30 August 1902


On Thursday the police received information of the death by hanging of Abel POTTER, collier, of 13 Palmer-street, aged 59, who was found suspended from a beam in the cellar at eight o'clock that morning. Ellen TRAVIS, who lives at the same house, states that since the closing of Dukinfield Collieries, which threw him out of work, deceased had been very low spirited, especially since last Saturday.

At a quarter to seven o'clock on Thursday morning she took him a cup of tea upstairs. He was then apparently in his usual health. She then went to her work, but asked off, and got home about eight o'clock. She shouted upstairs to the deceased, but getting no answer raised an alarm. Some men came and found him hanging in the cellar from a beam, a clothes line being round his neck. He was dead when cut down by Walter HATTON, painter, who was working on the property.

At a school, a schoolmaster had been explaining that "Nothing" is impossible, as something must always be done or doing. Seeing one of the boys engaged in playing instead of paying attention, he pulled him up suddenly with: "Stand up, and explain nothing." The boy stood up, looked very straight, coloured up, and then suddenly burst out, to the schoolmaster's amazement: "Please, sir — a bung hole without a barrel."

The Mother Before the Magistrates

On Saturday a charge of child neglect was preferred at the Manchester City Police Court against a woman named Sarah Jane PINDLOW, the wife of a hawker with whom she recently resided at 51, Gardner-street, West Gorton. The case was really a sequel to proceedings which took place this week in the coroner's court, when strong remarks were made regarding prisoner's conduct towards her twelve-month-old child, whose death it was stated had been accelerated by neglect. The jury expressed the hope that a prosecution would follow. It was alleged that the prisoner's husband had recently been left a legacy of £1,000, the whole of which had been dissipated in drink.

Mr HOCKIN, who prosecuted now on behalf of the National Society said the prisoner had lived with her husband and four children in a house that that had been condemned. The man was now in prison for another offence, and it was only the circumstances which prevented his being charged along with his wife. The youngest of the four children had recently died, and evidence went to show that in spite of warnings and advice in respect of its dangerous condition, the woman displayed great indifference, and when seen by the police and others, was invariably drunk. All the children were grossly neglected, the house was in a filthy state, and the deceased never seemed to have been attended during its illness. It only weighed 11lbs instead of about 20., the normal weight.

After evidence confirmatory of this statement, Alderman MAINWARING said the Bench intended to give the prisoner the severest penalty in their power, for she richly deserved it. She would be imprisoned for six months.

Nephew's Shocking Discovery

At the Dog and Partridge Inn, Gorton, on Tuesday morning, Mr J F PRICE, the County Coroner, held an inquest touching the death of William BOWKER (49), outdoor labourer in the employ of the Gorton District Council, and lately residing at 4, Garden-place, who was found dead at his home on Sunday evening.

Deceased was stated to be a heavy drinker who often went on the spree. He lost his situation, and his nephew on going to Garden-place on Sunday evening, found his uncle hanging from the bedpost by his scarf. He was quite dead. — The jury returned a verdict that deceased committed suicide, there being no evidence to show what the state of his mind was at the time.

Mr Sidney SMELT, city coroner, held an inquest, on Thursday, on the body of William BUCKLEY, a carter, 54 years of age, late of Dyson-street, Newton Heath.

On Tuesday evening, BUCKLEY fell from the front of a lurry which he was driving along Oldham-road, near the Osbourne Theatre, and was run over. He was picked up and taken to the Royal Infirmary, where he was sufficiently conscious to give his name. His injured were attended to, but as there was no room to spare at the Infirmary the poor fellow was removed first to the Guardian's offices at New Bridge-street, and then to the Crumpsall Workhouse Hospital, where he was admitted.

It was found that he was suffering from a fractured rib and a cut head, from the effects of which he grew worse and died on Wednesday morning. The deceased, who was employed at Messrs BELLHOUSE's timber yard, in Hulme Hall-lane, had been as far as Timperley and back with his lurry on the day he met with the accident, but there was no trace of drink upon him. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

A Gang of Sunday Gamesters Neatly Caught

At the rear of Elizabeth-street, Openshaw, is a great piece of waste land or "croft," as it is styled, and on the edge of this stands some unoccupied property, old and dilapidated, which has been condemned by Manchester Corporation as unfit for tenancy. This place was the scene of a fracas between a number of young men and the police on Sunday, there being something like a riot caused over a raid which two Openshaw policemen made on a gang of Sunday gamblers who were surprised in one of these houses, and three of them were arrested. These three persons, named Richard DURHAM, Richard RYAN, and Peter CASSIDY, were brought up at the City Police Court on Monday, and it is likely that others of the party will yet be brought before the court.

Constable POINTON, in giving evidence against the prisoners (who denied the charge), said that at a quarter to three o'clock on Sunday afternoon he and another officer took the three prisoners into custody, and charged them with using an unoccupied house for the purpose of playing a game of chance for money in Elizabeth-street. In describing the circumstances of the arrest, the constable said they managed to get near the house, although a look-out was kept, by creeping close to a blank wall, and suddenly came upon the prisoners, effecting a complete surprise.

As soon as the young men realised they were discovered they made a dash for liberty, and a number escaped by rushing upstairs and kicking out the glass and framework of the front bedroom window. The two officers managed to secure three of the men, however, and were proceeding to take them to the police station when they were beset by a gang of men. The croft backed Gorton-lane on one side, and they had some trouble in getting the prisoners to the lock-up.

By the Presiding Magistrate: How do you know these men were gaming? Witness: I saw money pass between some of them, and when they saw us they made a grab for the money that they had put down on a square of cardboard. They were playing a game called "Banker." — Questioned by DURHAM, witness said in reply: I saw you amongst the gamblers, and I saw you run out of the house into the back kitchen. — DURHAM: I had only just come out of the house. Hadn't I a book in my hand? Yes, I saw a book in your hand. — I had no money. How could you see me gambling if I had no money? — The Presiding Magistrate: It does not always follow that a man without money does not gamble. — DURHAM: I had only just walked into the house when the constable came in.

By CASSIDY: Did you find any money on me? — Witness: I did not, but you were gambling. — Constable COTTRILL (114C) said he was in company with the last witness, and they succeeded in surprising the gamblers, and arrested the three prisoners. There was a house nearly full of them. Some escaped by smashing the bedroom windows, and others by the rear of the premises. When they were escorting their prisoners across the croft they were attacked by a gang of men with stones and bricks. They were not hit, but were lucky to escape. — The Bench, after consultation, fined the prisoners 2s 6d and costs.

A Mysterious Affair
The fact that a man was walking about with his waistcoat adorned with a couple of watch chains is not prima facie evidence that he has stolen them. One would rather presume that a man who possessed stolen property would not so flaunt it. It proved dangerous in the case of John Daniel ELLIOTT, who was seen in Oldham-street a few days since by Constable RINE. The constable noticed, in addition to the two chains, that the man's watch pocket was bulky, and he arrested him with a couple of gold watches on him.

One of them corresponded with the description of a watch and chain stolen from the house of James ANDERSON, tobacconist, Gorton-lane, West Gorton, on August 6. Mr ANDERSON was communicated with, and he identified the articles as his property, though he could not say how they were stolen. Prisoner denied having stolen or received them knowing them to have been stolen. As a matter of fact, he said was in gaol when the robbery was alleged to have been committed. He was remanded for a week.

Extraordinary Evidence

At the Dukinfield Police Court on Thursday, John TAYLOR, licensee of the Bridge Hotel, King-street, was summoned for selling intoxicating liquors to a drunken person on the 18th instant. Mr George HEATHCOTE, instructed by Superintendent CROGHAN, prosecuted on behalf of the police, and Mr H BOSTOCK, instructed by the Dukinfield Licensed Victuallers, and Wine and Beersellers Association, defended. At the request of Mr HEATHCOTE the witnesses on both sides were ordered out of court.

Mr HEATHCOTE, in opening the case, said that at a quarter to nine o'clock on Monday evening, the 18th inst, Constable DALE was asked to come down to a shop at the bottom of King-street by a person named GOULD. He went there, and found a man named Ralph DEARDEN threatening to break the windows of the shop. He was under the influence of drink, but not too far gone to be unable to take of himself. The officer asked DEARDEN to go away, and he left the place quietly. The next morning a complaint was lodged with the police that DEARDEN, although he was ——.

Mr BOSTOCK objected and said his friend knew perfectly well he could not relate anything that occurred the following morning.

Mr HEATHCOTE said that in consequence of a complaint the police made enquiries, and found that after leaving GOULD's shop DEARDEN went into the Bridge Inn kept by the defendant TAYLOR about ten past nine o'clock and was served with some whiskey. At a quarter to ten o'clock, DEARDEN's wife went into the public-house and saw her husband sat in the tap-room with a glass in front of him containing whiskey. He was nodding and she tried to arouse him, but failed to do so. She went out but returned again in a few minutes to see if she could get him out. Whilst in the tap-room the landlord's daughter came into the room, and Mrs DEARDEN complained to her that he had been served with drink although he had had enough. The daughter said they would get him out.

The barman, a man named BENNETT, took hold of DEARDEN, and was helping him down the steps into the back-yard when he fell, he being in a helpless state of drunkenness, and pulled BENNETT down with him. A man named BRENNAN from the tap-room came to BENNET'T's assistance, and they got DEARDEN to his feet. He was afterwards taken home by the two men and Mrs DEARDEN. Only about half an hour elapsed between DEARDEN entering the house and being taken away.

In consequence of complaints enquiries were made next day by the police which resulted in the evidence for the prosecution being obtained. On the landlord's daughter being seen by Inspector DUTTON, she admitted that DEARDEN had been there, and had to be taken out of the house in a helpless state. She also admitted that he was served, but said had she known his condition he would not have been served. This was the case he had to lay before the Bench. The Bench were aware that the police could not be watching everywhere, and when what they considered bona fide complaints were made, they were bound to investigate them, and if they thought there was a case to bring the facts before the Bench.

Mrs DEARDEN was called by the prosecution. She said her husband was "nowty drunk," but not speechless. She asked for him to be put out of the Bridge Hotel because she wanted to get him home, and was afraid he might carry out his threat to smash her father's shop window. She was living at the shop, and apart from her husband. On the following day she made a statement to the police, and signed it as correct. She, however, denied telling the police her husband was drunk. She did not tell Miss TAYLOR that he was partly what drunk when he entered the house, and that she had a good mind to fetch the police. She did not tell Inspector DUTTON that when they got her husband in the back-yard he was helplessly drunk.

Mr BOSTOCK interposed, and said his friend Mr HEATHCOTE was treating his own witness as hostile. The Clerk said he had a right to call the attention of the witness to her statement, and ask her reasons for contradicting it now. Mr BOSTOCK said the charge was selling whisky to a drunken person. Up to the present the evidence, even for the prosecution, was that DEARDEN was not drunk. Alderman BEELEY pointed out that there was the evidence that her husband was "nowty drunk.” That would be sufficient for a common-sense person.

Mr HEATHCOTE: Did you go into the tap-room of the Bridge Hotel and find your husband drunk? — Mrs DEARDEN: No, he was not drunk. — Was he nodding? No. — Did you sign this written statement made to the police? Yes, but I was excited. — You were not pressed to give this information, were you? No reply. — It was written in your presence and you signed it? Yes. — Has someone spoken to you before coming to court? No.

Mr BOSTOCK: Up to the police coming to you, was there a word said about your husband being drunk? No, and he was not drunk. — Who came to you about making this statement which you have signed? Inspector DUTTON and Constable DALE. They asked me to make a statement as to what I knew. — Did the inspector tell you that your husband was drunk? The policeman did. — Were the policemen intimidating? Yes. — They struck terror into your little heart, and upset your nerves? — (Laughter.) I have never been right since. — When your husband came out of the Bridge Inn, was he drunk? No; he had some, but was not drunk. — A few years ago he had an accident in the pit? Yes. — And ever since that he has been weak on his legs? Yes. — You swear that he was not drunk? I do.

Thomas BRENNAN, Combermere-street, collier, said he was in the Bridge Hotel when DEARDEN came in at a quarter to nine o'clock. He called for a glass of whiskey, and was served by the waiter, BENNETT. Mr BOSTOCK said he did not deny the man was served with intoxicating liquor. Witness said in his opinion DEARDEN was sober enough when he came in. He did not become excited until his wife came.

Mr HEATHCOTE produced a written statement made to the police, and signed by the witness, in which he was said to have stated that when DEARDEN came in he had had drink. He denied telling the inspector that. The inspector asked him if he thought DEARDEN had had drink, but was fit to be served, and he replied, "Yes, you can put that down." He never told the inspector the man was helpless drunk. The Clerk said the statement was in, and they could take it for what it was worth.

Mr BOSTOCK: You say there are things in the statement which you never told the inspector? Yes. — Amongst others that he was helpless drunk? I did not say that. — That is the inspector's invention? Yes. — Whenever you said anything which did not suit the inspector, he said something to you, and put it down, that would suit him? Yes. — (Laughter.) — You say DEARDEN only became excited when his wife appeared on the scene? Yes. — That is not an unusual thing is it? — (Laughter.) — When DEARDEN came into the tap-room was he a sober man? Yes. — Did he sit down and give order like a sober man? Yes.

Albert HALL, 53, Church-street, next door to DEARDEN's, stated that on the 18th, at about six o'clock, he saw DEARDEN coming along the street from his work. He was then all right. He saw him between half-past eight and nine o'clock the same night in King-street. He was not drunk. On the 19th Inspector DUTTON came and asked him to make a statement. He did so, and signed it as being correct.

Mr HEATHCOTE produced the statement, and the witness denied saying DEARDEN was drunk at six o'clock. He did say that at 8.30 he "looked drunk," because he was shouting. Mr BOSTOCK: You say the man was not drunk? Yes.

Annie HALL corroborated her husband's statement. When she told the police DEARDEN was not drunk Constable DALE said he was drunk. — Mr BOSTOCK Whatever appears in the statement written by the police, DEARDEN was not drunk? No.

Alice TAYLOR, daughter of the defendant, said she saw DEARDEN enter the house and go down into the taproom. In her opinion he was not drunk. His wife afterwards came to fetch him, and he went out straight enough. On the following day Inspector DUTTON and Constable DALE came to the house, and she made a statement to them.

The Clerk observed that the police should not take statements from the defendant's people and then use them for the prosecution. Mr BOSTOCK said that this was the very thing he objected to. It was evident that the police went upon a fishing expedition. The Clerk: They had no right to go. Mr BOSTOCK: They ought to have said they wanted information for a certain purpose. Mr HEATHCOTE: They were told it would be wanted for a prosecution. Mrs DEARDEN: Yes, the day after. The Clerk: If they did not tell the defendant's daughter they were going to institute a prosecution, then they had no right to take any statement from her.

Mr BOSTOCK: When the police came to your house did they say they wanted certain information for a prosecution? — Miss TAYLOR: No. — Did they say a single word about proceedings being taken? No. They seemed to be joking about it. — (Laughter.)

Constable DALE was next called, and stated that at a quarter to nine o'clock he saw DEARDEN in King-street near Mr GOULD's shop. He was then drunk. Mr GOULD told witness that DEARDEN had threatened to smash his shop windows, and he (the officer) cautioned him about it. On the following day, in consequence of complaints he made inquiries, and went to the Bridge Hotel with Inspector DUTTON. A conversation took place ——.

Mr BOSTOCK: I object; this is a fishing expedition. — (Laughter.) Mr HEATHCOTE: Was the defendant TAYLOR told he would be reported? Yes. The Clerk: You had no right to do it. Mr HEATHCOTE: Was the licensee present when the conversation with Miss TAYLOR took place Yes.

Alderman BEELEY: I wish to know if the licensee was perfectly aware of the business you were about; whether any information had been obtained from the daughter previous to the licensee being spoken to. Constable DALE said they got the information before the licensee was told he would be reported. Mr BOSTOCK: A most improper and irregular thing to do.

Alderman BEELEY: Did you tell them for what purpose you were seeking this information? Did you warn them there would be a prosecution? Constable DALE: The inspector did all the taking. — (Laughter.)

Mr BOSTOCK: You did not say anything to DEARDEN that night about his being drunk? — DALE: No — If he was so drunk, why did not strain him? — Do you think it my duty to watch people about this street? — The Clerk: When they are drunk it is. Mr BOSTOCK: What do we pay you for? (Laughter.) Alderman BEELEY: We do not keep policemen to watch drunken about the road. We have got something else to do with our money.

Mr BOSTOCK: You say complaints were made about this man? — DALE: Yes. — And you did not consider it your duty to watch him? — No. — Would you not have followed him if you considered him was drunk? — Not if he went away quietly, as he did. — What became of you after DEARDEN went in the direction of the Bridge Inn? — I went up King-street. — Sauntered up? I shall not answer that; if you will ask me a civil question I will answer you.

Superintendent CROGHAN told the witness to answer the solicitor's questions. — The Clerk: And in a civil manner.

Mr BOSTOCK: The father-in-law of DEARDEN did not complain of any drunkenness, did he? No. — Have you got Mr GOULD here today? I have not. If you were satisfied on the night of the 18th that DEARDEN was drunk, why did you and the Inspector go and make inquiries on the following day? Tell me that. Because I did not see him go into the Bridge Inn. — Was not it not because you knew his condition? No. I was satisfied about his condition that night. — What led you to believe he was drunk? Because he was staggering all over the road.

Inspector DUTTON next gave evidence, and spoke to going to the Bridge Inn on the 19th and seeing the licensee and his daughter. He told them he had come to make enquiries about a man named DEARDEN, who was there in a very drunken state on the previous night. Mr TAYLOR said he did not see him. Miss TAYLOR said, "Oh yes, the man whose wife came for him. To save any bother I asked a man named BENNETT to get him out." He asked her what state DEARDEN was in, and she said "Oh, he was helpless." He next asked her what drink he had been served with, and she said "One glass of whisky, and if I had seen the state he was in, he would not have got that." During this conversation, the landlord was present, and witness told him he should report the matter.

Mr BOSTOCK: Why did you go to the house? To make enquiries about a complaint. — From whom did you receive a complaint? Constable DALE. — When did you receive the complaint? At 12.30 on the 19th, the day following the offence. — When did you first learn there was an allegation against this man's character? Then. — When was he reported? On the 19th. — Was that after you had been to the Bridge Inn? Yes. — I thought so; by whom was he reported? By myself. — Not Constable DALE? No. — So that I may take it you went to the Bridge Inn on a fishing expedition? You may take what you like; I went there to make inquiries.

Do you not think it would have been more straightforward had you said to the landlord, "Now I am making these inquiries for a certain purpose?" No. — You don't? No. — You think that is a proper way to treat a licensee? Yes, I do. — Very well, that is your idea? I told him what I had come about. — How long did the interview last? Five or six minutes. — Did you make a note of the conversation at the time? You have my evidence there. Mr HEATHCOTE has got it. — Did you make a note of it at all, sir? Yes. — When? That day. — At the interview in the house? No, certainly not. — Why is it necessary to take down the written statement of other people and not of the licensee and his family? I cannot say why I should do.

This was the case for the prosecution.

Mr BOSTOCK then addressed the Bench for the defence, and submitted upon the evidence submitted there was no case for him to answer. His friend had thought fit to call certain witnesses, and he must take the responsibility on his own shoulders, but having adopted that course, what was the evidence before the Bench. It all tended to show that DEARDEN was not in a state of drunkenness at the time alleged, and that being so, there was no case for him to answer.

Alderman BEELEY said that so far as the Bench were concerned they had persuaded themselves that this man was drunk. Mr BOSTOCK: Do I understand the Bench have made up their minds that the man was drunk? The Clerk: Not at all until they have heard your side. Alderman BEELEY: Up to the present, so far as we can judge of the evidence, and until you have shown us something else, the evidence is that the man was drunk. The Clerk: They think you have a case to answer.

Mr BOSTOCK pointed out that the charge was for having sold intoxicating liquor, to wit, whiskey to a drunken man, so that the Bench must be satisfied of two things, firstly that DEARDEN was drunk, and secondly that at the time he entered the Bridge Inn and was served he was drunk. The charge was simply with selling it. If DEARDEN were sober at the time he entered the public-house, and subsequent to being served with intoxicating liquor he became drunk, the licensee would not be liable upon the offence of selling. The Clerk: If he were drunk and you served him you would be liable.

Mr BOSTOCK said in a case of this kind the onus was on the police. They had heard the way in which the police had gone about obtaining the written statements of the witnesses. He did not care what they told the police, the real question which the Bench had to consider was what those witnesses had stated upon oath in the box that morning. Everyone of them, with the exception of the police of course, had stated that DEARDEN was not drunk, and he asked the magistrates to dismiss the case.

Henry GOULD, tobacconist, King-street, father-in-law of DEARDEN, was called, and spoke to DEARDEN coming to his shop and threatening to smash his windows. The man was, in his opinion, sober, but somewhat excited about his wife, from whom he was parted. — In reply to Mr HEATHCOTE, witness denied telling the police it was a shame that the licensee should let a man like DEARDEN get so drunk in his house, and the police ought to investigate it.

Alice TAYLOR was the next witness, but the Clerk ruled that Mr BOSTOCK could not call her, because the prosecution objected, and she had already given evidence and been cross-examined by Mr BOSTOCK. Mr BOSTOCK said the course he had decided to adopt was this. He had already called an independent witness, and if that did not satisfy the court he would leave the case there and take his own course afterwards. The Clerk: That is your case? Mr BOSTOCK: Yes.

Alderman BEELEY then said the Bench were quite satisfied this man was drunk. It was not necessary to state their reasons for that decision. The written statements signed by the witnesses left no doubt whatever upon the subject, and whether there had been perjury or not they could all judge between the lines. They were there to exercise as far as they know their own judgment on a matter of this sort. Those who has signed the statements had in some points corroborated what was contained therein, and other parts they had denied. If that stood alone they might have been satisfied to give the defendant the benefit of the doubt; but there was the fact that DEARDEN had to be helped out of the house, a fact which had never been denied. The assumption was that the man was drunk.

They, however, felt that the licensee should not be unduly blamed at a time like that, the Wakes, and perhaps the condition of the man was not noticed. They had no hesitation about his being drunk, and inflicting a small fine they made no allegation about the conduct of the house. They felt they would not be doing justice if they did not impose a fine of 5s and costs. The Clerk: The license not to be endorsed? Alderman BEELEY: No.

Mr BOSTOCK said he should advise his clients to appeal the case. Alderman BEELEY said that was the reason why he had said what he had, were there was so much money.

Mr BOSTOCK said the money was on the other side. His clients went in for what was right, and it was not a matter of money at all. Alderman BEELEY: It is all right so far as we are concerned.

Ralph DEARDEN was next charged with being drunk on the licensed premises of the Bridge Inn, and pleaded not guilty. — Constable DALE was called, and repeated the evidence that DEARDEN was drunk on the night of the 18th. — For the defence five witnesses were called, who swore that he was not drunk. — In reply to the Bench, Superintendent CROGHAN read three previous convictions against DEARDEN for being drunk and disorderly, malicious damage, and felony. — The Bench imposed a penalty of 2s 6d and costs.

The magistrates were Aldermen Thos BEELEY, J KERFOOT and J PICKUP.
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