Conisborough Man in Trouble

April 1915

Mexborough and Swinton Times April 17 1915

Conisborough Man in Trouble
An Allotment Incident
Serious Charge Reduced

At the Doncaster West Riding Police Court on Tuesday, before Mr W.J.Hodgson (presiding) and other magistrate, the case of alleged unlawful wounding at Conisborough, which had been adjourned several times on account of the condition of complainant was heard.

Prosecutor was Robert Jones, Conisborough, and accused were John Cocksedge, miner, and Charles Wilkinson, miner.

The alleged offence took place on October 16

Mr Blackmore, solicitor, appeared on behalf of the accused, who pleaded not guilty.

Supt. Minty said that on 16 October the prosecutor had been to Edlington Colliery and was returning home to Conisborough and in doing so crossed a field where he kicked a cabbage, and when coming to the gate leading to the allotment gardens he was set upon and received such injuries as necesstated medical attention. He had been under medical attention ever since and was still under treatment, and was now a patient at the Sheffield infirmary. He was so bad on the second November that it was found necessary to take his depositions and he asked that those depositions be read

The Doctors Evidence.
Doctor. Foster, Conisborough said that on 17 October last year, at 103.0 a. m. He was called to see the prosecutor in the case at the prosecutor’s house. He found him suffering from a bruise on the left side of his head and a contused wound over the bruise about three quarters of an inch long; a swelling around his left eye extending across the bridge of the nose to the inside of the right eye: a small wound over the left eye about half an inch in length. His upper lip was swollen with a wound on the under surface of the inside of the mouth about half an inch in length. There was a swelling and a small wound under the chin.

Supt. Minty: In your opinion were those wounds such as could be caused by a naked hand?

The lip, the chin and eye might have been, but not the scalp wound.

Were they such wounds to require considerable violence? – Yes.

Witness did not consider the case serious at first, for the complainant appeared to be suffering mainly from shock. On the second November he considered his condition is serious, and he gave a certificate to that effect. He had seen the prosecutor that day, and he had not quite recovered: he could not see very well yet, the condition of his eyesight being in his (the doctors) opinion the result of their injuries.

Defendant’s solicitor said that it was understood the prosecutor had sustained a fracture to the skull some years ago in a mine accident. Would not that have contributed to the effects of the injuries alleged?

The doctor – not if the fracture had properly healed.

In the depositions which was read the prosecutor said that he was a miner and lived at 82. Burcroft Road, Conisborough, he had, known defendants Cocksedge and Wilkinson about five years.

On the date in question he was returning from his work at Edlington colliery, with his wages to Conisborough about 6.30 in the evening. He had had some drink, but not much. He was crossing the ploughed field, which was adjacent to the defendant Cocksedge’s allotment, and he kicked a white cabbage lying there, and he walked on. He then heard Cocksedge shout about 5 or 6 yards away, and he also saw another man further up the road. Cox said came to him and said to him; “You rogue you have been after my cabbage again.”

Prosecutor replied: “you – liar. I have not.” Cocksedge said, “you have got some of my boots in your pocket; pull them out.”

Cocksedge struck him two or three sharp blows between the mouth and eyes. The second blow knocked him down, and when he was on the ground defendant struck him other blows. He could not remember anything after Cocksedge struck him on the neck with a stick. When Cocksedge struck him, Wilkinson came back and said “, he has some life in him.”

Both had sticks. When he recovered consciousness he could not see and he could not remember anyone assisting him home he was not drunk, but he had had a few glasses of beer. He had no beetroot in his pocket as was alleged. Cocksedge must have put them there. Cocksedge accused him of stealing from the allotment a fortnight before. Witness lost his temper when Cox said called him a —- rogue, and he caught Cocksedge around the knees. Cocksedge. He thought, was wearing knuckle dusters which witness, however did not say.

Mr Blackmore questioned complainant as to the drink he had had, and he replied that he had 2 or 3 bottles of beer. Witness admitted that he was once convicted at St. Helen’s for larceny of wood.

Elizabeth Jones spoke as to her husband returning home on the night in question and to the extent of his injuries. Cross-examined she admitted that her husband temper was occasionally violent.

C. Watling stationed at Conisborough, said when cautioned and charged Cocksedge replied, “I had no intention of hurting the man,” and Wilkinson replied “I did not touch him.”.

The Bench decided, to dismiss the case against Wilkinson and the charge against Cocksedge was reduced to one of common assault, to which defendant pleaded guilty, under provocation.

Defendant, in the witness box, alleged he was just leaving the allotment when he saw prosecutor, who was then coming down the field adjoining the allotment throw a cabbage. He drew the prosecutor’s attention to this and went and picked it up. Witness then found a cabbage stock in his allotment. He pulled up the root and found it belong to the cabbage which prosecutor had had in his possession. Defendant then charged prosecutor who was very drunk, with stealing this and also mention the fact that he had lost 22 red cabbages a fortnight earlier.

Thereupon prosecutor went for him grasping him down the legs. After blows had been exchanged they both fell together. On defendant for the injury to the head was caused by prosecutor falling violently with his head against a stone. Witness waited until he regained consciousness, and then helped him up and put on his cap. Prosecutor went cursing and swearing down the road.

Defendant denied the possession of either stick or “knuckle dusters.”

George Fretwell, 25, Barnburgh, Street, Denaby Main, spoke to prosecutor saying in the York hotel that he had three sons at the front that he always had food before he should have it now. And he was going to have some that very night – he was going to get it from the gardens and fields.

Chairman said that the magistrates would not send the accused to prison but he would have to pay a fine of 40 shillings.