4th July 1859
Reference Numbert18590704-675
VerdictGuilty > unknown

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error
Navigation< Previous text (trial account) | Next text (trial account) >

675. DENNIS BRYAN (18), and DAVID BRYAN (19) , Unlawfully assaulting Alexander Bennett, a police-officer, in the execution of his duty, and inflicting on him grievous bodily harm.

POLAND conducted the Prosecution.

ALEXANDER BENNETT (City policeman, 248). On Saturday night, 4th June, I was in Robin Hood-court, which leads from New-street into Shoe-lane, about 100 yards from Holborn-hill—I saw the prisoners there about a quarter past 12 o'clock—I had known them by sight these 3 years, and have been in the habit of seeing them repeatedly—they were swearing and making use of most abusive language, and I said, "You had better move on; I cannot allow that swearing here at this time of the morning"—Dennis struck me a violent blow on the left ear, and David struck me on the back of the head at the same time, from the effects of which I fell to the ground, and my head came in contact with the kerb—I was rendered insensible, and recollect nothing further—the prisoners were dressed as they are now—David has a very hoarse voice—I was taken to the hospital the same night insensible, and remained there till 18th June—I am not able to attend to my duty yet.

Cross-examined by Mr. BARRY. Q. Was David drunk? A. No; they were both quite sober, and were swearing at each other—I did not see or hear a woman there—there were no people about; they had all gone; the prisoners were the only two there—I had been about the neighbourhood all the evening—I did not touch him before he struck me—Walthrop was with me—if you wish to know, I have seen Dennis at a police-court, accused of assaulting a civilian in Hatton-garden—he was not convicted; the prosecutor never appeared—that was on 18th December, 1858—I helped to take him in custody—I wished a woman good night as she passed me—I had been in no house since I left the station-house—I said nothing to the prisoners but "Move on"—it was dark, but there were plenty of lamps—I stated the prisoners' names at once as soon as I recovered, but did not describe them—I knew where they lived—they were taken on the Sunday morning—my brother officers also knew where they lived very well—when I was first asked about them, Dennis was in custody—David was taken on Tuesday, but I was not there.

Mr. POLAND. Q. What are they? A. Costermongers; they live at 3, Union-court—they are known to my brother officers—Union-court is on the right hand side going up Holborn, and Robin Hood-court is on the left.

ELLEN WIDMORE . I am the wife of Charles Widmore, of 12, Robin Hood-court, Long-lane—on 4th June the policeman passed me in the court, and I saw two men and women by the milk-shop, using bad language—I had never seen them before, but one had a white jacket, something similar to that (Dennis's)—the other one spoke coarsely—the policeman told them to move on—I saw the policeman struck to the ground by a blow from one of them, I cannot say which, and when he was on the ground they kicked him—I said, "Do you intend to do for the man; do you intend to murder him right Out"—they ran away, and said that I knew them.

Cross-examined. Q. Were you very near to them? A. As near as I am

now—I do not swear to either of them—I do not think they were taller men—I had never seen them before—I did not see their faces; their backs were towards me.

GEORGE MANNING (City policeman, 278). I received information on Sunday morning, in consequence of which I took Bryant in custody—I took Dennis at the bottom of Holborn-hill, Victoria-street—I told him I charged him on suspicion of being one of two men who assaulted a constable the night previous—he said, "What time was it?"—I said, "A little past 12"—he said, "I was in bed at 9, and have not been out since till now"—I took him to the hospital, to the ward where Bennett was lying, and asked him if he knew this man—he said, "That is one of the men who assaulted me, he is the man who struck the first blow"—he said that he knew nothing of it, and I took him to the station—on the following Tuesday, 7th June, I took the other prisoner in Union-court, Holborn-hill, where they both live—I told him he was charged on suspicion of assaulting the constable Bennett, with his brother, on the Saturday night previous—he said, "I was on Holborn-hill about 10 minutes past 12, but saw nothing of the assault"—I took him to the station, and from there to the hospital, and asked Bennett if he knew him—he said, "Yes; that is one of the men who assaulted me"—the prisoner said that he did not know him, but Bennett said that he knew him well—I have known the prisoners for a long time—David has rather a peculiar hoarse voice; he speaks through his nose.

Cross-examined. Q. Why did you say to Dennis, "I charge you on suspicion?" A. Because I was no witness to the assault, and there are other Dennis Bryants besides him—Bennett did not tell me where Dennis Bryant lived—I acted on information entirely, and his description answered that given to me—I had seen a description of David also—I did not go to his house—I knew I should have him soon, and it is dangerous for one man, to go to a costermonger's; we sometimes get pelted out with brickbats—I was instructed to take him when I met him, and I got the assistance of another constable and took him—I do not know another David Bryant, but there are a number of Bryants in the court—I charged him on suspicion—I had seen Bennett; he knew Him by the name of Riggan—I have known the prisoners for 18 months or 2 years—they have been repeatedly under my observation—I have seen David at the police-court—he was not acquitted; he got a month—it was for assaulting the police—I did not go to the house with a staff of police—if I had done so, and had not found him, it would have put them on the alert, and he would not have been seen again for 2 or 3 months.

MR. POLAND. Q. When you did go, bad you reason to believe you should find him? A. Yes; I saw him peeping round the door-post, and got another constable and apprehended him—the assault for which he had a month was six weeks or two months previous.

BENJAMIN JOHNSON (City policeman, 276). I have known Dennis eight months—I saw him in Union-court on Saturday night, June 4, about 10 minutes past 12 o'clock, with his other brother, not David, under a gas-lamp—I got to the top of the road, heard a rattle spring, and met Shepherd with a rattle, who gave me information—there was time for Dennis to have got from where I spoke to him to where I heard the rattle springing; it was on the other side of the road—I then went into the court, and saw four men carrying Bennett, who was insensible—I afterwards went to the hospital and Bennett said "Dennis Bryant and Regan has done this"—when Manning relieved me at 6 next morning, I told him who the men were who

had committed the assault—when I saw Dennis and his other brother in Union-court they were coming in a direction towards Holborn-hill, running into the court as I was going out—they live about five yards down.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you go from Holborn? A. Yes; that is always my beat—I did not speak to them as I came down, because I did not know that an assault had been committed—I have seen the other brother since—I saw Dennis at a 1/4 past 10, and met him in the court again at 10 minutes past 12—I saw David before, but not afterwards—it is not more than 100 yards from the court where I saw them conversing to where I met the prisoners—they were walking, but appeared out of breath—I did not see them run at all—it was not a policeman who was springing the rattle, it was Shepherd who had got a rattle out of a policeman's pocket.

THOMAS CHARLES LANGDON . I am one of the house-surgeons at St. Bartholomew's Hospital—on Sunday morning, 5th June, Bennett was brought there, between 12 and 3 o'clock—he was confused and sleepy—he was able to answer questions, but answered them shortly—I examined him; he had a considerable wound on the back of his head, and a small scalp wound—he was suffering from concussion of the brain—he complained of very great pain in his back, though I found no contusion—I was told that he fell on his back with his lanthorn there—he left the hospital on 18th June—he is not well now—he cannot bear the weight of his hat, which is a sign of injury to the brain.

MR. BARRY called

CATHERINE BRYAN . I sell things in the street, and live at 3, Union-court—the prisoners are my brothers—on the Saturday night when this took place Dennis went to bed between 9 and 10 o'clock, and I never saw him get up till between 9 and 10 next morning—I did not see David.

Cross-examined by MR. POLAND. Q. Where does your brother Dennis sleep? A. In the back room first-floor; Mr. and Mrs. Power sleep in the room—I do not know how many people sleep in the house; we do not keep it, but six or seven sleep in the two rooms on the ground floor—I sleep in the front room, and saw my brother go to bed in the back room; he undressed with the door wide open and went to bed—my mother keeps the two rooms on the ground floor—she is here, but she was not present at the time Dennis went to bed.

Prisoner Dennis. I asked before the Magistrate for my witnesses to come, and they would not allow it—whenever the officer Johnson meets me, he kicks me, and says "I never shall be satisfied till I have you."

BENJAMIN JOHNSON re-examined. That is not true—I never said anything of the kind or inflicted any violence upon him.

Prisoner David (showing one of his legs). This is where you kicked me.

GUILTY **— Confined Twelve Months each.

View as XML