Bashed with a Beer Bottle at Denaby

May 1900

Mexborough and Swinton Times. May 4

Struck with a Beer Bottle at Denaby

A miner named George Rollett, of Grimesthorpe was in custody charged with unlawfully wounding Joshia Wood, miner, of new Conisbrough.

The prisoner was represented by Mr W Baddily, solicitor, Doncaster.

Joshia Wood, miner, 43. Loversall Street, New Conisbrough, who appeared with his head in bandages, said that on Easter Monday he was upstairs in bed about a 3:45 in the afternoon. His wife had been upstairs. She went down and left him. He heard a noise in the house, and went downstairs. When he got to the kitchen, he found the prisoner there. Rollett rushed at him, and caught him by the handkerchief round his neck, knocked him down, and jumped upon him. Afterwards he picked up a bottle on the kitchen table, and struck the witness on the head, making him unconscious.

The next he knew was that somebody was wiping his face with a wet cloth. Since the blow he had been attended by Dr create, and was still under his care. The prisoner had five children, and the witness had kept them up to Saturday, the 14th April. He ceased to keep the children because the prisoner did not pay enough.

The prisoner promised that the witness should have one of the lads wages, 12 shillings as part payment. The witness did not get their wages, because the lad took them to the prisoner. That was the reason why the witness sent the children away.

Mr Baddiley, in cross examination elicited the information that the eldest child was 14 years old, and the youngest five years old. The prisoner and the witness worked together at Grimesthorpe, and went back together at weekends in new Conisbrough. The prisoner sometimes gave him a sovereign, and sometimes 10 shillings. Three weeks ago the prisoner promised to send some money, but he did not do so. The prisoner provided bedding for the children, and on Easter Monday he came to the house of the witness for the bedding. Witness was in bed at the time. He had had some beer, and was not perfectly sober, and went to bed for the purpose of getting ready for work on Tuesday morning. He never lifted his hand against the prisoner, who came into his house and struck him without any provocation whatever.

Kate Wood, wife of the last witness said she was upstairs about four o’clock on Easter Monday afternoon, when she heard a noise at the front door as of someone knocking. The door was locked. She came downstairs, open the back door, and found Rollett there. He walked through the kitchen straight to the front room. He said “where is that bleeder; he’s been talking about me in the barbershop.” The witness understood the prisoner was referring to her husband, and she said. “We want no bother.” Her husband came down the stairs, and the prisoner sprung at him, got hold of him by the neck, and dashed him down to the floor. Her husband did not strike the prisoner. He had not time to strike, or the prisoner would not have had it all his own way. The prisoner jumped on her husband, and when she pulled him away he said he would serve her the same.

Dr Craik, surgeon, practising at Conisbrough, said that on Easter Monday at 8 PM, he was called to the house occupied by Wood, and found him bleeding freely from the head, there being one large wound on the left side of the, about two enough inches long and a second about half an inch long. One blow could not have caused the two wounds, but one might possibly have been caused by falling. The large wound required three stitches. It was possible that one of the wounds could have been caused by a beer bottle, such as that produced. Until the wounds are fully healed, Wood could not be said to be out of danger.

In cross examination, the witness said he would take a considerable amount of force to cause the large wound.

John Jones, miner, 36 Loversall Street, new Denaby, said he went across to Wood´s house as he was attracted by Mrs Wood screaming. He found Rollett just leaving the house. He asked him what he had been doing. Rollett said “I’ve done what I wanted to do, and – – – – him.” The witness went into the house, and saw Wood lying on the floor. He picked him up, but could not see his face for blood. He washed his face, but could not stop the bleeding.

Police Constable Barnett said he was called to the house of Josiah Wood, and found him sitting in a chair, been attended to by the last witness. He and another constable dressed the wound and stopped the bleeding. The floor and the furniture of the house were bespattered with blood. He apprehended the prisoner next day, and charging with unlawful, wounding. He replied, “I’ll tell you what I was doing; I was only looking after myself; it was all in self.” the bottle produced was handed to the witness by Mrs Wood; there was blood and hair upon it.

When formally charged, the prisoner replied. “He struck me first, and I struck him in self- defence.”

The prisoner was committed for trial at the next quarter session, bail being allowed in two sureties of £25 and himself in £50

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