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An affray in the dark at Quorn

Loughborough Monitor - 3rd May 1900

Rev R Burton, Messrs C T Parker, F Winser, J S Smith T Whyte, the magistrates at the Loughborough Petty Session on Wednesday, were engaged for some time hearing a series of summonses from Quorn for assault on April 22nd.

Harry Bale, kennelman, and Arthur Ball, factory hand, charged each other with assault; George Knifton, stableman, was summoned for unlawfully wounding Richard Snow, labourer, and Snow was charged with assaulting Knifton.

Mr Moss appeared for Knifton and Bale, and Mr H J Deane for the other two.

Mr Moss, opening the case for Knifton and Bale, said they were servants of the Quorn Hunt, employed at the Kennels, and the former was in the service of Lady Sarah Wilson before she went abroad. On the evening of April 22nd they went for a walk, and about ten o'clock were returning along the footpath from Barrow. After crossing the drive to the Hall, they were assaulted most violently by Snow and Ball. Snow struck Knifton two blows on the head, cutting it open and causing blood to flow profusely. Ball struck Bale twice in the face. It appeared as though the defendants made a mistake as to the parties, but that would be no excuse for their conduct. Bale said he was struck with a heavy instrument by Ball. The defendants ran away directly, and he heard them say, "We've got the wrong party; we thought it was some chaps from Woodhouse".

Cross-examined: Did not run at Ball with a knife, or do anything which could cause him to strike in self-defence. Had no words with either of the defendants. Knifton said that he was quite ill as the result of the blows inflicted on him by Snow. He did not touch Snow, and certainly never used a knife. He believed the defendants made a mistake in them.

Cross-examined: Complainant and Bale had a friend with them, but he went on, and did not see anything of the affair, and had since gone to London.

PC Adcock gave evidence as to interviews with the parties. Mr Deane said the aggression was on the part of Knifton and Bale. His clients were walking home together, and stopped when near the avenue. Knifton, Bale, and another man came along, and scrutinised them closely. They said, "We know who you are," and then Knifton and Bale set on them. Bale had a knife in his hand, and went for Ball with it. Ball ran away. Knifton went for Snow also with a knife, threatening to do for him. Snow put his hand up to stop the blow, and Knifton struck at him, and the knife cut his hand. Snow then struck in self-defence. This story, Mr Deane suggested, was more probable than the extraordinary tale of an unprovoked attack told by Knifton and Bale. Snow gave evidence bearing out this statement, and said that on the following night Knifton wanted to "make it up". Witness refused, showing his injured hand. Knifton replied, "Look what you've done," and showed his head. Knifton then threatened to stab witness and Ball.

Cross-examined; witness was going home, and Ball was going part of the way with him when the affair took place. Did not cut his hand with barbed wire. He made no complaint to the police until Tuesday about being attacked by two men with knives. On the Monday night Knifton said he was sorry the affair had happened, and when witness refused to shake hands he said he would stab the pair of them. Ball said that when Bale was coming for him with a knife he hit him on the face with a stick, and gave him another on the other side. Arthur Strikes gave evidence as to the conversation on Monday evening, and said he heard no threat by Knifton.

The cases against Ball and Snow were dismissed, the charge against Knifton was reduced to one of common assault, and he and Bale were each fined 20s or ten days.

 Submitted on: 2009-07-30
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 441
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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