Fracas between the police and military, 1871

Courtesey the Illustrated Police News
Liverpool Mercury Sept 12th, 1871

Fracas between the Military and Police

Yesterday Captain John S. BATES, Corporal JACKSON, and Private Thomas CLARKE, of the 4th Dragoon Guards, with Edward L. JONES a civilian were charged before Mr RAFFLES at the borough police court with assaulting the police. Mr CLINT occupied a seat on the bench during the hearing, Mr DAVIES prosecuted, Mr SOWTON defended the three first named prisoners.

Thomas STANLEY, brassfounder, 9 Kent St said that at 12.30 am on Sunday he was going along Everton Rd with two young ladies, when they met the soldiers coming arm in arm. Witness and his companions went into the roadway, the soldiers cross and met them. CLARKE who was the centre soldier said to one of the ladies "Polly are you my wife?" She did not answer, and CLARKE loosed the others arms and took hold of her around the waist. Witness told him to let go, he loosed his hold of her, got hold of the witness and hit him on the head. Witness had a sunshade in his hand CLARKE got hold of it and hit witness over the head with it. CLARKE then ran and witness ran after him and caught him, when CLARKE got hold of him by the throat and almost choked him leaving marks on his neck. Witness caught him again and held him on the floor until the police came. The policemen brought CLARKE to where there was a crowd, CLARKE knocked down the policemen and witness and made his escape. Witness went to Prescot St bridewell and saw the prisoner JACKSON sitting on the floor very tipsy

Cross-examined, Witness was very sober. He had been home at 10pm and was asked to escort the daughter of his landlord home from her employment, which was at a boot shop which closed at 12. CLARKE was in handcuffs at the bridewell cursing and swearing.

Mary Ann WILLIAMS the young woman who was assaulted, and her sister Elizabeth WILLIAMS gave corrobative evidence of the assault by CLARKE.

Police-officer 368, KEATING, said he heard a whistle blown and went to Everton Rd. He saw 473 holding CLARKE. As witness got into the crowd JACKSON who was drunk struck him on the head. Witness then got hold of JACKSON and 608 came to his assistance, they took him into a garden and, and 632 and 473 took charge of the gate. JACKSON struck 608 several times in the mouth and face. Captain BATES was standing on the coping of the rails in front of the garden and called out, "People of Liverpool, will you stand this will you have one of our men taken by these --------police?, If they take him to the bridewell we will call out the guard and sack the place" No 608 said to Witness, "Keep your eye on him" and directly afterwards Captain BATES was then seen to throw something at one of the policemen, which struck 608 on the forehead and knocked him down on his knees. Captain BATES then jumped over the railings, caught witness and 608 by the collar and tried to separate them from JACKSON, calling the police, "-------- flunkies" At the bridewell Captain BATES raised his hand and several policemen restrained him

Cross-examined, there was about 400 to 400 present, and violent expressions were used by them, both by common roughs and respectable persons. The police were not violent in holding JACKSON down. He was held down in the bridewell but no more force was used than was requisite. Witness was struck by someone in the crowd in the side and was very unwell afterwards.

Police officer 632, gave evidence as to Captain BATES threatening to knock 608's head off and calling upon the crowd to come into the garden. Ist class-officer 608 SIMPSON, who had his forehead plastered said he saw JACKSON strike 308 on the head, and ordered him to be taken into the garden. JACKSON struck witness four times on the mouth and nose before witness succeeded in getting him on his back. There was another soldier in the garden who kicked witness about the body. The witness gave corrobative evidence on Captain BATES calling upon the "People of Liverpool" and to seeing strike witness with a missile, after which witness was insensible for a few minutes. The next thing witness saw Captain BATES holding 368 by the collar and saying, "Kill the ---------sergeant, he is drunk" referring to witness.

James NICHOLSON, dock porter said he saw a police officer take CLARKE into custody and CLARKE and two other soldiers pushed the policeman about, they got on the floor scuffling and two others came up and began to kick the policeman. Witness told them to let the man alone, and got a crack on the head with a whip. Witness assisted to carry JACKSON to the bridewell. The was no violence at all used by the policemen.

Police officer 473 spoke to the young lady complaining to him about CLARKE'S conduct, his taking CLARKE into custody and CLARKE getting away from him.

1st class police officer 847, said before reaching the crowd he saw CLARKE running, and being informed that he was wanted, told CLARKE to go with him quietly, CLARKE who was drunk did so at the time, but afterwards tried to get away struck witness on the lip and was rescued by the crowd. Witness caught him again by the barracks and asked the sentry to open the gates, as he was a policeman and had a prisoner, the sentry refused to open the gates. The crowd attempted to rescue CLARKE who was afterwards given into custody at the barracks. Witness went with Sergeant Major HARRINGTON to a garden in Everton Rd, and HARRINGTON told JACKSON to behave himself and go with the officers which JACKSON did. 608 told witness that Captain BATES had assaulted him with a brick, 368 also said the same. Captain BATES refused to go to the bridewell, although witness offered to send a cab, and struck one of the policemen. After a while the captain gave his word as a gentleman and went quietly to the bridewell. At the top of the street JONES came up, and kicked witness behind several times, and struck him several times on the head.

Cross-examined, Witness never saw such an agitated crowd, they were agitated at the police getting abused. There were many respectable people in the crowd

Police officer 298 corroborated the evidence as to the assault by JONES.

Police officer 463 John CASHEN gave corroborated evidence as to Captain BATES'S conduct in the garden, and said the gentleman kicked him on the shins and attempted to throw him down by wrapping his legs around witness's.

Police officer 330 corroborated the evidence as to the assault on 368 and 608 by Captain BATES

Alexander CASEY of 58 Clarence Grove, said, the crowd were annoying the police to so great an extent that he took a cab to Prescot St, Station to get assistance. He afterwards saw Captain BATES and JACKSON at the bridewell. JACKSON was shouting or moaning for a doctor. Cross-examined, There was no violence used to either of the prisoners.

Thomas PRICE, surgeon of the East Dispensary, said he dressed 608's forehead, on which was an incised wound. This ended the case for the prosecution.

Mr SOWTON intimated that the defence would be chiefly directed to the question of Captain BATES'S conduct in the matter, he would bring evidence to disprove that already given in relation to that gentleman's action

The following witnesses called :-

John Mathew JONES, medical student, 71 Everton Rd, said he saw three policemen with JACKSON and another soldier in the garden in question. He did not see Captain BATES throw anything but, there was a small shower of stones from the crowd.

Henry Alexander BUCKLEY, cotton salesman, 73 Everton Rd, saw the policemen with JACKSON inside the garden, and heard Captain BATES remonstrate with the policemen, saying if they would allow him he would send for a picket and have JACKSON taken to the barracks. This they refused to do and one policeman rushed at the captain and got hold of him, saying they would take him too. Another policeman got hold of him by the back of the neck. No stones were thrown, the captain was doing nothing.

Joseph BYRNE, a manager to Messers BUSBY, said he saw a crowd of 25 to 30 persons about 11.15pm in Everton Rd. A policeman came up behind JACKSON and drew his staff and struck him twice on the neck. Witness believes 330 was the man. JACKSON turned around, and the policeman got him by the neck, there was a tussle and both went down, the soldier under most, the policeman then dragged the soldier, or the soldier the policeman, into the garden. Witness went to the barracks and knocked the officers up for assistance, as he really thought the soldiers were getting abused. Witness heard a gentleman, who he believed was Captain BATES, tell a man to go for a picket , before witness went. When witness returned he saw Captain BATES being taken into custody by the police. There would be about 150 persons present.

Corporal William BELLEW, of the 4th Dragoon Guards, said he and Corporal JACKSON were going along Everton Rd about 12 on Saturday night, and in front of them they saw Private CLARKE, who was having a disturbance with a young woman. They called for a policeman, witness said if they would allow him he would take CLARKE to barracks, and any charge they would prefer against CLARKE, witness would take. They appeared to assent to this, and he and JACKSON who were both sober, took CLARKE. Policeman 608 came up and, telling them to stop, pulled out his truncheon and hit witness. Witness told the policeman it was against Major GREIG'S wishes for a policeman to interfere with soldiers in charge of an escort, whereupon the policeman called him by opprobrious names. CLARKE then escaped from witness, who tried to make it right with 608, who, witness should imagine was in liquor. Witness asked a volunteer belonging to the 14th Lancashire to go to the barracks to see the orderly sergeant and tell him to send an escort. Captain BATES came down and asked what was the matter, witness told him the policeman has used him in a most violent manner. Captain BATES went into the garden and asked them to allow him to send for an escort. Policeman 608 in the most brutal manner, grasped the captain by the throat and would not let him speak. 608's face was then bleeding from the effects, witness believed, of falling against the railings. The captain did not jump over the railings but was let in at the gate by a policeman with black whiskers.

Cross-examined, CLARKE was not in company with witness and the other corporal. 608 was disgusting in language, brutal in conduct, and under the influence of drink. If any policeman there said the witness was the man who kicked them violently, it was false. Captain BATES did not harangue the crowd as, "People of Liverpool", or throw anything.

Sergeant Major HARRINGTON, 4th Dragoons, said that he was informed of the disturbance, and saw Captain BATES, who told him a corporal had been brutally ill-used. Directly afterwards he saw policeman 608 take hold of the captain by the throat and shake him. Witness asked him why he did that, and the policeman said he would serve the witness the same. Witness got hold of the policeman's arm, and gave it a grip, and witness supposed he thought witness was too strong for him and the policeman let him alone. The captain was saying they ought to be ashamed of themselves JACKSON was inside the garden with 8 or 9 policemen round him, pulling him about like old washerwomen

Cross-examined, JACKSON was perfectly sober. The captain used such language as a gentleman would use when assaulted, the same as witness would.

Captain Shaw HELLIER, 4th Dragoons, said he saw JACKSON in the bridewell, with his hands and legs tied, perfectly sober, and complaining of undue violence used against him, saying they had been pulling him about and throttling him. Witness heard Captain BATES ask for a doctor to be sent for, and was refused. Witness gave JACKSON a very good character, and said CLARKE had a fair character. This witness complained he was treated with rudeness by the bridewell-keeper.

Bridewell-keeper ROACH said that he did not treat Captain HELLIER with any disrespect. The questions the last witness referred to were not put to him [ROACH] but to a police officer there.

George CARLOS, Breck Rd, said he saw about 7 policemen inside the railings of the garden. One of the policemen came out of the house, two of them had hold of Corporal JACKSON, and two were at the gate, but he believed there were more policemen. One of them put his two thumbs in the corporal's neck and witness thought the corporal was insensible

Cross-examined, Corporal BELLEW was in the garden trying to make peace.

JONES who was not represented by an advocate had nothing to say in his defence.

Mr RAFFLES, I hoped when I began this case that I should be able to deal with it summarily, but when I hear such conflicting evidence, on both sides, I do not think I shall be justified, either as regards the soldiers or the police, in deciding it simply on my own hearing. The charge against BATES, if it is made out, is a charge of unlawful wounding, and if he is acquitted on the charge there is the very serious charge of perjury against the police. There fore I do not think I shall be justified in dealing with the matter which may be of a serious consequence to either party, in regards to Captain BATES and the two soldiers. As regards JONES, I shall deal with that summarily and shall fine him 40s and costs or one month. I shall remand the case for depositions to be made out. when they would be sent for trial. Bail was accepted in two sureties at £50 each for Captain BATES and £20 each for CLARK and JACKSON

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