A WHITEHAVEN TRADESMAN SENT TO GAOL FOR ASSAULTING A WOMAN
George BLACKBURN, watchmaker, East Strand, was brought up in custody, at the Whitehaven Police-court, on Monday, before C FISHER, Esq. (chairman), and a Bench of magistrates, charged with unlawfully wounding Jane POSTLETHWAITE. - Mr ATTER appeared for prisoner. - Prosecutrix had apparently sustained serious injuries, her head being wrapped up in bandages. She stated that she lived on the Newhouses, and was cousin to the prisoner's wife. On Saturday night she went to his (prisoner') house at Albion-terrace, to see her sister, and whilst there she (witness) interfered in a quarrel between the prisoner and his son. Prisoner struck her in the face with his hand, and he then took up the poker produced, and struck her over the head with it. She was knocked down on the floor, and she remembered nothing more. Her head was very much cut. - Cross-examined by Mr Atter, prosecutrix said she had not taken any drink that day. She did not bite prisoner's hand; she did not get hold of a piece
of iron, which he tried to take from her; and she didn't hit him or scratch his face. She didn't pull hair out of his whiskers; but she got hold of him by the head when he was striking her. Prisoner's wife and son were the only persons present at the time. - By Mr BROCKBANK: Prisoner wasn't sober; he was lying on the floor when she (prosecutrix) went in. - Robert WILSON, plasterer, said that on Saturday night he was attracted by shouting at prisoner's house; and on going to the place he saw the prisoner and the prosecutrix. Prisoner had a piece of iron in his hand, and witness saw him hit the woman two or three times on the head with it. She was standing at the time; he didn't see her down. Witness caught prisoner and held him. The woman was bleeding about the face. - Cross-examined by Mr Atter, witness said the woman might be biting prisoner for anything he (witness) knew. He saw that prisoner had had some little pieces of skin knocked off his face. He did not notice tha!
t any hair had been pulled out of his whiskers. He thought both of them had had drink. - Dr CLARKE, assistant to Dr LUMB, said the prosecutrix was brought to the surgery by a constable, and he examined her. He found that she was suffering from several scalp wounds, and that she had lost a great deal of blood. She was the worse of drink. There were five or six wounds, which had been inflicted by a blunt instrument, such as a poker. The principal wounds were on the top of the head. - Witness examined certain marks on prisoner's face and hands, at Mr Atter's request, and said that the wound on the forehead and behind the ear had been caused by finger nails. He had not examined complainant's finger nails - (laughter); he thought ordinary finger nails would make such marks. The wound on the hand had not been caused by teeth marks; it was only an abrasion of the surface, and there was no indentation. He did not think complainant's injuries would be caused by a fall on a breadpot. !
- PC WHILLANS said he was called to the prisoner's house at nine o'clock on Saturday night, in consequence of some noise. There was a crowd round the door, and on going into the house he saw the prosecutrix with her face covered with blood from wounds recently made on her head. She made a complaint to him, in consequence of which he subsequently apprehended the prisoner and brought him to the station. In reply to the charge of unlawfully wounding Jane Postlethwaite, he said he had wished long for this, and that he wished he had knocked her skull in. Witness afterwards went back to Albion-terrace, and found the piece of iron produced, which Postlethwaite recognised as the poker with which she had been struck. Both prisoner and the complainant were under the influence of drink. - Cross-examined by Mr Atter, witness said prisoner told him that his son gave him the mark he had on his forehead. Witness saw a breadpot in the house, but he did not touch it or otherwise take notice !
of it. There was blood on the floor, but none on the breadpot. - For the defence, Mr Atter pointed out that the evidence given by the woman was different in several particulars to that of the witnesses who had been called, especially in that she said she was not intoxicated, while the medical man and the constable said she was. His (Mr Atter's) client had given him another version of the facts, and he asked the Bench to give it every consideration. The prisoner had been in business in Whitehaven for 20 years; and the prosecutrix, who was his wife's cousin, was in the habit of coming to his house against his will, and endeavouring to get his wife to drink. Prosecutrix was drunk on Saturday when she called at his house. His client was correcting his son, when prosecutrix picked up this piece of iron. There was a struggle for it, and prisoner was hit on the forehead, but whether by the prosecutrix or by his son he was not certain. She got hold of the iron, and he tried to get i!
t from her, and when he did get it, she got his hand into her mouth and bit it. She afterwards got the iron again, and hit him on the forehead and behind the ear with it, and pulled some of his whiskers out. Prosecutrix received her injuries by falling on the bread pot, which was smashed by the fall. - A woman named M'LOUGHLIN volunteered to give evidence on the subject. She said she was in the house, and saw both prosecutrix and prisoner lying on the floor, the former near a broken breadpot. Witness saw prosecutrix catch prisoner by the whiskers and scratch his face; and he struck her with the poker. - Mr Bain thought Mr Atter had better not have called this witness. - The Chairman said the Bench considered the assault a very bad one indeed. Prisoner would be sent to gaol for three months, with hard labour, and in addition would have to pay the costs (20s) or be imprisoned for a further term of 14 days. - The sentence created some little sensation in court.