22 August 1903

SCENE IN A DUKINFIELD PUBLIC HOUSE
Insulting the Barmaid at the Queen’s Arms

At the Dukinfield Police Court, on Thursday, a case was heard in which a considerable interest has been taken during the development stages. Reuben CROSSLEY, labourer, of Wharf-street, summoned Joseph HULME, manager of the Queen’s Arms, Wharf-street, for assaulting him on the 11th August. There was a cross summons, in which HULME summoned CROSSLEY for being disorderly in the house and refusing to quit when requested to do so.

Both cases were taken together. Mr Joseph HURST appeared for CROSSLEY and Mr J A GARFORTH represented the Dukinfield Licensed Victuallers’ and Wine and Beersellers’ Association. At the request of Mr HURST, all the witnesses were ordered out of the Court.

Mr HURST stated that on the 11th August, about four o’clock in the afternoon, his client CROSSLEY went into the Queen’s Arms Hotel, and saw the head barmaid at the bar. There was no one else there. He asked her for a glass of ale. He was served and the 1½d was taken in payment.. She placed the beer on the counter in the vault, and went behind the bar.

A moment or two afterwards the defendant HULME came rushing into the bar. The complainant was standing there, rubbing some tobacco in his hands. HULME said, “You had better apologise for what you have said.” CROSSLEY asked what he had said. “I will let you know.” “Then let me know,” said CROSSLEY, and HULME thereupon came out of the bar into the vault, and struck CROSSLEY between the eyes.

He was dazed for a second or two. HULME then grabbed him by the arm tightly and punched him in the face with his fist. They got to the floor and there HULME struck him almost 20 blows. CROSSLEY got up, and sat on a form, and HULME continued to punch him. Immediately CROSSLEY could get out of the house he went and showed his landlady his bruises. He was in bed four days suffering from the injuries inflicted upon him. His eyes were blackened, the bridge of his nose was cut, and his ribs and shoulders were injured, and there were severe pains in his back.

On the Saturday following CROSSLEY went to see if HULME could not allow him something for the damage he had sustained. But he used some filthy language and turned him into the street.

He next saw Superintendent CROGHAN and showed him some of the injuries he had sustained. He was advised last Saturday to take out a summons. It was served on Tuesday, and immediately afterwards HULME took out a cross summons. They all knew the object of these cross summonses. The object was to complicate the issues, but he thought he should be able to prove CROSSLEY had been very grievously assaulted. He had lost eight days’ work at 5s per day, and although they could not take cognizance of that there, he thought the Bench would see that CROSSLEY had suffered some material damage.

Rueben CROSSLEY then gave evidence that he was a mason’s labourer, and lodged at 71 Wharf-street. He confirmed Mr HURST’s statement. Witness explained to the police, and they said they could do nothing as they had not seen the affair. If it had been HULME that had been assaulted in that case they would have been after him (CROSSLEY) likes hares — Mr HURST: You were not disorderly in the house? No. — And you were not drunk? No, I had only had a few pints and a glass of whiskey all day. — You were not rowdy or quarrelsome in the house? No, there was no one to quarrel with.

Mr GARFORTH: You are a rather well-known fighting character, are you not? No. — Have you been sacked by one or two places on account of fights with your mates? No. — You swear that is not the reason given? Yes. — Do you want to tell the Bench that you are a quiet, orderly character? I mean to say this; I am as quiet and decent a man as walks Dukinfield.

You are not living with your wife and children? — No. Did they go away and leave you on account of your drunken, quarrelsome habits? No, they went away because I would not let them be masters over me. — And the children are now keeping your wife? Yes, except a bit I do for her. I have sent her £3 this last month. — They won’t have you back?

Now, listen to me, do you say there was no one there when Mr HULME came to you? I don’t remember seeing any one. — Do you know a man named ADSHEAD, generally known as Adsey? Yes. — Did you invite him to go into the Queen’s and have a drink? No, I never saw him. — You swear he did not go in with you? Yes. — Well he is here, and is going to do some swearing.

Did you order two drinks? No. — Were you served with two drinks? No. — Did you use filthy language to the barmaid? Never. I only saw her for half a moment. — Did she leave the bar and complain to the landlord? She left the bar. — Did you see a man named SMITH come in with a child in his arms? No. They might have come in when the disturbance was on. — Did Mr HULME complain about you having used filthy language to the barmaid? No. — And he would not have that sort of conduct in his house? Never. — That he always tried to keep it respectable, and if you could not use better language you must go out? No.

Did he go to the front door to look for a policeman? I don’t know. — Did you defy him, and say he could not put you out? No. — Did he not then come round into the vault and you rushed at his legs? He came rushing at me, and struck me between the eyes. — Did he tell you that if you would apologise he would let you drink up your beer and go? No. — Did you then say you would not go out for him, and he could not put you out? No.

Mary Alice HIBBERT, with whom CROSSLEY lodged, testified to his condition when he came home after the alleged assault. He was bleeding from the face, and was in bed three days afterwards. He had not been drunk and was upset. — Have you had some bother with him before? No.

Mr GARFORTH then addressed the magistrates on behalf of Mr HULME. “He was there as solicitor for the Dukinfield Licensed Victuallers’ Association, and the members were most anxious that the houses of Dukinfield should be kept perfectly respectable. Mr HULME, who had been in the trade 21 years, had received a very great deal of complaints of bad language being used by frequenters in the vault to the two or three barmaids he employed.

He had to remonstrate with CROSSLEY on a previous occasion, and he was told that if he did not moderate his language he must cease coming to the house. On the afternoon in question Mr HULME was laid down on the sofa in the kitchen opposite the bar, and heard CROSSLEY enter the vault in company with ADSHEAD, and order two drinks. CROSSLEY used some filthy remarks to the head barmaid, Miss BOYLAND, and she told Mr HULME about his conduct. He was very much annoyed about it, because he and others seemed to imagine they could say anything they liked to these defenceless girls.

He went into the bar, and told CROSSLEY he had warned him before that he would not have filthy language used there, and he would either have to apologise or go out. ADSHEAD was so disgusted with the language that he went out, and then there was no one in that part of the house except CROSSLEY. He refused to apologise or go out, and wanted to know who was going to turn him out.

Mr HULME told him he would fetch a policeman, and went to both doors, but no policeman happened to be about at the time. He came into the house again, and told CROSSLEY he would give him another chance either to apologise, or go out. He would not do so, and said “Come round, and I’ll do something at you. Mr HULME went from the bar to the vault, and just as he entered CROSSLEY ran at him to take his legs.

Mr HULME then acted on the defensive, struck at him, and most likely hit him in the face. CROSSLEY caught him by the middle, and they both fell on the vault floor. Mr HULME happened to get on the top, and struck him once. It was in this melee that CROSSLEY got his injuries. With some difficulty the man was got into the street.

When Mr HULME got his summons for assault he went to the president of the Licensed Victuallers’ Association and the other officers, and they at once told him to go and see him (Mr GARFORTH) as to whether they must bring CROSSLEY before the magistrates, and see if they could not have protection from such people when trying to conduct their houses right. It was then that he advised Mr HULME to take out summons against CROSSLEY for refusing to quit.

On the Saturday morning, five days after the affair, Mr HULME was standing at his front door when this man came up to him in a menacing way, and asked what he was going to give him. He at once said, “I shall give you nothing; you deserved all you got.” The interview ended with a threat on the part of CROSSLEY, “to bring law.”

Joseph HULME was called, and bore out Mr GARFORTH’s statement. — Cross-examined by Mr HURST: Is this the way you usually deal with people who must apologise? No. I tried all I could before I put him out. — You suggest that you did not strike him? — Yes, certainly I did not. He came for me.

Have you some malice against the man? Not the slightest. — Do you remember about five weeks ago when you were very rough with someone? Were you turning some woman out with a child? — I don’t remember. — Do you remember hitting a woman? No. — And the child got knocked down? — I don’t remember anything of that description.

Was CROSSLEY drunk? He had had some drink, but he was not drunk. — Why did you take his drink away? Because I thought he had had enough, and on account of his language. I thought it time to get rid of him. Have you ever complained to the police about this man’s conduct? No. I never went that far. — You say you would not have taken the summons if he had not taken out a summons against you? No.

Emily BOYLAND, head barmaid, said she remembered CROSSLEY and ADSHEAD coming in and ordering two penny gills. CROSSLEY made a nasty observation to her and she complained to Mr HULME. The latter asked him to apologise or go out, and he refused. Mr HULME went round into the vault to put the man out. Rueben rushed at Mr HULME, there was a scuffle, and she told them to give over.

By Mr HURST: He had insulted her before he touched his beer. Did not Mr HULME go to the door to see if the coast was clear to throw the man out? No, he went to look for a policeman

William ADSHEAD said he met CROSSLEY in King-street and the latter asked him to have a gill with him. He went into the Queen’s Arms and they were supplied by the last witness. He heard CROSSLEY make a nasty observation to her and he was so disgusted that he left the house and left him.

The Chairman: Did you drink your beer? — Aye, I supped up. — (Laughter.) Mr HURST: You were not too disgusted to drink his beer? No. — You did not see the assault? No. — You are positive you were there? Aye. — At this stage the magistrates intimated that they had heard enough and dismissed both cases.

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