“Bedlam” in Hotel – Denaby Men in Court after Disturbance

January 1931

South Yorkshire Times January 2, 1960

“Bedlam” in Hotel

Four Young Denaby Men in Court after Disturbance

Sending four Denaby men – one of whom said he was a regimental policeman – to prison for six months, Mr FS Newborn, Chairman at Doncaster West Riding Court on Tuesday week said, “we are not going to have the police obstructed in the pursuance of their duties.”

Before the court were Martin Jennings (26) soldier, Wadworth street, his brother Michael Jennings (27). miner, Loversall Street; Jones Rose (20) miner, Thrybergh Terrace; and John Joseph Burns (25) miner, Cliff View, all of Denaby. All had pleaded not guilty to assaulting Police Sergeant Jack Fairburn, and P.c.’s Wilfred Sellick and Alfred Hallos but they were found guilty.

All except Rose pleaded guilty to refusing to quit licensed premises but they were found guilty and fined £5 each. Rose, Burns and Michael Jennings were also fined £5 each for obstructing the police, to which only Rose pleaded not guilty. All except Martin Jennings pleaded not guilty to causing £13 5s. worth of damage to glasses and tables at the Station Hotel, Conisbrough, for which Martin Jennings was sentenced to another three months imprisonment to run concurrently and the case against the others dismissed.

Rose also denied causing £4 worth of damage to a door at the hotel but he was found guilty and fined a further £5, plus £4 restitution.

Chief Inspector J.W. Nichols said the proceedings arose out of a brawl at the Station Hotel, Conisbrough, on December 11 when the four accused were in the concert room. He said that Martin Jennings grabbed hold of a man called Ballmer and dragged him to the floor whereupon a fight started.

“Try to Gouge Eyes”

He said the police were called in when they arrived they found the four accused in the concert room drunk. They refuse to leave and when PC Hallos took Martin Jenny’s arms to lead him out he was attacked by this man. Sergeant Fairburn and PC Sellick went to the constable’s aid and then they were attacked by the other three defendants.

The Sergeant was kicked on the thighs and struck in the face and Michael Jennings tried to scratch his face and gouge his eyes. Rose incited the others to keep on fighting and he was put out of the room but he then kicked a door panel in. After the incident PC Hallos had to remain in bed the following day and PC Sellick was in pain.

Mr Douglas Steele, licensee of the Station Hotel, said that at 1015 8 PM he was informed that there was a disturbance in the concert room and he found a crowd of men holding two men back. He said customers helping to get the men out, but they came back again still fighting, so he telephoned the police. He did not recognise any of the men fighting.

Richard Bond, miner, of Barnburgh St, Denaby, said that he was with Walter Balmer in the concert room. Balmer got up to and the last waltz with a young lady. He said he left the room when he returned he saw that Balmer was about to sit down. “I saw Martin Jennings take four paces and Dragon from the school.” Then it was bedlam.

William Wild, fitter, of Tickhill Street, Denaby, said he was playing the piano in the hotel when he heard a scuffle and turned round to see a bottle flying towards him so he ducked behind the piano. Before this he had seen Martin Jennings go to Balmer and he heard the latter say, “Give over, don’t act so daft.”

Later he saw Rose and Balmer out on the floor and subsequently he saw Martin Jennings attacking the police. He was using his feet as he was handcuffed. The other three defendants tried to stop the police put in the ankles and Martin Jennings. Martin Jennings, “got vicious.”

PC Sellick said that when PC Hallos took hold of Martin Jennings he was struck by the accused. When he and sergeant Fairburn went to his aid the other three started to attack them. He said he saw Michael Jennings kick PC Hallos in the back and he himself was kicked in the groin by Martin Jennings.

PC Sellick said that when PC Hallos two: Martin Jennings he was struck by the accused. When he had Sergeant Fairburn went to his aid the other three started to attack them. He said he saw Michael Jennings kick PC Hallos in the back and he himself was kicked in the groin by Martin Jennings, who still continue struggling after he had been handcuffed.

Threatened to “Kill Us”

Sergeant Fairburn said he put Rose out of the room as he was inciting the others to keep on fighting. Rose kicked on the door and brok a panel, and when they went from the room, Martin Jenny’s threatened  “to kill us all.”

PC Howarth said he was punched in the face by Martin Jennings.

Martin Jennings told the bench that Balmer hit him in the mouth. He did not leave because he wanted to know why Balmer had struck him. He was outside the hotel when the police arrived. He was taken inside and ankles and alleged the Sergeant kneed him between his legs. Jennings added that he had done nothing to the police before they put the handcuffs on him.

Michael Jennings said they were outside the hotel when the police arrived and they were taken inside. They were prepared to go home until, they saw the Sergeant “knee” Martin Jennings. He asked his brother to behave and ask the police to stop. He added, “I never struck a blow, I didn’t kick PC Hallos.

Byrne said a policeman came and took Martin Jennings inside the hotel then came out and took him and his friends in. The doors were locked, he said, but Rose was put outside. He alleged that the Sergeant put his arms round Martin Jennings and needing between the legs. “I did not use my feet or face,” he added.

Rose said that one of the constables said to him, “Get off home to bed, lad” and he went outside. He stood there for five minutes talking and smoking a cigarette when the Denaby Sergeant came in and said, “Get yourself in there.” sHe alleged the Sergeant then threw him into the room and he knocked his head on the door. At no time did he kick the door, he said.

After finding the four men guilty of assaulting the police the magistrates were told by Chief Inspector Nicholls that all four had been bound over this year. The magistrates said the binding over would continue. All four had previous convictions.