When Police Constable Charles Gunter, 25, went to sort out an affray in Staniforth Street, Birmingham, a brick was thrown and hit him on the head. That was around midnight on JULY 22nd, 1901. The officer was taken to Birmingham General Hospital where two months later he died of the injury.

What had initially been a case of causing grievous bodily harm now became a murder. Four men, Joseph Adey, 23, George Fowles, 19, George Callaghan, 33, and John Davis, 31, were charged, and brought to Birmingham Assizes on December 13th.

The prosecution dropped all charges against Callaghan, who was discharged, and pushed for a murder conviction for the other three. But the jury voted for manslaughter, a decision which, said the judge, was “merciful.” Nonetheless he sentenced each of them to 15 years, causing two women in the public gallery to be carried out unconscious.