Landlord assaults lodger

Hertfordshire Mercury, 1st January 1910


A charge of Assault was heard against a Mr Henry Homewood at Hertford Court Petty Sessions on Tuesday 28th December, 1909.

Mr Homewood, a Lodging House Keeper of East Street, Ware, was charged with assaulting Mr James Henry Basill, one of his lodgers, on December 11th. Mr Basill described his occupation as a hay-binder and said that since the incident, he was residing up on Hertford Heath.

Mr Basill stated that he had lived at Homewood’s lodgings for six years prior to the assault upon him. Mr Basill claimed he was leaving the lodging house at 8pm when Mr Homewood had confronted him and told him that if he left the premises again that evening, he would be thrown out for good. Mr Homewood then picked up the stick – produced – and struck him on the back of the head with it.

Giving evidence, Mr Homewood stated that he had acted in self-defence as Mr Basill had come at him with “double fists flying, like a madman.”

Giving evidence, Ps Saunders stated that Basill had arrived at the Police Station and he had noticed the wound to back of the gentleman’s’ head. Mr Basill had the wound treated for four days by a doctor.

Ps Saunders went to see the defendant, Mr Homewood, who stated that James Basill had a row with Clara Sell, the woman he was living with. Apparently Mr Basill had torn up Clara’s clothes. Mr Homewood stated that Basill was drunk and as he, the defendant, was responsible for good conduct at the lodging house, he should order Mr Basill not to go out for any more drink. It was at this point that Mr Basill had assaulted Mr Homewood and the defendant had been forced to defend himself with his stick. Mr Homewood concedes that during the ensuing struggle, he may have struck Mr Basill over the head.

Concluding his evidence, Ps Saunders stated this was not the first occasion he had cause to visit Mr Homewood’s lodging house owing to the conduct of James Basill and Clara Sell, the woman with whom he was living.

The Magistrates dismissed the case.

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