Row about a Rug – Woman’s alleged Rough Handling

March 1917

Row about a Rug
Woman’s alleged Rough Handling

At the Doncaster West Riding PoliceCourt on Monday, William Henry Ward, miner, was charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm on Ellen Challenger – Mr W Baddilly defended

Superintendent Minty said prisoner was 44 years of age, and was a miner living at 6 Melton Street Denaby.

Ellen Challenger, the prosecutrix, said she known prisoner about 12 months. He came to lodge with her in July, staying five months, after which she gave him notice to leave. Afterwards he visited regularly. At 8.15 on Sunday, February 11th he called as usual. He was then drunk, very excited, and wanted to quarrel about a hearthrug he helped to peg during the time he lodged with her.

Another man, Harry Shaw , was ill in bed when prisoner called. At 10:45 PM Mrs Williams, a neighbour, called at the house, and stayed about 20 minutes. Prosecutrix then went with Mrs Williams to her house, 10 Hallgate. She was under the impression that the prisoner would leave. She remained with Mrs Williams about three quarters of an hour, when she returned prisoner was still there as soon as she got inside she locked the door. Shaw was then in bed in the living room.

When she got inside prisoner said, “I’ll give thee —- rug,” and struck her in the mouth with his fist. He also hit her on the left arm, and she fell on the floor. Prisoner then kicked her heavily on the left side several times, and she did not remember anything further. When she regained consciousness she was being attended to by Dr Huey. She did not remember any of the neighbours coming to her assistance. She had been ill ever since. She had not seen prisoner to speak to us since the assault.

Dr J.J. Huey said in the morning of 12 February he saw the prosecutrix but his assistant had seen her eight or nine hours before. Witness examined her and found her suffering from a contusion around both eyes, the black eye not having been then developed. There was also a contusion of the nose, upper lip, chin and upper part of the arm. She also had a fracture of two ribs on her left side, and was in addition suffering from shock. She was conscious when he saw her there and he was of the opinion that she had not been drinking the previous night, and his assistant corroborated that. It would require great violence to inflict the injuries he had enumerated. Their eyes were closed for several days and some of the injuries could have been caused by a fall, but not the fractures.

Florence Rebecca Haytack, wife of James Haytack, 15 Simpsons Place, Mexborough, said on the date in question she was at her parents on, 29 Hirstgate, nursing her mother. She known prisoner for about nine months as a lodger at Shaw’s, and on this night she heard him in Shaw’s house about 8.15 using very filthy language in a loud voice. She got the impression that he was the worse for drink. At 1130 she heard a blow and a cry. She also heard prisoner shout that he “would knock her —- mouth up for her,” and the woman cried out several times “Oh dear.” The prisoner then said “I’m done it. Oh, God! Spare her.”

Shaw said, “Bill, leave her alone; you have done enough now.” Shaw then knocked at the wall, and she along with her father and sister went to the house. The door was locked, and it was unfastened by prisoner. As he was doing this she heard him say, “What the —- do you want anybody here for?” She saw prosecutrix lying on the bed unconscious. She asked what was the matter, and prisoner said “She has fallen and broken her —- ribs,”Her face and arm were swollen and bruised. Shaw asked her to fetch a doctor , but the prisoner said “You will fetch no  —- here.” Her father went for the doctor

PC Ingleby said he was called at 2 A M when he saw the prosecutrix. She was not sufficiently recovered to make a statement. She asked him to fetch the doctor. Later he arrested the prisoner, who when charged replied. “I can’t help it; I think she fell”

Mr Baddeley said he was prepared to plead guilty to a common assault. He did not think it was a case which should be sent to the Assizes.

Prisoner was committed to the Assizes and was allowed bail