Savage Assaults on the Police at Hedingham

Essex Newsman 25 January 1896

Saturday, January 25, 1896.

SAVAGE ASSAULTS ON THE POLICE

AT CASTLE HEDINGHAM

On Thursday, Arthur Westrop, osier grower and general dealer, of Castle Hedingham, was charged, before a special sitting of the Hedingham justices, with being drunk and disorderly, with assaulting Police-Inspector Harrington and P.c. Sell while in the execution of their duty, with damaging a stretcher, the property of the County Council, to the extent of 7s. 6d., and with refusing to quit licensed premises.

Inspector Harrington said her saw the defendant drunk and disorderly near Pye-corner. He advised him to go away. He was covered with mud and blood.

The Chairman (Mr. L. J. Way): What caused that? -Witness: He had been in a row previously and broken some glasses. A few minutes afterwards defendant threw a large stone a the door of a cottage occupied by a man named Brand. Witness then requested him to go home, and defendant at once attacked him. He struck him with something hard, knocked him up against Brand's house, and tried to bite him. With the assistance of P.c. Sell witness released himself. He as so injured that he could not use his right arm.

P.c. Sell said he tried to get defendant off Inspector Harrington, and defendant attacked him at the throat. Prisoner, who was as strong as a lion, kicked him on the legs.

Inspector Harrington said he fetched a stretcher, and defendant damaged that to the extent of 10s. 6d. They were two hours in getting the defendant to the Police-station, a distance of a quarter of a mile. Four or five men assisted him and the constable.

John Parmiter Buttrum, landlord of the Butcher's Arms Inn, said that on the night in question defendant got excited in his house over dominoes and beer and he had to send for the police. Defendant broke two glasses and a lamp. He got hold of Brand, one of the company told what he could do with one hand, and got Brand on to the floor. Defendant went to his house apparently sober.

The Chairman asked witness if he did not think it his duty to refuse to serve a man if he suspected he had had drink?

Witness said he believed defendant had had some drink.

The Clerk: Quite so and a little more may do all the mischief.

Defendant pleased for leniency, and asked not to be sent to prison, where he had already been for a week on remand. He said he did not remember anything about what the witness had deposed to. It was all through drink. He had been a soldier, and while he was in Egypt he had a sun stroke, and a little beer took him clean off his head.

The Chairman said he bench considered this a very bad case. It appeared that when defendant had drink he was like a savage.

Defendant said he had signed the pledge before Mr. Lake, and he would give his word he would never touch another drop of drink.

The Chairman said that as an example to others they must send the defendant to prison. For assaulting the inspector he would be sentenced to three months' hard labour, and for assaulting the constable to two months' hard labour. For being drunk and disorderly and using obscene language he would have fourteen days' hard labour. For refusing to quit he would be fined £1. and 8s. 6d. costs. He would have to pay 10s. 6d. damage to the stretcher, and costs 8s. 6d. The terms of imprisonment would run consecutively. Defendant might have been fined altogether £43.

Defendant paid the £1 8s. 6d. for refusing to quit the licensed premises.

Inspector Harrington thanked all those who helped him and P.c. Sell.

The Chairman said the bench were pleased to hear that the police were helped. they were sometimes placed in difficulty and danger, and it was the duty of all to help them.