Conisborough Farm Labourer Assaulted.

February 1881

Mexborough and Swinton Times, February 25.

A Conisborough Farm Labourer Assaulted.

Thomas Smith, farmer,Bessecar, was charged with assaulting William Lane, of Conisborough.

Mr Hall appeared on behalf of the complainant, and, in opening the case, said Lane was a servant in the employ of Smith. On the day that the alleged assault took place the master complained to Lane about something having been done which ought not to have occurred.

Lane said he had nothing to do with it. The parties were at that time in the stable. The master in a rage, walked towards a servant as though he would strike him, and the servant, acting on the defensive took hold of the master to prevent him assaulting him. Both then struggled together, eventually falling, the master, being at the bottom with the servant on the top of him.

The servant asked if his master would not strike him if he let him get up, and he being assured of this he was allowed to get up.

No sooner was he on his feet again, however, than he beat his servant most unmercifully. He struck his head so violently that blood flowed from his ears very copiously, and his face was greatly swollen. When his master had done this, he left.

The servant endeavoured to proceed with his work, but his head was so bad that he was obliged to give up and go home.

He was attended by Dr Hills, of Conisborough, and he (Mr Hall) produced a certificate as to what Lane was suffering from. The professional attendance of the Doctor was one guinea, and he would ask that the defendant be ordered to pay this.

The complainant said this statement was correct, and his mother spoke of the condition in which her son went home; she could hardly recognise him.

The defendant contended that he was justified in striking the complainant as he would not do as he was ordered.

Lord Auckland, said the defendant made a great mistake in taking the law into his own hands. It was not his place to use physical force. He went up to a servant in a fighting attitude was only to be expected that he would be assaulted himself. This was not the way to get his servants to mind him.

A fine of 10 shillings and costs was issued.

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