Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser - Monday 27 July 1868
The business at the Kent Summer Assizes, which have been held during the past week, has been of a less important character than usual. The calendar was a short one, and there were few cases which engrossed public attention. The most serious was that in which a prisoner named Wells, almost a youth, a servant in the employ of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway Company, was charged with the murder of his superior officer, Mr. Walshe, the master of the Priory Station, Dover.
The deceased gentleman was a man of considerable attainments, having been educated for the bar, and for a long series of years he had enjoyed the respect of a large circle of acquaintance. The prisoner had been frequently insubordinate, and had been cautioned by Mr. Walshe, and on the 1st of May, Mr. Cox, of the Harbour Station, had the prisoner before him, in the presence of Mr. Walshe, in consequence of his having persisted in firing a pistol on the company's premises and having been guilty of other irregularities. The prisoner behaved in a very defiant manner to Mr. Walshe because he had reported him, and Mr. Cox consequently ordered him out of the room. In a few minutes afterwards the prisoner returned and shot Mr. Walshe, who died almost immediately. The prisoner was shortly afterwards found hiding in an empty carriage on siding, with a recently discharged gun in his hand.
The case was quite clear against the prisoner, although no one saw him actually fire the shot, and the only defence of his counsel was temporary aberration of mind, the prisoner, it was alleged, having met with some slight accident previously. He was found guilty, and sentenced to death, without any hopes of mercy being held out. Should the prisoner be executed, of which there seems every probability, this will be the first private execution at Maidstone, and probably in the country.