Checkweighman Attacked – Denaby Collier Sharply Sentenced

April 1912

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 06 April 1912

Checkweighman Attacked

Denaby Collier Sharply Sentenced

Michael Cairns, a collier, of 6, Wheatley street, Denaby, was charged at Doncaster on Monday with assaulting Edmund Power, checkweighman, at the Cadeby Colliery

The prosecutor who had to be accomdated with a chair, said he had known the prisoner for about three years. Up to March 1st, prisoner was engaged as a miner  at Cadeby.

On Saturday, March 16th, witness returned from Mexboro’ at a quarter to ten. He had had two or three glasses of beer, but was sober and reached Denaby at 10 o’clock. Some friends joined him on Doncaster road, and when he got to Melton street he was overtaken by the prisoner who turned to him and said.

“You may laugh and enjoy yourself, your belly is full—you are checkweighman.”

The prisoner also said something about his wife and children starving and asked for some money. Witness offered him a penny, but he would not have it. He watched Cairns minutely, and saw he was very excited. Witness told him if he thought he was in want he would give him a shilling. The prisoner wanted 2 shilling which he refused to give.

Witness said he could see that the man’s intention was to strike him, and he struck out twice to defend himself, but did not think he hit Cairns. He told prisoner to clear out, as he would have nothing more to do with him.

Superintendent Hickes: Prisoner said this morning you did not want to press the case?

Witness: I said I would not on account of his wife and children.

Mr Hickes: you must tell the magistrates what happened.

Prosecutor said prisoner then west away towards Melton street, and be thought everything was over, but when he got a little further away he received a heavy blow on the temple and was knocked down.

Who gave you tho blow ?—I cannot say: I didn’t see It .

Where was the prisoner immediately before the blow was struck?— He had gone away from me, I was knocked down and became unconscious. I was taken home and attended by a doctor.

Prisoner: Did you hit me on the side of the face—No.

Hannah Breeze, wife of a collier, said she saw prisoner go up to Power and strike him, knocking him down. He then said, “I have done it. Have I done my duty?”

Rowland Peat, pony driver, Cadeby„ said the prosecutor was standing with his hands in his pocket, when prisoner, who was excited and struggling with some men, got away and struck Power on the temple. Witness picked Power up. He was bleeding from the mouth and nose, and his left eye was closed. He was semi-conscious, and four of them carried him home. Prisoner, after striking the blow, said, “I think I have done right. I’m off like a —- eel.” (Laughter).

Dr. L. Ram, C.C., said on Sunday morning, the 17th March, he was called to see the prosecutor at his home. Power was in bed in a semiconscious condition. Witness examine him and found his mind was very much disturbed. He was cold. He had an extensive bruise over his left side covering the temple, the left eye-lids, the left side of the nose, the left cheek, the left half of the month, extending down to the lower edge of the jaw. There was a laceration on the inter side of the left cheek opposite the molar teeth. There were signs of his having bled from the month and nose. He had lost a quantity of blood and was in a weak and feeble condition when witness saw him. It was a very severe case of concussion and once there was a suspicion of haemorrhage of the brain might come. He was in danger once and he considered it a very serious case. A man’s fist could have caused the condition. He had attended him since, and though he was not in any immediate danger, he was not very race.

Police Constable Asoka said at 11:30 PM on 16 March he received information as to the assault and went see the prosecutor, whom he found unconscious. He had the appearance of having been badly used. Early on Sunday morning he saw the doctor and from what he said he went and arrested prisoner at 11, Loversall Street, Conisboro’. Witness said to him, “I suppose you know what I’ve come for,” and he replied, “Yes: I expect you have come over that Powers.” Witness took him to the Conisbrough Police Station charity. He replied, “I only gave the – – – – what he –– –– well deserved.”

The prisoner pleaded not guilty to the charge, which was reduced to 1 of common assault. Elected to give evidence, and in the box stated that when coming home from the Reresby Arms past Melton Street he saw a lot of people stood there. They appear to be very jolly and were shouting. He made the remark, “You fellows don’t look as if you were on strike.”

Power then said, “Are you on strike?” And then, “Come here.” He went up to him and Power put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a penny. He (the prisoner) then said, “It would look better if it were two shilling piece.” Power then/him, catching him on the side of the jaw and knocking him down. He asked him why what he had done that for, and he then struck him again, so he (the prisoner) then turned round to the crowd and said, “Haven’t I to defend myself,” so he struck out and knocked Power down. The doctor at the Wakefield Jail had attended him for his jaw.

Asked if he had any witnesses, he said he had not been able to get any, because he had been in custody for a fortnight. He denied running away.

Superintendent Hickes: You are very handy with your face onto? – No, sir.

Are you not a fighting man? – No, sir.

Do you know a man named Fred Uttley? – No, sir.

Now I want you to be very careful. – I don’t know him.

Have you not fought a man named Fred Uttley? – No, sir.

Have you ever fought with your brother James? – Yes.

Continuing, he said he had not fought with anyone else. He admitted however, having been bound over for fighting once in 1905 and 1907.

The Chairman said there was no justification for striking Powers in the manner he did, and he would have to go to prison for two months.