A policeman's lot is not a happy one

Hertfordshire Mercury, 15th September 1900


William Johnson was charged with assaulting a Police Officer on 8 September 1900

On that day, Sgt Gardner was on duty at 11:15 pm in Railway Street, Hertford when he heard a considerable disturbance at the bottom of Bircherley Street.  On investigation, amongst a crowd of about fifty people fighting, he found Johnson struggling with his mother and a young man, whilst his mother was trying to get him away.  Sgt Gardner asked him to go home, at which Johnson struck him on the mouth, cutting the Sergeant’s lip, loosening two teeth and injuring the roof of his mouth.

Johnson denied the charge, saying he had been with his mother all evening and as he was going home he saw the young man who lived with them in the crowd fighting and he went to see what was the matter.  He said the Sergeant may have got shoved about a bit but he hadn’t struck him.  Johnson’s mother also said Johnson had not struck the Sergeant and that her son would have gone home quietly if the Sergeant had not interfered.  However, PC Madgwick, who had been with Sgt Gardner at the time of the assault corroborated the Sergeant’s evidence.

Johnson was fined £1 with 10s costs or 14 days’ hard labour.  Johnson’s mother paid the fine.

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