Crimes: Police officer caught up in a street brawl

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Before Mr WS Rowntree (in the chair) Mr S Savery and Mr W Sayner at the Scarborough Police Court, James Richardson, carter, 29, Hope Street, was charged with having being drunk and disorderly in Newborough Street on September 1st.

Defendant denied the offence.

Inspector Mansfield said the man, at 10.50 on Saturday night, was drunk, shouting and making disgusting noises with his mouth as people passed by.

Defendant was accompanied by two or three sailors and a soldier. He (witness) requested him to desist, but defendant continued to bawl and shout, he placed himself in a fighting attitude, and refused to go away.

Witness took him into custody, when defendant struck at him violently, and the crowd of about twenty persons closed in. He and defendant fell to the floor, and were struggling about four minutes, when he found two sailors and a soldier and prisoner on top of him. When witness got up he was about exhausted and the defendant escaped. Then the crowd began to accuse defendant of being drunk. Witness went in pursuit of defendant, accompanied by Sergeant Stockdale.

He arrested the defendant in Hope Street.

Defendant said that the Inspector struck him first, “and the women saw what was wrong.”

The Inspector said that he grabbed at defendant - he never struck him.

Defendant said he made no noises - his brother did. No man, he urged, could get drunk on a pint and a gill of beer, which was all he had.

Giving evidence on oath he said he and “the boys” were enjoying themselves as usual. The Inspector spoke to him by name, and said he had better get home. He replied: “All right,” and Mansfield told him not to be cheeky. He said that was not being cheeky. One thing begot another, and Mansfield then, he said, instead of grabbing him, hit him on the head where he had been wounded. He (witness) then thought it was about time that he should retaliate. “I can’t stand a lot of being hit on the head,” he said, “and I won’t have it.” He continued that he retaliated, and they fell to the ground, rolling over several times, the crowd closing round.

Cross-examined by the Chief Constable, witness gave an account of where he was on Saturday night - the public-houses and places he visited.

Asked as to who “the boys” were, defendant answered the Chief: “I’ll leave that to yourself - they were sailors and soldiers.”

One of the soldiers, it appeared, was witness’s brother. The others were chums - pals, he knew them by sight, but not by name.

The Chief: have you been advised not to take drink? - No.

The Chief: Doesn’t it affect you?

Defendant admitted that it did if he took a lot, but he never took a lot - never, as a rule, more than a pint.

Replying to other questions, defendant said that when spoken to he went quietly, but others continued making a noise.

A brother of defendant, a soldier, said Mansfield was trying to grab defendant, but he hit him behind the ear. Proceeding he said there was a scrimmage.

The Chief: What did you see of the scrimmage?

Witness said he saw little of it: he walked away, and took no part in it.

He alleged that defendant was sober.

In further examination witness said that defendant had two drinks in the Equestrian, defendant had said that he had one here and two at the Sun Inn - and the party later went to a dance at the Constitutional Club.

After retiring the magistrates decided to convict.

Nothing was known against defendant since a boy, except a case for being an absentee, and he had since been discharged from the Army - last year.

He was fined 7s 6d and given until Wednesday in which to pay.