Rose Ann Riley (1828-1874)

A former soldier Patrick Riley argued with his wife on 3rd July 1874 in the one roomed home the couple shared with their 4 sons in 8 Herbert Street, Cardiff. Rose was found dead the next morning stating she had died through drinking. The post mortem however revealed she had numerous bruises and a fractured skull. The three eldest sons said Rose had fallen over the fireplace, but the youngest stated that Patrick had kicked Rose several times with his heavy boots in the head. On 18th July the Coroner was of the opinion that the fall would not have caused Rose's injuries.

The Jury wanted to give a verdict of Manslaughter but the Judge was unwilling to accept it and the Jury finally failed to reach agreement. Riley was to be retried in 1875. New evidence came to light when the children remembered that their mother had a fall a few days before her death and complained of pain in her head. Riley was found not guilty and discharged.