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THE TROUBLES OF JANE WOZENCRAFT. SWEET SEVENTY IN CRINOLINES. On Thursday, at the County Sessions, Mont- gomery, an old lady named Jane Wozencraft, fear- fully and wonderfully arrayed in the by-gone fashion of crinolines, charged her neighbour, Wil- liam Fletcher, farmer, of Hurdley, with assaulting her on December 26th on land in the tenancy of Mr Lewis, of Upper Hurd ley.-Fletcher's son, George, a lad of 10, was also charged with a similar offence on the 9th inst,-Complainant, who is 70 years of age and somewhat deaf, gave her evidence in a peculiar manner which provoked much merri- ment in Court. The gist of her disposition was that on the date named whilst coming through a wicket bearing a pail of water she was seized bv defendant who expressed a desire to kiss her. She indignantly desired him to reserve his kisses for his missus, but he refused and continued to li pull her about irl a very improper way. She then "raised the cry" on him, and hearing her screams, Mr Lewis and some persons rushed up and rescured her by the rough-and-ready expedient of dragging her assailant off by the two ends." The old lady, thinking she had seen the last of her tormentor WENT ON HER WAY REJOICING but, alas, only a quarter of an hour elapsed before "General" Fletcher resumed the attack, this time while she was essaying the ascent of a very high rail. She carried a stick in her hand, but Fletcher wrenched this from her, and that so roughlv as to cause her fingers to ache for days. His manner throughout was most scandalous and such as she had never before met with in her life. At length, however, he left her alone, and jthen she managed not without great difficulty, to get over the rail and so home, quite exhausted with her endeavours to resist the brutish behaviour of the defendant.— John Morgan, a neighbour, was called as a witness by William Fletcher. He said he was present when j complainant alleged the defendant attempted to assault her a second time. What Mrs Wozencraft said was incorrect; Fietcher never laid hands upon her; on the contrary, they both kept at a respect- ful distance, awed by the flood of UNPARLIAMENTARY LANGUAGE the complainant hurled at them.—Mrs Wozencraft: Ah You are the same here as at home. Why don't you speak the truth ?—Another neighbour, Mary Rudge, a picturesque old woman, said on the evening of the 20th of December she was returning from her day's labour when, suddenly, her progress was arrested by the sound of such a blathering and a jabbering" for all the world like the music emitted by suffering porkers in the throes of death. Hastening to the spot where the shindy ap- peared to be proceeding, she found old Mrs Wozen- craft with her mouth wide open, making a most desperate noise. Siie (Rudge) exclaimed, "SHUT UP, OLD LADY!" and passed on. The defendant Fletcher was at least 10 yards away from the complainant, and he never spoke or tried to touch her.—Mrs Wozen- craft (striking a Punch and Judy attitude) You are all telling untruths. Oh You are a nice lot of neighbours to come here and swear to all this. Oh, you-The defendant, W Fletcher, said the complainant was an extremely annoving person, who was always creating disturbances." He denied that he had assaulted her.—The charge against the boy, George Fletcher, was then investigated.—The complainant said that on the 9th of the present mouth, whilst returning home from Churchstoke, she met a lot of chiidren coming cut Of school. Amongst the troop was the defendant who, as a mark of affection and esteem, at once commenced slap-dashing her in the face with a pliant willow. She asked him to give over his tricks but he only laughed and WENT ON PLAUGINO HER for abour half-an-hour.—The Chairman (to the lad): W hat have you to say in answer to Mrs Wozen- craft ?—Defendant: Please, sir, I didn't touch her. -This concluded the evidence in both cases and the Chairman, after being informed by the police that Fletcher (senior) had .been fined bv the Court many years before on a similar charge of molesting Mrs Wozencraft, announced the decision of the Bench, which was that the elder defendant be bound over to keep the peace with the complainant and the rest of Her Majesty's subjects in the sum of X2 for three months, and also to pay 10s, the costs of the case. The charge against the boy, George Fletcher, would be dismissed. Continuing, Mr Fairies-Humphreys said the disturbances which occasionally took place in the neigh- bourhood of Hurdley were exceedingly dis- graceful. No doubt Mrs Woeencraft was a trifle irritable and eccentric, but that was no justification for the neighbours to be everlastingly teasing her. The Bench were determined to do their best towards preventing a repitition of such behaviour by severely punishtng anyone who might come before them again on a similar charge. They considered that the neighbours ought to show their respect for the complainant's great age by humouring HER LITTLE ECCENTRICITIES. In conclusion, they strongly advised Mrs Wozen- craft to turn over a new leaf and try in future to live at peace with her neighbours.—Complainant (shrilly): I never neighbour.—The Chairman: We would further counsel you to try and break your- self of the habit of using bad language, and then probably, you would get on better with those around.—Mrs Wozencraft opened her mouth to say something but she was cut short by the Chairman calling for the next case.





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