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MISTAKEN FOR BURGALARS.

lA,. STRBATHAM COMEDT. Particulate came to light recently of a remarkable affair which, occurred in a quiet part of Streatham, London, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Janu- j nry 27, and as a result of which a gardener and a policeman both received severe injuries. The trouble originated through an error on the part of an alarum clock belonsing to a servant at "Newstead," Lelgham Court-road. Instead of starting at six a.mthe clock violently rattled off.lts alarum at three o'clock, and, Tobberies having been rather frequent in the neighbourhood recently, the half-wakened girl jumped to the conclusion that the. h.ouse had received a visit from burglars. She at once screamed for her master, who promptly threw up his bedroom window and blew a police whistle. A gardener in an adjoining lodge, hearing the call, armed himself with a thick stick, and dashed up to render, help.

Just as lie arrived on the scene a plain clothes policeman named Ford also put in an appearance and pounced on him, under the mistaken idea that he was a burglar. The gardener,, labouring under the same delusion regarding' the offluer, struck him on the head with his heavy stick. Ford called out, "I'm a policeman," but the gardener, being sceptical on the point, still wielded his cudgel, which the other endeavoured to fence off with his truncheon. Sα rigorous, however, was the. onslaught that the constable, in self-defence, disabled his opponent's right arm. Notwithstanding this injury the gardener maintained his position, using hln. stick' with his left hand with such good effect that in the end the omcer was compelled to knock him to the ground. He was standing over the prostrate form when a local resident came up, fortified with a battle axe—one version says an ornamental battleaxe, and anotber a mountaineer's axe. Knowing the gardener, but not his assailant, he forthwith felled Policeconstable Ford with the axe, under the assumption that he was a housebreaker. Another plain clothes constable, named Jacobs, who had also beard the whistle, ran to the spot, and the gentleman with the axe, believing that the new arrival was a member of the "gang," dealt him a heavy blow on the hand. At this moment there was cv.cry Indication of the aflnlr becoming serious, when, fortunately', a uniformed policeman came up. Explanations followed, and when all had been assured that the incident bad arisen us the result of mistaken identity, the gardener and Police constable Ford were treated for their wounds by Dr. Barber, a neighbouring practitioner.

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MISTAKEN FOR BURGALARS. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 62, 13 March 1909

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