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1866: Did he intend to strike the man or the horse?


Mr Turner, of Burgess Hill, was indicted for an assault on James Seaman, porter at that station.


Mr Carpenter opened the case, and Mr.Miles, of Brighton defended.


James Seaman deposed that he was on duty in the goods yard on 27th October, about three pm, taking some parcels from a truck, when defendant drove up in a van. He told him his goods were on the opposite side, and as he had strict orders not to allow anyone to pass he must not come on.


He stopped his horse and witness went towards him, and again told him to go back, when he said, ‘Get out of the way’, and drove up to him. I then took hold of his horse's head, and he stepped over the front of the van and struck me across the face with the whip, saying he would cut my my ………. head off. I denied his passing, but be forced his way between two trucks, and was obliged to get out of the road to prevent being run over. There is no other way across, the yard, but he might have backed his van out. He drove over the the points and the carriage dock, turned round and went out again without taking his goods.


By Mr Miles I merely took hold of the rein, and did not twist the horse round, and tried to back him. Saw Mr Dadswell in the van, but there were no children with him. When he struck me he was not striking at the horse and did not hit it. Did not ask him to get down. but told him if he struck me again I would spoil his nose (laughter). There was some quarrelling between us, and chaff, but I did not strike the horse.


James Geal corroborated this statement, and said there were no children in the van, and added that there was plenty of room for defendant to get at his goods without coming that way as he drove past them.


Mr Mills addressed the bench, and called Mr T.O. Dadswell, who said he went with Mr Turner to the station on the day named, and they had 5 children in the van, He drove into the goods yard and Seaman came up, and he believed told Turner not to go that way. The children got out of the van behind, and Turner on whipping the horse accidentally struck the porter, who was close to its head. Should fancy as they were situated he could not have struck him without hitting the horse. Did not see Geal there, or notice that Turner used the whip differently when Seaman was struck from what he did afterwards when he urged the horse on.


Fined £1 costs £1 4s, 6d.


The Sussex Advertiser, 18 December 1866


Photo: Horse-drawn delivery van of the London, Midland and Scottish railway halted in a square in Bloomsbury during 1943 to allow the horse to get a drink. Wikimedia public domain image.


Contributed by Malcolm Davison.


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