Much ado about Hadham

Hertfordshire Mercury, 10th March 1906


Bad Assault At Much Hadham

George Wood, of Sawbridgeworth, was summoned for assaulting William Webb, of Perry Green, Much Hadham on 16th ult. The defendant pleaded ”guilty in self defence”, which the Bench interpreted to mean not guilty. William Webb, hairdresser, of Braughing, said he was driving to Perry Green to go to the Convent when he came to the defendant’s cart, which refused to pull up by the side of the road to allow him to pass. Witness went to the horse’s head to draw the cart from the middle of the road, and then the defendant struck him with a stick on the head, cutting his hat and making a wound 1 1/2 inches in length. His head bled profusely and witness produced a handkerchief that had been saturated with blood.

He drove to Dr. William’s surgery and had his wound dressed, and then went with Sergeant Jaquest and found the defendant in a public-house. George Pine gave evidence, stating that he saw the defendant hit Mr. Webb with a stick, and the latter staggered a good deal after the blow. Mr J. H. Nye, dispenser to Dr Williams, gave details as to the cut on Mr Webb’s head and the bandaging and treatment the wound needed. Some of the felt from the hat had been forced into the wound.

Joseph Monk and Leonard Coulter gave evidence that Mr. Webb had used very bad language and wanted to fight the defendant. This was denied in toto by Mr. Webb, and the defendant then declared that his ankle had some time before been broken, and he used the stick in self-defence, as he did not wish to be thrown out of the cart. The Chairman said it was a very bad case indeed, and in fining the defendant £1 including costs the Bench considered they were letting him off lightly. The defendant was allowed a week for payment or the alternative of a fortnight’s imprisonment.

There were six previous convictions against him, some of them for assaults.

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