STEEPLE MORDEN TRAGEDY
Tragic Sunday Morning Discovery in a Stable
An inquest was held at Steeple Morden on Monday on the body of John Jarman, retired cabinet maker’s assistant, who had been found dead with his throat cut in his stable.
Naomi Jarman said that her husband was 66 years of age. She last saw him alive on Sunday morning at eight o’clock. He was then in his bedroom. She wanted him to stay in bed longer, but he said that he was best up, and got dressed and went downstairs. He was a little worried, otherwise quite himself. He was worried about stocks and shares going down and things getting a little bad. He never threatened suicide, for he was quite a different man to that. He had an accident about two years ago and his mind then was a little upset. He went to a mental hospital, but he seemed to get quite well. Her daughter gave the alarm that her father had fallen down in the stable, and that his nose was bleeding. Witness called Mr Pepper, and he came, and witness heard that her husband had cut his throat. She believed that he was certified to be insane two years ago.
Walter Pepper, of Steeple Morden, farmer, said that at 8.45 on Sunday he was called by the last witness and saw her husband lying on his back on the stable floor with his throat cut right across. A knife was found lying against his feet. The wound was a very deep one, and the floor was covered in blood. He was quite dead, but not stiff. Mr Jarman had been very depressed lately about the decline in value of stocks and shares. He had told witness that he had just sold some and made the biggest mistake of his life. Witness knew he had been upset two years ago, but he was surprised when he learnt Mr Jarman had cut his throat.
Dr Robert Edmund Hayes Woodford, of Ashwell, said he knew Mr Jarman, but he had never attended him. In consequence of a message witness saw him at nine o’clock on Sunday. He was dead in the stable, and there was a wound five inches long across the upper part of his throat. It was deep on the left side and shallow on the right side. All the principal blood vessels on the left side and the windpipe were divided. The wounds were apparently self-inflicted. They sloped upwards from the left to the right, which indicated self-inflicted wounds. Death must have occurred in a very few minutes. Witness had noticed that the man had been rather quiet the last month or two. The wound could have been inflicted with the knife produced.
PC Frederick Middleton said he had spoken to Jarman a few times lately, but he had not noticed anything strange about him. He searched the body, but he found no letters or anything else throwing light upon the matter.
The jury returned a verdict of “Suicide during temporary insanity”
Published in Cambridge Independent Press 23 July 1915
John Jarman and his wife Naomi lived at Homedale, 11 Cheyney Street. He had previously worked for Maples, the furniture retailers, in London.
Last Updated on December 19, 2023