Liverpool Mercury
Thursday, 29th August, 1895

A Wallasey Assault Case

Relenting Magistrates

At the Wallasey Police Court, before Messrs. H. Pooley and Richard Steel, yesterday, Joseph Sutton, market gardener, Wallasey Road, Wallasey, was summoned for assaulting Herbert Sayle, cab owner, 1, Granville Terrace, Wallasey, on the 13th inst., and further with using threatening language to him on the same date. Mr. A.F. Moore prosecuted, and Mr. H.F. Neale defended. Mr. Moore stated that about eleven o'clock on the morning of the date mentioned the complainant, who rented the stable at the Ship Inn, Wallasey, was washing his cab in the yard, when the defendant came up, and, taking defendant's cap off, threw it into a pool of water. He took his coat off, and followed Sayle round the cab, swearing at him, and threatening to strike him. Defendant would have struck complainant, but was prevented by two men who were standing by. Sutton afterwards went to a tub of water, and, putting his hand into it, threw some of the liquid over complainant. Sayle gave corroborative evidence, and examined by Mr. Neale, denied that he was the aggressor. -- Thornley Lester, a carter, of Wallasey, gave evidence in support, of the complainant's case. -- For the defence Mr. Neale submitted that no assault had been committed. Had defendant wished to assault complainant he had every opportunity of doing so. -- William Clywd, a joiner, said that he was passing the yard, when he heard high words between Sayle and Sutton. Witness and another man, named Smith, persuaded Mr. Sutton, who was very excited, saying "Hit me; I am not afraid of you. That is just what I want you to do."

In answer to Mr. Moore, witness said that when he went into the yard defendant had his coat and vest off. He invited Sayle to come into the field and have a proper "set to." -- The bench said they found both charges proved, and another charge against the defendant of using threatening and abusive language to Michael Mullin, station master at Wallasey Station on the 26th July, was then heard.  -- Mr. Moore said that on the date mentioned Mr. Mullen had occasion to use Sayle's cab, when defendant rode up in a cart, and remarked to Sayle, "You ought to be ---- well drummed out of Wallasey for carrying such a rotten Irish -------- as that".

Defendant then went into the Ship Inn, and it would be proved that he used abusive language against complainant there. There had been trouble with the man before, and Mr. Mullen felt bound to ask the bench to bind over the defendant to keep the peace. Witnesses proving the complainant's case having been heard, Mr. Neale submitted that the language used by the defendant had been greatly exaggerated, and called a witness, whose version of the affair differed greatly from the story put forward by the prosecution.-- The Chairman said the bench found Sutton guilty of the assault, and for that he must go to jail for seven days, with hard labour. For using threatening language to Sayle defendant must be bound over and also pay the costs, and in Mullen's case the defendant must pay the costs. -- A woman at the back of the court -- supposed to be Mrs. Sutton, the defendant's wife -- became greatly agitated on hearing the sentences, and called out it was "a shame," and that it was "only spite." She was removed by the police.  The defendant paid the costs, and was removed in custody, but subsequently Mr. Neale and Mr. Moore appealed to the bench to reconsider their decision -- Mr. Neale said his client had a wife and three young children; and Mr Moore said that while the complainant wanted protection and the infliction of a penalty, he did not wish a man in a respectable position to be sent to prison. -- The bench ultimately gave the defendant the alternative of paying the maximum fine of £5 for the assault.

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