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EXTRAORDINARY CONDUCT OF A CONSTABLE.

A CHARGE OF COWARDICE,

At the City Police Court this morning William Guy (six previous convictions) was charged with behaving on Saturday night, in a public place, with intent to provoke a breach of tho peace. Mr R. L. Stanford appeared on behalf of the prosecutor (exInspector Mallard), and said that the latter was in bed on Saturday evening, when he heard cries of “Give it him!” “Throttle him !” and other vicious cries. He rushed out to where they proceeded from, and found two young men fighting. He attempted to separate them, but failed. The strangest part of the circumstance was that Mr .Mallard saw the constable on the beat standing near the disturbance, and called out to him “Come and help me”; and “I am Mr Mallard, and I want your assistance.” The constable was evidently frightened, and would not tender any assistance. It was, as Mr Mallard would inform their Worships, a gross piece of negligence and cowardliness on the part of Constable Willis.

Frederick Mallard, insurance agent, said that when he listened to the disturbance he beard a man gurgling as if he were choking, and heard cries of “ Choke him.” He rushed up to the scene of the row—the recreation ground—and endeavored to separate the combatants, but failed. Witness then saw the flash of a bull’s-eye lantern, and called out “ Are you a constable?” and a voice answered “Yes.” Witness then asked tho constable to assist him, but the latter never appeared—he never moved. Witness’s son then appeared, and the crowd subsequently cleared out, and witness and his son followed. Witness called out to the constable “ Why don’t yen follow ?’’ and “ Follow, for goodness’ sake,” but the constable never answered. Witness subsequently found his son holding one of the crowd near All Saints’ Church, and just than tho constable camo up coolly and said “ What’s the row ?” Witness was very angry, and told the constable that he was an arrant coward. Accused was then taken to the lock-up, and on tho way to tho police station said : “ Who arrested me ?” and the constable remarked that he would make no charge against accused, John James Jeffrey Mallard, son of the last witness, gave corroborative evidence, remarking that the constable displayed great dilatoriness in coming from the ground where he was when the fight took place—to the place where witness was holding accused. It seemed as though the constable was delaying until tho persons in the row got clear. Sergeant O’Neill gave evidence as to accused having blood over hia clothes and face. Ho had no shirt on when brought to the station, and seemed excited. Constable Willis said he was on duty on Saturday evening when ho heard the disturbance mentioned by Mr Mallard. He ran to the scene of the fight as fast as he could, and did not display any dilatoriness in going to the recreation ground, where the fight was taking place. It was twenty minutes past twelve when he heard the first row, and it was half-past when accused was arrested, so that no considerable time was lost. Witness ran as fast as he could down Dundas street to the grounds. Mr Stanford : Dundas street! What made yon go down Dundas street? You were standing at the St. David street end, were you not ?—Yes. And the crowd were at that end too ? Yes.

Then why did you run from there to Dundas street, down that street, and so along to All Saints’ Church ?—I ran across the ground, and so along to Dundas street. Mr Stanford: Well, that’s what I can’t understand.

The Bench (Messrs J. H. Morrison and A. Mollison) remarked that the constable had displayed disgraceful dilatoriness in not assisting Mr Mallard when called on by that gentleman to do so. It was surprising to the Bench that the disturbance could continue without the constable interfering. However, the matter had been reported to the Commissioner of Police, and he would doubtless deal with it.

Accused, in answer to the Bench, said he was at the fight on Saturday night. His mate was fighting, and witness attempted to separate the combatants, but got knocked about on the face and hands.

Henry Guy, brother of accused, said he was present at the row, and saw the combatants fighting. Accusing was endeavoring to separate them, and seemed as though he was not fighting with anyone. Witness heard Mr Mallard cry out “ I am a Magistrate,” and also heard him call out to the constable. Accused said he had no other witnesses.

The Bench were of opinion that accused was one of the parties concerned in' the fight. These sort of fights should be put down, and the Bench admired Mr Mallard’s courage in attempting to stop the disturbance. Accused would be fined 60s, with costs, in default one month’s imprisonment.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890610.2.24

Bibliographic details

EXTRAORDINARY CONDUCT OF A CONSTABLE., Evening Star, Issue 7929, 10 June 1889

Word Count
812

EXTRAORDINARY CONDUCT OF A CONSTABLE. Evening Star, Issue 7929, 10 June 1889

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