Outrage upon a Young Girl at Denaby.

October 1881

Mexborough and Swinton Times, October 28.

Outrage upon a Young Girl at Denaby.
The prisoner committed for trial.

At the Rotherham Police Court, on Monday before Mr G.W.Chambers, Esq and H Jubb Esq, Tom Dormond an assistant ventilator at the Denaby May Colliery, was charged, on remand, with committing an aggravated assault upon hand Cramp, age 14, residing in, Thrybergh Terrace, Denaby.

F Parker Rhodes, appeared for the prosecutrix and the prisoner was represented by Mr G.T.Barass (instructed by Mr H.H.. Hickmott)

After stating the facts of the case, detailed below, Mr Rhodes concluded as follows: when I have call the witnesses, I shall ask you to commit the prisoner for trial, and I hope that something will be done to put a stop to these outrages gone which are occurring lately with alarming frequency. Scarcely a fortnight has passed without there having been an outrage committed in this district and there are a number of persons now committed for trial on similar charges.

The prosecutrix was called, and deposed: I live with my father and mother, at Thrybergh Terrace, Denaby. At about six o’clock on Monday, the 17th inst. I went into defendant´s house, with my slate and book. The prisoner and his wife were there. I did some songs with the prisoner. After a little while his wife went out. When she went out I was sitting on a chair and the prisoner was seated in another. When we were alone the prisoner took me off the chair, in which I sat and placed me upon his knee.

The little girl then described what liberties the prisoner took with her, and added: I resisted the man, but he held me down on the floor. When he got up I did so too and went in the direction of the door. But he took hold of me and stopped me from going out. About 20 minutes afterwards the prisoner’s wife came in. She had intended giving me a lesson on the piano and she did so. I said nothing to her as to what had taken place. I was ashamed to tell her. I wanted to tell my mother and as soon as a music lesson and been given to me I went straight to my mother’s house.

My uncle was with my mother and as he was there I did not like to say anything. At half an hour after I got home I had to go to bed. At about our past seven the next morning, I got up and found mother in the kitchen. I told her directly what had taken place the night before.

The next night. I remember prisoner coming to the house to see my father. My mother, in my presence, repeated to him what I said he had done to me. He replied, “No, I haven’t.” Mother then asked me to speak for myself and I said, “You did do it.” He did not make any answer to me. The prisoner said, “Will £10 make it up to you all, to say nothing to anyone?” Mother answered “Money will not make it up.” The next day I was examined, by Dr Sykes. I have suffered a good deal of pain in consequence of the prisoner´s treatment.

By the Chairman: “I did not call out, but I resisted him and said several times that I should tell my mother.”

By Mr Barras: Before he laid me down he kissed me several times. That was when I was on his knee. He teaches me arithmetic and his wife gives me music lessons. I’ve never sat in his knee before that night, and he has never kiss me before. I neither cried, shouted, nor scream. When the prisoner’s wife came in she brought the Bellman newspaper with and the prisoner and her laughed and talked about some of the pieces in it. I sport once or twice to them.

Many Cramp, wife of James Cramp, deposed: I live at Denaby and the prisoner resides next door to me. About six o’clock on the evening of the 17th, I remember seeing the prisoner and his wife at their door. The prisoner asked if my little girl was busy, and I said, “No, Sir.” He then said “Let her bring her book and slate round to me and I will see how she can sum.”

I went into the house and said she could go, which she did. She came home about eight o’clock. The witness then recapitulated part of the evidence given by her daughter.

Continuing the witness said: I saw the prisoner’s wife the morning my daughter told me what had occurred and at two o’clock when he returned from work I spoke to him about it. I met him as he was going in and said, “What do you think of yourself about Hannah?” He smiled and asked what I meant. I told me he knew what I meant. He then said, “I only placed my hand upon her leg.” I replied that he had put his hand up her clothes and said if he had anything more to say about it he had better see my husband. After he had changed his pit clothes he did so. My husband is an invalid. When I charged him with having taken improper liberties with my daughter, he said, “I did not,” my daughter said. “He did do so.” He made no reply to that, but asked that we should name it to know one, adding, “Will £10 be of any use and say no more about it.” I replied, “No money will not settle it.”

My husband works at Denaby Main Colliery and the next morning I went to see Mr Warburton, the manager, to ask what I had better do. He recommended that a doctor should see the girl, and Dr Sykes was sent for. I’ve never had any occasion to find fault with my daughters conduct.

By Mr Barras: My daughter wanted a music book after the prisoners wife, had returned home and I handed it to her over the wall, she being on the prisoner´s doorstep. I don’t know that there was anything to prevent her coming home when she came out of the house. It was dark and I did not notice anything unusual in the manner she spoke or in her appearance. It was on the morning after my daughter told me what had occurred that I sport the prisoners wife. I did not mention the matter to anyone until Wednesday. I went into the prisoner’s house the same night and saw prisoners wife, but said nothing to her about what the prisoner had done. I have not got any of the clothing her. I will swear that the prisoner spoke about the £10 as I have stated.

The prisoner: I never did.

Witness: You did.

Re-examined, by Mr Rhodes: The first person to whom I named the matter was my husband, and I next spoke to Mr Warburton about it. The reason I do not say anything to the prisoner or his wife was because I did not know what step to take in the matter until I had seen Mr Warburton.

William Sykes, surging, Mexborough, deposed to examine the girl and said her story of what had occurred was quite consistent with what he saw. The girl was but fully developed. It would require some amount of force to produce the appearance which he saw.

By Mr Barras: I found no scratches or marks upon her.

Police Constable Kendall, deposed: in consequence of information I received I apprehended the prisoner on Wednesday night last, and charging with indecently assaulting Hannah Cramp, on Monday night the 17th in his own house. He said he only took hold of her leg. I and the prisoner saw the profuse releases father and the prisoner said to the girls father that he ought to take into consideration his wife and child, and hoped he wouldn’t proceed any further with the case. The father of the girl, said the matter would have to proceed.

This being the whole of the evidence, Mr Barras on behalf of the prisoner, contended that the evidence was us was so much, that there was no jury in England will convict him. The evidence from beginning to end led to the belief that the girl had been a consenting party.

The chairman: the prisoner stands committed for trial at the ensuing York Assizes.

Mr Barras asked that bail might be accepted, observing that the prisoner was a man holding a colliery manager certificate, that he had friends in a very good position, and that it would be a disastrous thing if he were kept in prison.

Mr Rhodes: In less than 10 days from now he will be on his trial.

The Chairman: the Assizes will take place very shortly. That is why we convict the prisoner to take his trial at York instead of being brought up at the sessions.

The prisoner was then removed.

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