Alleged Assault on a Denaby Miner’s Wife

September 1895

Mexborough and Swinton Times September 27, 1895

Alleged Assault on a Denaby Miner’s Wife

Thomas Hountner, filler, and James Garbutt, trammer, both living at new Denaby, were charged with having assaulted Phoebe Hill, a married woman.

Mr Reid appeared for the defendants.

The complainant stated that on the Saturday night in question she went into the Montagu Arms Hotel, at Mexborough, to enquire about her husband, and a man named Turner was there, from Denaby. He paid for a glass of beer for her. The defendants were in the hotel at the time.

Witness and Turner left about 10 o’clock, and the next place they called at was the Ferry Boat Inn. She then asked Turner if he was ready to go home, and he then got up and they went out together.

They went towards Denaby in the direction of the new road. When not far away from an old building, defendants and another man, whom she did not know, came up to her. The defendant had been following them. They took all of their, and in the struggle she fell down the embankment. They tried to take indecent liberties with her, but she was too strong for them. She called out to Turner, was a short distance off, and cried: “Don’t leave me.”

Garbutt said he would “have his revenge.” She said: “Before I give way I will die.” When she screamed out the men left her

They went to Turner and said “they would have something to drink off him or else they would assault him.” He gave them some money and then they left him

Cross-examined: I have never seen the men before. I knew which houses to go to for them because one of the men at told the number of the house he lived up, and had said he lived near her. When she got to his house he told her where the other men lived.

After the assault she went to Denaby and saw a policeman, and he told her to go to the Mexborough police station. She did so, and PC Cade went back with her. She was sure the defendants were the men who assaulted her.

William Turner said he was with the woman on the night in question and corroborated.

PC Cade was next called. He corroborated the statement of the complainant, but said that the men, when accused, denied any knowledge of the affair stop they said she must have got the wrong names: that they were being driven home from Mexborough to Denaby at the time.

Mr Reid said the defence was an alibi. The men knew nothing about the alleged assault. He called as a witness, a married woman, with whom one of the defendants Lodge, and she said the young man was in the house and afterwards went to bed. The driver of a bus between Mexborough and Denaby deposed that he recognised the defendants as two men who were in the vehicle on the night in question at the time stated. He knew the time they got out of the conveyance, having noticed the clock, which was lit up, at the Wesleyan Chapel at Denaby.

The Chairman said it was a very serious charge, but there was not sufficient corroboration to justify a conviction. The defendants were discharged