WORKINGTON POLICE COURT.
Before T. S. DOUGLAS, Esq. (chairman), T. PAISLEY, and T. H. DALZELL.
MR. CECIL THOMPSON applied for an occasional license (on behalf of MR. R. MUSGRAVE) for the Cricket Field on the 8th of August. The license was required till 8 in the evening. Superintendant THORNBURROW not objecting, the application was granted.
EDWARD MCGEE and JAMES DORAN, next came up for being drunk. Both pleaded guilty, the accusing officer being SERGEANT ARMSTRONG. EDWARD acted as spokesman, and he seemed to take a great interest in INSPECTOR LANCASTER's hat, which he looked at closely. As he had been up before, he was told to pay 20s. or have 14 days. DORAN was fined 15s, or the fortnight's outing.
GEORGE MCGREEVY, charged with being drunk, was called in vain. His mother-in-law appeared however, and pleaded hard for the case to be put off, or taken in his absence, and she would pay the fine. It was his first offence she said, and he was too much ashamed to come. - Bench said he must come at once, or a warrant would be issued.
Next MICHAEL KEELY, a respectable-looking, well-dressed ironwnorker, was charged by JOHN MARRON, a foreman at the Derwent Works, with assaulting him without any provocation whatever on Friday evening last. MR. CECIL THOMPSON appeared for MARRON and the Company, and asked for a severe penalty. MARRON gave evidence, also PATRICK M'GILL, a witness to the assault. Defendant said he was vexed at having got notice to quit, for which he blamed MARRON, and he admitted pulling MARRON by the collar of his coat and saying "Come along, MARRON; I want you." He had never been before a Court in his life.
Bench said they considered the assault proved, and he must pay L. 2 inclusive of costs.
Next case, JOHN O'BRIEN, King-street, an old man who came in his best Sunday suit, and looked very vexed-like, was charged with having his lodging house in a foul condition and badly ventilated. MR. WARWICK prosecuted on behalf of the Local Board, and both MR. EAGLESFIELD and DR. HIGHET testified to the unhealthy conditon of the house. The Surveyor said that O'BRIEN had covered in the yard space and there was merely an aperture in the middle of the roof of it where air could get in. Defendant said it had been just the same for 25 years past. He had done "no alterations of any kind since DR. FOX directed it."
Bench said the nuisance had evidently existed far too long, and if there had been proper inspection it should have been discovered long ago. Including costs JOHN must pay 35 s.
Next case was an important one. JAMES CLARK, certified manager of the Camerton Colliery, was summoned for having the mine badly ventilated on June 25th, the day of the explosion there. DR. MUTCH of London, who owns the colliery, was also summoned, but did not attend. MR. HENRY BOWES too, the financial agent of DR. MUTCH, had been favoured with a summons, and was in Court looking very serious.
The prosecution was ordered by the Treasury, and MR. ATTER appeared as solicitor. MR. GORDON
FALCON represented the defendants. MR. ATTER said there was no shadow of vindictive feeling or anything of that kind, only they desired to let the public and also the defendants see that acts of Parliament were to be complied with. If defendants admitted their negligence and gave an undertaking not to repeat it, he was prepared to name a sum upon payment of which the prosecution would not be pressed.
MR. OSWALD, Government Inspector of Mines, gave evidence; and ROBERT FLETCHER, a young man who was hurt at the explosion on the 25th was called as witness by MR. FALCON.
Ultimately on the defendants engaging to put up another shaft, and also a fan, the summons against MR. BOWES was withdrawn, and the Bench ordered JAMES CLARK and DR. MUTCH each to pay L. 10 2s. fine, with L. 1 18s costs in each case.
MR. FALCON pointed out that CLARK had been manager about 25 years, and had only lost 3 lives, and during the last 15 years, he had not lost any at all. And it was an exceptionally hot day, he said, on the 25th June.
WILLIAM BURNS, JOSEPH TINNION and CHRISTOPHER MOONEY, all of Great Clifton, were charged by Police-constable 71 with playing pitch-and-toss on the 15th. Defendants all came in their clogs and did a regular "Clifton March" up to the dock. All pleaded not guilty.
Police-constable 71 said he watched them a short time till a man shouted, "Police, lads." MOONEY shook a red head at Police-constable 71 and said, "You cud'nt see us through 14 nessy's cud yu?" Asked if they had any witnesses, BURNS said, "Yes, laal WEDGWOOD lad". But he was "ower laal" to bring to court.
As it was the first offence for any of them, Bench laid on stripes to amount of 10s. each case.
WILLIAM ORE (another drunk case) was next called, but no ORE came. Warrant ordered.
ALEXANDER HUNTER, a lad of 16, was next forward, charged with throwing stones in Lawson-street on the 14th. Police-constable 113 gave evidence. Said he saw ALEXANDER throwing stones, and he said he would throw them at him. He did throw one which hit his foot. Bench said the lad must have been a bad shot, a remark which caused some fun as Police-constable 113 is a regular John Bull. Boy was fined 1s. with 8s. costs in addition.
GEORGE MCGREEVY again called. This time GEORGE responded from the body of the court with a loud "Hallo !" which quite startled the Court. When charged in the dock with being drunk, GEORGE straightened himself up and said "Yes, so I was." He seemed a fine young man, and it is to be hoped he will keep right in the future. He had evidently been having a few glasses to nerve him for the interview with the magistrates. Fined 12s. including costs, which his model mother-in-law promptly paid.
That was all.