The West Somerset Free Press 29 Oct 1892 Somerset Quarter Sessions includes John PARKER Election Riot North Petherton

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The West Somerset Free Press Saturday 29 Oct 1892

Page 2 Column 6


Before Sir R. H. PAGET, Bart., M.P. (chairman).


Emily NOBLE (24), servant, pleaded guilty to stealing £2 2s. 6d. at Frome, on the 17th August. Prisoner had already been in prison two months, and was now sentenced to a month's hard labour. - William PADFIELD (33), labourer, false pretences at Frome, on August 15th. Prisoner had been in prison for upwards of two months, and was now sentenced to 14 days' hard labour. - Timothy SULLIVAN (48), drover, false pretences at Bedminster last September. There were four counts in the indictment, and previous convictions against the prisoner. Four months' hard labour. - James SCULL, alias Henry SCUTT (32), shoemaker, stealing a gun, as bailee, at Bedminster, on the 11th January, and also stealing a gun, as bailee, at the same place, on the 16th January. Two months' hard labour.


Joseph BRITTON (42), shoemaker, surrendered to his bail to answer the charge of having stolen from John ELLIS a watch, waist-belt and pipe, value £4, at Brislington, on the 21st August. Mr. CLIFTON prosecuted, and Mr. WEATHERLEY defended prisoner. Guilty, and also to a previous conviction. Two month's hard labour.


Edgar George MOUNTY, 18, labourer, was indicted for stealing a lamb, value 25s., the property of J. W. BARNES and another, his masters, at Farnborough, on the 7th August. Mr. CLIFTON prosecuted; prisoner was undefended. Prosecutor is a cattle dealer at Frome, and on the day named he sent prisoner to the Mermaid, Wells, for 54 lambs, which he was to drive to Mr. W. J. PERRETT's, at Newton St. Loe. When he got about seven miles from Wells, at Farnborough, a lamb became lame, and he sold it to James RAPPS, a shoemaker, for 5s., to whom he gave a note stating that he was authorised to sell the lamb for anything he could get for it if it became lame by Mr. J. HULTON, of West Pennard. Guilty, with a recommendation to mercy on account of his youth. Previous conviction. Six weeks' hard labour.


Joseph RANDALL (20), labourer, was indicted for breaking into the dwelling-house of Charles TARGETT and stealing the sum of £1 6s. 7½d, at Isle Abbots, on the 24th July. Mr. SHEPPARD prosecuted. On the day named prosecutor's cousin, Miss MONK, and her sister were staying with him for a few days. Prisoner was in his employ and lodged at his house. On the 24th, prosecutor left the house with Miss MONK and her sister after locking it up safely. He returned about ten o'clock, and the next morning Miss MONK discovered that two half-sovereigns and 1½d. had been abstracted from the cheffoniere. Two month's hard labour.


George Moore GROVE (64), labourer, was indicted for indecently assaulting Ellen Mary DYER, a child eight years of age, at Wick St. Lawrence, on the 5th August. Four months' hard labour.

This concluded the business of the session, and the court rose at 1.45 p.m.


Before the Right Hon. J. W. MELLOR, Q.C. (deputy chairman), and Mr. J. C. C. IRELAND.


John PARKER (30), Henry KINGSTON (20), Thomas PALMER (24), William BAKER (27), Henry BAKER (20), Charles KEIRLE (26), F. KEIRLE (-9?), Henry KEIRLE (25), Henry HUFORD (34), John SPILLER (21), Charles COLLARD (22), Francis ROGERS, junr. (23), Charles COBLEY (28), Walter RICHARDS (33), Edward ROZIER (36), Samuel NAPPER (31), all labourers, John BOND (23), basket maker, and George KINGSTON (46), tile maker, were indicted for rioting and assault at North Petherton, on July 13th. Mr. HAMILTON and Mr. GARLAND prosecuted, and the prisoners were defended by Mr. METCALFE. Mr. HAMILTON, before opening the case, submitted to the court whether he should not, under the circumstance known to the court, offer no evidence against John BOND. Mr. MELLOR thought he was taking a very proper course in doing this because BOND had already been summoned before the magistrates for what was practically a similar offence to that for which he was now indicted, and sentenced to two months' imprisonment with hard labour. Under the direction of the court, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty against John BOND, and he was discharged. The bill against Henry Thomas BOND was ignored by the grand jury. Mr. HAMILTON then stated the facts of the case. He said the facts would show that a very serious offence took place at North Petherton. It was on the 13th July, which was the election day in that district. It appeared that two men, named Jeremiah POCOCK, a saddler, and Robert POCOCK, a farmer, took a very active part in the election, and in the course of the evening ill-feeling appears to have arisen between the POCOCKs and the various men now charged, and the POCOCKS, whether rightly or with any grounds whatever, went and hid themselves in the private sitting-room of the New Inn, kept by Mr. FINCH. He (Mr. HAMILTON) should call the landlord, who would tell them that shortly before eight o'clock two men came and asked him if the POCOCKS were there. He replied that they were not, and the men told him that if he did not turn them out they would pull his house down. The landlord did not treat this seriously, and told the men he would find means to defend himself. The men then left, with the words, “We will see to it.” Shortly after, a crowd amounting to over 100, assembled in front of the house, and the cry was raised, “The POCOCKs are inside; we'll have the ---- out.” The landlord tried to shut his front door, but the mob made a rush for him, and he was struck by Geo. KINGSTON, and knocked down and kicked whilst on the ground. FINCH got up and ran into the kitchen, being followed by the mob. He took up the poker to defend himself, and struck the first man that came in, who he believed was ROZIER. The cry was then raised, “Kill the ---- landlord,” and one or more blows was struck at FINCH with the poker, which had been taken from him by the crowd. FINCH succeeded in escaping by climbing up some sprouting into his neighbour's premises. The mob then turned their attention to the private sitting-room in which the POCOCKs were, and endeavoured to break open the door, which was locked Just at this time P.S. BLACKER and P.C. COLES arrived on the scene, and they would state what took place, and identify the prisoners. About this time Henry HURFORD came with a bar of iron and beat in the panels of the door, and when this was done he struck at the POCOCKs through the panels. They not only broke the panels, but also destroyed the door jambs. The police endeavoured to prevent the mob from getting into the room, and tried to negotiate with the leaders of the mob, and eventually PARKER, who acted as the spokesman, made a compact that if the POCOCKs would give up the fire-irons which they had taken up in self-defence, the mob would retire and let them go free. He believed some condition was also attached by PARKER, that an apology should be tendered by the POCOCKs for what they had said. The POCOCKs gave up the fire-irons to the police, and they were immediately snatched by the mob, who made a rush into the room. The POCOCKs were beaten, kicked, and dragged out of the room, and the next thing was the cry that “Robert was dead.” When the police-sergeant came into the yard, the mob, no doubt thinking they had killed Robert POCOCK was dispersing, and Robert POCOCK was left on the ground for dead. He was carried to Jeremiah POCOCK's house, where he remained insensible for some time. He was attended by a doctor, and ultimately taken to his own house, and remained seriously ill for some time. The learned counsel then explained the law relating to rioting, and afterwards called the following evidence:- Latimer FINCH, landlord of the New Inn, at North Petherton, bore out counsel's opening. - By Mr. METCALFE: He had no desire to press the case. - By the Deputy Chairman: The men seemed to have been drinking. - Sergt. BLACKER recognised all of the prisoners as being present amongst the mob on the 13th July. - P.C. COLES corroborated. - Some discussion took place between the court and the counsel engaged in the case. Ultimately, acting upon the advice of Mr. METCALFE, prisoners withdrew their plea of not guilty, and pleaded guilty to the fourth count of the indictment charging them with unlawfully assembling. Charles COLLARD, Francis ROGERS, jun., Charles COBLEY, John PARKER, Thos. PALMER, Henry BAKER, Chas., Frederick, and Henry KEIRLE, and John SPILLER were each bound over in the sum of £20 to come up for judgment when called. KINGSTON, RICHARDS, ROZIER, and NAPPER were each sentenced to one week's imprisonment, they having previously undergone various terms of imprisonments.


William George BAKER, 28, baker, was found guilty of obtaining, by false pretences, 3s. and 2s. 6d. from William Thomas HUMPHRIES, at Bathford. There were previous convictions against the prisoner, but as he had been in prison since the early part of August he was not only sentenced to 14 days' hard labour.

Edgar ASHMAN, 14, was indicted for indecently assaulting Annie LANE, aged 8 years, at Leigh-on-Mendip, on the 20th July. Prisoner pleaded guilty to a common assault, and was bound over, through his father, in the sum of £20 to come up for judgment when called upon.

This concluded the business in this court, which rose at one o'clock.


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