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A CLERGYMAN ASSAULTED IN THE…

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A CLERGYMAN ASSAULTED IN THE ISLE OF MAN. 4 DEFENDANT HEAVILY FINED. A case of great interest was heard before the Peel (Isle of Man) magistrates on Tuesday, when the Rev. John Chambers, vicar of Wood- head, Cheshire, brought an action for assault against John Cain, Ballagyr. Some few years ago several actions were brought against persons for trespassing on the Ballagyr estate, over which the public contended that a right of way existed along the picturesque coast north of Peel to the White Strand. A strong committee supported the defendants in the action, and the result was that the right of way was established. During recent years, however, there have been frequent complaints respecting the interference of the tenant of the estate, Mr. John Cain. On the 8th inst. the Rev. J. Chambers, with his son, the Rev. Arthur J. Chambers, and two daughters, Louisa and Mabel Chambers, went for a walk on the headlands, and sat on the grounds close to the path. Mr. Cain appeared on the scene after they had been sitting there some time, and, the complainant alleged, after pointing a pistol at them and using abusive language, committed the assault with which he was now charged. The High Bailiff of Peel, Mr. A. N. Laughton, presided over the court, and Mr. Graves, J.P., was also present. The plaintiff was represented by Mr. James Hodgson, and the defendant by Mr. Thomas Kneen.—The Rev. John Chambers gave evidence. He said he was vicar of Woodhead, Cheshire, and had been staying with his family for some time in Peel. On the 8th inst. he proceeded with his son and daughters for a walk along the headland foot- path, and sat down close to the fence. They had just got seated when a man came along and made use of threats, and pulling a pistol out of his pocket, pointed it at them. His son carried a little dog, and the man said he would blow some brains out if the dog was not put out of the field. His son asked Caia not to fire, or he would kill someone. Cain then came nearer, and ordered them all off the ground. He (Mr. Chambers) said he would not go unless he knew the reason of the order, whereupon Cain seized him violently by the arm, and dragged him to the ground and towards the footpath. Witness r had a stick, and tried to make Cain desist from his attack by hitting him on the fingers. Cain > then wrenched the stick from him and threw it over the rocks. Then, catching hold of the witness, he threw him with great force to the I ground. Cain then gave permission to witness' son to fetch the stick, and while he was away again fiercely assaulted him.—Cross-examined: He thought that Cain was a madman at first. He called the defendant a brute and a pig after he had been assaulted. Cain did not give him time to move before he gripped him.—The Rev. Arthur John Chambers, Miss Louisa Chambers, and Miss Mabel Chambers gave corroborative evidence. They thought the defendant was a lunatic. He gripped their father savagely, almost as soon as he spoke, and they thought the defendant was going to murder him.—John Cain, the defendant, then gave evidence. He denied having pointed the pistol at the party. He gave the plaintiff time to move off before he took hold of him. Some dogs had been chasing his sheep, and he thought the dog with the party might have been doing the same thing.—Mr. Kneen, for the defence, contended that only sufficient force had been used to get the plaintiff off the land, and that if Mr. Chambers had resisted, his client was justified in using such force as had occasioned bodily harm.-Mr. Hodgson said a most serious assault had been committed, and that though force might be used to eject a trespasser, there was no justification for such brutal force as had been displayed by the defendant. He asked for the infliction of a heavy fine.-The magistrates adjourned to consider their decision, and on returning into court Mr. Laughton said they had come to the conclusion that a most brutal and unwarrantable assault had been committed. To aim firearms at any person was in itself a most serious offence.-Mr. Kneen said the pistol was not aimed at the party but at the dog.- Mr. Laughton said the court was not to be dictated to by counsel. They were the judges of the evidence. The defendant would be fined 95, with E2 13s. costs, or three months' imprisonment.

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