Whitehaven Woman Assaulted.
"This is a serious case and you will be fined 20s. But as you may apparently
cause a lot of trouble among these young people, in addition you will be
bound over to keep the peace for twelve months."
Thus did Mr. J. JEFFERSON, chairman of the Whitehaven Bench, address Mrs.
Mary EDGAR, of 4, Buttermere Avenue, Seacliffe, Whitehaven, when on Monday the
court found her guilty of assaulting Mrs. Margaret WILLIAMSON, 87, Buttermere
Mr. W. C. SUMNER (for complainant) described the attack as premeditated and
one for which the defendant should be taught a severe lesson. A fortnight ago
he said, a young married couple (son and daughter of the respective parties)
brought their differences before the court and the case was adjourned to
enable the husband to find a home. Within a week the couple were living happily
together but, added Mr. SUMNER, Mrs. EDGAR seemed tpo probe into everyone's
business and if she kept on uttering her slanderous statements it might result
in separating the young couple again. Concluding, the solicitor said he had
had occasion to write to the defendant about her conduct and it was upon that
letter that the present case arose.
Mrs. WILLIAMSON stated that she was at home about six o'clock on March 12th
when the defendant came to the door and shouted, "Where is your ___ Willie?"
Witness went to her and Mrs. EDGAR said, "What do you want sending me a ___
letter." Witness then attempted to close the door and defendant pushing it open
again, grabbed her by the hair and pulled witness out of the house. Mrs.
WILLIAMSON added that when she stooped to pick up a shilling defendant rushed
at her again, pulled her hair and struck her. Witness's husband rushed out and
separated them and witness fainted.
Mr. SUMNER produced a bundle of hair which, he alleged, had been torn from
his client's head by defendant.
When asked to question witness, Mrs. EDGAR broke out with a voluble
explaination of the affair and it was some time before she could be stopped. She
alleged that complainant's family had called her a ___scamp, a rotten sod and
other nasty names, besides threatening her. Defendant said it was a pity her
daughter had married complainant's son.
The Chairman: How do you account for this hair?
"It came out with a comb I should say. (Laughter)
Complainant's husband, Jos. WILLIAMSON, also gave evidence, and P. C.
WARWICK described Mrs. WILLIAMSON's condition when he visited the house shortly
after the incident.
Defendant alleged that the complainant would bruise her arm and cut her nose
on purpose or had received the injuries the night before when there was a
disturbance in the house. Mrs. and Mr. WILLIAMSON had called her "all sorts of
dirty names." Mrs. EDGAR strongly denied the assault and said that when she
went to the house complainant charged her with having made " a lot of ___
slavver about her son." Witness said she could not get a word in edgeways, and
because Mr. WILLIAMSON waved his arms about and threatened her, she went away.
During cross-examination, witness denied bruising complainant's arm and
asserted that members of the WILLIAMSON family often went to get stitches in
their heads through fighting among themselves. "They throw dishes and pans at
each other," added the witness. "and neighbours will have nothing to do with
them because they are well known wherever they go."
Mrs. KELLETT, called by defendant, said Mrs. EDGAR entered witness' home
with blood on her face and hair, "in a very distressed state." (Laughter.)
Replying to Mr. SUMNER, witness admitted she never saw the affair and denied
that Mrs. EDGAR and she went to a whist drive the same night.
When the Bench announced their decision, defendant left the Court in tears.