30th November 1796
Reference Numbert17961130-41
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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41. RICHARD WADDLE was indicted for that he, on the 25th of September, 1795 , upon William Walton an Officer of Excise , being on shore in the due execution of his duty, in seizing, for our Lord the King, one thousand pounds weight of tobacco, liable to be seized by him as such officer, unlawfully, and violently, did make an assault, and him, the said William, unlawfully, and forcibly, did hinder, oppose, and obstruct, against the form of the statute , &c.

Second Count. Charging him with assaulting the said William, without mentioning obstructing him in the execution of his duty.

Third Count. Charging him with obstructing him in his duty, without mentioning the assault.(The indictment was stated by Mr. Knowlys, and the case opened by Mr. Fielding).

WILLIAM WALTON sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knowlys. Q. Were you an Excise-officer on the 25th of September 1795? - A. Yes; I know the prisoner at the bar, Waddle, I knew him before this transaction.

Q. Was he acquainted with your person? - A. Yes; in consequence of an information which I had on that day, I went to Wye, and called on Mr. Hayward, an officer, to go with me for my assistance, it is about seventeen miles from the coast; about ten o'clock in the evening we sat out together, and rode to a place called New-Church, in the country of Kent, where we remained till nearly one in the morning, the 26th, when the prisoner, and George Hart in company with him, came along with a cart with two horses, which seemed very heavily loaded; I told Mr. Hayward what passed, and we immediately went in pursuit of the cart; on examining it, we found it was loaded with unmanufactured tobacco.

Q. What was it contained in? - A. Common sort of bags for this purpose; we seized it.

Q. Was any body with the cart? - A. Yes; the prisoner and Hart, at the same time; after that, Hayward called out to me, saying, that Hart was endeavouring to get the horse out of the shafts of the cart; to prevent him from doing so, I went round, and Hart held up a stick in a menacing manner, a scuffle ensued then between Hart and me; I afterwards drove Hart into the hedge, he then sprang from the hedge, and took me by the collar of my coat, and dragged me from my horse, and called Waddle to his assistance, they were both upon me, they beat me with their fists and their knees; Hart sat upon me with a very large knife drawn open in his hand, swearing, that if the goods and horses were not given up he would murder me; after that, Hayward came to my assistance, I was insensible by their sitting upon me; I was choaked by my handkerchief.

Q. How was that occasioned? - A. By their sitting upon me, and drawing the handkerchief that was round my neck very tight.

Q. How long was it before you became insensible? - A. About ten minutes; when I recovered myself, Waddle came back with the cart and two horses, and drove off.

Q. Where had they been with the cart? - A. They came back a contrary road to that which they were going before.

Q. Who was in custody of the cart, when they were beating you? - A. Mr. Hayward, who had taken the cart a little the other way; when I recovered my senses, Waddle came back with the cart.

Q. Where were you when they had got away the cart? - A. I was left lying on the ground, I don't know where they took it to, I never recovered it again; I got up about a quarter of an hour after.

Q. At the time Waddle came back, did you say any thing to them? - A. I told them I wished them to release me, when I could get the opportunity of speaking, because sometimes I was almost strangled; I got to a public-house as soon as I could; I was a month before I could do any business.

Cross-examined by Mr. Const. Q. I want you, if you can, to tell me, if Mr. Hart was on his trial, what the prisoner did; - where was the prisoner when you came up? - A. They were both riding on the top of the bags in the cart; it was full of bags.

Q. It was Hart that got down? - A. They both got down.

Q. Were any of these bags open? - A. I cut one open at the time they were getting down, and took out a sample.

Q. Had you time while they were getting down, to cut a bag open and take a sample out? - A. Yes; they did not get down immediately.

Q. You say, that afterwards Hart held up a stick to you? - A. Yes; upon my coming round the cart.

Q. You said that he used it in a menacing posture? - A. Yes.

Q. Do you know the meaning of the word you have made use of? - A. Yes.

Q. At that time, the present defendant was not near him? - A. No, nor came near to him, till Hart cried out for assistance.

Q. Why did he cry out for assistance? - A. Because he was dragging me from my horse, he had got down before he called for assistance; they were both afterwards upon me, and beat me; but only Hart sat upon me, with a drawn knife.

Q. Did they both set upon you? - A. They were both upon me with their knees; Hart far upon me, when the other left me and went away.

Q. Then of course, he was with you a part of the time? - A. Yes.

Q. Did not you or Hayward hurt either of them? - A. He desired them to desist, or else he would fire.

Q. Did not Hayward actually fire upon one of them? - A. I know nothing but that Hayward threatened to fire.

Q. You don't know whether he did or not? - A. I cannot say.

Q. What became of Hayward? - A. He left me.

Q. Then these men had you in their power, did they do any thing more to you? - A. No; they let me go.

Mr. Knowlys. Q. You said you were insensible for a considerable time? - A. Yes.

Q. They left you in that state of insensibility? - A. Yes.

Mr. Fielding. Q. Do you know whether Hayward fired the pistol? - A. No.

Mr. Const. Q. Were you in such a state of insensibility, that you did not know whether a gun was fired or not? - A. Yes.

THOMAS HAYWARD sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. I am an Excise-officer; I was called upon to go with Walton, on the 25th of September, towards New-Church.

Q. Do you know the prisoner at the bar? - A. Yes; I saw him that night with a cart.

Q. What time was it the cart was coming by? - A. About one o'clock; I went to the fore horse, Mr. Walton was behind the cart, he said, stop the fore horse, for it is loaded with tobacco; I halloaed out to Walton, Hart is taking the harness off, and has run away with the reins, Walton turned immediately round, and rode after him; in the mean time I staid with the cart; then Mr Walton in a little time after, called out, Mr. Hayward! Mr. Hayward! with that, I turned back, and left the seizure, to the assistance of Mr. Walton; they had then unhorsed him; they were both upon him at that time.

Q. Did you see them get out of the cart? - A. Yes; both of them jumped out of the cart, they were both upon Walton, beating him and kneeing him; then I said, if you don't desist from beating Walton, I shall be under the necessity of firing; Hart said, "damn your eyes and limbs, fire and"be damned, we have fire arms as well as you;" upon that, finding they were still beating Walton, I fired, and shot Hart in the hip; Hart says, "damn"your eyes and limbs, I am shot, but I am not hurt;" the prisoner then came and snapped a pistol, but luckily, it did not go off, it only snapped.

Q. How near was the pistol to you? - A. Not more than three or four yards, at the most.

Q. What pistol was this? - A. I don't know; Mr. Walton had a pistol, and I supposed it was his; I found it was not in my power to get them from beating Mr. Walton, and I went after the goods, seized them and secured them; I came up with the cart, and drove it a small distance, it might be a quarter of a mile, two men came up behind the cart, it was moonlight, and said, "damn your eyes"and limbs, we will soon settle you."

Q. Who were these men? - A. Waddle was one, but I don't know who the other was; then I found it was impossible to maintain the seizure, my life being danger; I rode off and saw no more of it.

Q. At the time they were beating Walton, had you an opportunity of seeing his person, whether he was helpless or not? - A. He appeared to be insensible, for I called out, "Mr. Walton," and he could not answer me; I have no doubt at all of the person; the goods were then taken away, the cart was turned round and drove back.

Q. How long was it before you had an opportunity of seeing Walton again? - A. I got assistance, and he was put to bed at a public-house.

Q. In what situation did you find this poor man, at the public-house? - A. He was in bed there, in a bad state.

Cross-examined by Mr. Const. Q. You seemed to have some doubt, when you were asked whose pistol it was? - A. Yes; I make no doubt but that it belonged to Mr. Walton.

Q. Are you sure you saw both of them unhorse Mr. Walton, or only one of them? - A. He was off when I came up, I saw them when they were upon him.

Q. As soon as you had fired your piece, you left him and went after the goods? - A. Yes; soon after.

Q. Was it a pistol you fired? - A. Yes; with shot in it.

Prisoner's defence. I leave it to my Counsel.

Court. (To Walton). Q. You say you have known the prisoner a great while, what is he? - A. He is a smuggler.

Q. What is his visible mode of life? - A. I don't know any thing else that he does.

GUILTY (Aged 25).

Confined to hard labour, two years in the House of Correction .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice GROSE.

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