Leach, Isaac 1883 April 21st West Harnham
An inquest was held on Wednesday at the “Three Crowns” inn, West Harnham, by Mr R A Wilson (deputy coroner for the county) on the body of an old man named Isaac Leach, which was found in the water at the back of the bone mill.
From the evidence of Lizzie Leach, who is a niece of the deceased, it appeared that her uncle, who had been for some considerable time in the employ of Mr H G Gregory as a miller, had for the past week or two not been able to go to his work, because of the severe pains he suffered in his head. On Wednesday morning he left the house, intending, it was presumed, to go for a stroll. But about five minutes after she was told that he had fallen into the water. The stream – added the witness – flowed at the bottom of her uncle’s garden.
William Sanger, an employee at the tallow factory which immediately adjoins the mill, deposed that he went to the back of the factory at about noon that day, and his attention was drawn by a woman to a body which was lying in the water face downwards. On taking the body he at once recognised the deceased. The water at the point was only about a foot deep. Immediately efforts were made to restore animation, and Dr Blackmore was sent for. Their efforts were, however, unsuccessful.
Dr Blackmore deposed that when he saw the body life was quite extinct. He examined the body, and from its appearance he believed that the deceased, having a fit, fell into the water, and death resulted from suffocation.
A juryman remarked that it was scarcely probable the deceased would have intentionally thrown himself into water of so little depth.
The jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased died from drowning, but that there was no evidence to show how his body came into the water.