Election Assaults at Saffron Walden

Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 16 December 1910

Friday 16 December 1910


At Saffron Walden Borough Session on Wednesday, before the Mayor (Dr. J. P. Atkinson), J. Bell, W. Robson, J. J. Robson, W. Tuke, and A. Midgley, Esqrs.,

William Henry Rolfe, 36, a farmer, of Clavering, was charged with assaulting Police-constables Crickmore and Percival, at Saffron Walden, on Nov. 14. —Mr. Hepsley C. Duckworth (from the office of Mr. F. P. Suttbery) appeared for the prosecution.

Police-constable Crickmore said that he was on duty outside the Town Hall while Colonel Proby, the Conservative candidate, was holding a meeting in the Assembly-room. Defendant, who was ejected from the building, asked if he would allow him to return: he said if he would allow him to do so, he would act as a gentleman. Directly the defendant had returned to the hall, he rushed into the gallery and created further disturbance. Two ladies put him out of the gallery, and the stewards again ejected him from the building. He again tried to gain admission, and witness persuaded him to go away. He refused, and caught Percival by the neck, and threw him down, also striking witness in the mouth, knocking off his helmet. He was then taken into custody, and conveyed to the Police-station.

Police-constable Percival corroborated.

For the defence, defendant said he received a platform ticket for the meeting, and contended that he was justified in trying to get into the hall. He denied striking the constables, and said there was no occasion to take him to the Police-station, as he was prepared to walk.

The Bench retired, and on returning the Chairman said they had given serious consideration to the facts, and were of opinion that an offence had been committed. The police must be protected.

Fined £5, solicitor's fee, and Court costs imposed.

Defendant asked for time to pay, and was granted 14 days.