Stockton Borough Police Court – 8 August 1870
The following cases were heard before Stockton Borough Police Court on Monday 8th August 1870. On the bench were Mr R. Ord (Mayor), Mr W.B. Brayshay, Mr A.C. Knowles and Mr W. Richardson.
Master and Servant – Thomas Tinsley, John McLindon, Henry Hall and Charles Eden were all summoned by Peter Garland, their employer, for neglecting their work on 14th of July. The case was compromised.
Vaccination Prosecutions – John Booth was summoned by Mr R.L. Pearson, relieving officer, for neglecting to have his child vaccinated prior to the 21st April. The defendant’s wife attended and said the child had been vaccinated last Wednesday. The defendant was fined 1 shilling with costs and ordered to ensure that the child is vaccinated at the proper time in future.
William Henderson Cossar was summoned for a similar offence. The defendant said that he had no objection to vaccination but that the doctor, Dr. Watson, had declined to vaccinate his child because he thought it unfit. He had not thought it necessary to obtain a certificate at the time and was unable to do so now because Dr Watson wasn’t available. The Bench thought that Dr Watson was as much to blame as the defendant and awarded costs against the doctor of 6s 6d.
William Teasdale of Station Street was summoned for a similar offence on 22nd April but as he did not appear he was fined 5s. and ordered to pay the costs in his absence.
William Johnson Blanshard also failed to answer a summons respecting his child born on 22nd January. A certificate, purporting to be signed by the defendant’s brother, was handed in by Mr Pearson as being received this morning. The defendant was fined 2s.6d. and ordered to pay costs.
James Ditchburn failed to answer a charge that he had neglected to have his child vaccinated prior to 4th April. He was ordered to pay a fine of 5s. with costs.
Dr Richardson reported that he was aware from the local newspapers that another notice against a man named James Clemmett had expired on Saturday last, and asked whether this child was now vaccinated. Mr Richardson said that Clemmett had since left the town but would be brought before the court again when found.
Drunk and Riotous – John Cowan was charged with being drunk and riotous at the North-Eastern Railway Station on Saturday 6 August. He was fined 5s. with 6s 10d costs or 14 days hard labour in Durham gaol.
PC Heslop charged William Turner with being drunk and riotous in the Market place on Saturday night. The defendant claimed that he was not that drunk as he still knew what he was doing. He was fined 5s with 6s 10d costs or 14 days in prison.
Wm. Burns was also brought up by PC Heslop for being drunk and riotous in the Market place at about 10 o’clock on Saturday night. He was fined 5s with 5s 10d costs or 14 days in prison.
PC Gaines charged John Malone with being drunk and riotous in Prince Regent Street and Hambletonian Yard early on Sunday morning. The defendant, who is a brothel-keeper, was fined 10s. with 5s 10d costs.
James Dodds, an ironworker, was brought up by PC Armstrong for being drunk and riotous on Sunday morning. He was fined 5s. with costs.
Jane Thomas was charged with being drunk and riotous in West Row at two o’clock on Sunday morning. Superintendent Booth said that the parents of the prisoner had been looking for her on Saturday night and found her in a brothel. She had refused to go home with them so he had taken the opportunity to have her locked up. He said that she and several other girls were going wrong in consequence of a dance that was held at the Oxbridge Hotel. The Bench committed her to Durham for 14 days and advised her to change her mode of life.
Mary Ann Rowell was brought up by PC Snowden for indecent behaviour on Thistle Green on Saturday night. The prisoner had refused to walk to the Police Station so, after a struggle, she was eventually transported there in a wheelbarrow. She was committed to Durham for 14 days with hard labour.
PC Cowell charged Susannah Underwood with soliciting prostitution in Bishop Street on Saturday night. The officer reported that he had seen the defendant approach a man in Bishop Street and, after a short conversation had taken place between them, he had followed the pair to Beeches Brown’s Yard where she was apprehended. She was committed to Durham for one month with hard labour.
Wilful Damage – Edward Webster charged James William Spence with wilful damage to his wheelbarrow in Green Dragon Yard on Thursday 4th August. The complainant is a costermonger who has a pitch for his barrow by the entrance to the old theatre. During the interval of the play, the defendant came out of the theatre, called Webster some filthy names and upset his barrow. A mussel and pea hawker who has a stand in the yard said she had seen the defendant upsetting the barrow and that nuts, berries and peas were strewn all over the ground. Superintendent Booth told the court that the defendant has a stall of his own in the same yard which creates just as much of a nuisance as that of Mr Webster, and that the defendant had no right to order the complainant to remove his stall. PC Snowden, who had by then been summoned to the scene, said that he saw the nuts and berries on the ground and that when he got there the defendant and complainant were arguing and calling each other thieves while small boys were pocketing the spilled goods. The defendant was ordered to pay 12s. fine with 9s. costs.
Grievous Bodily Harm – Mary Ann Fish did not appear to prosecute a charge against William Simpson for inflicting grievous bodily harm on the 7th August. Mr Booth said that the couple kept a brothel and that the woman had received a severe cut during the incident. The case was remanded till Thursday 11 August to give an opportunity to apprehend the woman.
Assault – George Henry Basher, a man of colour, was brought up on remand for assaulting Charles Harris, a travelling water-cress gatherer, on 6th August. The complainant did not appear. Superintendent Booth said that the prisoner had been caught in the act of picking the pocket of Harris with whom he had been sharing a bed. It was when he had been thus discovered that the assault took place. It was established that the complainant has since left the town in pursuit of his usual occupation. The prisoner was cautioned and dismissed.
Who Ate the Meat? – Mary Ellen Huntingdon, a lodging-house keeper of Crofton Street, was charged with cutting and wounding Mary Ann Jones on 16th June. Mr Clemmett prosecuted. The complainant said that her and her husband lodged with the defendant. On that Saturday she had purchased some meat and put it in the pantry as usual. About a quarter to eleven o’clock that same night, on going to get the meat out for supper, she noticed a portion of it was missing. She asked the defendant if she knew anything about it. The defendant responded immediately to this by delivering a blow with her fist and then grabbing a glass off the mantel shelf and throwing it at the complainant, hitting her on the head. A neighbour, Marsha Hand, said she was passing the house when she heard a cry of ‘Murder’. Looking in, she saw the complainant being dragged about by the head. Mr Tarleton, a surgeon, gave evidence that Jones had an incised wound, three quarters of an inch long on her head. Police Sergeant Coulthard said that both women were under the influence of drink at the time of the offence. The Bench found the defendant guilty and imposed a fine of 40s. including costs, or one month in prison.
Another Assault – Isaac Dover was charged with assaulting Annie Appleton in the Half Moon Yard on 19th July. He was committed to prison for one month.
We’ll have more cases from the annals of Stockton’s criminal past soon….