Robbery with Violence at Conisbrough


1874, December 2nd

Robbery with Violence at Conisbrough.

John Sellers, Collier, and David Johnston, Collier, were indicted for feloniously assaulting Charles Bell and stealing from his person 12s.a purse and a knife, at Mexborough, on 26th September.

Mr. V. Blackburn prosecuted, and Mr. Whitaker defended. – The prosecutor, who is a labourer, living at Conisbrough, he had been to Mexborough on the evening of the day mentioned, and having there imbibed freely, was intoxicated when he left to walk home about 11 o’clock. He was accompanied along the road by a miner named William Hobson and the prisoner, who assisted him on his way.

When they reached Denaby row (a long row of miners cottages) the prisoner left him, as that was where they lived. Hobson also lived in the row, but remained a few minutes after the prisoners had gone, to see how he would get along when left to himself, and whilst he was standing watching the drunken man staggering along towards Conisbrough, he saw two men leave the Row and follow Bell.

Suspecting that they meant harm to the man, Hobson jumped into the field which skirts the roadside, and walking up behind the hedge, saw Sellers (for it was he and Johnston) push Bell down on his face, and Johnston kneel upon him, as if he meant to rob him.

Meanwhile prosecutor called out, “keep out of my pockets.” Hobson, although the stronger built man then either of the prisoners, confessed to the court that he was afraid to go to the man’s assistance, but soon as he had seen the two bolt off across the field he went to Bell, found that he was barely sensible, and bleeding profusely, he having been violently kicked by one of the prisoners behind the left ear, and cut upon the nose, and after he had trailed him off the road into the field he went in search of a police officer.

The prisoners were short time afterwards apprehended in their lodgings in the Row. – They were found guilty of an assault with intent to rob, which means guilty of the offence with which they were charged – sentence deferred.