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At the R.M. Court on Thursday, His Worship heard a charge against Henry Rcdforn, woolscourer, Tinwald, of assaulting A. W. Pearson, bailiff of the Court, while said bailiff was in the execution of his duty. Kedfern was also accused of assaulting James Leonard, assistant bailiff, but this charge was departed from. Sergeant Felton conducted the prosecution, and Mr Crisp appeared for the accused. A. W. Pearson, bailiff of Court, sworn, said he went the previous evening to execute a warrant at the house of prisoner. Mr. Crisp objected to this warrant, inasmuch as it did not sufficiently describe the party against whom it was issued. The party was only described as “ Redfern,” and that description might apply to anyone who happened to be cal ed “Redfern.” It was necessary to individualise the party, and he submitted that the full Christian and surnames were required, as also his occupation, which latter did not appear on the warrant either. He further objected that the warrant did not follow the summons, and that the certificate to the R.M. prior to issue of summons was not such as was required by the R.M. Ach

After considerable argument, his Worship over-ruled these objections, and the case proceeded. A. W. Pearson said that on the sth May he went to Redfern’s house at Tinwald, to execute a warrant. Prisoner was at home, and witness read the warrant to him very loudly, having been informed by prisoner’s wife that he was very hard of hearing. Redfern fully understood what was read to him, and that it was a warrant to seise his goods for a debt due to Samuel Hardley. When the warrant was read prisoner called witness, and his assistant Leonard who was with him, two imposters, and “ brigands.” He then became violent, and tried to eject witness and his assistant. Ho kicked Leonard on the behind twice, and also assaulted witness and struggled with him. Prisoner was drunk. Took him in custody, .and brought him to Ashburton. He struggled violently, but was ultimately brought to the lock-up, and handed over to Sergeant Felton’s custody. By Mr. Crisp—Have been at Redfern’s three times ; went the first time with a distress warrant, and left a man there. He remained in possession till II p.m. on Tuesday night, when he left. “ The prisoner was mad, you know, and the man couldn’t stop.” Put another man in possession yesterday. Read the warrant out quite loud. Was told to go out before any struggle took place. Arrested prisoner in his own house on the authority which I possess as a constable sworn in at this Court. The man was wot when he came to the lock-up. You (to Mr. Crisp), would have been wet, too, had you been out in such a night. Sergeant Felton here gave wdtness to understand he was answer and not to argue.

James Leonard, assistant bailiff, mainly corroborated the bailiff’s evidence. Redfern might not have been drunk, but he seemed to have a mad fit. Pearson wont for a cab, leaving prisoner in witness’s charge. IP it had not been for the wife keeping prisoner hack, ho would have devoured ” Pearson. Sergeant Felton said ho had made inquiries as to Redfern’s character. He was drunk when brought to the station, but his neighbors spoke well of him, and one who had no interest in him whatever had bailed him out, and would have advanced money to pay the debt had he known of the case. Should say prisoner was a respectable man. When brought to the look-up the police changed prisoner’s wet clothes, and gave him plenty of blankets. Henry Kedforn, sworn, said the claim out of which this prosecution arose had been left in Mr. Crisp’s hands to arrange. Understood Mr. Hardley, tinsmith, had accepted an arrangement to bo paid L2 clown and L2 a month until the debt was cleared. Thought the case was settled, until the bailiffs came and wanted to seize his chattels. The first bailiff was not interfered with, and he left of his own accord. Pearson apprehended prisoner, and took the following plan to take him to the lock-up :—He threw prisoner down, tied a rope round his body, his hands behind his hack, and attaching the rope to a horse, dragged him along. Mr. Crisp explained that he himself had made the arrangements with Hardley regarding the settlement of the claim, and Rsclfern was perfectly justified in believing that the matter was all settled, seeing that he had been told so by his solicitor, and in that belief his resistance to the bailiff had been made. The bailiff had taken out the warrant after the case had been settled by the solicitor. His Worship, in addressing prisoner, .aid he had no right to take the law into his own hands, but the officers of the Court must be protected in the execution of their duty. All the circumstances considered, he would only inflict a nominal fine of ss. upon prisoner, with no costs of court, beyond 7s. lid. for the hire of the cab in which he had been taken to the station.

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Bibliographic details

ASSAULTING A BAILIFF., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 97, 8 May 1880

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ASSAULTING A BAILIFF. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 97, 8 May 1880