Drunken assault on the police - Hertford county sessions

Hertfordshire Mercury, 4th May 1907


George Marsh, labourer, of Little Berkhamsted, was charged on remand with being drunk and disorderly on April 20th and also assaulting P.c. King on the same day. The defendant pleaded guilty. William Marsh, licensed victualler, father of the defendant, stated that his son came home drunk on the day in question, and was so violent that he had to send for a policeman, who came and took him in charge. Defendant kicked the policeman and took of his coat and wanted to fight. Defendant was very strong man physically, but a little bit deficient mentally, and when he had had two pints of beer he was unanswerable for his actions. P.c. King stated that at 6.45 p.m. on April 20th. he was sent for by the last witness, who said his son was a madman and threatened to kill everyone in the house. When he got to the house he found defendant was very drunk and using bad language. Witness told him that his father wished him to leave the house, and advised him to go. Defendant replied that he would not go for anybody. Witness again advised him to go away quietly, but he refused to do so, and witness was unable to get him out until head got assistance, having to fetch Mr Wackett and the Newgate Street policeman to help him. They then got him on his back and took off his shoes to prevent him kicking.

The Chairman : What does he do ?

Witness : Scarcely anything, and when he does he spends it on drink. I have stopped him getting drunk in the neighbourhood, but he now goes away to get it. On this occasion he had been to Barnet.

The Chairman : Did he kick you very severely ?

Witness : Yes, I have a very bad leg in consequence, with a black bruise extending from the shin to the knee.

Mr H. S. W. Hall, surgeon, was called and he said he examined the Constable’s leg and found he had been very severely kicked. He placed him on the sick list, and it would be some time before he would be able to resume duty : in fact, it was quite possible that his leg would be permanently affected.

The Chairman (to P.c.King) : Do you think he knows what he is about ?

P.c. King : He seems mad when in drink, but is a nasty-tempered man when sober if anyone speaks to him. He used threats against me on a former occasion.

Sir George Faudel-Phillips : He was examined at St Albans by the prison doctor, and we have his report.

After the bench had deliberated in private the Chairman said the report of the prison doctor was to the effect that defendant when sober was perfectly responsible for his actions.

For being drunk and disorderly he would be sentenced to seven days’ hard labour, and for the assault on the police, which was a most aggravated one, he would have three months’ hard labour, the sentences to run concurrently. The Bench added that they appreciated very much the assistance which Mr Wackett rendered to the police. They recommended that the defendant be examined by the prison doctor from time to time.

The defendant : It is a very severe sentence, gentlemen.


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