Trespassing on the Railway at Conisborough

January 1905

Mexborough and Swinton Times January 14, 1905

Trespassing on the Railway at Conisborough

Several persons were summoned for having trespass upon the Great Central Railway at Conisborough upon several dates.

The first case taken was that of Wilfred Rollinson, and he was summoned for an offence alleged being committed on 30th November last gang plate layer at Conisborough, said on 30th November he saw the defendant on the line near to the hedge of the Doncaster side of the station. He was warned on 30 October when crossing the line, it being a short cut to his work at Cadeby Main Colliery.
A notice board was fixed near the place as it was very dangerous

James Walton, a plate layer give similar evidence

The next case taken was that of Fred Day, described as a labourer, of Conisborough, who was summoned for a like offence of the 9th December.

Defendant, a tall striking -looking man, appeared pleaded not guilty, expressing a desire for all witnesses to be out-of-court.

John Lewis, a plate layer, said 9 December he saw the defendant trespassing on the railway. There was no footpath, and defendant had previously been warned on 2 December
The defendant, who cross-examined Lewis in a very dramatic way, asked “You don’t like coming on this job at all, do you Lewis?”
Witness: I don’t care for the job

How much do you get extra for coming today?
That’s my business

Well, I want to know. How much do you get extra? Be careful Lewis you are on your oath
That is my business

Do you get half a crown?
It’s my business

Have you ever bragged in any public house about how much extra money you got?

Who warned me previous to this?
I warned you on 2nd December – on a Friday

Do you know I am a contractor at the pit?
No, I don’t know

What day did this happen?
On Friday 9 December at 8:20 o’clock in the morning

Well, I’m beginning to think Friday is a good day for me; warned on Friday and reported on a Friday
Defendant went on to suggest that witness was not telling the truth, adding “Is it because you’re so , honest or a George Washington? You cannot tell a lie.” (Loud laughter)

James Warren gave corroborative evidence.
Under cross examination, witness he had seen him go several times across the line

Defendant: Then why didn’t you warn me before?
Witness: We wanted to see what you would do

Well you didn’t think I was going to commit suicide?
Further cross-examined, witness said he believed Lewis did say something about a shilling and treating

Defendant: Does it not seem to you that if I had been fortunate to have a shilling this case would never have been brought?
Well that is different

The defendant was sworn, and he stated that he remembered the 9th December very well. He was booked on at the pit at 6:20 o’clock. It did not matter what time we got to the colliery. On this morning he left the colliery, and went for a drink, and was about to go over the line; he admitted that, but he went back, as he saw these two men. The stationmaster had warmed him before but nobody else had. Lewis denied under cross examination, anything was mention about a shilling and treating, but Warren had admitted the same thing was said about it. He submitted that Lewis’s evidence was unreliable as he had perjured himself.

The Chairman said the Bench believe the evidence given for the prosecution. It was not a case for a heavy penalty, and they would order the defendant to pay the costs, and put on a penalty of 1s.
The defendant expressed himself as very disappointed. He added: “Can I take out summons out against this man for perjury.

The Chairman (smiling); It is a matter for yourself to decide
Defendant: I don’t see that it is a laughing matter your worship; I shall take it summons out against him

The Chairman: Oh yes, you can take a summons out if you like
The defendant and his wife then made a hurried exit from the court

For a like offence Fred Nesbitt was fined five shillings and costs and Frank Martin one shilling and costs. They were seen trespassing by William Burden, and were warned, were seen trespassing again directly afterwards. In order to get across the line they had to go between some wagons

Herbert Stenson, also described as a Labour, of Conisborough, was summoned for a similar offence at Conisborough, on 26 November
The facts, were similar as in the cases, and a fine of five shillings was involved

Rollinson, the defendant in the first case, was fined a like amount

Mr Hall, district detective for the great Central Railway Company, commented upon the difficulty they had in keeping trespassers off the line, and said they were desirous of putting a stop to it.