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r- '> ESCAPING FRONl THE BAILIFFS. At the Central Criminal Court, on Friday, Alfred Towers, Pierre Le Rois, and William Charles Alien, three well dressed young men (the first-mentioned being the son of the lessee of the Royal Victoria Theatre), and Agnes Eliza Towers, a fashionably-attired but delicate-looking young woman, were indicted for an assault upon William Henry Herrick, an officer of the sheriff of Surrey, and on George Waller Reeves, and George Rayment, two of his assistants, while in the execution of their duty. Mr. Lilley and Mr. Rigby conducted the prose- cution Mr. F. H. Lewis, Mr. Montagu Williams, and Mr. Kemp conducted the defence. William Henry Herrick said he was one of the officers of the sheriff of Surrey. He was a servant, and not the partner of Mr. George Seal, who was also an officer of the sheriff. On the 13th of the present month he went to the Victoria Tavern, Waterloo road, to execute a writ of capias on Frank Towers, the landlord of that tavern, who knew him well, as he (witness) had arrested him before. He had with him his two assistants, George Walter Reeves, and George Rayment. He went into the bar, and knocked three times on the counter and called for some brandy and at this time, he (witness) saw Frank Towers, against whom he held the writ, sitting in the bar-parlour. On seeing witness Frank Towers got up to leave, and witness went round the bar just as Towers was on the stairs leading into the back par- lour. He said to Towers, I want you and the latter replied, What for ? Witness said, For a larger sum than the last time." He then took Towers by the arm and they went into the back parlour. Towers was in a very excited state, and witness, thinking it would be best to have a cab, directed his assistants to obtain one. Towers then threw himself in a chair, and called to his wife (the female prisoner) to give him a knife, that he might stab himself or cut his throat. The witness turned again to call his assistants, when he heard a scuffle and a shriek, and on the instant he saw Towers escaping through the window, the female prisoner having by this time seized witness by the collar -aid held him back. At the moment the other three pri- soners came into the room, followed by about a dozen other persons, and she said to them, These men have come to take Frank again." Witness then produced his staff, and the prisoner Le Rois asked him if he was a police-constable, and took the staff from him. Witness was then thrown down, and the female prisoner fell on him, holding him down. Frank Towers at that time was in the back yard, where he had fallen, and witness could have taken him if he had not been knocked down and held as he had described. There was a great con- fusion, and the whole affair did not last above a minute. He (witness) was very much bruised, and had been ill ever since. The witness described the confusion which prevailed, and stated that when the police were called on they refused to act, and in the interim Frank Towers made his escape. George Walter Reeves was next examined, and gave similar evidence, corroborating the testimony of the witness Herrick, as regarded the first part of the occurrence, and said that when Herrick directed cab to be fetched, he (witness) saw Frank Towers getting out of the window, and he caught him by the tails of his coat. Mrs. Towers caught hold of him (witness), and the tails came off the coat. She then flung witness right across the room with great force, and he fell against the table, on to which he 11 was then thrown by the other prisoners. Witness was very much hurt in the chest. Cross-examined There were no cries of "Mn for there was no murder being done. The shrieking was not continuous, it was one shriek -a good-sized one (laughter). The magistrate at the police-court did not say that he did not believe me but he was very angry with me for not telling him about the catching hold of the coat-tails when Towers stuck hisself hup at the winder." I do no. know where the tails of the coat are now. There was no one whatever on the floor. George Rayment having been examined at some length, Mr. Montagu Williams and Mr. Kemp then spoke for the defence, urging that the witnesses contradicted each other, and were unworthy of belief, and stating that it was evident that the offi- cers were afraid to follow Towers, and had taken these steps to relieve the sheriff, who had not insti- tuted these proceedings in protection of his officers. The Recorder, in summing up, said the jury were not to pay any attention to the remarks of counsel as to the responsibility of the sheriff, but confine themselves to the question really before them. Much had been said as to the variance in the statements made by the officers, but he did 'not see that they contradicted each other so very materially. The jury must recollect the whole affair was a scene of confusion which lasted only a very short time. He then pointed out to them that owing to an infor- mality in the indictment, the only question left for them to decide was, whether by their aid the pri- soners had prevented the capture of Frank Towers, leaving the question of assault undecided. The jury, after a few minutes' consultation, re- turned a verdict of" Not Guilty."




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