6 August 1904

Cockayne Reprieved

On Saturday morning the governor of Knutsford Gaol received a communication from the Home Office informing him that in response to the recommendation of the jury at the Chester Assizes he has reprieved Robert Marshall COCKAYNE, sentenced to death for the murder of his wife at Dukinfield on the 21st June.

Since the trial COCKAYNE has been lodged in Knutsford Gaol quietly waiting the carrying out of his sentence , but the recommendation to mercy made by the jury, which the judge forwarded to the proper quarter, and a petition which was being got up by Mr George HEATHCOTE, the defending solicitor, and extensively signed during the last few days, would secure the reprieve. The effect of this will be that the death sentence pronounced by Mr Justice WILLS will not be carried out, and COCKAYNE will be kept in penal servitude for life,

Paralysed by a Shock

A heavy thunderstorm burst over Slough on Saturday afternoon. George SMITH, of Sevenoaks, and Alice O’CONNOR, of Ashton-under-Lyne, were standing under a tree, when there was a terrific flash of lightning which stripped the bark from the tree, split a wooden fence, and struck the man and woman in opposite directions.

They were both seriously injured, and conveyed to the Infirmary, where it transpired they were paralysed in their backs and legs. An Eton gardener named PRIOR, who was thirty or forty yards away, was hurled to the ground.

Raid by a Professional Gang

The police have been exercising considerable vigilance of late in regard to a series of burglaries, apparently the work of a gang of thieves who have paid a visit to the Ashton district

The butcher’s shop of Mr W. WILSON, George-street, was found to have been entered sometime during the early hours of Tuesday morning. The shop was open as usual at 10.3o on Monday night, and about midnight a constable examined the premises and found everything intact.

After the departure of the constable the burglar, or burglars, would appear to have emerged from a hiding place, and then effected entry to the shop by forcing away a wooden structure under the shop window, and passing through the cellar, and breaking off the lock of the cellar door.

There was a refrigerator in the shop, and this was opened, no doubt thinking it was a safe, and apparently in disappointment a leg of mutton was taken out and thrown on the sanded floor. The door was left open and about 1½ cwt. of ice melted. By means of a cleaver and a poker, three locks were forced open in such a skilful manner as to warrant the supposition that the visitor was an old hand at the game.

From the till in the shop he abstracted about 3s. or 4s. in copper. Visits were paid to a desk in the house, and the drawer wrenched out, and the contents scattered on the floor, as were also the contents of other drawers. Several dirty finger marks were conspicuous on a sideboard. The back and yard doors were left open and the locks broken off.

Garner’s Bazaar in George-street, next door to Mr WILSON’s, was also broken into the same night, an entry being forced by the back way. The shop was ransacked but nothing appears to have been taken.

An attempt was made sometime during Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning to break into the furniture shop of Mr J. RODGERS, Warrington-street. The door was secured by a strong patent brass lock, which was so badly twisted that Mr RODGERS had the greatest difficulty in gaining access to the shop next morning. The lock had to be removed and taken to a blacksmith.

A private house in Mossley-road, occupied by Mr F. HALLSWORTH, was broken into early on Friday morning of last week. Admission was gained by forcing open the back window, and one of the occupants heard a noise and shouted out, but receiving no answer thought she was mistaken.

An umbrella, a pair of boots, and a leather bag were stolen. The latter contained Mr HALLSWORTH’s cricketing suit, which was taken out and thrown on the floor. A visit was paid to the cellar and scullery, and a number of pies and other eatables taken. The back door and yard door were both found open.

Mr W. WALKER, plumber and glazier, Old-street, Ashton, was descending the cellar steps at the Britannia Inn, Warrington-street, on Tuesday afternoon, in order to examine the piping in connection with the pumping apparatus, when he slipped from the bottom step and fractured his right leg. He was taken home in a cab, and the injured limb attended to by Dr WALLACE. He is progressing favourably.

Mr J.W. SHACKLETON, a well-known farmer at Micklehurst, Mossley, had the misfortune to meet with a very serious accident on Thursday evening. He was driving a very spirited fine young horse attached to a milk float down Micklehurst-road between six and seven o’clock, when the horse began to kick and rear up, and afterwards it bolted, ultimately running with its head through the cottage window of Mr MAYHALL, the shafts of the milk float also going into the wall.

Mr SHACKLETON kept tight hold of the reins. With the kicking of the horse, the milk float was smashed, and Mr SHACKLETON had his leg badly fractured. Dr HEALY was close by all the time, and Mr SHACKLETON was taken into Mr RADCLIFFE’s druggist shop, and after receiving medical attention was removed home in a cab.

The horse had only been purchased the day before from Councillor Robert RADCLIFFE, of Oakfield, and was considered to be a very fine animal. Both Mr SHACKLETON and the horse lost a great amount of blood.

An Enjoyable Day

On Tuesday a second contingent of the borough’s police force held their annual picnic to Blackpool. The contingent consisted of Inspector McFEELEY, Sergeants BAILEY, BUTTER, and HEIGHWAY, and eighteen constables. The party left Charlestown station by the 6.9am train, and after a pleasant journey a still more pleasant reception awaited them in the shape of a substantial breakfast at the Station Hotel, to which, needless to say, full justice was done.

Afterwards the men embarked on a journey of exploration, and exploited the many sights and scenes of “Manchester by the Sea,” some journeying far afield and taking the exhilarating ride along the coast to Fleetwood, and others preferring Blackpool itself. All met at the hotel at half-past four for dinner, where the beneficial effect of the ozone-laden breeze of Blackpool certainly manifested their efficiency in promoting appetites.

The Chief Constable, who had joined the party, gave “The King, Queen, and all the Royal family,” and Inspector McFEELEY proposed a vote of thanks to the Watch Committee for allowing a day’s leave. The motion was seconded by Constable SMITH, and enthusiastically passed. Sergeant BAILEY proposed, and Constable HAWCOURT seconded, a vote of thanks to the donors of the picnic fund for the very handsome way they had subscribed towards the outing.

Constable SMITH proposed, and Constable HAWCOURT seconded, a vote of thanks to the Chief Constable for making such satisfactory arrangement for the day’s outing. Constable CROSSLEY proposed that the best thanks be given to the host and hostess for the satisfactory way they had provided for the party.

A vote of thanks was also proposed to Inspector McFEELEY for the way in which he had conducted the party during the day. The party left Blackpool soon after seven o’clock, and arrived at Ashton about half-past nine after an extremely enjoyable day’s outing.

A Good Haul of Jewellery

On Tuesday afternoon Mr Robert OLDHAM and his family, of Bank End, Furness Vale, went away from the house, leaving the back bedroom windows open. On their return later in the day they were surprised to find that during their absence the house had been entered.

A quantity of jewellery, including two or three watches, gold and gold cased, a gold bracelet and silver watch guard were amongst the things that had been stolen. All the articles in the room had been disturbed, drawers pulled out, and practically the whole room ransacked.

Information was given to the police at New Mills, and they are now making inquiries into the affair. Miss OLDHAM returned home about eight o’clock, but did not find out the robbery until she went into the room about nine o’clock.

A Learned Sergeant

At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, William Archibald LINDLEY and Charles LINDLEY, father and son, were charged with cruelty to a horse at Droylsden, on the 22nd of August. The father only appeared, and pleaded not guilty.

Sergeant SMITH said that on Friday, the 22nd July, he was in Manchester-road, Droylsden, about ten minutes to six in the morning, when defendant, Charles LINDLEY, came along with a cart horse attached to a stiff cart. He noticed that the animal to be in pain, and he told the man to take the horse from the shafts. He did so, and on further examination found a raw wound recently dressed under the saddle. Both hind legs were inflamed, and the ligaments contracted, and the animal was suffering from bone spavin.

Dr HUGHES (presiding): How do you know all this? I have been amongst horses a lot, sir. — What is bone spavin? An enlargement of the bones of the leg. — Oh! — The Sergeant, continuing, said he afterwards saw the defendant, when he admitted that he knew the horse was ailing. — Inspector ROBINSON deposed to examining the horse the Monday following, and the wounds had been correctly described by Sergeant SMITH. The horse was quite unfit for work of any kind.

Mr PROCTOR, MRCVS, practising in Manchester, deposed to examining the horse on the 28th of July. He found the animal was an aged mare, and in very poor condition. It was tucked up in the flanks, and had a large sore in the saddle, and a small one on the hind shoulder. He considered it required quite a long rest before it would be fit for work.

Defendant handed a letter from Mr NEW, of Ashton, dated August 1st, but Superintendent HEWITT observed that it was not evidence, and that Mr NEW ought to have been present. — William Archibald LINDLEY was fined 12s 6d. and costs, or 14 days’ imprisonment, and Charles LINDLEY 5s.and costs, or seven days, and the veterinary surgeon’s fee allowed.

A painful sensation was created at Heyrod on Sunday evening, when the rumour became circulated that a boy had been drowned in a reservoir there. The report turned out to be only too true, the victim being Leonard, the seven years old son of Thomas BARLOW, a postman, who resides at Heyrod Cottages.

It appears that at 5.30 p.m. deceased went out to play along with a brother three years of age, and after an absence of a few minutes the younger boy returned crying bitterly. The father, suspecting there was something wrong, went out in search, accompanied by a neighbour, and upon reaching the reservoir, which is in close proximity to their residence, they saw Leonard floating in the water. He was promptly brought to the shore. Constable JONES applied artificial respiration in vain, and Dr HOWE, who arrived during the process, declared life extinct.

The Inquest: “A Dangerous Spot”
Mr F. NEWTON (district coroner) held an inquest on the body at the Grapes Inn, Heyrod, on Tuesday evening.

Thomas BARLOW, father of the deceased, said his son left home on Sunday about 5.40 p.m. He was accompanied by a younger brother about three years old. Shortly afterwards deceased’s companion came home and told him that Leonard was in the water, and was drowning. Witness and a neighbour named Mark JONES, along with the boy, went to the reservoir, and they found the body about three yards from the side.

JONES jumped in and recovered the deceased. There were no signs of life. Artificial respiration to restore animation was applied by Constable Owen JONES, but without avail. Dr HOWE was subsequently sent for, and after trying to restore him for some time, he pronounced life extinct.

The Coroner: What is there to protect the reservoir? Witness: There are railings round it, but in some parts they are broken down. They are in a bad state of repair. — The Coroner: Who is responsible? Witness: I suppose it will be the Printing Combine.

The Coroner instructed the police to examine the place and report to him. If they thought any improvements were necessary he would communicate with the Combine. Witness added that the water was over five feet deep.. The Coroner expressed his own and the jury’s sympathy with witness in the sad loss he had sustained.

Mark JONES, employed at Buckton Vale, deposed to recovering the body from the water. In answer to the Coroner, witness said he passed the reservoir very often. He had noticed that the fence was broken down, and had repeatedly driven children away. He had never seen the deceased there. The Coroner said he thought JONES ought to be commended for the gallant effort he made to recover the child. — The Foreman: Hear, hear! If it was private ground they could not attach any blame to the Combine.

The Coroner thought the Combine would not object to make the place as secure as possible if they were appealed to. If there was an entrance from the footpath there must be some means of getting to the water. — A Juryman: There is a gateway.

Constable JONES gave evidence, and said the fence was broken down for about eight or nine feet. Anybody could approach the reservoir from the footpath, as it was only about four or five yards distant. — The Coroner said he thought the constable ought to be complimented on the effort he made to restore the deceased to life. — A verdict of “Accidental drowning” was returned.

At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday George ABEL was charged with assaulting Police Constable CAMERON whilst in the execution of his duty at Droylsden on the 1st of August.

Constable CAMERON said that on the date in question, ABEL was drunk, shouting, and swearing in Hodson-street, Droylsden. Going up, he (witness) requested him to be quiet, and received the reply, “If you don’t mind it’ll be a case for the doctor.” ABEL pushed him against the wall, and kicked him. However, the constable threw him to the floor, where they struggled for some time.

Sergeant FEATHERSTONE deposed to going to the assistance of Constable CAMERON, and said that ABEL was very drunk. They had to carry him to the station. — The Chairman (Dr HUGHES): What are those scars on your face? — ABEL: Where the Constable legged me down. He was fined 7s. 6d. for costs, or seven days.

Narrow Escape of Mossley Gentlemen

Three Mossley tradesmen — Messrs BUCKLEY, COOPER, and J. ROWLAND — had an exciting experience at Stalybridge on Tuesday evening, They had been a drive to Woodhead, and were returning via Mottram-road, Stalybridge, when the incident occurred.

When close to the residence of Mr Councillor M.L. HALL, about 8.30 p.m., an electric car, driven in the same direction, passed by the trap, and the gave no sign of timidity. Suddenly, however, and when the car had got a distance ahead, the animal lashed out with its hind legs, and became well-nigh unmanageable.

The driver held tightly to the reins, and prevented the horse bolting down the hill, and after a lively few minutes the occupants gained terra firma in safety. The trap was much damaged, and the horse, too, was injured. Councillor and Mrs HALL very kindly offered the party every assistance, placing a stable at their disposal for the horse.

George HUDSON and Joseph CLARKE stood in the dock at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, charged with attempting to steal a cash box containing 5s. 5d. in money, from the bar of the Royal Oak Hotel, Manchester-road, Droylsden

Jane BROOKSBANK, sister and assistant to John William BROOKSBANK, licensee of the Royal Oak Hotel, Droylsden, said that on Monday, the 25th of July, she was in charge of the bar. In the afternoon the two men entered about a quarter-past four, and they were served with glasses of beer. Later, she had occasion to leave the bar for a few minutes, leaving the two men in the bar.

Returning three minutes later, she found HUDSON kneeling on the counter with a cash box in his hand containing about 5s. 4d. When she had left the bar the cash box was underneath the counter, and no one standing on the public side of the counter could reach it.

When she saw HUDSON she asked him what he was doing, and received the reply that he was stopping one of the spirit taps which were running. She replied that it was not running, and pointed out that he had the cash box in his hand. The two left soon after. She immediately communicated with Sergeant FEATHERSTONE. — CLARKE alleged that he was a stranger to HUDSON, and did not go into the house with him as Miss BROOKSBANK said.

Sergeant FEATHERSTONE deposed to following two men who were walking very quickly. He called out to them, but they only continued their journey. He caught them three-quarters of a mile further up. He took them back to the hotel, where CLARKE remarked, “He (meaning HUDSON) was stopping the spirit tap; I told him.” Charged at the police station they made no reply. — The two were committed to the next Manchester Assizes.

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