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PEMBROKE TOWN COUNCILLOR ASSAULTED.…

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PEMBROKE TOWN COUN- CILLOR ASSAULTED. ECHO OF THE FAIR. "A TECHNICAL SWINDLE." At the Town Hall, Pembroke, recently, before Messrs. Tombs, Rowe and B. Powell, Mr I. Ward-Davies, Chairman of the Market Committee of the Pembroke Corporation, charged Mr Joe Fletcher, a showman, with assault. Mr Norman Lowless appeared for Mr Ward- Davies. Fletcher appeared for himself and pleaded not guilty. In opening the case, Mr Lowless said he ap- peared on behalf of Mr Ward-Davies, who was a member of the Corporation, and Chairman of the Fair Committee. In the year 1909 it be- came necessary to pass several bye-laws, and under sectiun 16 it was stated that no van, used for human habitation should be allowed in the street. To meet the van-dwellers the Corpora- tion nad provided a place for them with every convenience and had gone to the expense of laying the water on. The defendant did not apply for ground at the proper time but came on the chance that he would be accommodated. In consequence there was nothing but a verbal agreement. On Sunday evening complaints reached Mr Ward-Davies to the effect that three vans had not complied with the bye-law. So Mr Ward-Davies went up to the fair ground and saw a shade of light coming from a van. He got up on the steps and tapped at the door. The defendant shouted Who's there, what do you want." Mr Ward-Davies asked him what he wanted there. Defendant became very violent and abusive and put his fist in the complainant's face, saying it was a good job he did not have a piece of wood or iron in his hand or he would have struck him. Mr Ward-Davies then called Sergeant James who was standing outside. Although no actual assault had been committed, in law it was not necessary that a blow should be struck provided the defendant raised his hand within striking distance, and was in a. position to strike a blow. If such was the case then an assault had been committed. Mr Ward-Davies was then called and said— I am a printer and publisher and can well remember Sunday evening. I was requested to go up to the fair ground and reached there shortly after nine. I bad received several complaints to the effect that there were living vans about the street, in contravention of the bye-laws. It was my duty to see if such was the case because others had been sent out of town. Near the Black IIorse I saw a glimmer of light. I in- vestigated and found it came from a van which had a canvas arrangement in front of it. I went to the left of the structure and edged my way in between the canvas. The van was then in front of me with a curtain across the front of it. I went up the steps and could see that the light came from the top of the van door. I heard a voice shout in arrogant tones What do you want ? I said mildly What do you want." Then I saw the defendant. He came to the door. He said How dare you come here, this is my private property." I told him I had seen what I came for and that it was a living van. I further remarked they were not allowed in the street and he would have to remove it. Defendant then struck at me through the door and his fist came very near my face. If the blow had taken effect it would have knocked me backward off the steps and I might have broken my neck. He said if he had a block of wood he would knock my b- head in. Then he opened the door and tried to get at me. I thought it time to call the police officers, and Sergeant James and P.C. Owen arrived on the scene. Sergeant James expostu- lated with him, and he told him he did not care a d-- for him or me. By Fletcher-You were with the sergeant and constable before I saw you ?-Yes, I had been to two other vans. You came into my tent and up to my van— which is only a stock van-without knocking. I was there to protect it and I thought you were a burglar. I asked who you were and you said It is me." Then you told me who you were, and I informed you it was lucky you did not get hit. Turning to the Bench-What he has said is an untruth. I did not pick my fist up at all, and did not move out of the door. Did I pick my fist up ?—Yes, certainly you did. Sergeant James said-On Sunday night, in company with Mr Ward-Davies and Constable Owen, I was in the fair ground for the purpose of inspecting several vans. We visited two and then reached the defendant's. Mr Ward-Davies went into the tent and we remained outside. I heard some talk and then Mr Ward-Davies called out Officers come hare." I went in and saw the defendant at the door of bis van with his fist in Mr Ward-Davies's face. He said it was a good job he did not have a lump of wood or iron in his hand. We tried to explain to him who Mr Ward- Davies was, and he replied that he did not care who he was. His attitude was very threatening. I advised Mr Ward-Davies to go away. When I served the summons on him he said he was sorry he did not strike him. Fletcher-You came into the tent first ?-No, I did not. You were on the steps with him ?-No, I came when he called me. You saw me with my fist up ?-Yes. Gentlemen, he is telling untruths. Fletcher elicited to be sworn and said-I am here to tell the truth, if I tell a lie it is for my own benefit. I am a licensed auctioneer. On Sunday night I was on the fair ground in charge of a Ball La stall, which is my own invention. In my van, which I always erect at the back, I have between JE500 and JE400 worth of stock. It is not a living van as suggested. I heard three footsteps coming- Mr Lowless—Peculiar, every man generally has two feet. (Laughter.) Then I heard that gentlemen shout IC Hullo who's there ? I asked him what right he had there and told him that if I had a lump of wood in my hand I might have struck him, thinking he was a burglar. He said be was Chairman of something, and I told him he was lucky he had not been marked. I think he took a very great liberty coming on my premises in the way he did. Questioned by Mr Lowless, Fletcher said he was sitting up in his van looking after his stock. He did not sleep there and had no lodgings in town. He did not suggest that Mr Ward-Davies was a burglar, but how was he to know. George McKenzie said he was a character reader. He saw Mr Ward-Davies go into the tent, and the constables shortly after. He heard Fletcher say if he had a block of wood he may have struck him. Henry North said he could not see the assault leeause he was not the X rays, and William Brown said something similar. FIetcber—What I want to know is what right had he there ? Mr Tombs—As Chairman of the Fair Com- .L mittee, a perfect right. Fietel,er-I shall appeal. Mr Tombs—We have beard your speech and again inform you Mr Ward-Davies had a perfect right to go and inspect. We are sorry to think he has found it necessary to bring you here, but you will have to learn that the bye-laws are to be heeded. We have decided to fine you 10s., &11,1 an advocate's fee of 10s. 6d. and the court amounting in all to £2 Os. 6d. vosts- Fletcher—I'll do a month. Mr Tombs—It is a tech»-; Fletcher—No, it if ..cal assault. Superintended a technical swindle. Dclecd"" Thomas—Are you going to pay? .j i—Yes, I'll pay.

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