William Naylor ARNOLD tries to murder his employer - WELLINGTON 1878
taken from PAPERS PAST
the GREY RIVER ANGUS - 27 August 1878
... the Residents Magistrate's Court at Wellington was occupied recently with a case of an alleged attempt to murder.
Accused, William Naylor Arnold - is a young man with a dullard appearance, and from the evidence it would seem that he had tried to shoot his former employer, a farmer at Porirua, because the latter put a stop to prisoner paying attention to his neice.
Arnold is evidently non compos mentis. His behaviour in the dock was very eccentric. During the hearing of the case he made use of such onservations as the following:- "Well, I know how the world was fixed last Thursday. I see it all in the sun. I see the compass in the sun."
His Worship, in committing him for trial, said he had little doubt as to his insanity.
the EVENING POST - 10 September 1878o
... The Wellington Circuit Sittings of the Supreme Court are appointed to commence on Monday, 7th October. The following are the criminal cases at present set down for trial:- ... and William Naylor Arnold, attempt to murder;
the EVENING POST - 8 October 1878
A LUNATIC PRISONER
William Naylor Arnold was indicted for shooting at James WARD on the 4th August.
In answer to the usual formal question by te Registrar and to queries by his Honor, prisoner merely smiled and pulled horrible faces.
Mr IZARD, Crown Prosecutor, said he had information from medical sources that the prisoner was not in a fit state of mind to plead. He suggested that the proper course would be to empanel a jury to try the question of the prisoner's sanity.
- HIS HONOUR - It is not the prisoner's demeanor now which influences me to yield to your request, though, coming from the Crown Prosecutor, I ought to attend to it. I have known a case in which a man behaved in a precisely similar manner in the dock, and yet was perfectly able to plead. I sentenced him to two years' imprisonment. He kept up the farce - for farce it was - for nearly the whole of the two years, until the prison doctor really began to think he had softening of the brain. The next time the man was brought before me he was charged with highway robbery, and he made the best defence I ever heard from a prisoner. But on the face of the depositions in this case there is a good deal which is stated raising doubts of his sanity; and if, in addition to this, you tell me that you have medical testimony, it would doubtless be expedient to empannel a jury to decide the question. I would not have it supposed by anyone that because a prisoner stands silent and pulls grimaces the Court concluded that he is insane. I have seen that tried before.
The jury was then sworn.
Dr JOHNSTON, medical officer to the Wellington Gaol, said he believed the prisoner to be suffering from softening of the brain. Witness believed that he would not get better.
Mr REID, gaoler, gave evidence to the effect that during the nine weeks prisoner had been in gaol he had acted very strangely. Sometimes he would remain silent for hours, and would then begin to talk rapidly to some imaginary person in the sun or under the ground.
Wiliam KEMP, uncle of the prisoner, and James WARD, in whose employ he had been, stated that he had recently been strange in his manner.
His Honour said he had in this case little doubt that the prisoner was insane.
The jury returned a verdict that the prisoner was of unsound mind, and he was then handed over to the gaoler as a dangerous lunatic
EVENING POST 4 January 1882
... A man named William Nayler Arnold, (sic) a patient at the Mount View Asylum, affected his escape from that institution last evening. It supposed he would make off in the direction of Porirua, but he returned this morning of his own accord to his old quarters, without, however, giving any explanation of his wanderings.
William died in 1930 aged 73-75
- he is buried Church of England Area, Row F Plot 37 in PORIRUA