Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 26 June 1891
Murderous Assault at Conisborough
George Thompson and John Coupe, both of Conisbonough, were charged with assaulting Robert Purdy, of the same place.
Mr. Hall appeared for Purdy, and said the assault had been a very serious one and had been inflicted without the slightest reason, the only suggestion in reference to it being that the defendants must have thought Purdy was somebody else.
Purdy belonged to the Salvation Army and be had been there and called at the Red Lion Inn for a glass of beer. Going home from there he was attacked by the two men, who were secreted in the hedge bottom. Purdy was knocked down by one of them and kicked most severely in the face by both the defendants. They must have thought Purdy was another man who had given evidence in a case of assault at that court recently. So severe was the assault that blood came from each ear, and the assault was a very severe one.
The complainant said he had been to a Salvation Army meeting, and called at the Red Lion to have a drink. He started on his way home at a quarter to ten o’clock and near the Castle hill came across the defendants, who were in the hedge bottom. Thompson knocked him down, saying, “This is Tommy Kelly.” Both men kicked him about the head, and he bled freely. He had been very ill ever since. After the assault the defendants ran away.
Sergeant Carr said complainant came to him the same night, and his face was covered with blood, and blood flowing in streams from his ears. He had been very brutally used.
The defendants denied the charges and said they were assaulted by the complainant, who was the worse for liquor. The complainant knocked their pipes out of their mouths, and their hats off, and Thompson retaliated in self-defence.
A cross-summons had been taken out charging Purdy with assaulting Coupe and Thompson, it being alleged that Purdy struck them first.
The charge was dismissed.
The Chairman said the bench had no doubt a very bad assault had been committed on Purdy. This was the second case of the kind from Conisborough within a very short time, and the magistrates were determined to put a stop to such employment of violence. The defendants were committed to prison for a month without the option of a fine, and in default of paying the costs for a further period of seven days.
The Chairman added that if any witnesses who gave evidence from Conisborough were attacked in future the offenders would committed to the sessions for trial.