On Wednesday, a shocking event occurred at what is known as the West Riding-terrace, a place about midway between Normanton and Whitwood. At the present time a number of new houses are being erected for the colliers employed by Messrs. Henry Briggs, Son, and Co., the builder being Mr. Webster, of Stanley. On Wednesday, an Irishman named Patrick Slaven, living at Eastmoor, Wakefield, obtained work at the buildings, and was set to build up a wall. When he was seen by Henry Whiston, one of the bricklayers, objection was taken to a labourer being allowed to use a trowel, and Slaven was, thereupon, withdrawn from the work. He was, however, again set to work, and Whiston, who had left the ground, on his return again objected, and Slaven was again withdrawn. Slaven hereupon left the premises, but on a mason, who had had some drink, taking up a challenge which Slaven had given to fight, he returned, and there was a battle between them, and when he had disposed of that antagonist, Slaven turned upon Henry Whiston, who seems to have given him no provocation, and assaulted him in a grievous manner. Whiston intimated that he would take proceedings, and thereupon Slaven rushed on him, knocked him down, and while he was on the ground Slaven kicked him with frightful violence below one ear, and immediately after that kick Whiston died. It is said that Slaven has borne but an indifferent character, and that he has recently suffered six weeks' imprisonment for assaulting his mother and from his own statement it appears that he has paid £60 in penalties. He attempted to escape, but was captured by Sergeant Rushton, and on Thursday he was present in custody at the inquest on Henry Whiston, which was held by Mr. T. Taylor at the Huntsman Inn, West Riding-terrace. He is a thick-set Irishman, of middle size, and his appearance was stolid, though the questions he asked showed much acuteness. His face bore the marks of the encounter he had had, and over his eyebrow was a piece of plaster covering a wound be had received in his fight with the mason. While the inquest was going on there was a considerable crowd round the public-house, and the feeling against the prisoner was of the most adverse character, many expressing their hopes that a verdict of willful murder would be returned. The verdict, however, was one of manslaughter; and when the prisoner was conveyed to Wakefield, at night, there was a great crowd collected at the Kirkgate Station, and considerable excitement was manifested by them. They were not, however, afforded much opportunity for a display of feeling, as the prisoner was quickly got into a cab and conveyed to prison.
Leeds (West Yorkshire, England) Mercury, June 1, 1867.