YEAR OF DEATH
DETAILS OF DEATH
On the evening of Wednesday 17 February 1858 a Constable arrested John Rutledge at the Star of the West Hotel Belfast for being drunk and disorderly. Rutledge resisted and struck the policeman who called on Sergeant Dodds for assistance. The two officers then subdued him and started to lead him back to the Watch House. As they walked along Sackville Street Rutledge took a bowie knife from his pocket and stabbed Dodds in the abdomen. He was charged with wounding the Sergeant and was tried at the Belfast General Sessions on 12 May 1858. He was found not guilty on the grounds of insanity and was committed to the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum. Sergeant Dodds never recovered from the injury and his condition steadily declined. He died on 18 August 1859 almost 12 months after his assailant had been pronounced “no longer insane” and released from custody.