Razor Attack – Young Wife Charged with Attempted Murder

January 1923

Mexborough & Swinton Times January 13

Razor Attack

Startling Incident at Denaby

Sad Case of an Estranged Couple

Young Wife Charged with Attempted Murder.

There was a startling outcome on Sunday afternoon to the unhappy differences of a young Denaby couple, John William Ashton, aged 23, and his wife, Mary Ann, aged 19.

The couple were married last February, and lived with Ashton´s parents at 28, Balby Street, Denaby Main, until Aug. 19 th last. Then they had a “tiff” and the girl announced her intention of going home to her family, who live at 61, Loversall Street, Denaby main. For a time she lived with a sister in Wombwell, but for the last month or so she had lived in Loversall street.

On Sunday afternoon she called at her husband´s home, and sent for him to come out of the house and speak to her. He was sitting by the fire chatting with some friends at the time. A young nephew came in and told him that “Aunt Mary Ann” wanted him. He went out into the backyard, and his wife there asked him if he had got some lodgings yet. He replied that he had not.

She is reported than to have made a further remark and to have slashed him across the face and neck with a razor, inflicting a deep and dangerous wound extending from the mouth to the back of the ear. The girl at once took her departure, and the man went back into the house. In the twilight Ashton´s family and friends did not at first realise what had happened. The gas was lighted, and Ashton was discovered sitting on the sofa with blood pouring from his face and neck, while he tried to staunch the wound with his hand. The police and a doctor were sent for, and Ashton´s injury was attended to by his sister Maud and later by the police and ambulance men. When Dr. W. J. McClure, of Conisboro´ arrived, he ordered the man´s removal to the Fullerton Hospital. By that time Ashton was in an exhausted condition, and seemed unlikely to recover. The police went to Mrs. Ashton´s home and arrested her there. She produced from a cupboard a blood-stained razor.

There is one child of the marriage, and Ashton, during the period of their separation, has been allowing his wife 7s 6d a week in respect of it. Since the unhappy events of Sunday afternoon Ashton´s parents have taken charge of the child. The mother was taken to Conisboro´ police station, and subsequently to Doncaster, where, on Monday, before Mr. W. Hinchcliff and Mr. J. E. Cliff, she was charged with the attempted murder of her husband. When asked if she had any objection to a remand, she shook her head.

Supt. A. J. Minty said the parties had been separated since August, the man having allowed his wife 7s. 6d. a week, but there had been times when he was not working, and when he had not been able to keep up his payments. His last payment, however, was last Friday.

On Sunday afternoon the prisoner sent her nephew to her husband´s home with a message asking him to see her. He went out of the house and met her in the street. She asked him if he had got anywhere for her to go, and he was said to have replied “No, I have tried”. She then stepped back, and, it was alleged, produced a razor from underneath her shawl and struck him across the face and neck with it. Inflicting serious wounds. He was taken eventually to Fullerton Hospital at Denaby. He was that morning reported to have improved, but it would be some time before he was out of danger. Police Constable Roberts was informed of the occurrence, and he at once went down to the man´s house, and later to the prisoner´s home. He told her he was making enquiries respecting an allegation made against her of having cut her husband´s throat with a razor, and she at once produced a razor from the kitchen cupboard and handed it to him. He took her to the Conisboro´ Police Station, where he cautioned and charged her. She was said to have replied, “I didn´t intend doing it”. Supt. Minty asked for a remand for a week.

P.c. Roberts said he was called from his station at 4.45 the previous day to 28, Balby street. He found the man Ashton lying on the sofa in the front room, bleeding from severe wounds on the right side of the face and neck. Witness gave first aid, and sent for the doctor. From what he told him he visited the home of the prisoner at 61, Loversall street, and saw her in the kitchen. He told her the object of his visit, and she replied, “I did it with this razor”, producing the razor produced from the kitchen cupboard and handing it to him. He took her into custody, and at Conisboro´ Police Station charged her. She replied “I didn´t intend doing it”.

Prisoner was remanded in custody until Monday.

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