Dangers of Disobedience – Extraordinary charges

December 1896

Mexborough & Swinton Times December 4, 1896.

Extraordinary Charges

Extraordinary charges were preferred against Lewis Calladine, a pit corporal from Mexboro’, breach of Colliery Rule 5 was the offence as it appeared on the charge sheet, and Mr. Gichard, prosecuting, explained that this rule provided that any person who knew that a breach of any rules had taken place should immediately report it to the manager.

This man was personally in charge of the two lads to whom he referred in the last case, and when anything came to his knowledge of wrong having been done, he ought to have mentioned it. He told the boys to say that the accident had happened in some other way. He was, in fact, endeavouring to perpetrate a fraud, with a view to assisting this lad to get compensation.

Defendant pleaded not guilty, and Westwood, the defendant in the last case, then went into the witness box, and said there were three sections on the level on which he was driving. He should work on No. 3 level, but on that day he had exchanged with a driver named Whitworth to No. 2 level. They had no right to work like that without permission. Defendant was in charge of them, as the corporal.

Whitworth met with an accident that day, as a result of which he was now in hospital. The wagon ran on to him on account of his not having the right number of lockers on. After the accident happened, the corporal told them to say that the boy was coming up the level, and not driving down it, as was the fact, and he would get compensation.

‘You cannot prove that,’ interrupted the defendant.

The Chairman: Suppose he was driving on the wrong level, and that the accident had not happened, would the defendant still be responsible?

The solicitor replied that he would, adding that the defendant should have reported the matter at once.

George Taylor, who was driving on another section of the same level, said he heard the defendant and the last witness talking on the occasion referred to. He heard the suggestion by the defendant that the lad got injured on his own level. He told them they should speak the truth.

Edward Roebuck, a deputy in the Denaby mine, said he had given special instructions as to the levels on which the lads should drive.

Silas Schofield, another deputy, deposed that on the 2nd Nov. the defendant reported the accident to him. He said that the lad had been walking up the level in the dark, without a lamp, and that the tubs had met him and broken his legs. He did not say that there was any breach of Special Rule 4. Witness was a men of great experience in mines, and consequently he did not believe the story, and found out that it was untrue a week afterwards.

Defendant then made a statement, admitting that he was aware the lads were working on the wrong levels.

Mr. Gichard said this was the first time the defendant had admitted that, and he asked the magistrates to mark their sense of disapproval of this man’s conduct, by inflicting a very heavy penalty.

The Chairman said that not alone had the defendant failed to report, but he had advised the boys to make false statements. He would have to pay 20s., and £1 10s. 6d. costs.