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The Round Green Murder Police Evidence

Hitchin Road the approximate site of the attack on William Bradberry June 2010
Hitchin Road the approximate site of the attack on William Bradberry June 2010

The Bedfordshire Merury of 31st March 1868 recorded the trial of William Worsley for the murder of William Bradberry. The newspaper account continued:

Superintendent Smith recalled: I was with Mr. Pope when Worsley and Welch were taken into custody on the 22nd of August. When Worsley was taken into custody for murder Welch said, "I am wrongfully charged, then". Worsley said "So say I". Day said the same. A day or two after, at the police-station, I was with the prisoner, in the presence of Worsley. He had said he wanted to speak to Mr. Pope, and when Mr. Pope came Worsley said, "I wish to make a statement about this job, for I don't want to suffer for what other people have done. I never killed the man". I heard Mr. Pope say, "You may say anything you like, but I must take it down in writing. Do you please to say it? As I shall be obliged to lay it before the magistrates". Worsley made a statement, and I saw it when it was taken down in writing; I saw it signed. That is the one now shown to me.

The Clerk of Arraigns then read the statement as follows: - "I did not murder him nor rob him. It was Welch that robbed him but I did not know that until the next morning. When Welch, myself, and day were coming from Harsey Bottom on the following morning, I saw Welch pull something out of his pocket and I asked him what he had got in his hand. He said "A knife" I said "Who does that belong to?" He said "That is one I took away from him last night" and threw it into the barley field close by the oak tree. When we got to Round Green the keeper said Bradberry had had his pockets cut out and robbed. I said to Levi Welch, "You did not cut the out, did you?" He said "Yes". I said. "Was there any money in them?" He said "I think there was 4s. 6d.". I said "You must be a fool to cut them out". Day was with us, but he did not hear what we were talking about. Welch said he hid some of the things in the hedge in Piggott's field by the wayside, and the trousers he took across the field that divides Piggott's field and Daniel Downs, against an ash tree. One day since then, I said, "You did not knock him down, did you Levi?" He said "No, so help me God, I'm as innocent as a child of that".

Witness: After Worsley had made that statement I went in search of the things.

Cross-examined: That statement was made a day or two after the 22nd. A short time after that he made another statement when Welch did; I don't remember that it was before that.

By Serjeant Tozer: If any other statement was made it was made in my presence. The one now shown to me was given in my presence.

The Clerk of the Arraigns was about to read Welch's statement, in reply to Worsley's, at the request of Mr. Metcalfe, when Serjeant Tozer observed that it was not complete unless the previous statement were given.

His Lordship said it was evidence if it was intelligible. He should invite the learned counsel to put it in, but the answer was not very intelligible unless the question were also given.

The Clerk of the Arraigns read the following: - Welch having made a statement, Worsley thereupon said - "I did not knock him down. I had the winch with me, and I left it at my brother John's the next morning. It was a bed winch that I had there. I'll swear the man was down when I got there".

Witness by Mr. Metcalfe: That is the shirt produced. There was another statement made by Worsley, before Welch made his statement. It commenced; "I want to tell you something more". He was again cautioned, and he said: - "I want to tell you something more - how Welch found Bradberry. He said to me "If you had been where I was, you would not have seen him". Since the inquest at Round Green, he told me that I pulled him out of the road. I don't know whether I did or not. I remember seeing Welch standing by him when he got up. He was some distance before me. He said to me "He's only drunk". He went on towards Stopsley. Leaving me with Bradberry. I then went a short distance back and met James Day coming towards me. I told him there was a man lying on the side of the road. Welch did not come back for some time. I said to him next morning, "Where did you go to last night?" He said "I went to hide the things", I said, "You might as well have told me before the inquest, as I might have told the jury where he was first found". He said, "That is not b - likely; you keep your mouth shut".

Mr. Metcalfe: I want Welch's statement now.

His Lordship: The prosecution don't want Welch's statement read out.

Mr. Metcalfe: But I do, my lord.

The Clerk of the Arraigns read as follows: - The two statements of Worsley having been read over in the presence of Welch, the latter said: - "You (Worsley) knocked him down with the thing with a handle to it, which is used for the purpose of closing up a range - to make it larger or smaller. You hid it in Harsey Bottom, and did not take it home for a week afterwards. When you knocked him down you said to me, "Come back", I said "Come on". He said "You silly b-, come back". When I got back Worsley had got his hand in his (Bradberry's) right hand trousers pocket. He said to me, "See if he has got any money in his other pocket". I slipped my hand by the side of his pocket , took my knife out, and cut it off. He (Worsley) said, "There is something else in the other pocket". I then cut that out. He said, "Here is the b-'s basket, see what is in that". We both put our hands in at the same time. He took a little parcel out done up in paper, and gave it to me. He said "There lays something else, collar it, and hook it". I took it up and ran down the road with it. I hid one on the other side of the road and the other across the field against an ash tree. I went back to him, when he had pulled the man across the road, and a light came. I went up to Smith's for about an hour and a half, and washed the deceased's face. Then me, Worsley and Day went away together towards Stopsley. Worsley said, "What have you done with the things?" I said, "They're all right; I've hid them". He said, "What is there?" I said, "4s. 6d., a pair of trousers and the little bundle". He said, "I want a pair of trousers, they'll do for me, and you can have the 4s. 6d. and the other little bundle". He said, "Do you think the other little b - (meaning Day) knows anything?" I said, "No, he was not there at the time. He never saw anything". He said, "The chattering little b -; I know he'll cackle". We then went on to White Hill, and laid in some straw. Whilst we lay there Worsley pulled his winch out of his pocket. I said "Did you hit him with that?" He said, "Yes". He hunched me, and said, "Don't let him hear you". We then came back through Stopsley to Harsey Bottom, when I pulled the knife out and showed it to him. He said, "Throw it away; don't have the b - on you". I then threw it in the field, and Day said "What is that you have thrown away?" I said, "A stone". When we got into the next field, Worsley took the thing that they screw up grates with and hid it in the hedge. He said, "There was safe to be two or three bobbies at Round Green, and if they see me with this on me, they'll swear I done it with it". When we got to Harsey Bottom Hill we saw Worsley's wife, who said, "There's a bobby at Round Green". "There", he said, "I told you they'd be there". We then came along the back lane to Nether Crawley, and sat on a gate - Worsley and me. He whispered to me and asked where I had hid the things. I told him the trousers were against an ash tree and the little bundle on the side of the road. We then came on to Luton, and he said, "I'll have the trousers; but don't say anything about it". He again said, "Don't say a word to that little b - (meaning Day), for I know he'll split". He said, "You stick to it we found him where he was when the light came". I said, "I'll never open my mouth, if you don't yours". He said, "I never will; that's enough said". Day is perfectly innocent. He was 50 or 60 yards from the place where it occurred, nor does he know anything about the robbery".

Witness: Then Worsley made a reply, and said, "I knew you would let me into it".

Mr. Metcalfe: That is not in my paper.

Witness: No, but he did say so. Both of them said Day knew nothing about it. I remember Day saying that he saw Welch throw something over into a barley field, and he asked what it was. Welch said it was a stone. I searched Welch's premises; I saw no pieces of iron lying about there; he said nothing about making a machine.

By his Lordship: Worsley had no grate in his house that the winch would fit. I don't know whether he had a bed that it would fit.