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CAEBWYS. DESPERATE ENCOUNTER WITH POACHERS.—At a special sessions, held on Thursday week, at Caerwys, Joseph Blackwell, formerly a gamekeeper at Holy- well and neighbouring districts, was brought up on remand, charged with being concerned in a terrible assault which was committed upon Edward Ellis and Edward Thomas, gamekeepers to Mr. William Williams, of Caerwys. The accused was charged upon three warrants, with being concerned with two others (who are well known, but were not in custody), with night poaching after sunset, and also with assaults. The justices upon the Bench were the Right Hon. Lord Mostyn, Rev. T. Z. Davies, Colonel the Hon. Roger Mostyn, and St. John Charlton, Esq.—Mr. William Davies (Holywell) appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. P. Mwyndeg Evans (Holywell) defended. In opening the case for the prosecution, Mr. Davies said that as far as the prisoner was concerned, he need scarcely state that he was well known to the court, having re- peatedly appeared before the court in the capacity 1 of a prosecutor, he having been employed as game- keeper by a gentleman residing at Bryngwyn Hall, and subsequently by Mr. William Williams, of Caerwys. Of all the persons in the world, he should have thought that the prisoner would have been the last to have appeared before the court in his present position, it being, if possible, an aggrava- tion of his offence that he should be found stealing the property of his former employer. But he was sorry to say that Blackwell had filled the dual posi- tion of gamekeeper and a desperate poacher, and had shown himself to be guilty of the basest in- gratitude in the offence with which he was then charged.—Edward Ellis, who was accommodated with a seat whilst giving his evidence, was first called. His head was swathed in bandages, and his face bore marks of severe punishment. The witness said he succeeded the prisoner as game- keeper to Mr. William Williams. On the 17th inst., he was in a field close to the wood called Tan y-walk. He went into the field in company with Edward Thomas, about half-past eight in the evening. They walked along the hedge be tweon the wood and the field. They saw an object, and Thomas said What's this ?" The object turned out to be a man, who jumped up and shouted Come here, lads, here they are." The man then ran away, and the keepers followed him, and in trying to grab at him, he struck some pegs the man was carrying under his arm. At last he (witness) caught him, but at that time he did not know who be was. Just at that time Thomas came up and the man dropped on the ground and Thomas fell upon him. The prisoner Blackwell ctme up at that moment, and there was a third man abouc five yards off. He took hold of Blackwell and struggled with him. He was sure that the prisoner Biackwell was the man he struggled with, as he had known him for many years, and had caught him poaching before. Blackwell struck him as hard he could repeatedly about the legs with a big stick, and also struck him across the face with the stick. They were still struggling, and they fell on the ground, he (Blackwell) being uppermost. He struck him again on the face, and afterwards took something out of his pocket, and fumbled as if he was attaching it to his wrist. At that time Black- well was kneeling on witness' stomach, and he kept knocking him about the face and head with "the something." It looked like a stick, but it was very hard. He struck him repeatedly, until he had eleven holes on his head, and then he said to Black- well Go away, you have killed me now." After that he struck him two or three times on the head, and he became insensible. He did not see Biackwell going away, nor did he know how long he lay upon the ground in that state. When he recovered consciousness he found himself by Caerwys Hall door, but he had no idea how he got there. From that time he had been under surgical treatment. Mr. Hamlet Lloyd Davies, M.B., Holywell, said he examined the witness Ellis, on Saturday last. He described the injuries which he found the man to be suffering from, as detailed by the preceding witness, and added that the man's general health was impaired and he was quite incapable for work. He had also examined Edward Thomas, and de- scribed his injuries. The cut above his eye he considered to have been caused by a blunt instru- ment. He could scarcely imagine it to have been caused by a nail. Edward Thomas, the other game- keeper, gave evidence in Welsh. He corroborated the former witness as to the proceedings which led to the assaults. He said that in the fight, his assailant—the man who has not been apprehended —bit him severely in the thumb, and endeavoured to gouge out his eye. He fought for about a quarter of an hour, and then called upon Ellis, but got no answer. Subsequently Blackwell came up, and abused him terribly whilst his thumb was in the other man's mouth. The heavy stick produced he knew to belong to the prisoner. Acting-sergeant Hug-hes, of Caerwys, produced the clothes worn by the witness Thomas at the time of the assault, which were saturated with blood. He deposed that he apprehended prisoner in the railway train at Cefnybedd, near Wrexham. He struggled violently in the carriage but was overcome. Mr. Evans made an ingenious speech for the defence, arguing that the prisoner was simply proceeding along the footpath when he heard voices, and on going up to the spot he was assaulted by the keeper, and the fight in which he afterwards took part was in self- defence. The police officer was complimented for the manner in which he made the apprehension. A stick found amongst other things on the ground and marked with blood was proved to belong to Blackwell. He was committed to prison for five months with hard labour and ordered to find sure- ties not to offend again for twelve months, failing that to be further imprisoned for six months.












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