Police Sergeant John Don.
Witness at Frances Coles' inquest.
Born c.1858 in Scotland. Living with his wife Caroline and their five children at 21 Albion Street, Greenwich.
Sergeant Don, accompanied by PC Gill, found James Sadler in the Phoenix public house at 24 Upper East Smithfield on the morning of 14th February 1891, following a lead given by Samuel Harris. His official report is reproduced below:
The woman found murdered in Swallow Gardens.
I beg to report that at about 12 noon, 14th inst in company with P.C.Gill H. Dn. I was in Upper East Smithfield and from what I was told by a man named Samuel Harris I went to the Phoenix P.H. where I saw the prisoner. I called him outside and asked him if his name was "Sadler" he said Yes. I told him I was a Police Officer and that it was necessary he should come to Leman Street Police Station, as a woman had been found with her throat cut and it was alleged that he had been in her company the night previous. He stopped me and said I expected this. On the way to the station he said, I am a married man and this will part me and my wife, you know what sailors are, I used her for my purpose for I have known Frances for some years. I admit I was with her, but I have a clean bill of health and can account for my time. I have not disguised myself in any way, and if you could not find me the detectives in London are no damned good. I bought the hat she was wearing and she pinned the old one under her dress. I had a row with her because she saw me knocked about and I think it was through her. He accompanied by P.C. Gill & myself came to the station & "Sadler" was handed over to Chief Insp Swanson.
- Census reports 1891
- MEPO 3/140, ff.117-8
- Inquest report, The Times, 24th February 1891