Transcription Page

1914/195 Rex vs. Lem How – attempted murder

As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, the BC Archives has digitized a selection of documents related to criminal prosecutions against the Chinese community from 1866 to 1914, found in GR-0419. These are mainly records created as part of the preliminary hearing held before a judge in order to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. There are often lengthy witness statements, and cross examinations by both prosecution and defense lawyers. The eventual verdict is sometimes recorded on the outside of the docket. They offer a fascinating glimpse into 19th and early 20th century criminal activity around the province, and ways in which the Chinese community was stereotyped. The records offered for transcription here are a small selection; for additional digitized material from GR-0419 click here. 

*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum. Some materials may contain content that is racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. In addition, GR-0419 records deal with subjects such as assault, murder and abuse, which may upset some readers. The Royal BC Museum is only the custodian of archival materials; the content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Royal BC Museum.
*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person. 

BC Archives G-0419

Current Page Transcription [edit] [history]


23. Q. What with? A. There were two of them, they seemed very much alike to me, one had an axe and the other a shingle hammer.

MR. COWAN: I must object to this evidence as absolutely irrelevant; the witness has already said he cannot swear to the accused.

MR. RUSSELL: I am going to identify the accused, and I am giving that evidence now about a man whom the accused resembled. That is as near we can get to it now. I undertake to identify this man as being the man who had the axe.

MR. COWAN: However interesting that evidence may be in some other case it has nothing to do with this case, because the witness has already sworn that he cannot swear to this man at all. I just wish your Worship to see. I know what My Friend is trying to do, but he cannot get in evidence about a man who looked like the accused, but who the witness cannot swear to him. The moment he says that he can give no evidence whatever as to what this man whom he cannot identify with the accused has said or done.

MR. RUSSELL: The charge here is attempted murder and incidents with reference to that attempted murder are of interest and importance to the Court, they are necessary to the charge. A man receives a blow from an axe on his nose and purpose through this witness giving evidence of that blow, of the instrument with which that blow was inflicted. I am not at this moment giving evidence with reference to the person who inflicted that blow. Incidentally it crops up that the accused looks like the man who administered it. That is not the evidence that is of importance; it is the evidence of the attempted murder by some person. It will be for the prosecution later to show who that person was.

MR. COWAN: My Friend is quite right when he says this being a charge of attempted murder we should thrash it out. Now one of the rules is that you cannot connect this man who is not identified by the witness with the actions of someone

BC Archives GR-0419 Box 193 File 1914/195 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Attorney General documents.

Current Page Discussion [edit] [history]

Image 7 of 36