1st September 1861


The interesting Italian, named Vincent Collucci, and described as an “artist”, was again brought up this week and charged with defrauding a young English lady of £1,900, under pretence of restoring to her certain letters which she had written under the influence of misplaced affection towards himself.

As the case stands adjourned, we have no desire at present to comment upon it adversely to the prisoner; but we will simply remark that if young English ladies, with thousands of pounds to spare, choose to hold their heads too high for honest Englishmen, and prefer the courtship of questionable foreign “artists”, it only serves the silly, supercilious females perfectly right if their cases be published as warnings to the other weak-headed and wealthy of their countrywomen.


Last Friday night a soldier named Grant, of the 12th Regiment, approached a loose female named Louisa Smith, and a quarrel ensued. In the excess of her passion, the woman seized a brown stone jug, and struck the soldier full in the face, literally battering his face in. The police arrived, who took the woman in charge. The soldier was instantly conveyed to the hospital, bleeding fearfully, where he remains in a dangerous condition.


Catherine Leary, aged 81, who was called “the old woman”, was brought up on remand and charged with cutting and wounding John Sullivan. It appeared the parties live in an Irish colony in Poplar, and a few nights since there was a row between factions there. A woman named Barry was struck on the abdomen with a stone and seriously injured. Several broken heads were also exhibited, and a woman named Lyons was, to use her own words, “kilt and murthered” by a stone which struck her on the jaw.

After the row was nearly over, Mrs Leary, who was in her own dwelling, called out to Sullivan, “Here, Jack. I want you. Come in here and I’ll talk to you like a Dutch uncle.” The unfortunate man reluctantly entered the house and Mrs Leary immediately cut him down with a chopper. He received two severe cuts on the head, and contusions. He was taken to hospital and has been ever since under medical treatment. He appeared in court with large surgical plasters on his head.

Stephen Barry confirmed Sullivan’s statement, and said he heard the complainant call out “blue murder” when he was struck. Mr Woolrych asked, “Blue murder? What do you mean by that?” The witness replied, “Shure, I don’t know; but she was murthering him wid the chopper.”

Mr Woolrych said the prisoner had nearly killed the man and it was a wonder she had not done so. There was no doubt upon his mind that the prisoner was a violent and dangerous woman. He fined her 40s and, in default, sentenced her to one month’s imprisonment.


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