18 January 1902
MAN'S SINGULAR DELUSION
A Nasty Fall
One of the employees of the Ashton Corporation
Electricity Works in Wellington-road, named Thomas
FORD, whilst walking near the wall which surrounds
the Corporation refuse destructor at the rear
of the electricity works, found a man named James
Henry LAMB, labourer, of 8 Pitt-street, Ashton,
lying at the foot of the wall, having apparently
fallen from the top of the wall, a distance of
some 20 feet. On examination it was found that
LAMB had sustained a fractured thigh and other
injuries. The horse ambulance was sent for and
the man was taken to the residence of Dr HUGHES,
junr, who examined him and ordered his removal
to the Infirmary, where he was taken. On being
subsequently questioned, LAMB, who did not appear
to be in his right senses, said he thought he
was at the station, and he was endeavouring to
scale the wall to gain access thereto when he
fell to the ground.
ASSAULTING A CONSTABLE
Patrick DUNN, a young fellow, was on Monday
hauled up before the magistrates on a dual charge
(1) drunk and disorderly, and (2) assaulting
Constable George LAWTON whilst the latter was in
the execution of his duty. The officer said
that on Saturday night at 9.40 he saw a great crowd
of people in Chapel-street, and upon going to the
spot he found DUNN with his coat and vest off, and
was pulling a woman about. Witness requested prisoner
to put his clothes on and go away quietly, but he
refused to do so.
The constable took DUNN into custody,
whereupon the latter caught LAWTON by the legs
and tried to upset him. In the scuffle prisoner
kicked the constable several times on the lower
part of the body, and assistance had to be obtained
to get the man to the Town Hall. Several women
endeavoured to rescue prisoner from the officer's
custody, including the woman GRAHAM (who was dealt
with by the same bench) and a woman named BALL.
The Chairman: Have you any questions
to ask? Prisoner: I do not remember coping
him. (Laughter.) Councillor HOPWOOD:
It is no credit to you saying that. Prisoner:
I did not know I was locked up until I woke in
the cell on Sunday morning. For being drunk,
DUNN was fined 2s 6d, and costs, and for the assault
10s 6d, and costs or 14 days imprisonment, Alderman
FENTON remarking that the police must be protected.
SAD SUICIDE OF A YOUTH AT
On Wednesday an inquest was held touching the
death of Wm SHARRATT, who was found hanging at his
home, Parkbridge, on Saturday night. The following
evidence was given:
Mrs SHARRATT, the mother of deceased
said: I live at Dingle Terrace, Parkbridge, Alt.
Deceased was named William SHARRATT, and was 17
years old. He had enjoyed good health. He was
serving his time as roller-turner at Parkbridge
Ironworks. About 11 o'clock on Saturday evening
deceased wanted to wash his feet, and I left the
house. I was away about three-quarters of an hour.
On returning home I found the front door locked.
It was a customary thing for him to lock the door.
I called "Now, Willie," and he replied "In a minute."
I waited about, and then called
again, but I got no answer. I then went to try
the back door, but that was also fastened. I thought
he had fallen asleep or had a fit. When I could
get no reply I threw some dirt up to the bedroom
window and awakened my son George, whom I heard
call out: "This lad has hanged himself." When
I went the towel was not tied to the clothes rail.
He had not been an eccentric boy. Sergeant HOLMES
asked witness if she had not used the word eccentric
herself. Witness: Well I don't know what
George SHARRATT said: "I live at
Dingle Terrace, and deceased was my brother. I
last saw him alive about twenty-five past eleven
o'clock on Saturday night. I went to bed then
and left deceased sitting besides the table downstairs.
I believe my mother was out at the time.
In answer to the Coroner witness said that his
mother left the house of her own accord, and when
Coroner said that was an extraordinary thing to
do, witness said that he really did not force
his mother out.
Continuing, he said: I was awakened
by hearing something against the window, and thinking
it was my mother, I came downstairs. I found my
brother hanging by a towel, which was fastened
by two hooks in the ceiling. I couldn't say whether
the towel was tied round his neck. Sergeant
HOLMES: Didn't you tell Constable FOWLER that
you found the rope round his neck? Witness: I
can't say. The Coroner: Was he an eccentric
lad? Witness: He was very particular. Coroner:
How came he to be hanging? I think he had been
doing gymnastic exercises. He had swung on the
hooks before. You had no idea that the towel
was round his neck? Had he to be cut down? Yes,
he had to be cut down.
A Juror: He had not said anything
respecting trouble with anybody? No, not in the
least. He had played football in the afternoon.
Another Juror: Did the lad try any experiments?
Yes. Had he talked about BILLINGTON, the
hangman? Yes, three or four days before.
Juror: I think it is possible that he had been
experimenting that. Sergeant HOLMES: Was there
anything on his head? I did not notice anything.
Coroner: Had he a handkerchief on his head? No
reply. The Coroner: Tell the truth and don't
hide anything. Witness: I saw a handkerchief lying
about. I can't say whether it was round his head.
The father of deceased said: I was
called up by my son George who said that his brother
was hanging by the roller towel. One end of the
towel was over the clothes-rack and the other
was tied to the hooks. I never looked for the
handkerchief but cut him down as quickly as possible.
I didn't call him a strange lad. He had nothing
to do that for. He never did it wilfully.
Coroner: That is for the jury to say. Sergeant
HOLMES: Was there anything on his head? Witness:
Someone told me that there was a handkerchief
round his head.
The Coroner: That is the whole of
the evidence. No doubt death was due to strangulation.
The only question is whether it is a case of suicide.
It is a very extraordinary affair. I think the
parents are keeping something back. The Jury:
Yes. A Juror: I worked with him and knew
him to practice gymnastics. The Coroner:
Yes, but that is not gymnastic work. He had either
got execution on the brain and was experimenting,
or otherwise it was a case of suicide. No doubt
he deliberately tied the towel. A Juror:
He was fond of experimenting. Coroner: Very
extraordinary affair. It is a very extraordinary
case altogether, but it is entirely to decide
He must have been experimenting
some very extraordinary thing. A Juror:
I have known the lad some time, but I never dreamt
that he would do such a thing. Coroner:
That is the case with most of the suicides. It
is really a case of suicide, but if you have any
doubt about the affair return an open verdict.
A Juror: It is a strange thing that the mother
should leave him alone while he washed his feet.
Coroner: If you don't think this is a case of
suicide leave an open verdict , and say the evidence
was not satisfactory enough. I don't know whether
he has been a troublesome lad at home or not.
The Jury had a short deliberation, and then returned
an open verdict, embodied as follows: "Strangulation
by hanging by a roller towel, no evidence to show
how, or by what means he came to be so hanging
by the neck."
In conversation with the father
on Wednesday afternoon, he, the deceased usually
did this washing, but although he called it washing
his feet, he got a mug of water on the hearth,
locked the door, and washed his body all over,
stripping himself. When they found him hanging
he was quite naked.
ASSAULTING HIS WIFE AND
At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday,
George HOLT was summoned for assaulting his wife
and daughter. Defendant did not appear. Mr
J B POWNALL said he appeared on behalf of Mrs HOLT,
and she alleged that her husband assaulted her on
the 4th instant, and she sought for a separation.
It appeared that the parties had been married some
28 years, and there were six children living. Their
married life had not been a particularly happy one,
in consequence of the defendant taking a lot of
drink. The assault in question was only one of a
series of assaults committed upon her from time
to time during their married life and she now took
advantage of this opportunity to come before the
Bench for redress.
On the 4th, at 7 o'clock in the
evening, he gave her £1 for housekeeping expenses.
Later on he wanted 1s 3d back, and before she
could give it him he rushed at her, caught her
by the wrist and with the other hand threatened
to strike her. A daughter interposed, and asked
him not to commit any assault. He then turned
upon the daughter, and said he would do for her.
The two tried to prevent him, but he thumped his
wife in the breast violently a very dangerous
thin to do in view of the many cases of cancer
which had occurred. A police officer then came
upon the scene, whereupon the defendant ran upstairs,
and challenged the officer to fight if he would
come up, but deeming discretion the better part
of valour, he did not accept the invitation.
A summons was taken, and immediately
defendant received it he turned his daughter out.
He afterwards packed a portmanteau up and departed,
intending that he should not come back. His client
had not seen him since, and he had not turned
up to answer the charge that morning. He was a
quarryman, and could earn good wages. After hearing
the evidence, the magistrates would be justified
in making the usual separation order. Mrs
HOLT, the daughter, and a police officer gave
evidence bearing out Mr POWNALL's statement.
The Bench expressed the opinion that defendant
had committed an aggravated assault upon his wife,
for which he would be fined £1 and costs, or one
month. For the common assault upon the daughter
he would be fined 5s 6d and costs, or 14 days.
They also granted a separation order of 10s per
week and the custody of the children to the wife.