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Brought before the magistrates

19th March 1887

When it became known that the prisoner was to be brought up before the borough magistrates on Saturday morning, a large crowd of people assembled near the police station, and when the door was opened there was quite a rush on the part of the crowd to gain admittance.

The first witness called was Margaret Garner, the wife of Isaac Garner, farm labourer, of Lynwood-avenue, who gave similar evidence to that she gave to the coroner on the Tuesday previous. She stated that she noticed nothing wrong with the deceased's face until she was told about it. "Her eyes looked dark to me, but I am not very good at sight. I saw Garner's mother stroke Mary Garner's face and tell her to be quiet and lie still. She did not say anything only that she had been out of doors. Garner was there at the time. I asked her why she had gone out of the door, and she said she was frightened.

In respect to the whiskey she said she took the bottle from Garner, and told him he had had enough. He had not attempted to take his wife any then. The deceased seemed quite glad at times to see him.

The next witness called was Nancy Eccles, the first witness called before the Coroner, and she gave her evidence, which was similar to that given at the inquest, in the same straightforward, intelligent manner.

At the conclusion of her evidence the witness was subjected to a most searching cross-examination by Mr. Broadbent which was, however, fruitless in changing to any material degree the evidence she had given at the inquest.

She said she had known the prisoner a long time, and could remember him starting farming thirteen years ago. His stock, she believed, then consisted of two stirks, and he had now a farm as well stocked as many in Darwen. He had also a family of seven children. Mr. Broadbent (to the Bench):"He cannot have been a lazy man, a remark which has been attributed to him by the outside public."

When questioned by Mr. Myers, Mrs Eccles said she had also known the deceased woman since her marriage, and she also had done her part as far as she could see.

At his stage of the proceedings a consultation arose as to when they should resume the adjourned hearing. At 12.30 p.m. the Court adjourned until 10 o'clock on Monday morning.

A Weekend at Darwen Police Station

At half-past one on the Saturday, the hour at which prisoners are usually taken from the police station, a crowd of several hundred persons was seen to be outside, waiting for the removal of Garner to a temporary place of confinement, probably in Preston. They were, however, doomed to disappointment, the police authorities having decided to keep the prisoner in the day-room of the police station pending the magisterial inquiry and so that he might be more easily watched.

On the Sunday he was visited by his relatives and children, and, before 8.00.a.m. on the Monday morning, his 83 year old father went to see him, and remained in conversation for some time.

During his detention at the police station Garner was said to have expressed great concern for his children and had "aged very much and his appearance has become almost wild. His brow is marked and his cheeks pinched with care. When left alone his depression is very great and seems to increase daily." He was said to have conversed somewhat cheerfully with the constables, and appeared pleased when doing so.

Northern Daily Telegraph Monday 21 March 1887