The Bizarre Story of Christopher Hindle (1896) | Accrington | Crime


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Just after 10am on the morning of Tuesday, 9th June 1896, a young boy burst into the workshop of John Coates and his son Thomas, which was situated along the cobbled road of Bridge-street, Accrington and just behind the now forgotten, Brown Cow public inn.

In a frenzied state of mind, the boy shouted, ‘Oh, Mrs. Coates is murdered!’

Not sure what was happening, Mr. Coates replied back, ‘Nothing of the sort.’

However, the young boy raised one of his arms and to the horror of Mr. Coates, what looked like fresh splatters of blood splatters could be seen.

Alarmed, Mr. Coates and his son, Thomas, left his workshop and made their way back to their home which was only a few minutes away on nearby Warner Street.

Upon their arrival, Mr. Coates quickly made his way upstairs and to his horror, his wife, Sarah, although alive, looked to be in a very distressing state and lying on the bedroom floor, only yards from the door. Upon closer inspection, it was clear she had suffered from a serious attack, with blood flowing freely from an open wound on her throat. She tried desperately to speak, but the injuries to her throat were so severe, she could only utter a few groans.

Thomas, who had followed his father upstairs and upon seeing his mother in such a pitiful state, rushed downstairs to a neighbour named Mrs. Bradley, who in turn sent for Dr. Monaghan.

Meanwhile, the boy who had alerted Mr. Coates and his son, Thomas, to the attack on Sarah, had himself set off to find a doctor, and in no time at all, he had arrived at the surgery of Dr. Clayton.

“There’s been a murder in Warner-street,” he would scream upon entering the surgery.

As particulars of the affair began to leak out, the identity of the perpetrator remained absolutely unknown, but it would soon transpire that a boy named Christopher Hindle who was just 15 years of age and a carpenters apprentice for both Mr. and Mrs. Coates, would soon become the center of attention – and it was this very same young boy who had raised the alarm at Mr. Coates workshop only half-an-hour so earlier!

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