20th February 1799
Reference Numbert17990220-55
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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187. EDWARD-SAMUEL BARNARD was indicted for assaulting William Mitchell , an officer of Excise, on shore in the execution of his duty .

The indictment was opened by Mr. Knowlys, and the case by Mr. Fielding.

WILLIAM MITCHELL sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knowlys. I am an officer of Excise , and live at Helston, in Cornwall: A little more than twelve months ago, I first saw the prisoner, he lived about three times the length of this Court from me; he knew me perfectly well. On the night of the 21st of December last, which was a very bright moonlight night, about nine o'clock, I and some other officers went to a little by-lane in the parish of Wendon , which goes into a field into a farmer's yard; there is a gate into the turnpike road; we were waiting for some people that we expected to come across the ground into that by-lane, and we made the gate, that goes into the road, fast; Bunney, Parnell, and Lisle, were with me.

Q. Tell us what you first observed? - A.After fastening the gate, I waited within side of the field by the side of the lane, for three parts of an hour, we then heard a noise of horses coming, which we supposed to be the smugglers; the first that came up, was John Skinner, a smuggler, who lives in the town of Helston, he was riding on a horse, but nothing with him; I heard the others coming, and the officers were placed to cut off their retreat; I told them, what they had got, they had better give up peaceably; and he called me by my name, and said, is that Mr. Mitchell; I told him, it was; by this time, the prisoner at the bar and Pascow rode by and passed me at full gallop, with two ankers of liquor under each of them, slung over the horses, with cords, in the usual way in which smugglers carry their liquors.

Q. Was Pascow a Helston man? - A. Yes, I knew him, but not so well as Barnard; I turned round, and went towards the gate to stop the horses; upon my attempting to seize them, they instantly struck at me a number of blows with large sticks; I had one blow over my eye, that I thought I had lost the sight of my eye; I was under the doctor's hands a long time; and another across the nose; there were a great many other blows, but no blood brought.

Q. How did you get the blows on your arms? - A. By defending my head; I lost a great deal of blood; the wound on my eye was a very deep one. Pascow's stick appeared to be four feet and a half long, and a large head to it; after he had got over the gate, he took both hands and struck me repeatedly, and if the other officers had not come up, they must have got through the gate, I could not have prevented it a moment.

Q.The men that were striking you, were Pascow and Barnard? - A. Yes, they struck, both of them, as fast as they could. On the Christmas day I was as ill as ever I was in my life. When Parnell came up, I fell back to recover himself; I had had enough for any man; and after I had recovered myself, I returned; we secured three horses laden; a boy had been riding one of them, and he had jumped off, and ran away; the other two horses were rode by Barnard and Pascow, they were loaded with two casks each, one of brandy, and one of geneva; they were seven-gallon casks; Parnell caught Barnard by the collar, secured him, and took him to Helston; the others ran off; indeed, I had three loaded pistols about me, but I was loth to make use of them; if I had, I think, as we were so close, it must have taken the life of one of them.

Q. I believe Barnard got hurt? - A. I believe he did, in his head.

Court. Q. Did you draw the pistols at all? - A. Not till after we had got to the end of Helston town, when I was apprehensive of a rescue.

Q. When Barnard was secured, did he say any thing? - A. When I remonstrated with him for having used me so ill, he said, he was very sorry for it, and begged we would let him go; and he said, if he had known they were Helston officers, he would not have hurt them; but he thought they were Penryn officers, otherwise they should not have acted in the manner they did.

Cross-examined by Mr. Pooley. Q.Both of you lived in the same town? - A. In the same street.

Q. You were very well known there? - A. Yes.

Q. How far from London is Helston? - A. About 270 miles, I believe.

Q. He is a poor man, I believe? - A. Yes. He has been detected three times in a year and a half.

Mr. Fielding. Q. I believe he works in the mines? - A.Occasionally.

SAMUEL PARNELL sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. I am an officer; and came up to the assistance of Mitchell.

Q. When Skinner first came up to the gate, where were you? - A. I was back about 200 yards from the gate, as they passed by.

Q. Had you known Barnard before? - A. I have seen him before, but had no knowledge of him.

Q. In what manner were Barnard and the others treating Mitchell? - A.Beating him with sticks, to the best of my knowledge. Barnard's stick was three feet long, and Pascow's was longer, with a large head to it.

Q. When you observed them striking at Mitchell, what did you do? - A. I got forward as fast as I could, and Barnard being nearest to me, striking Mitchell, I struck at him, and seized him by the collar immediately.

Q.When you seized him by the collar, did he continue to strike? - A. No, he did not.

Q. Did any thing happen to you while you were in that situation with him? - A. As I held him by the collar, Pascow was near him; I cannot say whether he was on this side the gate or the other, I believe he got over, and after he was over, he did all he could to strike Mr. Mitchell; he struck him several times after he was over the gate.

Q.Did you receive any blows from any body? - A. I do not remember that I received any; I asked the officers if they knew them, and one of the officers said, he knew them both, Barnard and Pascow; at that time I received a cut across the the back of the hand, by which of these men I know not.

Q. What sort of a cut was it, and with what instrument was it inflicted? - A. It appeared to me to be cut with a very sharp instrument; I have lost the use of my hand ever since; it cut the tendons of my fingers.

Court. Q. Have you lost the use of your hand? - A. I hope I shall have the use of it again.

Q. In what situation was Mitchell at that time? - A.Securing the horses and examining the goods; Mr. Mitchell was very ill for some time, as he was beat so; Bunney came up the instant after me; I had fire-arms about me, but did not use them.

Court. Q. Do you believe that that cut was with a knife or a cutlass? - A. A. curious knife was found near the place the next morning by a farmer; he shewed it to a smuggler, and he got it away.

Court. Q. You do not know which of them cut you? - A. I cannot say, but I am of opinion it was Pascow.

Cross-examined by Mr. Pooley. Q. After you had collared Barnard, he did not resist? - A. Not with his stick.

Q.Pascow was the man whom you believed to have cut you? - A. Yes.

JOHN BUNNEY sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. I was present with the last witness, Mitchell, and Parnell; I saw two men on horseback striking at something, but I did not know what; and before I could get up to Mitchell and Parnell, they had got off their horses; the first person I saw was Mitchell; I saw Barnard strike him three times; before I could have the power to reach Pascow, he got over the gate; the gate being fastened, I thought I should be in immediate danger to get over after him, as I perceived he had a long stick in his hand, and a nob at the end of it. Just after I got up to the gate, I saw him with both hands strike Mr. Mitchell several times; when I saw him strike Mitchell in such a manner, I called to him by his name; I told him, if he did not desist, and go off immediately, I would fire at him: then I took a pistol out of my pocket, and put it towards him, and when he saw that, he made off immediately.

Q. You did not fire? - A. No, I did not make any use of it; I saw Parnell catch Barnard by the collar; but how he came by the wound I did not see.

Cross-examined by Mr. Pooley. Q. Pascow was the most violent? - A. Yes, a great deal.(Mr. Pooley addressed the Jury on behalf of the defendant).

GUILTY (Aged 45.)

Confined two years to hard labour on the River Thames .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. COMMON SERJEANT.

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