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1859 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (1)

Record
Date 1859
Topic Policeman assaulted in Robin Hood Court, Shoe Lane
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Site of Robin Hood Court, Shoe Lane, Holborn.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-06-18. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-10-18.

Record

[4 Jul. 1859:]
ALEXANDER BENNETT (City policeman, 248). On Saturday night, 4th June, I was in Robin Hood-court, which leads from New-street into Shoe-lane, about 100 yards from Holborn-hill—I saw the prisoners there about a quarter past 12 o'clock—I had known them by sight these 3 years, and have been in the habit of seeing them repeatedly—they were swearing and making use of most abusive language, and I said, "You had better move on; I cannot allow that swearing here at this time of the morning"—Dennis struck me a violent blow on the left ear, and David struck me on the back of the head at the same time, from the effects of which I fell to the ground, and my head came in contact with the kerb—I was rendered insensible, and recollect nothing further—the prisoners were dressed as they are now—David has a very hoarse voice—I was taken to the hospital the same night insensible, and remained there till 18th June—I am not able to attend to my duty yet.

Cross-examined by Mr. BARRY. Q. Was David drunk? A. No; they were both quite sober, and were swearing at each other—I did not see or hear a woman there—there were no people about; they had all gone; the prisoners were the only two there—I had been about the neighbourhood all the evening—I did not touch him before he struck me—Walthrop was with me—if you wish to know, I have seen Dennis at a police-court, accused of assaulting a civilian in Hatton-garden—he was not convicted; the prosecutor never appeared—that was on 18th December, 1858—I helped to take him in custody—I wished a woman good night as she passed me—I had been in no house since I left the station-house—I said nothing to the prisoners but "Move on"—it was dark, but there were plenty of lamps—I stated the prisoners' names at once as soon as I recovered, but did not describe them—I knew where they lived—they were taken on the Sunday morning—my brother officers also knew where they lived very well—when I was first asked about them, Dennis was in custody—David was taken on Tuesday, but I was not there.

Mr. POLAND. Q. What are they? A. Costermongers; they live at 3, Union-court—they are known to my brother officers—Union-court is on the right hand side going up Holborn, and Robin Hood-court is on the left.

ELLEN WIDMORE. I am the wife of Charles Widmore, of 12, Robin Hood-court, Long-lane—on 4th June the policeman passed me in the court, and I saw two men and women by the milk-shop, using bad language—I had never seen them before, but one had a white jacket, something similar to that (Dennis's)—the other one spoke coarsely—the policeman told them to move on—I saw the policeman struck to the ground by a blow from one of them, I cannot say which, and when he was on the ground they kicked him—I said, "Do you intend to do for the man; do you intend to murder him right Out"—they ran away, and said that I knew them.[1]

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