Serious Affray at Doncaster – The Bench and the Bar.

May 1899

Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Tuesday 23 May 1899

Serious Affray at Doncaster.

The Bench and the Bar.

To-day at the Doncaster West Riding Court, Michael and Daniel Dalton, colliers, Conisborough, were charged on remand with committing a serious assault on Frederick Tomlinson, labourer, Thomas Street, on Friday night.

Mr. Andrews appeared for the prisoners.

The prosecutor was brought from the Infirmary cab, but was manifestly unfit to give evidence. At the previous hearing it was stated Joseph Cropper, who lodges St. Thomas’ Tavern that on Friday night about 9.30 the prisoners and five or six other men created a disturbance in the house and that the complainant tried to quieten them. The prisoners and others got hold of him and kicked him from the parlour into the street. When in the street they kicked him again.

Witness followed the prisoners down the street and pointed them out to the police.

Fred Young, Hawksworth Yard, identified the prisoner Daniel, but would not swear to Michael.

P.c. Anderson said that when he saw prosecutor his head and shoulders were covered with blood. He became insensible, and a doctor was sent for.

On the case being called, Supt. Lister asked for further remand.

Mr. Andrews said he asked the magistrates to grant bail. The men had been in custody since Friday, and he was instructed that there was clear defence.

Supt. Lister: I object to bail.

Mr. Morris: I heard the evidence, and I shall strongly object to ball.

Mr. Andrews: With all due respect to your worships, the Home Secretary takes the view that in an ordinary assault case —-

Mr. Morris: It is not an ordinary assault case. It is very bad assault case, and the men might have been charged with manslaughter.

Mr. Andrews : It may be matter of identity. My instructions are that clients had nothing to do with it, and assuming that to be true —–

Mr. Morris: That is entirely contrary to the evidence given this court before me. Witnesses saw the men strike him, and it was proved up to the hilt that the men assaulted him.

Mr. Andrews: Somebody.

Mr. Morris: No, these witnesses. The evidence was most distinct.

Mr. Andrews: May I take then that the opinion of one member of the Bench these men are guilty.

Mr. Morris: Certainly, there is no doubt about it. The evidence was unmistakable.

Mr. Andrews: Without hearing the evidence.

Mr. Morris: You cannot alter the facts.

Mr. Andrews: You can demur them. I surprised at such expression coming from the Bench. It is most unreasonable. You may refuse bail, but to say man is guilty without hearing the evidence is without precedent.

The Mayor: You object to bail.

Supt. Lister: Yes. I ask for a remand until Friday.

The Mayor said he had not heard the facts, but as the Chief Constable objected and Mr. Morris, who had heard the facts also objected, bail would be refused, and the prisoners would be remanded until Friday.

Mr. Andrews: I don’t object to that, but I object to the statement that the men are guilty already.