Newspapers and journals: Alleged Assault in a Hayfield

Petty Sessions

Alleged Assault in a Hayfield. — Edward Gumbleton, labourer, of Donhead St. Mary, was summoned for assaulting Hugh Maidment with a hay prong on the 25th of June at Donhead St Mary. Mr T D Shaw, of Wincanton, appeared for the defendant. Prosecutor, a labourer, of Donhead St Mary, stated that he was in the hayfield on the 25th of June working for Mr. George Barrett. Defendant left the filed after dinner, and when he came back he commenced abusing them all. Witness said 'We can do without your lip.' Gumbleton then put himself in a fighting attitude, whereupon witness struck him first in the chest and 'then they had a bit of a row.' There were some hay prongs lying against a bank, and defendant struck him with one of them on the left side, and when he 'came' at him again a man named Reuben Peckham caught hold of the prong and eventually took it away from him. He attempted to seize another pick and threatened to knock witness's brains out. His ribs were smashed by the blow, and he had been laid up.

Reuben Peckham, market gardener, of Donhead St Mary, said Maidment asked defendant to fight and struck him in the face. Gumbleton struck him back, and threw him to the ground. He then took up a prong and hit him across the ribs. Witness then took the pick away. In cross-examination, he said that both of them were a bit 'muddly' through drinking cider.

Dr Frederick Blucke, Donhead, said he examined complainant on the 27th of June. His ribs were not broken, and he could not see any injury on him at all. George Arnold, labourer, of Donhead, said he saw them fighting. Maidment struck the first blow. James Sinnick, labourer, of Donhead, corroborated. The case was dismissed.

George Barrett, farmer, of Donhead, was then charged with a similar offence on the same date against Maidment (the complainant in the last case). Maidment deposed that after Gumbleton had gone away defendant knocked him down. He then threatened to kick his brains out if he did not get up. He (defendant) pushed him out of the field. Sinnick, a witness in the last case, said defendant told Maidment he would not have such rows in his field. Defendant pushed him on the ground, but did not see him strike him. Judith Maidment and Emily Maidment, daughters of the defendant, having given evidence, the Bench decided to convict in this case, and fined defendant 1s and 14s costs.

Western Gazette
16 Jul 1897

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