Soldier assaults police officer in bar

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1914 Police Court

Today at the Borough Police Court, before Mr WS Rowntree, and other magistrates, William Webster (22), soldier, the Barracks, Burniston Road, was charged with assaulting PC Chapman whilst on duty on 12th of September.

Prisoner said he was guilty of pushing the policeman.

From the Chief Constable’s statement it transpired that prisoner was a military police corporal. The magistrates had made a request to the licensed victuallers of the town to cease the sale of intoxicating liquor to soldiers in uniform after 9pm.

At 9.55 on Saturday evening prisoner went into the Lord Nelson public house with two privates. The barman said to him that he could not serve him with anything to drink, and he replied, “I have not asked for anything. I can remain here until 11pm.” The barman said he could only look round to see if there were any soldiers in the house and go out. Prisoner assaulted a civilian who asked for “fair play for the one behind the counter” and when PC Chapman came in he knocked the constable over a form.

Christopher Williamson, barman, said prisoner had had some beer but was not drunk.

By prisoner: The constable had drawn his baton after prisoner assaulted him.

PC Chapman said prisoner had struck him in the chest.

Prisoner said he went into the public house in the execution of his duty. As soon as he went inside the barman accosted him, stating he could not be served. Prisoner replied, “I beg your pardon, I don’t require anything.” The barman told him to get out.

As a matter of fact it arose out of trouble with some of their men in the afternoon. The barman had recognised him. He had shoved the constable to save himself when he saw him draw his baton. He had walked to the police station “under his own escort.”

The Chief Constable, replying to the chairman, said he could not say that he had not had trouble with soldiers over the public houses not serving them after nine o’clock.

The police corporal had been very friendly with the police, however.

The Chairman said the bench were sorry to see him there, especially after the character the Chief Constable had given him.

They felt bound to support the police. They would take into consideration the fact that he had been in custody since Saturday night.

He would have to pay £1 including costs.