Alleged Criminal Assault At Consiborough – Trial at Doncaster

June 1896

Mexborough & Swinton Times, June 12th, 1896.

Alleged Criminal Assault At Consiborough.

John Adamson, pony driver, New Consiborough, was charged under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, with committing an offence upon Margaret Ann Parry, at Consiborough.

Peter Parry, residing at 26, Firbeck Street, New Denaby, said he was the father of the complainant, who was born on January 23rd, 1881. On Saturday night, the 30th of last month, witness was called out of bed about half-past eleven. When he got downstairs he saw two policemen, his daughter, and the defendant. P.C. Evans, one of the officers, asked him if he knew the defendant. He replied that he did not, but answered that the girl was his daughter. Evans then said he had found them in a closet. The defendant made no reply, and witness then took the girl to Mr. McCall’s surgery, where she was examined by Dr. Gilchrist, Cross-examined by Mr. Baddiley, who appeared for the defendant, he said that when he went to bed he did not know his daughter was out; he did not know where she had gone to, and they made several attempts to find her. Witness went to bed about a quarter-past ten, because his wife told him the girl had gone on an errand.

Margaret Ann Parry said she was fifteen last January. On Saturday night, May 30th, she left home to go to Sprotbro’ Street, where she saw ‘Jack Adamson,’ (the defendant). Adamson called her ‘Mag,’ and asked where she was going. Witness said she was going nowhere. Defendant asked her to go as far as the passage, but she said she couldn’t, she must go home. It was then not quite dark, but there were no other people in the street beside Adamson and herself. The defendant, when she said was going home, caught hold of her her right hand, and pulled her up the street into Wadworth Street. In Wadworth Street witness and the defendant began ‘playing about’. The defendant then wanted her to go further up into the street after Wadworth Street, but she refused, saying ‘No, I shan’t, I shall get a good hiding if I don’t go home.’

Superintendent Blake: Why didn’t you go home?

Witness: I couldn’t; he had hold my hand.

Witness, continuing, in reply to Superintendent Blake, said she continued playing with the defendant, near eventually they got up to the top of a field, near the Denaby Hotel. It was then getting dark, and she turned round to go home. They had passed some closets when the defendant ‘fetched her back again.’

Superintendent Blake: When he fetched you back where did you go?

Witness: Into a closet.

Superintendent Blake: Did you go into the closet first, or did he?

Witness: He pushed me in.

Superintendent Blake: What did you do then?

Witness: He said ‘you’ll go in there,’ and I said, ‘No, I shan’t, I’ll tell my father if you don’t let me loose.

Witness, continuing, said that when the defendant got her into the closet he closed the door. She tried to open the door but was unable, because the defendant had his feet against it.

Superintendent Blake: Did you shout?

Witness: I said, ‘let me go out,’ and he said, ‘No, you’ll not.’

Witness, continuing, said the defendant threw her down on the closet seat, she struggled and got up, but he threw her down again, and held her down. Witness, continuing, described the acts which the defendant committed. While they were in the closet somebody came and pushed the door open, and said ‘Hello,’ and the defendant replied, ‘Hallo, I’ll be out in a minute,’ and to the witness he said: ‘Be still, there’s someone coming,’ and witness replied, ‘No, I want to go out.’ Someone then went away, and a policeman then opened the closet door, and took hold of Adamson. The officer asked her where she lived, and took them both down to her father’s house. Witness had seen Adamson that afternoon, when he asked her to go for a walk with him at night, and she told him she might go.

Superintendent Blake: Did you tell him how old you were?

Witness: I didn’t tell him then.

When was it? It was some time ago.

Cross-examined by Mr. Baddiley: How long have you known this lad? – Can’t say, but I have known him a good while.

Have you spoken to him often before last Saturday? – No sir, only when he’s met me.

Have you met him more than once? Yes several times.

How was it you got to his back door last Saturday; did you go on purpose? -No sir.

Did you see his mother? – Yes I did.

What did she say to you? – She did not speak to me.

Did she tell you to go away? – She told him to go to his tea.

Didn’t she tell you to go away? – I didn’t hear her. She told him he got soft.

Was she scolding him for talking to you? – I can’t say she was.

What was she calling him soft for? – I don’t know sir.

Did you ask him to meet him at the top of Sprotbro’ Street at night? – No; he asked me.

Did you meet him at Sprotbro’ Street, did you go into Marr Street? – I don’t know.

Did you go into a field? – Yes.

How long were you playing about there? – I don’t know.

there? – No, we went before them.

Where did you go? – Into the street after Wadworth Street.

In this street the closets are near the street? – Yes.

How far are they from the houses? – I don’t know.

The Chairman: I don’t see what this has to do with it. It does not matter whether she gave consent or not.

Mr. Baddiley: Of course, I don’t want to prolong the case, but the defendant is only a lad, in fact, not 17 yet, and I was going to ask you to reduce the case to one of common assault.

The Chairman (after a consultation): We cannot deal with it as a common assault.

Mr. Baddiley: Why didn’t you shout out when he pushed you into the closet. Did you shout out at any time? – Yes.

When was it? – When he shut the door.

Did you shout very loud? – I didn’t shout out very loud.

How long had you been in the closet when somebody came to the door? – I don’t know.

Was it after he had assaulted you? – Yes it was after…

Then why didn’t you shout out then? – He told me not to speak.

Why didn’t you then. Wouldn’t they have heard him say that? – I don’t know.

How long were you in the closet all together? – I can’t say, but it was a good while.

After this person had been and tried the door, why didn’t you go home? – I don’t know.

Did you do anything at all to try and get away? – No.

The Chairman: But you know, if she gave all the consent a person was capable of giving, it is no defence.

Mr. Baddiley: But it has to do with the gravity of the defence.

Mr. Baines: That is not for us to deal with.

Mr. Baddiley: Of course, if you say you are going to send the case for trial I will not cross-examine further.

The Chairman: We’ll not say that until we have heard all the evidence.

Dr. Gilchrist was then called, and stated that he examined the complainant in the presence of her father. He found evidence that the full offence had been committed. There were, however, no signs to indicate violence. In cross-examination, he said he would not be justified in saying that the girl had previously misconducted herself. It might have been the case.

P.C. Evans said he was stationed at New Consiborough. On Saturday night, about 11-30 he was on duty in Loversall Street, when nearing the top he hears a scuffle in one of the closets. He went and knocked at the door with his stick, and said ‘halloa.’ Someone in the closet said ‘Good night.’ He answered them good night and passed on. He stopped at the top of the street about ten minutes, where he was joined by P.C. Jarvis. They both came down the road, and when nearing the same place he heard the noise a second time. He again went to the door, and this time he pushed it open, and there found defendant and complainant. He asked the prisoner what he was doing there, and he answered, ‘nothing.’ He then took hold of the prisoner, and Jarvis took the girl, and went down to the girl’s home.

Superintendent Blake: How far away from the houses are the closets?

Witness: They will be from eight to ten yards.

Superintendent Blake: Do the closet doors face the houses?

Witness: No, they open out into a field.

On the first of the present month he apprehended the defendant. When he read the warrant over to him, he replied: ‘Maggie came to me on Saturday afternoon, and asked me to meet her that night. I met her about nine o’clock, at the top of Sprotbro’ Street, and we went to the top of Loversall Street. We played along time together on the grass, running after each other. We then went into the closet. I should not have taken her there only she told me she was 15 years of age.’ P.C. Jarvis corroborated the last witness’s evidence.

The Bench committed the prisoner to take his trial at the Assizes, bail being allowed.