Alleged highway assault

Hertfordshire Mercury, 27th March 1915


Before Mr Theodore Basset at an occasional court at Hatfield, on Monday afternoon, Charles Matthews, a labourer, of Hatfield, was charged with assaulting Dorothy Neale on the Hatfield to Hertford Road on Sunday afternoon, and further with assaulting PC Smith, of Essendon, whilst in the execution of his duty.  Dorothy Neale, a respectably dressed young woman, who is in the service of Dr Lovell Drage, of Hatfield, appeared in court with an external swelling on the jaw.  She stated that she went for a walk on Sunday afternoon along the road towards Hatfield, and on the way passed the prisoner.

When she was returning at about 4 o’clock she again passed the prisoner, who ran after her and caught hold of the belt at the back of her coat, and struck her several times across the back with a stick.  He also struck her on the face and threw her down.  She screamed, and the prisoner ultimately ran away across the fields into a wood.  William Russell and Thomas Starkey, both of Mill Green, spoke to seeing the prisoner near to the scene of the alleged assault on Sunday afternoon.  In reference to the charge of assaulting the police, PC Smith stated that when he was conveying the prisoner to the police station at Hatfield he was very violent and kicked him.  The magistrate remanded him until Monday next.


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