17 August 1901

At the Dukinfield Police Court on Thursday, Maurice E SHAW, of Springwood Hall, Bardsley, a member of the firm of Messrs SHAW and BENTLEY, brewers of Bardsley, was summoned for passing through the toll bar of the Ashton and Dukinfield Bridge Company without paying the 2d toll, and also with declining to pay this when demanded by the collector, Mr Joseph SAMPSON. Mr J A GARFORTH represented the Bridge Company, and Mr J B POWNALL defendant.

Mr GARFORTH said the defendant was summoned for an offence on the 6th of July, but gave instances to show that he was well known to the collector, as he had on previous occasions passed the toll bar, and in October last he refused at first to pay the toll demanded. On the 6th of July he passed the toll in a vehicle accompanied by a lady. The horse was being driven at great speed, so much so that the lady in the vehicle was leaning forward and holding her hat to prevent it falling off.

When asked for the toll he declined to pay. A letter was sent to him by the collector, asking for the toll, but he did not reply to this, nor did he do so to a letter sent by him (Mr GARFORTH) over a fortnight later. He had received a letter from Mr POWNALL saying that his client had stated that the prosecutors were mistaken in the matter, and that he was most emphatic in his declaration. He (Mr GARFORTH) had been told that defendant was ill at the time of the offence was alleged to have been committed, but he had only heard that latterly. However, the evidence he was going to call would say positively that it was the defendant who passed through the bar.

The collector had seen him before and was positive it was Mr SHAW who passed on that occasion. Joseph SAMPSON gave corroborative evidence, and stated positively that it was the defendant who passed through and refused to pay when he demanded the toll. The defence was an absolute denial that Mr SHAW passed through the bar, it being contended he was ill in bed on the day the alleged offence was committed. Evidence was called to prove this, and the bench, believing the weight of evidence to be in favour of the defendant, decided to dismiss the case.

Shocking Treatment of a Wife

At the Dukinfield Police Court on Thursday, a shocking case of desertion of wife and child neglect was investigated. The defendant was Joseph BRADLEY, and he was summoned for wife desertion, persistent cruelty and neglect of wife and child. Complainant, who was represented by Mr GARFORTH, had applied for a judicial separation.

Mr GARFORTH said the parties were married on 20th of August last. Since that time defendant had scarcely ever worked, and during that time he had only given complainant 11s 6d to keep on the house. Sometime ago, he received compensation for an injury he had sustained, and whilst the money lasted, he occupied his time drinking. He had been in the habit of ill-using his wife for a considerable time, and his conduct had been absolutely revolting. Defendant had led her a lazy, slothful and drunken life, and there had been frequent quarrels which he (Mr GARFORTH), who did not live more than 150 yards away, was quite aware of.

He had refused to give her money, had behaved in a most shockingly violent manner to her,, had ill-used her when in bed, and had made the complainant's face almost like a jelly, being savagely bruised. Complainant gave evidence to this effect, and admitted in cross-examination that she had had an opportunity of using some of the compensation money which had been placed in a cupboard. Some of the money had been used to pay off their debts. Re-examined, she declared she was afraid of him, as he had threatened her life.

The mother of the complainant said the parties had lived a most unhappy and miserable life. He had ill-used her most shamefully, and one occasion he had treated her in such a manner, blacking her eyes. In fact, when witness saw her afterwards, she could not recognise her. Defendant said he had only struck her once in his life. The bench granted a separation order and a maintenance allowance of 1s per week, the complainant to have the custody of the children of the former marriage, who were at present living with her.

Although there has been a fairly plentiful rainfall since the advent of the present month, the reserves of the Ashton &c, Joint Waterworks Committee still contain 212 million gallons of water less than in August last year. The total storage is only equal to 111/2 weeks' supply, and consumers have need to be careful not to waste the precious liquid.
John SHAW, carter, was fined 5s and costs for working a horse whilst in an unfit condition. A constable saw the defendant in charge of a horse which was suffering from a sore on the shoulder, He pleaded guilty.

BEGGING At a special police court on Wednesday, a man of the tramping fraternity, who gave the name of John KING, was sent to prison for seven days for begging in Lodge-lane on Tuesday. The prisoner walked into the lion's den, namely the house of Constable BROOME, and solicited alms. On being searched 3d was found upon him. Superintendent COOPER said the prisoner was a strong, able-bodied man, and there was plenty of work for such as he to do. His hands were as smooth and soft as those of a lady.

CASE DISMISSED Thomas ASHTON, of Brazier Farm, Dukinfield, was summoned for leaving his horse and milk cart unattended a longer time than was allowed. A constable deposed to seeing a horse and cart belonging to defendant standing outside the Lodge Hotel unattended for 15 minutes. For the defence, the offence was denied, it being contended that the vehicle was only left outside the hotel for four or five minutes. Evidence to this effect was advanced and the Bench dismissed the case.

At a special sitting of the Dukinfield Police Court on Wednesday morning, George DEWSNAP, warehouseman, 70 Cambridge-street, Ashton, was in custody charged with stealing 102 boxes of compo soap, value 25 10s, and one gross bag of blue, of the value of 4s 6d, the property of Henry PRATT, Compo Works, Dukinfield, between the 1st of January and 13th of August. Ambrose ADDISON, 71 Hill-street, Ashton, grocer, was charged with feloniously receiving 100 boxes of compo soap, value 25, well knowing the same to have been stolen. James Edward TAYLOR, 21 Hill-street, carter, was charged with receiving 42 boxes of compo, value 10 10s, and one gross bag of blue, value 4s 6d.

Superintendent COOPER said he did not propose to go fully into the details of the case that morning. He would offer sufficient evidence for a remand until the following morning. The prisoner, DEWSNAP, had been employed as a warehouseman for Mr PRATT for the last 11 years, and every confidence had been placed in him. Certain facts came to the knowledge of Mr Arthur PRATT on Tuesday which caused the prisoner DEWSNAP to be apprehended and charged with the offence with which he was now before the court. He would not put Mr PRATT into the witness-box, also Inspector DUTTON, who apprehended the three prisoners.

Arthur PRATT said: I reside at 3 Chapel Hill, and am manager for my father at his Compo Works, Crescent-road, Dukinfield. The prisoner, DEWSNAP, had full access to the Compo and was responsible for what went out. For some considerable time there had been a noticeable leakage, and we could not make things balance. We had reason to believe that some of the boxes of Compo were missing and our suspicions were aroused. On Tuesday, I concealed myself in a building in the yard opposite the warehouse leading place. About half-past twelve I saw DEWSNAP go out of the yard to the front gate. He returned in ten minutes.

Shortly afterwards, the prisoner TAYLOR drew into the yard with a horse and cart. He back the cart up to the warehouse loading place. DEWSNAP, who was smoking near the warehouse, then went inside and I saw him bring a truck laden with boxes of soap to the warehouse doorway. These he handed to the prisoner TAYLOR. After seeing three boxes put into the cart I left my hiding place and went round to the front of the building to wait until prisoner TAYLOR came out of the yard. I waited five minutes, and thinking I had missed him, I entered the yard and saw TAYLOR and the horse and cart still at the warehouse.

I said to DEWSNAP "Hello, who is this for," alluding to the boxes in the cart. He replied, "They are for Mr Allen SHAW 40 boxes and the order is here." I said "Has he sent specially for them?" and prisoner replied "Yes, and your brother Harry has gone for the delivery note." I told DEWSNAP that the prisoner TAYLOR would have to sign for it. I asked TAYLOR how many boxes he had in the cart, and he replied "Forty-three."

Shortly after that, TAYLOR left the yard with the cart containing the boxes. I followed him and he drove to Mr Allen SHAW's shop in Market-street, Ashton. I saw Mr SHAW and asked him if he expected this consignment of soap. He replied that he did not, and did not know that any had been ordered. He, however, said his son might have ordered them the previous day.

Superintendent COOPER: So far as Mr SHAW is concerned, he was ignorant of it? Yes. With reference to the prisoner ADDISON, have you had any transactions with him? No, I don't think his name is on our books. ADDISON: No, it is not.

Inspector DUTTON said: I apprehended DEWSNAP about 4.30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Compo Works. I took him to the police station, and, after cautioning him, charged him with stealing the quantity of compo mentioned in the warrant. He replied, "Well, I can only make a clean breast of it, and tell you like I have told Mr PRATT." He then made a statement which he wrote down and he signed it.

The prisoners were remanded while Monday when the case will be heard at Hyde.

Stern Police Action for Suppression

At Hyde on Monday, Tom WOOLLEY, John BENTON and Thomas DAVIES, three Ashton youths, were brought up in custody charged with gambling on the Peak Forest Canal at Dukinfield on Sunday.

Superintendent COOPER stated that the practice of gambling amongst the youths and young men of Dukinfield was getting far too prevalent. Scarcely a court day passed but there was a batch of small boys brought up for gambling with cards or playing pitch and toss. They were taking their lessons from men of similar standing, and he asked the magistrates to inflict severe penalties in all cases. When the present prisoners were brought to the police station they behaved in such an impudent manner that he ordered his constables to lock them up for the night. He might say too, in passing, as a warning to others, that he intended locking men of their age up for the night when brought to the station charged with gambling on a Sunday. They were the first batch that had been locked up, and he hoped it would be a warning.

Constable MOTTERSHEAD proved the case, and stated that prisoners were playing brag. He saw the cards, and also money pass between the prisoners. After a severe reprimand by the chairman of the magistrates, prisoners were fined 5s and costs.

Two Men Suffocated in a Sewer

On Saturday John Edward ROTHWELL (32), of 15 Bridge-street, Dukinfield, descended a 64 feet deep sewer in Stamford-street, Audenshaw, to recover a saw which had fallen to the bottom. He was lowered by means of a travelling crane, but was overcome by foul gas. A man named HODGES attempted to rescue him, but was raised to the surface with difficulty in an unconscious state. John STRODE, a neighbour, then went down, but was also overcome. Efforts were made to recover both men and STRODE was breathing when brought to the top, but died shortly afterwards. ROTHWELL was dead when he reached the surface. He leaves a widow and three children, and STRODE a widow and seven children. The shaft in which the fatality occurred is in connection with the new sewage scheme under the Urban District Council of Audenshaw.

Refusal to Sign an Exemption Certificate

On Monday at the Stalybridge Police Court before Colonel SIDEBOTTOM and Alderman NORMAN Robert BOWDEN came forward and made an application. He said he desired a vaccination exemption certificate in respect to his child. He had a conscientious objection to vaccination.

Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: Well, is that all you have to say?
Applicant: I have a conscientious objection.
Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: We want to be satisfied that you have a conscientious objection; it is very easy for a man to say that; that is not sufficient.
Applicant replied that he had a conscientious objection, and he did not believe in vaccination.
Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: Don't you hear what I say? I tell you it is not sufficient to satisfy the law.
Applicant: I apply for an exemption certificate, and I have a conscientious objection.
Alderman NORMAN: Do you think it would be injurious to your child's health?
Applicant: I do.
Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: What proof have you to say that it would be injurious?
Applicant: Well, I think it will.
Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: You think?
Applicant: Yes, I think it will.
Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: Have you any medical evidence?
Applicant: No, but I have something to go by.
Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: What's that?
Applicant: We have had one
Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: We have a right to know, because, as I tell you, we must be satisfied, and a "frivolous" objection to vaccination is not good enough!
Witness then said he had a brother who was perfectly right when born. He was vaccinated and then his flesh came off his bones.
Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: And you think it was from vaccination?
Applicant: Yes.
Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: Did the medical man who attended him say so?
Applicant: I don't know what he said.
Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: Oh, no, no, no! I am not satisfied with your application, and you will have to appear before two magistrates who will sign the certificate. You will require two signatures, and there are only two magistrates this morning.
Applicant: I have got off my work to come here today.
Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: That does not matter.
Applicant, apparently disgusted, stepped down and left the court.

To the Editor of the Reporter
Sir, In your issue of this day's date, I see a report of a case in which an exemption was asked for and which was refused. In consequence of the way in which such applicants have been treated by some of our magistrates, I think it is time it should be realised that Parliament had recognised that any parent who does not believe in vaccination shall have the right to be exempt, and not be prosecuted for non-vaccination That being so, it must be patent to all that when a man loses his work to attend court, and is prepared to pay 2s for the order the price charged here in Stalybridge that he is in earnest when he desires the right to exempt his child from vaccination, and is entitled to enjoy what the Act provides for him, without being subject to a lecture.

If members of the Bench who hold strong opinions in favour of vaccination will say when and where, and upon what conditions they are prepared to discuss the question of the value of vaccination, an opportunity shall be afforded them for the fullest possible discussion with men who have studied the question. As to the mode of obtaining exemptions the Act is very clear. I have a copy before me, and quote from it. Section 2 says that no parent or person shall be liable to any penalty under section 29 or 31 of the Vaccination Act 1897, if within four months from the birth of the child he satisfies two justices or a stipendiary in Petty Sessions "that he conscientiously believes that vaccination would be prejudicial to the health of the child, and within seven days thereafter delivers to the vaccination officer for the district a certificate by such justices of such conscientious objection."

This should be quite clear to all interested, but in order to meet the case of possible misinterpretation of the section the opinions of two eminent barristers have been obtained, namely R A LEACH and C H LEACH, and they say most distinctly that "It is the existence of conscientious belief, and not the grounds on which the belief is founded that is to satisfy the justices or magistrates," and what is more conclusive of the existence of a conscientious objection than the loss of work in making the application, and paying the 2s for the certificate?

I admit that many applicants do not make the application in the strict letter of the law, but allowance should be made, and I am pleased that we have some magistrates who realise the position, and assist the applicants to complete the requirements of the Act. In conclusion I would point out that the Act is not a permanent one. It was passed on the 12th of August for a term of five years only, so that at the end of that time it may possibly not be renewed, and most assuredly so, if our sanitary authorities do their duty; for undoubtedly the proper course to exterminate smallpox, which is a zymotic or preventable disease, is to place the sanitary condition of the people on the highest possible grade. Having done this, smallpox will disappear, Yours respectfully, J CROASDALE, August 12th.

Action at the Stalybridge County Court
At Stalybridge County Court on Thursday, the National Telephone Co., brought an action against Albert D KITCHEN, of Ashton, lately landlord of the Bowling Green Inn, Denton, to recover 3 10s 0d for rent of telephone which was ordered to be fixed at the defendant's home at Denton, or in the alternative a like amount to liquidate damages for breach of an agreement which was entered into with the plaintiff company on the 21st December, 1899.

Mr A LEES, solicitor, of Ashton, appeared for the plaintiffs, and said the defendant was at the time licensee of the Bowling Green Hotel Denton. In the ordinary way one of the company's agents waited upon the defendant at his home, and there made an agreement for the rental of a telephone for one year. That agreement was signed by the defendant, and he agreed to hire a telephone apparatus and pay to the company 3 10s 0d to cover one year's maintenance from the Bowling Green to the Denton Exchange, within the company's Stockport area. Subsequently the lines were prepared and everything got ready, but when the workmen went to fix the machine the defendant objected, saying that it was not an automatic machine, viz. A penny in the slot machine, by which people might use the telephone by putting money in the slot.

There was nothing in the agreement to show that an automatic machine was to be fixed, and he did not lead anyone to believe that such a machine was wanted. Defendant would not allow the ordinary machine to be fixed up. The representative of the company said he would see the manager, and no doubt they would send an automatic machine. They had not any in at the time, but when the man went to fix the automatic machine it was found that the defendant had left the Bowling Green and removed to Ashton.

He would point out to his Honour, and lay stress on the fact, that in the agreement no mention was made that an automatic machine should be put in. Since the plant had been enlarged, the solicitor had received a letter from the defendant's wife offering to pay the money, but it had not been paid. Defendant said he was ill in bed at that time and did not know anything about that. His Honour pointed out there was a delay of nearly a year between the ordering of the telephone and the man going to the place with the automatic machine. He asked what was the explanation? Mr LEES replied that at the time, the company were not fixing automatic telephone machines. Defendant said he distinctly told the agent that he must have an automatic machine, otherwise it would not be of any use to him, because he could not attend to his business and the machine as well.

His Honour said the agreement specified "one instrument and telephone circuit." There was nothing to show that was an automatic machine. Mr MONOGHAN, district manager, said that meant an ordinary wall instrument, unless otherwise specified. If it were a table instrument it would be 5s extra. His Honour: Is an automatic telephone a table instrument? No. Supposing an agreement had been entered into for an automatic instrument, would it have been expressed in a different way to this equipment? No, the company reserved the right to fix an automatic or walled instrument. An ordinary instrument may be made into a penny-in-the-slot machine by fixing a box in the side. Have you any authorised agreement where you fix an automatic machine? No.

What you have to show that your agent did not agree to put in an automatic machine? He had no authority to go beyond the agreement. Are you going to call the agent? I cannot, sir, he is no longer in our employ. Defendant said he wrote to the company to take the machine from his premises because it was not according to his agreement, They did not fetch it away or attempt to fix it. He signed the agreement on the understanding that it was to be an automatic machine. When the man brought the machine, he was told it was not the sort required. He asked permission to leave it, as he was going to Hyde, and he would call on his way back. He, however, never called. His Honour said in the absence of the person who took the order he must give judgement for the defendant with costs.

The Cheshire Volunteers were in action amongst the hills around Conway on Thursday, the 3rd and 4th being pitted against the 1st and 5th battalions. The day was beautifully fine, and rendered the movements very enjoyable. The idea was that the 3rd and 4th were attempting to embark at Holyhead, and the remainder were trying to prevent them getting through the pass. Forty rounds of blank ammunitions were served out.

The troops marched out of camp about eight o'clock to take up positions among the hills, which proved a long march. The 5th battalion formed the right flank under Colonel SHAKERLEY, and the left under Colonel BLOOD, the left flank. Firing commenced about 10.30 and continued until one o'clock. The officers, who dispensed with their swords for rifles, showed considerable skill in handling the men, and the fight was a keen one. Eventually the best position was claimed by the 3rd and 4th battalions.

A Stalybridge Volunteer writes to say that the food during the sham fight consisted of bully beef, dry bread and cold water. He adds that an average of four out of every hundred in camp have been ill during the week. Stalybridge Volunteers are expected home between seven and eight o'clock to-night (Saturday).

His Strange Plea for Clemency
James CONNOLLY again made his appearance before the magistrates at Stalybridge on Monday. He was in custody on the simple charge of "lodging in the open air," to which he pleaded guilty, adding in a weak voice, "Yes, sir, I was there right enough, but I hope you will be so good as to let me go to the workhouse."

Constable HULME said that at midnight on Sunday he was on duty in Queen-street, when he found CONNOLLY fast asleep near the carriage company's stables. Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: Asleep in the street? Constable: Yes, sir. I brought him to the Town Hall, where he was locked up. Alderman NORMAN: How long is it since he came out of prison? Inspector BAMFORTH: On Wednesday last.

CONNOLLY pleaded that he was poorly, and he hoped that the Bench would send him to the workhouse to die. I am 65 years of age (he went on to say), and it is a pity. I have never stolen anything in my life. Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: What did you leave the workhouse for? CONNOLLY replied that Mr CROASDALE got him into the workhouse for six months and he would go back again if they would let him. He was poorly.

Alderman NORMAN: It is your usual tale. CONNOLLY: I cannot live, gentlemen, for I am 65 years of age, and I cannot eat anything. If I sup water, it comes back. I shall never trouble you any more; I am going to die! The Magistrates' Clerk: You have made that promise before. CONNOLLY: Yes, but God bless you, let me go back to the workhouse..

The Clerk asked Inspector BAMFORTH if it was not a fact that when in the workhouse, CONNOLLY was unruly, and the reply was that he always left that institution on his own accord. The Clerk: Exactly; he will not stay in. CONNOLLY: Oh yes, I will stop in this time. I am going to die! Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: The report is that when you are there you do not do as you are told. You must "go down" again for three months. CONNOLLY, who had been before the court verging on a hundred times, was thereupon removed to Strangeways.

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