 11 a.m., and in consequence of the heavy calendar Mr Justice Lawrence will be assisted in the Second Court by Mr English Harrison, K.C. As far as we are able to learn, there are 22 prisoners for trial, concerned in 18 cases, and several of the charges are of a very serious nature.They include two murder cases from the Watford Division, one of the prisoners being a farm labourer named David Hooker, living at Chorelywood, who is charged with shooting his wife with a gun: and the other, Mrs Taylor, the wife of the engineer at the Leavesden Asylum, who is accused of having poisoned her husband by putting spirits of salts in his tea and food. Another woman, Alice Rates, of Croxley Green, is charged with the manslaughter of her newly-born child.There are also two important embezzlement cases, the one being against William Henry Oxley, the late Governor of St Albans Prison, and the other against the late Secretary of the Hertford Lodge of Oddfellows. Another interesting charge is that against Mr Edwin James Layton, a City business man residing at Watford, who is charged under the Corrupt Practices Act with dismissing his gardener through voting for the Liberal candidate at the election in West Herts last January. Mr Justice Lawrence arrived in the town privately yesterday (Friday), and took up residence at the Castle.

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