LONDON, April 3, 1913 (UP) -- Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst, militant suffragette leader, this afternoon was found guilty of "inciting to the malicious destruction of property" by a jury at Old Bailey. She was sentenced to three years penal servitude.
The maximum penalty for the crime of which she was convicted was 14 years imprisonment.
The jury deliberated only a few minutes, and returned their verdict at 2:12 p.m.
The jurors unanimously asked the magistrates to show mercy to the convicted woman.
When Justice Lush pronounced her sentence he was greeted with hisses and boohs by the women in the courtroom, despite the efforts of the policemen to keep them quiet.
"Shame!" cried some of the militants.
In consequence of the wild demonstration by the Pankhurst sympathizers, Justice Lush proclaimed loudly he would jail for contempt anyone making a noise. He also ordered all women barred from the courtroom during the remainder of the proceedings except those holding special admission cards.
Suffragette outbreaks throughout London and in other cities were expected by the police as the sentence became known.
The first disorder occurred at Plymouth, where the woman cut many telegraph and telephone wires and gave the authorities to understand their action was in protest against Mrs. Pankhurst's sentence.
Many women paraded the streets denouncing the police and singing "March On," the Marsellaise-like battle song of the women's social and political union.
Mrs. Pankhurst's case went to a jury of men after Justice Lush had told the 12 that her impassioned plea-all the defense she submitted-was "irrelevant." When Chief Inspector O'Brien of Scotland Yard told his story of the arrest of Mrs. Pankhurst in her Knightbridge flat, King's Counsel Bodkin announced the crown had finished.
Facing the jurors without emotion, but with earnestness in every word, Mrs. Pankhurst told them she would call no witnesses, and then proceeded to tell the men why it was that she pleaded not guilty and asked acquittal.
"No woman in England is ever tried by a jury of her peers, as is her right," she said. "Trials such as this today are examples of what they are suffering to obtain the rights.
"I pleaded not guilty because I am not wicked or malicious, though I accept full responsibility for the Lloyd George Explosion." Mrs. Pankhurst then proceeded to catalog all the "manmade" laws of England that she said were unjust to women. They included almost every law of importance in the English code.
"The divorce law alone," she said, "is sufficient to justify a revolution by the women."
Mrs. Pankhurst concluded her address to the jury by defying the country's laws, saying that she would not submit to them no matter what happened.
"Whatever sentence may be imposed upon me, I'll not submit to it," she shouted. "If I am convicted, after I leave this courtroom I shall start a hunger strike, and come out of prison dead or alive at the earliest possible moment.
"In behalf of the welfare of this country, I ask the jury to find me not guilty."