1 August 1903

Teething Powders and Salmon as Booty

At the Manchester City Police Court on Monday, John ELLIS and Thomas LOWE were in the dock charged with breaking into a warehouse in a street off Oldham-road, Newton Heath, and stealing several articles the property of Joseph STANDRING, a drysalter.

The offence took place soon after eleven o’clock on Saturday night, and at that time Constable COBLIN, with another officer, was on duty in Poland-street, when they saw the prisoner LOWE standing in the door of the prosecutor’s premises, as if he were doing something with the door. LOWE went in the roadway, and they examined the door, and found the padlock had been broken off it.

The door was opened, and whilst the other officer was taking LOWE into custody, COBLIN went inside. He found ELLIS standing just inside the doorway behind some cases of salmon. He took him into custody, but before he removed away he saw ELLIS had a bag in his hand. He took him to the police station, and the two prisoners were searched. ELLIS had in his possession a jimmy, 5½d in money, three dozen teething powders — (laughter) — and a number of postage stamps. He was charged with stealing these, along with the bag containing 28 small tins of salmon, and he said, “I have nothing to say to you.”

James STRANDRING, drysalter, said he had a warehouse at 26 Poland-street. He locked it up on Saturday afternoon 2.30. The corner door was fastened with the padlock (produced). On Saturday night a police officer came to him and told him what had happened. He went there and found the padlock had been broken, and the front door was opened.

He went inside and found a drawer broken open in the office. The articles (produced), including the teething powders, were missing. He kept salmon like that and he noticed that many tins were missing. He had not seen the bag before. He did not know the prisoners, and they had no right in his place. The door was about nine yards in George Lees-street, and the gateway was in Poland-street. When coming from Jersey-street the door in George Lees-street could easily be seen.

Constable COBLIN, answering the Bench, said that the door had been closed after ELLIS had gone inside, and the padlock put back in its place. The Chairman: That must have been done by someone outside? Witness: Yes.

The magistrates asked the prisoners what they had to say, and ELLIS said “I plead guilty, the other man knows nothing about it.” LOWE pleaded he knew nothing about it. Prisoners were committed to take their trial at the next Quarter Sessions.

About three o’clock on Sunday afternoon the attention of Constable GODDARD was called to Henry FISHER, tool grinder, of 6 Rock-street, Openshaw, who had been injured by a bicycle accident. He was riding a bicycle along Stamford-street, Cockbrook, and when near Hall-street collided with another bicycle ridden by an Openshaw young woman. FISHER was thrown violently on his head, inflicting a nasty wound on the temple. The wound was dressed, and he was able to proceed on his journey.

Heavy Sentence at Ashton

At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, John BARKER was in custody on a charge of being on enclosed premises for an unlawful purpose with intent to commit a felony at Denton on Sunday evening.

William WILD, secretary of the Hope Congregational Church, Stockport-road, said the school was locked up at eight o’clock on Sunday evening. There was a number of mission boxes in the room containing weekly contributions of the children, and which were opened every half-year.

Sergeant McDIARMID deposed to visiting the school and finding the prisoner in the infant classroom attempting to open a cupboard. He was in his stocking feet, and his clogs were in another room. — Prisoner: I had been in the Labourers’ Club, and was drunk, and did not know what I was doing..

The Chairman: It is time the club was closed. Were you drunk when you stole a clock and an overcoat? — I was sober then. — The Chairman: We do not believe a word you say. The magistrates committed the prisoner to three months’ hard labour.

Prisoner Before the Magistrates — Tragic Bedroom Scene

Ever since the tragic occurrence in Orange-street, Ashton, on July 7th, in which an attempted murder was alleged to been committed by an ex-army man named John BRASSINGTON upon a married woman named Mary PARKINSON, the police have been engaged in an endeavour to effect the capture of the man, BRASSINGTON, who made good his escape immediately after the occurrence.

He was traced from place to place, and finally to Burnley, where he was paid a surprise visit by his “trackers” on Wednesday night and arrested, and was received into custody by Detective-sergeant HEIGHWAY, on behalf of the Ashton Police the same night. He was brought up at the Ashton Borough Police Court on Thursday forenoon before Councillor A PARK (in the chair), Councillor W NEWTON, and Mr J McDERMOTT, and charged with attempted murder.

Dr PEARCE said that at seven o’clock on Tuesday morning July 7th, he was called to a house, No. 9 Orange-street, where he saw Mary PARKINSON. She was bleeding from several wounds, one being a clean gash extending from the top of the left ear to the cheek. There was a smaller wound, about an inch in length, in front of the windpipe, just above the breast bone.

There were several cuts on the fingers of both hands as if she had been grasping a knife. There was a wound six inches long and an inch and a half deep in the buttock. She had lost a lot of blood, and was bleeding freely when he arrived. There was no immediate danger, but had there not been first aid at once the probability was she would have bled to death. She had been under his care since, and was now out of danger. Prisoner had no questions to ask the doctor.

Mary PARKINSON, a well-dressed woman, said she was the wife of Charles PARKINSON, who was at present in South Africa, and she resided at No. 9 Orange-street as a lodger with a man named DOWD. She had known the prisoner by sight for some years, but only to speak to for some three or four months. She had been in his company occasionally during the latter period, and had had drinks with him. Several times he had made overtures to her to go and live with him as his wife.

About three months ago she went to live with him at his father’s house, and stayed there a fortnight, and then left. Since then she had met him, and he had repeatedly asked her to go and live with him again, but she refused. He had threatened her on one or two occasions whilst in drink, and said if he couldn’t have her no other man in the world should.

On Monday, July 6th, she was having a glass of port in the Britannia Inn, when the prisoner came in and paid for drinks for the company, and said to Mrs ANDREW, the landlady, “Ask that young lady (meaning witness) what she will have.” Witness replied, “I don’t want anything.” She then drank her port and went out, and prisoner followed her and said, “Why didn’t you have that drink with me?” She replied. “I didn’t feel very well.” He then said, “You’ll _______ well have one with me before the week’s out.” She left him and went home.

About 7 o’clock the following morning she was in bed lying on her right side. She never heard anyone come upstairs, and first she felt herself stabbed in the buttock which awoken her, and she saw the prisoner standing over her with a razor in his hand. She screamed and said, “Oh, my God. Jack, are you mad? What are you doing with that razor?”

He said, “You _______, you haven’t long to live,” and pulled her out of bed by her hair. She struggled with him, and tried to get away, and he pulled her back and knocked her down in a corner. Whilst she was down he got astride her and stabbed her on the left cheek with the razor, and afterwards drew the razor across her throat, across the wind-pipe. She was fortunately wearing two fours of beads and a cross round her neck at the time which warded off the blow.

She tried to prevent him stabbing her, and her hands were cut in consequence. In struggling, the handle of the razor was broken off. About that time she heard someone enter the house, and she screamed out, and Mrs DOWD came upstairs, and she said, “What are you doing up my stairs BRASSINGTON?” Witness then got away, ran downstairs, and went into the next house.

There was a policeman some little distance away, and she called him, and he brought a doctor. Dr PEARCE dressed her wounds, and she was confined to bed for about a fortnight. The wounds had been very painful, and she was still very weak from loss of blood. When prisoner heard Mrs DOWD coming upstairs he hid the razor between the mattress and bed-tick, but he had apparently removed it in the meantime, as it had not since been found. The blanket produced was the one which was covering her when he attacked her, and it was cut through by the prisoner.

Elizabeth DOWD, wife of Owen DOWD, said her husband was ill and had to sleep in a bed downstairs.. About 7 o’clock in the morning of July 7th she heard a knock on the front door, and on answering it she saw the prisoner who said “good morning,” and entered the house and sat down. He said, “What time did Polly come in last night?” to which she replied “about 10.20 pm.” He asked if all the family were at work, and she said “yes.” He then asked her to fetch sixpennyworth of brandy for her husband. She went, and was away about ten minutes.

On her return she saw some of the neighbours beckoning her to be quick. She went into the house, and her husband, who was lying in bed, told her to go upstairs. As she was going upstairs she heard Mrs BRASSINGTON shouting. On getting upstairs she saw Mrs PARKINSON standing in the middle of the room bleeding. She said, “Oh, my God Mrs DOWD. I’m being murdered, and no one to come near me.” She then went downstairs, and witness asked prisoner what he was doing up her stairs.

He then sat down on the bed-side and said, “Shut up, you’re going to have me pinched.” He went downstairs and asked where PARKINSON had gone, and witness told him she had gone to the police office. He said, “Fetch her back, and wash the blood off her.” He then went away, and she had not seen him again until that morning.

The Chief Constable said there was another witness as to prisoner using threats the previous Saturday, but the magistrates did not deem it necessary to call him. Detective Sergeant HEIGHWAY deposed to receiving the prisoner in custody about 8.20pm on July 29th in Burnley. He read over the warrant to him, and he made no reply. The razor handle had been recovered, but the blade had not been found.

Prisoner reserved his defence, and was committed to take his trial at the next Manchester Assizes.

The sad circumstances in connection with the death of a boy named James MATTHEWS, son of James MATTHEWS, confectioner, 278 Oldham-road, Waterloo, were reported to the County Coroner on Friday evening. It appears that the boy had been in the habit of going fishing in the lodge belonging to the Stafford Vale Works, Limehurst-road, and on Friday evening about 7.20 the deceased was seen going towards the lodge by a companion named Norman CLEGG, residing in Buckley-street, who shouted to him to go back.

CLEGG and another boy went to the lodge to fish, and MATTHEWS was next seen walking on the lodge bank near the water. On looking again, CLEGG saw him floundering in the water. He shouted to him to try and swim out, but he could not do so, and an alarm was raised, and a man named George TAYLOR, residing in Oldham-road, Bardsley, walked into the water, which was only about four feet deep, and took the boy out. He appeared to be quite dead, and artificial respiration was tired without avail. Dr BOWMAN was sent for and on his arrival shortly afterwards he pronounced his life extinct.

On Wednesday at the Stalybridge Police Court, before Alderman FENTON (in the chair) and Mr R NEEDHAM, a discharged soldier named Henry WHITE was in custody for having stolen a silk sash from the Ashton and Stalybridge Lawn Tennis Club pavilion.

Mr Gilbert BUCKLEY, solicitor, of Manor House, Mossley, identified the sash produced as his property. He last saw it safe in the lawn tennis club pavilion on the 27th June, and missed it the following Saturday. The sash had been taken from the dressing room. Witness had had the same article stolen before, and jocularly observed that “it must be the tempting colour of the sash that caused it to be taken.”

Wm Henry SHAW, pawnbroker, Oldham-road, said prisoner pawned two sashes including the stolen one with him, saying they were his own property. Witness advanced him 9d. Prisoner said he was pledging the sashes for safety, which was not an unusual thing for a person to do. — Captain BATES: Are you in the habit of receiving silk sashes in pawn from such men as this? — Witness: Yes, when they bring them for safety.

Constable Alex. WELLS spoke as to having received prisoner into his custody on Friday at Stockport. He admitted having stolen the sashes, and also a pair of tan boots, the latter of which he pawned for 2s 6d with Mr SUTCLIFFE, pawnbroker, Stockport-road, Ashton. In answer to the charge prisoner said “I wanted some boots because I had none.”

Captain BATES said the owner of the boots they had not found out. The man was wanted by the Stockport police for stealing the coat he was now wearing. He had been discharged from the army with ignominy, and was brought over from South Africa as a prisoner for assaulting a superior. He was palpably a ne’er-do-well.

WHITE now told the magistrates that late one night he was passing the lawn tennis ground, and wanting shelter he got over a wall. He thought the pavilion was merely a hut, and he got in by means of breaking a window. When inside he stole two sashes, a pair of boots, and a belt. He did not then observe the colour of the boots. He was very sorry.

The Chairman said nothing would appear to be safe where prisoner was. They had no proof that he had been previously convicted, otherwise he have been sent to the sessions for trial. One month hard labour would now be the sentence.

Captain BATES said he did not know what the justices intended to do in regard to the stolen goods, but in his opinion they should be given back to the owners. The Clerk (to Mr SHAW): Have you any application to make?

Mr SHAW came forward and said he expected every possible care, and he pointed out that the police did not report the thefts until several days after the occurrence. Mr SHAW went on to say that prisoner appeared to him as though he was a man who knocked about gentleman’s houses, and it was not uncommon for them to have things given to them.

The Chairman said the decision of the Bench was that the goods should be impounded and returned to the owners.

Singular Charge Against a Boy

A strange-looking boy, aged 16 years, named Joseph A REDDY, was brought up in custody at the Stalybridge Police Court yesterday morning, and charged with threatening to shoot a railway ticket collector named WOOD, at the Stalybridge Joint Railway Station. Detective Inspector OVEN, of Manchester, prosecuted, and briefly outlined the facts before calling evidence. He said the company had no desire to be vindictive, or to press the case against the lad on account of the respectability of his father, and to whom prisoner had been a source of great trouble.

Frederick GARSIDE, ticket collector, said that at 12.25 on Thursday he was near the booking office, where he saw prisoner. Witness told him that he had been instructed to request him to leave, but he took no notice. A few minutes afterwards prisoner went into the booking office, and Collector WOOD tried to induce him to go, but he again declined. Witness took hold of REDDY’s arm, whereupon prisoner put his hand in his right pocket and withdrew the pistol produced. Witness placed his arms around prisoner, and WOOD took the pistol from him and handed it over to witness. He then went down the street, and prisoner volunteered to go to the police office.

They met Constable H S WELLS in the street, and the officer examined the pistol. Prisoner then withdrew a bullet from his pocket, and said “the pistol was loaded with them.” REDDY was then locked up. Prior to this prisoner said to witness, “You were afraid of that bullet, but I will make you afraid of the next one.” In the course of further discussion between Mr OVEN and the Bench, it transpired that REDDY was up to recently in the employ of the Great Central Railway Company, and a short while ago he stabbed with a penknife.

Inspector REDDY, prisoner’s father (for whom the Bench and prosecuting solicitor intimated their sorrow) came forward and said he was ready and willing to furnish the court with all the particulars he could. The lad some time ago had a violent illness in Herefordshire, and had been under the treatment of several doctors. At Blackpool, Dr KINGSBURY attended him, and did his utmost on the lad’s behalf

Owing to his strange behaviour, Mr REDDY inquired of Dr KINGSBURY if he thought the lad was compos mentis, and he said he was merely peculiar. Enquiries had been made as to there the pistol was purchased, and he (Mr REDDY) had found that Mr GREENWOOD, of Ashton, sold such pistols to boys. It was, he considered, a great shame that this should be allowed. — Colonel SIDEBOTTOM: How long has the pistol been in his possession? Mr REDDY: Two or three weeks.

Have you any idea for what purpose he bought it? None, sir, unless like other boys he got it for amusement. Witness further informed the Bench that prisoner had been in the Navy, and he (the father) had been negotiating with a view to his going to Canada. No one knows (added Mr REDDY) what troubles he had brought upon me. — Inspector BAMFORTH here observed that when in custody the lad said he had intended changing the pistol for a six-chambered revolver, the latter owned by a railway clerk.

Prisoner, who spoke very coherently, now said that a booking clerk at the station loaded his pistol, and when he threatened to shoot GARSIDE he had no idea it was charged. Then when the clerk told him, he was putting it back in his pocket when WOOD snatched it off him. It was true that he had arranged to exchange the pistol for a revolver. A clerk in the booking office kept the revolver in his cash drawer.

The Chairman asked if the officials knew anything of this, and Mr OVEN said that was the first he had heard of it, but if the Bench cared he would ask for an adjournment, and in the meantime he would thoroughly investigate the whole affair. The Bench acquiesced, and the prisoner was removed in custody until Monday.

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