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Assault Charges, March 1930

Loughborough Echo - 7th March 1930

Percy Botwright, theatrical manager, 8 Saxby Street, Leicester, charged Landon Sorrell, actor, and R.A. Atholl Douglas, playwright, both of Meynell Lodge, Quorn, with committing a common assault upon him.

Dorothy Gladys Botwright, plaintiff's wife, charged Douglas with common assault on her. All the offences were alleged at Quorn on February 28th.

Mr R.S Clifford, jun., pleaded not guilty for defendants on all the charges. Mr Malcolm Moss prosecuted.

Botwright said he was formerly engaged in the Red Laugh Company and had a financial interest in the show himself. Miss O'Mara was to supply the scenery. The production commenced at Port Talbot with no scenery, of which there was never any at any time. The show proceeded to Aberdare, which Miss O'Mara left on the following Sunday.

Witness left on the Tuesday and went to Leicester, proceeding on the Friday to Quorn. Fraser went with him as one of the company purely to talk over the financial agreement, as the company had come to grief, with every intention to be amicable to Douglas.

He followed Douglas to the house and study with Fraser behind. Douglas said: "This business is with Mr Botwright," Fraser then standing on the threshold.

Witness hardly had a chance to say a word before Douglas flew up, accusing him of everything bad and profane.

The Clerk: "A very one-sided discussion".

Miss O'Mara came in, Douglas asking her to revive his memory. As she recounted events in South Wales, Douglas hit witness blows.

"He flew at me just like a tiger and with one holy drive blacked my eye," said witness.

The left shoulder of his overcoat was torn and Miss O'Mara called for 'Chris' (Sorrell), who came in, saying "I'll swing for you," and got witness by the back of the neck and throat. Douglas then struck Mrs Botwright on the left breast. Sorrell locked the front door when she said she would bring the police.

Cross-examined, Botwright had not told Douglas he was a fighting man.

"Have you had a term of No 1 punishment in the army for throwing an officer out of a gunpit?" "I was doing my duty. We were in fighting form in the War. I am a very quiet, peaceful living citizen."

Mrs Botwright said her husband's face was dreadful with the blows rained upon it.

Jesse William Fraser, actor, Clarence Street, Leicester, said he went to see about his money. Botwright was not heated.

P.C Parnwell said Botwright's eye was very bad.

Douglas admitted the assault on Botwright, but he had apologised immediately. He was annoyed at the very sight of the man. "I'm a man with a pretty big vocabulary and I don't need to enrich it with filth," said witness.

Sorrell said he only tried to separate the men because Botwright was the bigger man.

Miss O'Mara said she expected a blow to be struck.

The Clerk: "He wanted some money. Most of us are angry when we can't get it."

The Bench fined Douglas 3 for the assault on Botwright, 2 for the assault on Mrs Botwright, and Sorrell 1 for the assault on Botwright, including costs.

 Submitted on: 2011-07-20
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 1345
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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