Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Curious assault case at Newark

Nothing specifically about beer this time, though both a pub and a brewery get a mention. Not only that, it's the Cromwell Brewery, about which we'll be learning much more later.

Knowing Newark, this is exactly the sort of thing that might happen today. When of my brother's friends was once beaten up in the toilets of a pub by someone who wanted his shoes so he could get into a night club.

Another time I was sitting outside a pub, telling a friend from out of town how Newark was full of lunatics and criminals. I'd barely finished when a car hurtled around the corner and stopped with a squeal of brakes. The two occupants jumped out, leaving the doors wide open and legged it. Seconds later up rushed a police car, which had obviously been chasing them. A policeman asked some other drinkers which way the legging it chavs had gone. They all pointed in the wrong direction.

At the Newark Borough Police-court yesterday, before the Mayor, Mr. Thomas Oldham, Ald. Gascoine, Mr. Crossley, Mr. Mackenzie, Mr. W. H. Cubley, and Dr. Job, Richard Sharp was charged with assaulting William Gardner on the 27th September, Newark.— Mr. Norman defended.

—Complainant said he was a labourer residing Clay-lane. On Wednesday night he was going home Barnby-gate with young woman. At the end of Guildhall-street he stopped and two men passed him. This would be about a quarter-past eleven at night. The men stood still and looked his face and then walked on. The defendant was one of them. Witness said, "You ought to have another look and you will know us next time." When spoke they came back and the young one  said "Oh," and whilst he was watching him the defendant put his hand into his coat pocket and pulled something out and struck him on the head with it, and his head bled very much and he had to hold it down. The two men walked away and he followed them as far as the New Inn, and asked them to lend him a pocket handkerchief. He called out "Police" and "Murder." He thought he should bleed to death. When he got to the New Inn Mr. Herring and some others came up help him. When he asked the men for a handkerchief they laughed and walked on. He had to be assisted to the hospital. He was sober at the time. The hat produced was the one he was wearing, and there was hole right through it. The coat he had on was blood all over about the collar. —By Mr. Norman : The hat had was an old one. He did not say "You will know us again you drunken ________." He never struck at defendant at all, nor did he fall on the kerbstone and cut his head. Nothing took place opposite the Cromwell Brewery. He never got hold of the defendant's collar.

—Elizabeth Wells, residing in the Plough-yard, Guildhall-street, said that on Wednesday night she saw the complainant in Barnby-gate, and she walked down the street with him as far as Guildhall-street end. She stood there a little time talking to him. Two men went past and they stared very hard in their faces and Gardner said "You'll know me next time you see me." The youngest man said "Come and let's go back again," and they came back, and the young man said "My companion can give you all you want." The eldest man drew something out of his coat pocket and struck complainant on the head with it. She did not see what was he struck with. The blow did not knock him down. The two men that came were sober. Complainant's head was bleeding. She thought the men might turn on her too, she went away. She had seen the complainant before.

— Edward Bonnett, a porter, said he was going home about quarter past eleven on Wednesday night last, when he heard someone call out. He was told that someone was murdering young Gardner. He ran down the street and when he got to the New Inn corner defendant was coming from the other side of the road. Several people were there, but he did not see Gardner. Someone collared Whittaker when defendant said, "I did it; don't collar him." He went across the road where he saw defendant come from, and picked up the heavy piece of iron produced, resembling a large gate hinge, nearly foot long. The man had an overcoat on, and was sober at the time, and so was his companion.

—Chief Constable Liddell said that about 20 minutes past 11 he was at home, when he heard "Murder" and "Help" called out in the street. He at once went out, and saw a number of people at the New Inn corner. He went up, and amongst the others was the defendant. Some of the crowd said that "the man had been knifed," but the defendant said, "No, he was not. I struck him with my fist. I have nothing about you me. You may search me." He felt in his pockets and took his name, and let him go, He went after the complainant to the hospital. He saw blood about. The iron was handed over to him, and the place where it was found pointed out. Samuel Cowell Philson, acting as temporary house-surgeon at the hospital, said on Wednesday night Gardener was brought in with a scalp wound on the left of his bead. The man had lost a great deal of blood from the wound, which was about an inch long, and down the bone, but no fracture. He dressed it. It was not a wound that could have been caused by a man's fist, nor was it done by any sharp instrument. The iron produced might have caused such a blow. He had dressed complainant's head again that morning.

— L. Whittaker said he had been summoned by the police. On the Wednesday in question he had been with defendant from five o'clock. About ten minutes to eleven they were going Barnby-gate, and when they got to Guildhall-street end they saw a man and a woman standing there. They made no remark but passed them, when Gardner said, "Go on, you drunken ________." He said "You be careful what you say," and then complainant came up to him and offered to strike him, and half pulled his coat off. Sharp said "You must be careful who you hit," and Gardner then hit defendant, on the shoulder, and defendant retaliated and knocked him down into the gutter. Complainant got up and followed them to the Cromwell Brewery, where Gardner knocked Sharp on to the ground, and defendant said he must be quiet. Sharp was knocked down again at the end of Cherryholt lane. When they got to the New Inn corner there was a crowd. Sharp had nothing in his hand when he struck the complainant.

— By Mr. Liddell: He stopped with Mr. Sharp all the night. He told his brother when he got home next morning where he had been, He did not tell his brother that Sharp had struck a man with iron at Newark.

—The Bench imposed a fine of £3 and costs, or in default two months, and said that they did not give credence to the statement of the witness for the defence."
Nottingham Evening Post - Tuesday 02 October 1883, page 4.
I added paragraph breaks to the above. In one solid chunk, as it had appeared in the paper, it was just too hard to read.

Random violence. It's what Newark's famous for. A three quid fine doesn’t seem much for whacking someone on the head with an iron stick. And why was Sharp carrying that around with him, anyway?

I wonder what the word is that they left out? Drunken something. Bastards, perhaps?

The New Inn closed a couple of years ago. It's a pub I did drink in a few times. I'm pretty sure that was the site of the infamous round of crisps incident. When Tom White bought a round of crisps instead of a round of beers. 

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