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AN ASSAULT WITH A HAMMER NEAR…

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AN ASSAULT WITH A HAMMER NEAR RUTHIN. A SON-IN-LAW SEYERFLY HANDLED. THE STORY OF AN UNHAPPY MARRIAGE. A SEPARATION ORDER GRANTED There was an unusually large attendance of the public at the Ruthin Police Court on Monday, in anticipation of a case in which a man named Alun Williams, of Graigfechan, well-known in the neighbour- hood as a pig dealer, summoned his < father-in-law, William Roberts, for an | assault upon him at Graig-adwy-wynt oe^i'Ui'.bcr .th. The rort»plainant in this case was also summoned by his wife under the Married Women's Act for per- sistent cruelty, on account of which she applied for a maintenance order against him. The magistrates present were :-Rev 1Cliancellor Bulkeley Jones, the Mayor (Dr J M Hughes), Capt Cole, Mr J Watkin Lumley, and Mr W T Rouw. In the first case the complainant was re- presented by Mr A Lloyd Jones, and the defendant by Mr Edward Roberts. In opening the case Mr Lloyd Jones said Alun Williams's wife was a step- daughter oi defendant, and for some time differences had existed between them and | caused some friction. On Friday, Septem- ber 8th, complainant went up to Graig- adwy-wynt to tctch his wife home, but she would not come. On his way back he met the defendant, who was working on the road. Some words appeared to have passed, but according to his version, the row was commenced by the defendant, who made for his son-in-law with an iron hammer, struck him near the eye two or three times, and then knocked him down. When he was down on the ground he struck him in the face and kicked him. The complainant, who vras very much hurt, went to his ] father's house, and drove to Dr Byford's, j where he was, and was still being attended to. The complainant, Alun Williams, was then ealled, and said he lived at Ty Coch Ucha, Graigfechan. There had been differences between him and his wife. On Friday, September 8th, he went to Graig- adwy-wynt to take his wife home, but she would not go. He then went, in a trap, on the road towards home. He met the defendant, who asked him what he wanted that way, and he replied that he wanted to take his wife home, He then struck him with a hammer on tne temple two or three times, and when he was on the ground kicked him. Miss Shaw then came out of her house close by and told the defendant to leave him alone. When he got up Miss Shaw held his cap and staunched the blood from his face. He then went to his father's home, and, with him, drove to Dr Byford, who attended to the injuries. Cross-examined Where did you see I the defendant first?—On the road, about 100 or 200 yards from the house. I, What direction was he going in ?—To- vraiis his home. i • ^~°U ^ei?rm traP and over-took ™ 4?as the ofher way. I Did you call .<\t defendant's house Yes, How many times were you there that I day Twice, but I passed three times Did you ask your wife to go home ?— ) Yes, but she would not. Why did she leave you ?—I can't say. i YtHl have no notion ?-Yes, I have, but there is a case after this (laaghter). The Chairman Aak him whether he j really mean? to say that he does not know wbv his wife left him. Witness: Yes, I know very well j (laughter). r I Mr Roberts Because of your cruelty?— Well, I won't answc that until the next I case. i Had you left her before ?—Yes, several times. Did you not go there that dRY and call your wife a bad name ? No. Did you see your wife that day ?-Only ) onc; she came to the door with a child j in her hands. It was your own cbu^; I suppose ?—I suppose so, sir (laughter). Mr Roberts If yon consider that a proper remark to make before your wife I don't. I At this point the Bench decided to hear I both cases before giving their decision in the first. Mr Lloyd Jones objected to this course. Mr Roberts My friend has a very good reason for raising that objection. Mr Lloyd Jones And my friend has a very good reason for making the applica- tion. tion. Mr Roberts I did not make it. Mr Lloyd Jones Well, you supported it. Cross-examination continued How ;t;a.ny times did you visit the house that I ifly ?—Twice, and passed it once. When you passed the defendant did you stop your trap ?—Yes. What for ?-I asked him what he was keeping my wife there for. Did you not use abusive terms?—No. Did you not accuse your wife of being ul guilty of improper conduct ?—You will hear that again. Were you afraid of defendant ?—I will keep that to myself (laughter). Did you not get out of the trap to give him a thrashing ?—No. Defendant says you caught bold of him with your thumb in his mouth, and that he struck you in self-defence is that not so ? -1 never touched him. How old are you ?—34. And the defendant is between GO and 7(l ?—I cannot say what his age is. You had a bit off a row with him before ? —Yes. And didn't he thrash vou well on that occasion ?-He hit me with a stick in the I Station-road. Did not you say you would give him a thrashing that day ?—No. And you never struck him I struck him after he hit me. You said Miss Shaw came to you ?— Yes. Did she help you ?—S3ie held my cap. She appeared on the scene when the lun was over ?—Just at the time. Mr Lloyd Jones You would not call it a tight at all '-No, I did'nt touch him. It was a very one-sided fight ?—Yes. Maxwell Edwards, grocer's assistant, Ruthin, said he wag driving a horse and cart in the vicinity of Graig-adwy-wynt, when he saw the complainant and de- fendant there. He saw the former come out of a trap, and he asked him to take hold of the pony. He would not have anything to do with it, however. Alun shouted to William Roberts "Come half- way, and Roberts replied in Welsh Go home you big baby." He then ran up to | him and hit him with a hammer twice v on the left eye. Then he put the hammer down, and after putting Alun Williams on the ground, hammered him with his fist. Miss Shaw came from her house close to and called upon him to stop. He did so, but before leaving him gave him a kick on the left side. When he left them Alun Williams had his handkerchief to the side I of his face, and he asked Miss Shaw to hold his cap. oroao-c-u—! J • Ttirl vou see defendant get out of the trap ?--N o. I Where was he ? -He was standing close to the wheel. Did he say what he wanted you to hold his horse for ?—No. Where was William RobertE r-He was down the road. Going in the contrary direction ?-I believe he was standing. Your heard this man say something to William Roberta ?-He told him to come half way. You took that to be a challenge ?-I don't know.' Do you think they wanted to embrace or 18hake hands? (laughter)—I don't know. The Chairman Did he speak angrily ?— No. not that I am awaro of. Mr Ptobert, Alun Williams was fighting as well as the other maue-I could not say who struck'first, but there was a scuffle. Did they hit one another ?—No, I only saw Roberta strike Williams with a hammer. What part of the hamsoer ?—The iron part, Roberta managed to throw Williams down i -Yell. And pommel bim- Yes, Mr Lumley You heard Williams about Come half way ? i,- Yes. I And it was half way where they met Yes. You did not see any blow struck whilst Williams was in the trap ?—No. Mr Lloyd Joaea: Would you have called it a fight if Mr Roberts had not suggested it to you ?-No, I ehouid call it a soufflo. Who was doing the most ?—Wm Roberts. Did you see Alua Williams do anything bat what he might have done in self-defence'? —No. Mary Shaw stated that she remembered seeing two men close to her house. She heard someone shouting and going out she saw a Feutli3 between Alun Williams and William Roberts. SnR was too excited to notioe exactly what they were doing. She said to Wm Roberts that's enough," but be did not take any notice of it. Wm Roberts struck Alan Williams. The latter asktd her to hold his e&p, bat ahe did not do fo. The cap was on the wall. Mr Roberts: I snppose one was figb ing ai much ae the other ]—Ye«f I should think so. Didjou see any blood on Wtn Roberta ? — No. He is a neighbour of yours ?—Yes. And a respectable and peaseable man ?— Yes. Is it true you wiped the blood from de- fendan t.5 faoe ?-No. Mr Lloyd Jones: We never suggested it. Mr Roberts: The complainant said this witness staunched the blood on his face, and held his oap. Mr Lumley: And this woman says she did neither. Dr Byferd said complainant oatoe to bit surgery about 6.30 in the evening. He noticed that he bad a lot of dry and ooaøu- lated bloud about his face, and some on the top of his head. There were two wonnds no his fact, one above the left brow, and one below the left eya—both about an ineh long. The left eye was very nearly cloaed-in fact he bad a good blaok eye (laughter). They were inoieed wounds, the one aoovo the brow being perhaps half-an-inob deep. He should say the wounds were itfLvoted by a biant in- strument of some description. The Chairman: Would a hammer be a likely in.trument?—Yes. Mr Lloyd Jones: Then you agree that the injuries might have been caused in the way described in court F-YeL,, Mr Roberts Bat a deliberate hit with a hammer would have caused a much more serious injury ?—Well, of eourBe, the violence of the blow would have to be taken into account. This might have baen caused by falling upon stolieli -?-'Yes, it might. In fact it might have been caused by a fight en a hard road ?—No, I don't think «o, but falling against a kerb might cause it. Mr Llujd Tnnee Thf!u you don't think these woonda were caused by stones ?- Well, I would call a stone a bluet instrument. I don't think the two woushlq woald be caused by et«ucs> unless they were done individually. Mr Lumley Supposing this llt'1 fell on a bsap of stones, would that cause it?--I don't thiuk so, for this reason; that if a man fell on a heap of stones he would probably bavo a few contusions and bruises, which this man had nob. Mr Lumley: Was he sober when he came II to von ?-Ye. This closed the caae for the prosecution. f Mr Edward Roberts, addressing the bench, said the relationship existing between the I complainant and his wife was a very unhappy one. He bad been persistently treating his wife in a most cruel manner, beating her, and causing her on several occasions to leave his house and take shelter at her father's house. 1 The complainant had behaved in a most extraordinary way, and he could not conceive that it was possible that he could be in his senses, from the way in which he had con- ducted himself. Some time ago the com- plainant and the defendant met in Ruthin, when the old man tackled him and gave him a good thrashing. Of coorse he could quite understand that the complainant was anxious to pay him back. Upon the day in question he weDt to the defendant's hous,, oa three occasionp, and behaved in a moit violent manner, shouting and abusing his wiftt and the defendant. When tha latter was walking I quietly away from his work he met tha com- plainant. The defendant would never have said a word to him, but Alun Williams would not leave him alone, and asked him why he wanted to keep bis wife there, making im- putations of tba most awful character, -A bich I alone would have bepn sutfioient to justify the defendant in striking him. The com- plainant challenged him to come and fight, aDti came out oi ice trap, me om uiau going to meat him. They met, and the dofeodant would tell them that th whole thing was a fair fight, and that it was com- menced by Alan Williams. It might b nrged that defendant bad used an iroprop-r amount of violence, but he would point out that once a man got the better of another in a fight like this he was justified in preventing the other man from continuing the attack. The Chairman It has been proved to ua that there has been a very severe assault, and the question is, whether it is justified. Mr Robbrts My contention is that this man only used sufficient force for the purpose of self-defence. The provocation came en- I tirely from Alun Williams, who got the worst I of tin fight, and then Wtnt and eummoned his father-in-law. The defendant was then sworn, and said lie had been a stone-breaker for 23 y. are. Re I had never been in a court of justice before. I Alnn Williams became his son-in-law about 15 months ago. He had a great dal of trouble with him, and his wife hal cotae to his plao from time to time. SonittimeB he was obliged to give complainant a good thrashing. Upon the day in question he was going along the road in the direotion of his home, when he met Alun Will:" a", wao asked him how he was. Witness asked him why he had come to his house to make a noise. He went on until be got to the otht-r side of Miss Shaw's house, wheie he got np into the cart and put up bis fist, calling out bad names. Then he jumped out of the cart I and came towards him, and went to meet him. Ii Alun VViliiams took hold of him by the mouth, and witness got hold of him by the throat. There was a small hammer in his band, which he dropped. Miss Shaw came there and faid That is enough, William Roberts," and he let him go. Witness kicked complainant once or twice aud hit him in tb6 fao,. Mr Lloyd jouc: • You say the first words I Alun Williams t'poke to you were to aek yon how you were ?—Yes. Do you usuauy ngric 11 a man asirs you now you are?—No. I never do anything with him if he leaves me alone. Then why did you consider it provocation ia this case ?—Because he abused his wife. You meant to give this man a good thrash- ing ?- Well, he would have had it vtry likely (laughter). Nothing would have happened it he had gone on. Didn't you hit him twice on the tye with the bammer?-No. Maxwell Edwards has sworn you did?— No, 1 didn't. Then he is saying what is not true ?- Yes. If it was only a fight, why did Miss Shaw j tell ) ou to stop ?—He was on the Hoor then. And you gave him a parting kick r- Y 6d (laughter). Is that what you call self-defence ?—Yes, I was defending royself. The Chairman here intimated that they had heard sufficieut in this case, and they woald now proceed with the next. Mr Edward Roberts said he appeared on behalf of Mrs Williams to apply for a separa- tion order, and to aik the magistrates to make an allowance for the maintenance of the wife, and to direct who should have the custody of the child. Margaret Williams was the step-daughter of the defendant in the pre- vious case. About 15 months ago she married Alun Williams, MbLo was a pig agent* Uu fortunately it appeared that this man was of a very violent temper at times, aud possessed a morbid jealousy. Daring the time they lived at Nantygarth the husband came homekunder the influence of driuk and used physical violence towards her, and thr«atened her., Upon one oecasion he actually acoused her cf' impropriety with a stranger, and on another occasion he turned her out of the house. The complainant, Margaret Williams, stated that she married the defendant 1 6 months ago. She was at that time in ser i ee with Miss Southwertb, Llanfair. When they were first married they lived at her grand- mother's house for 6ix weeks, and they after- wards got a house at Nantygarth. Her husband behaved fairly well for three months, but after that he used to come home drank and abase her. He threatened her and kicked her, and knocked her about until she was oat of breath. He usually did this in the kitchen, but he bad also thrashed htr in bed. On one particular Sunday he looked her in the house for about an hour and a quarter whilst he went to his father's house at Ty Cooh Uoha. When he came baek he began to abuse her and she ram oat of the house, but he caught her and thrashed her with a stick. "he next day she went to a neighbour (Mrs Sarah J Qnee) and shewed her several marks upon her body whioh he had caused. A few daya after this they went to Llanarmon, and because she would not return in the cart, her husband said he would thrash her, and pushed btr through the hedge on to the road. He then thrashed her and threatened her, and I said he would shoot her when she tried to call someone in. The night before she left him he had been violent to her, and she want I home. She retained, to her hasbasd, how- ever, at the request of his father. He behaved better for a few days, and then his old conduct recommenced. After this they went to live at hi;, home, Ty Coch Uoha, and daring this time he was guilty of cruelty to her. Upon one occasion he accused her of impropriety with a man He asked her to write something, and threatened to kill her before she went from the table if she did not sign it. The paper produced was the one. It was dated August 4tb, and was to the effect that she confessed to having be- haved improperly with a man namc-d- Tre word used, however, was bigamy." Witness said she did no write this of her owr, free-will. The words were aiotated to I her by her husband, and they -sy-r-rs not true. It was :quite untrue that she bad any im I proper relations with the man named or any other since her martiage. Upon another ¡ occasion she was going to see about the christening of ber child «nd h»r h'.sband would pot let her. She would not go home • with him, becauseshe was afraid, a^c! constable Jones, of Llanfair, with hie wilu, rocompanied her home. It was about a quarts-past twelve a night when they arrived ho. Her husband had gone to bed. He came dnwn hid opened the door to let them in. Tbe policeman paid to bim What are you going to do with them," and he renlied -7 There is the door for them." The oonstable said he could not put them oat at that time of the night, and he replied that at 4 o'clock in the morning he would waka ber up and send her away with the baby, and make her give up the wedding ring. Then he got her to sign the document. He said if she did not give up the ring he would kill her. After the summons had Been <?sued Jae-hsktd her to go and live with him again, and she cud S. He was hasty with her asd tbe baby, and said be wished the latter would die. He would not let her take it to bed with her, but made her leave it in the cradle all mght by the cold window. She continued to live with her husband until the 5th of Siptember, upon which day she went with him to Den- bigh in the trap. In the afternoon they called at the Leopard Inn, Denbigh, and whilst they were in a room together he became nasty with her, because she had spent 2s on the child. He made her give up the wedding ring again, and pushed her against a beuch. He was going to shut the door when she called the landlady. Witness went away towards the station and her husband went to a public house. When she got to the station she found her husband there, and therefore did not go by the train she intended. Since that day she had been living with her father, aad on the Thursday her husband eame there to sea her. He asked her if she was going hack, and she said no. He came back later in the day whea she was in the shop, and called her bad names, in the presence of Mrs Rogers and her mother. Later on he came again and shouted some- thing as be passed the bouse. Mr Lloyd Jones: Who advised you to take out this summons ?-I took it out of my own accord. Was it because your husband had taken oat a summons that you took out this one ?- N e, it was because he had not behaved properly to me in Denbigh. Why did you not take it out before ?— Because I did nt have a chance to come to town. Have you ever thrown your husband against the dresser in the kitchen ?—Yes, I did once. And hit him on the ear ?—He knocked himself. Well, you threw him there, didn't you ?- I pushed him. Have you ever thrown bottlos at him ?— Nt), never. Have you ever gone for him with your fii»tii ?—No. Da you say here on oath that you signed that paper because your husband said he would kill you if vou did Pot 'Yes. It is a fact thai he did find rou in the j stable with that gentleman?—Yes, I was I shewing him the pony. I Was tho: door Cpfli ?—Yes. Did DJt yuur husband open it ?.No; he didn't. It was open. When was your child born ?—On May 28th. Have you ever been to a concert in town with this gentleman ?- Yell, and my husband with us. ) Who paid for the wedding ring ?—Well, I should think it woaid be Alun. Was H nut paid for by someone else ?—-My husband shewed me a receipt to &how it was r Mr Lumley: What is the date of that re- ceipt, i? it to bo had ? Mr Lloyd Jones: I have not got it here, but my impression is that it is about three months back, Mr Lumiey: I think it ought to be produced; anybody might produce a docu- ment of that kind. The Chairman: If you are nat producing that receipt I think that is a most improper suggestion. Mr Lamley: I think so, too, If the docu. ment is in your possession I think it should be produced. I would like to see the receipt so that I may understand what is the meaning of it. You are suggesting something between this man and this woman. I would like to see the reoeipt so that I may know whether it is a valid one. I want to see the document; you have seen it, and the Court should have it. Mr Lloyd Jones It is at defendant's home. Mr Lumley You are suggesting some im- moral conduot between this man and woman, and you have mentioned this dooument. Why is it not in court? Mr Lloyd Jcnes: I am not introducing the document as evidenoe at all. Mr Lumley: But you by cross-examination got out ef tbn witnese that there is a docu- ment in existence. I ant to see it. The Chairman: It has come out that somebody paid for this ring, and I think the witness should be asked to give some explana- tion of it. What explanation have you to give of somebody else pajing for the ring ? Wituess: It was because this gentleman had hired my husband's pony and trap, and as he owed him the money for it he paid for the ring. Cross-examination continued: Why did you po back to your husband after tbis cruelty that you allege ?-Becauie he promised to be better. Was not the real reason that he should destroy that paper?—I said I wanted him to have his words back, and that I was not go- ipg to lose my character. Mr Lumley: In connection with this con- fession did you, before withdrawing that summons against your husband, consult any- one in connection with it. Did anyone ask you to withdraw the summons 2-He come there with his father. Did anyone say to you, If you withdraw this summons this confession would be put in the fire ? "-Yes, Mr Jones, his solioitor. Mr Lloyd Jones: I can explain that. She said to her husband, you have got the con- fession, and I am not going back unless you destroy it. Mr Lumley I think you should go into the witness box and give evidence. Mr Lloyd Jones: I am quite prepared to do so. It is not fair to say that I went and advised bH to destroy this document, and then bring it in evidence against ber. Mr Lumley That is a matter for us to think over. Mr Lloyd Jones pointed out that the sum- mons was not withdrawn. Mr Lumley: Then some offieer of this nonrt1 fcia to say why this book says with- drawn across that summons. Mr Lloyd Jones: No uue appeared to sup- port it; it was not withdrawn. Mr Lumley: Here is a dnmb thing with withdrawn across it (laughter). Mr Lloyd Jones If the person who causes the summons to be issued does not appear, tb« case simply drops: it is not a with- drawal. IVIrs Sarah Jones, a married woman living at Nantygarth, next went into the witness box. She was a neighbour of Mr and Mrs Williams for some months. They did not iive very happily together. Upon one occasion M-s Williams came to her house at night, and said she was afraid to stop with her husband. I Up; n another occasion she called at her house I and shewed ht-r some marks upon her body, sajing she had been abused by her husband. ,I,i I L Thero wero several bruises upon her which looked as if they bad been caused by kicks. Oc" nigkfc she came and asked to bo allowed to stay for thA ni?ht„ and she did so. < Coa!ex:Hr.ill¡ d; > on have never eetc any'rir-t.- place Detwitn ifce husband and w>" v1—No. lou don't kvov of yr,ur own knowledge that he has ever been cruel to her (-I know I because she has told mf. Enc,c,it Edwards, farmer, said he lived near the Williams' when tbey were at Nant-y- Gartb. Hp had known Mrs Williams to be ¡ away from the house all night, and ha bad heard noises as though disputes wt-re going on. Upon one occasion Mrs Williams shewed him her right arm, and there wtre signs ot violence upon it. The Chairman: The woman has giveu evidenee which we think is evince ot I cruelty; it has been corroborated tu wrne extent, but not by anyone who has s«eii the deeds of cruelty. Mr Roberts. That, in t hA vry nature nf the case, is almost impossible. The def^ridav t would not be likely to abuse the woman in the presence of others. Alan Williams, the defendant, said he was i not cruel to his wife at all at Danbigh. It was not true that he threatened to kiij her if she did not sign Lhe document; he made her sign it willingly. The Bench Was it trne thatyou threatened to kill You- wife if she did not sign that document ?—No. Did she sign it voluntarily ?—She did it willingly. Mr Roberts Assuming for a moment that the confession is true, the oftenca has been condoned. The very fact that he co-habited with his wife aft--rwarcis condoned it. Mr Lloyd Jones The point is that it was said he threatened her if she would not sign the document, and he Fays it is untrue. Mr Lamley Why did you go to Mr Lloyd Jones and shew him this paper ?--I didn't. Then Mr Lloyd Jones is not telling the truth ?—Well, I showed him it at a distance (laughter). Did you tell him what was in it ?-Well, he asked me what was up, and I told him. The Chairman I don't see any reason for carrying it a»y farther. The magistrates then retired, and upon their return, the Chairman intimated that in the first case they considered the assault proved, and William Roberts would be fined 58 and costs; and in the other they would grant a separation order, and directed the defendant to pay 10s per week for the main- tenance of his wife, who would have the custody of the child. The costs in both casts would follow the event.

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