Serious Charge against a Gentleman at Driffield.

August 1891

York Herald – Saturday 22 August 1891

Serious Charge against a Gentleman at Driffield.

On Tuesday afternoon, at the office of the magistrates’ clerk, Driffield, before Mr. H, Holt, Harry Sykes Witty (30), mining engineer, Conisborough, surrendered to his bail on a charge of having indecently assaulted Ann Adelaide Dixon, aged 20, a domestic servant recently in the service of his brother at Driffield, on the 13th and 14th instant.

Mr. F. J. Brigham appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. Drinkrow for the defence.

From the evidence of the complainant it appeared that on Thursday evening last prisoner came on a visit to his brother, and at once made improper remarks to her, and said he would like to come to her bedroom. Her bedroom door had no lock or latch upon it, and after she had been in bed a short time the prisoner entered and put his arm round her. He afterwards went away, but returned again and behaved in an indecent manner. She complained to her mistress the next day, on the morning of which day he had repeated the offence whilst she was upstairs making the beds, and afterwards, when he returned to the house and all the other inmates were out. She got away from him then, and left the house and went to her parents at Garton, a village four miles away, where she arrived without a jacket and in a pair of slippers.

Mr. Drinkrow cross-examined the girl at length, with a view to showing that she made no attempt to get away and that she was a consenting party to whatever had taken place. Several other witnesses were examined, and the prisoner was eventually committed to take his trial at the next Quarter Sessions, bail being allowed.

The prisoner is well connected, and during the hearing of the case the street outside the office was crowded.