Denaby Man for Trial – Brawl with Father

September 1940

Mexborough & Swinton Times, September 14

Attempted Murder Charge
Denaby Man for Trial
Brawl with Father

The Doncaster West Riding magistrates yesterday (Thursday), committed for trial at the Assizes and allowed bail in £10, Thomas Venables (30), a colliery shunter, of Tickhill Street, Denaby, on a charge of the attempted murder of his father, Francis William Venables, in the early morning of August 8 th by stabbing him with a knife in the face.

Mr. J. G. Sanderson who defended, prior to the opening of the case, asked whether the magistrates would consider dealing with the case, on the lesser charge of wounding to which he was prepared to plead guilty. If so it would shorten the case and they would be able to deal with it at the court.

Mr. Mark Nokes, the chairman, however said if it was a case in which a knife, or a gun, had been used, the answer was definitely no.

Good Character

Mr. R. C. Linney, of the West Riding solicitors department, prosecuting, said a knife was used and it was a case which might well have led to even graver consequences. Venables lived at home with his parents, and so far as he knows had a good character. On Thursday, August 8 th , Venables arrived home sober about 10 o´clock and went to bed. His father had apparently been spending most of the evening drinking in a club. He returned home about 12.40 a.m. under the influence of drink. While he was having his supper he was shouting and talking in a loud way and his son, who had worked a double shift, called downstairs telling his father to make less noise. His father seemed to resent his remarks and began to shout upstairs inviting his son to go downstairs and threatening him.

Eventually the son went downstairs and there was a struggle and Mrs. Venables left the house but had only got a short distance when she was overtaken by her son who said “You go back and see to him. I will go for the police myself”. Mrs. Venables went back home and found her husband on the floor in front of the fireplace lying in a pool of blood. “there was a knife blade”, proceeded Mr. Linney “sticking out of the side of his face near his ear. He was bleeding profusely”.

Mrs. Venables, who had had some training in ambulance work, removed the blade and applied pressure to the wound until the arrival of the police.

Blood on His Hands

In the meantime the son had gone to the police station where he told P.c. Edley to get the ambulance “there” for if he did not “he will be a gonner”. He gave the address and when the officer asked him what had happened he said, “He has been making my life a hell. I have struck him with a knife”. Sergeant Eyett who was present noticed Venables had blood on his hands. The father was suffering from a wound on the left cheek which had severed the temporal artery and there was another incised wound near the right eyebrow.

The son was detained and he told the sergeant that it had been going on for years and it had come to that. In a statement he said when his father came home he started to make a row and he got up and told him to be quiet, but he acted like a lunatic. He was unable to quieten him “so I picked up an old Army knife and hit him on the side of the head with it”.

There was no sign of a struggle having taken place. The father´s coat and waistcoat were hanging on the back of a chair in the kitchen.

The father was taken to the Fullerton Hospital. When cautioned and charged Venables said “It was under very great provocation that is all I have to say.”

Wife In Danger

Dr. D. T. Clark, of Denaby, described the wounds. He added that but for the prompt action of the police officer and Mrs. Venables the man would have bled to death. At the hospital Venables had a blood transfusion but his life was in danger for three days.

Mrs. Venables told the court that her husband got nasty when the son told him to make less noise. Her husband threatened to fetch him out of bed and kill him. Thomas came downstairs and her husband went for him “Thomas has always been a good son and well behaved” she said.

Venables, senior, admitted visiting a club at Denaby but could not remember anything, what happened. “I don´t remember how I got home”, he said. He could not remember anything after leaving the club until he woke up in hospital.

Special Constable Brook, of Alexandra Road, Denaby, said when the accused rushed into the police station he said his father agitated him and he struck him with a knife. He had done it in a mad moment.

Mr. Sanderson pleaded not guilty and reserved his defence.

Mr. Nokes said there was no doubt the attack was made under great provocation but a knife had been used and they thought it would be better for the case to be dealt with at the Assizes.

He congratulated P.c. Edley on his efficient application of first aid. He undoubtedly saved the man´s life. But for him the accused might have been there on a more serious charge.

Detective Inspector Lee also paid tribute to the ambulance work of Mrs. Venables.







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