Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 06 October 2022), December 1887, trial of GEORGE HARRISON, Feloniously (t18871212-145).

GEORGE HARRISON, Breaking Peace > wounding, 12th December 1887.

145. GEORGE HARRISON, Feloniously wounding William Williamson, with intent to disable. Second Count, with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

MESSRS. POLAND and MEAD Prosecuted; MESSRS. THOMPSON and BARLING

Defended.

WILLIAM WILLIAMSON (Police Sergeant L). On Sunday afternoon, 13th November, I was on duty in Bridge Street—I headed a procession coming across Westminster Bridge, which was stopped at the end of Parliament Street—I was not there for the purpose of dispersing the crowd; my duty was to detect thieves—a struggle was taking place—I had not seen that the police had drawn their truncheons; they might have done; I had none, being in plain clothes—I saw a constable in uniform knocked down about two or three yards from the pavement; his helmet came off—seeing that he looked very white, I went to assist him, to pick him up,

also his helmet; I picked it up—just as I got him on his feet I received a terrific from behind on the right ear; I staggered round, and caught hold of Sergeant Ward as I was falling, and I saw the prisoner run away—I then became unconscious—I lost a great deal of blood—the blow split my ear in two, and also grazed the back of the head just on the bone—I did not see the prisoner afterwards—I was taken to Scotland Yard by other officers, and was attended by Dr. Farr, the divisional surgeon—that was at half-past six—I was about a fortnight under medical treatment—I could not give up duty; I was so busy, I had a long firm case in hand, which is now here in the Court, and I was obliged to go on with that.

Cross-examined. There was a deal of confusion going on at this time, but not where I stood—I was on the outside of the mob; I was nearer Cannon Row, in the roadway, about three yards from the path—I have said on a former occasion "a disorderly mob of from 8,000 to 10,000 people passed over Westminster Bridge, many of them carrying sticks"—they did not approach the spot where I was standing; they passed me on the way to Parliament Street—the mounted men then started to disperse them, not till then—that was where the mounted police started breaking them up—I could not say the name or number of the constable I was assisting—before I had time to put his helmet on I fell to the ground—just as I was about to put his helmet on I received the blow, and I dropped the helmet and staggered round—I said at the police-court that I was about to put it on; it is not true to say that I put it on; I was about to do it. (The deposition stated) "I picked him up and put his helmet on.") I saw the prisoner leaving as I turned round, and as I got the man on his feet I had not time to see the constable's number or who he was—there were several policemen knocked down; they came from all parts—I am quite sure the prisoner is the man I saw running away; he had on a shabby light coat—I took him for a mason—I can't say that he was the only person I saw running away; they were running in all directions; a great many were running—there was a disorderly mob there—it was perhaps by instinct that I singled out the prisoner; he singled out me—I did not see who struck me—when I turned round I saw him running away; he had a roll of paper—I thought it was a parchment or something of that—he had some white paper in his hand—I did not say anything about the roll of paper at the police-court—I don't know why, two of the witnesses had deposed to it, I suppose that was the reason—he carried the roll of paper away with him as he ran—I had not much time to do anything, as soon as I staggered round I saw him leaving me; I became unconscious—I have known a man named Bevan since the proceedings at the police-court, not before—I did not search the prisoner at the station; he was not my prisoner.

ROGER HONEY (Police Sergeant M 19). On Sunday afternoon, 13th November, I was on duty in uniform in Kennington Road between a quarter and 10 minutes to four—I saw a procession there, a large number of people—I saw the prisoner in the front part of the procession, which started from the Blackfriars Road—I saw something in his hand, which appeared to be a roll of paper—I thought it might be something that he tad wrapped up that he was going to make a speech from—I also saw that he had something passed up underneath his waistcoat; the end of that was wrapped in paper—he left the procession; I can't say for what

purpose—I am quite sure he is the man I am speaking of—he returned in two or three minutes—there was a band, flags, and banners—the procession went on over Westminster Bridge, joined by other processions—I should say it consisted of about 3,000 persons altogether—I went on with them over the bridge and down Bridge Street; it was stopped at the end of Parliament Street—there was afterwards a very great confusion—I saw the prisoner in Bridge Street; he was rather more than halfway towards Westminster Bridge from Parliament Street—in Bridge Street I saw him run from the mob and deliver a blow at some person, and he turned and ran away—lie ran on To the pavement nearer Parliament Street, and stooped down to get in among the crowd—I ran after him and struck him across the back with my truncheon—he fell down, and I at once caught hold of him and took this weapon out of his right hand; it was then wrapped In paper—I was four or five yards away when I saw him strike the blow; he struck it with this weapon clearly—I did not see the person he struck—I had not lost sight of him from the time he struck the blow till I took him into custody—a constable assisted me, and he was taken to King Street Police-station.

Cross-examined. I escorted the procession from the Radical Club in Charles Street, Blackfriars Road, to Kennington Road—I should say there were about 150 people when I first saw the prisoner—my attention was attracted to the prisoner by his twisting the paper in a careless manner, and also that he had something underneath his waistcoast—I did not call it a weapon at the police-court—I said "I had previously seen the prisoner in Kennington Road with a pipe in paper in his hand, and another weapon under his waistcoat"—if I said just now that I did not say he had another weapon under his waistcoat I misunderstood your question—I did not know that it was a weapon, but I made use of that word at the police-court—I did not keep my eye upon him, I had no reason to do so; I could not watch one particular man on such an occasion as that—I did not notice whether other people in the crowd had weapons—there were some thousands of sticks there, I have no doubt; I cannot say about offensive weapons, I saw several walking-sticks—when I saw the prisoner in Bridge Street he ran from the mob—we were dispersing the mob, driving them back—I cannot say that the police were in a line, we were across the road, we were driving the people back at the time I saw the prisoner run from the crowd and make a blow, delivered, I believe, at some person; I was not able at the time to say who the person was—I followed the prisoner a very few yards before I arrested him, probably it might have been five or six yards—when I took the pipe from him it was still wrapped in paper—I did not know at that time that it was a pipe—I ran after him because I saw him commit an offence, and I considered it my duty to apprehend him—I sat him deliver a blow at some person; I did not see where the blow fell—I knew that a blow was given, from the fact that he made a running blow and turned and ran away—there was a great deal of confusion at the time, and a great number of persons were present—there were several other blows struck—I did not arrest any of them, because they were fighting against the police and we were fighting them back—several had their truncheon out.

Re-examined. It was about a quarter past 4 when I saw the prisoner

deliver this blow, it might have been a few minutes later, but I put it down about that time from the time we went over the bridge.

GEORGE HANLEY (Policeman L 280). I was in Bridge Street, Westminster, about a quarter past 4 on the afternoon of 13th November, on plain-clothes duty—I saw Sergeant Williamson there—I saw the prisoner strike him with the appearance of a paper parcel, on the right side of his head; it was a hard blow, and then he dropped an oyster knife out of his left hand; this (produced) is the knife; I picked it up—Williamson staggered; he wan assisting a constable at the time who had been knocked down—after Williamson was struck another plain-clothes officer took him away—seeing the prisoner drop this knife I hallowed out "Williamson, are you stabbed?" and I picked up the knife—I went after the prisoner, and he was in the custody of Sergeant Honey when I got to him; he was on the ground—I did not lose sight of the prisoner at all after he struck the blow till he was in custody—I helped to take him into custody.

Cross-examined. I did not see the prisoner make an effort to stab Williamson—I did not see this knife used at all—I had never seen the prisoner before—there was a great crowd and much contusion—I had not my truncheon out, some constables had—I do not know that orders had been given to take out truncheons—I was about two or three yards from Williamson when I saw the blow struck.

Re-examined. I was struck.

EDWARD DAY (Policeman L 166). I am now specially employed as a plain-clothes officer—on this Sunday afternoon I was on duty in Bridge street, Westminster, in plain clothes—Williamson was with me, also in plain clothes—about 4.15 I saw the prisoner in Bridge Street; I saw him run from the crowd and strike Williamson with Borne weapon; I noticed that he had something, I thought it was a roll of paper—it was a blow right under, like that (describing)—as soon as he did it he ran back to the crowd—Honey knocked him down, and he was taken into custody, and taken to King Street Station—Honey took from him the roll of paper, and it turned out to be this (a piece of iron piping)—almost immediately after the prisoner had been taken away I found this weapon, a kind of poker or bar, on the ground near the place; it was not wrapped in anything; it had this string to it—from the time the prisoner struck the blow until Honey took him I did not lose sight of him.

Cross-examined. I said at the station that I saw the prisoner strike Williamson with a weapon, I would not swear I did not say an iron weapon; it sounded solid, like a piece of wood—I found this weapon on the scene, and took it to the station—it was produced at the police-court—the prisoner ran from the direction of Parliament Street from the crowd.

HENRY MORRIS (Policeman L 306). On 19th November, about 4.15, I was in Bridge Street, Westminster, in plain clothes—I saw Sergeant Williamson there; I saw him assisting a constable up who had been knocked down, about three yards from the kerb of Cannon How—I saw the prisoner come up, rushing from the crowd in Parliament street, and strike him a heavy blow on the right ear with a weapon like this, wrapped up in paper—I saw Williamson put up his hand to his head and stagger—at that time there was a disorderly mob—I was knocked down—before that I saw the prisoner drop this knife from his left hand—I saw Hanley pick it up, and he called out "Is Williamson stabbed?"—I then

got a blow behind the neck, and was knocked down—I did not see the prisoner taken—about a quarter of au hour afterwards I went to King Street Station; I went at once to the cell—I saw the prisoner look me in the face, and I said "That is the man that struck Williamson"—I received a blow across my wrist, I thought it was broken.

Cross-examined. The constable who assisted was in uniform—the prisoner rushed from the crowd and struck Williamson across the ear as he was stooping; it looked to me as if it was a downward blow—the first evidence I gave in this case was at Bow Street on the third remand—I can't tell why I was not called before; I was there ready—I saw the assault, and went to the police court with others—the prisoner came from Parliament Street way with the rest of the crowd—I had no truncheon; I had a walking-stick—I was close to Hanley when I saw the prisoner drop the knife it was all done in a minute or two; I was getting blows myself—when, I went to the station there were a lot of constables there; there is no gaoler there; there was a reserve man—Hanley was with me—no one took me to the cell; I walked there myself—there is a little trap-door—I looked through, and said "That is the man that struck Williamson."

VICTOR BEVAN . I live at 8, Temple Street, St. George's Road—I am by trade a compositor—on Sunday afternoon, 13th November, I was in Bridge Street, Westminster—I was trying to get through Cannon Row into Parliament Street—I was not able to do so—I was blocked in by the crowd—there was a riot among the mob—they rushed towards me with the prisoner—he rushed close up against me—a man in front of me was endeavouring to get through—the prisoner pulled the man back, and I saw another man assisting another man up from the ground—I did not see anything in his hand then—he struck the constable in the ear with a piece of paper, I thought; I could, not tell what was in it—the constable put up his hand and reeled on one side, I turned round and said to a man "Good God, he has killed that man"—he was stooping to lift the constable up—I saw some man go up to Williamson—I did not see the prisoner taken into custody—I remained in the crowd about an hour, I think—I afterwards went to King Street Police-station; I was carried by the rush nearly close to it, and a man said "You had better go down to King Street and give evidence"—I saw Sergeant Boswell; and in consequence of what took place between us I went to the station about half-past 5—I there saw the prisoner standing in the dock—I did not pick him out from others; I recognised him—I said "That is the chap"—I have no doubt about his being the man—the policeman's ear was bleeding a bit.

Cross-examined. I have been known by the name of Whalley—I was known by that name as a member of the West Southwark Liberal Club—I was not expelled from that club till after I was in this case—I have been a member of a Conservative club; I was not expelled from that; I was called upon to resign if I did not pay up my subscription—I was out of work at the time, and I could not pay up—I am not a member of the Compositors' Society; I have been—I was not expelled from that; I ran out that means that I ran over a number of weeks' limit, through bad work—if you did not pay up in such a time you cease to be member, and I had to go to a non-society house to work; that was why I did not pay up my subscriptions—my name is Bevan Whalley; one name I was

christened in, and the other was my mother's name—I am not in the habit of visiting Kennington Lane Police-station—I have been there lately, getting my orders for the special constables—I am positive that the prisoner came from Parliament Street on this occasion, and not from Westminster Bridge Road—the man on the ground was a uniform man—I did not swear at the police-station that he was not in uniform I was a bit confused at the time; I corrected the mistake if I said so—the man the prisoner struck in the back was in plain clothes; that was not Williamson—he was endeavouring to get through—he fell on one side—it was not that man that Williamson was assisting; he was assisting a constable—the prisoner was in the dock at the station when I got there—Boswell told me to go to the station—I did not know the man was arrested till I saw Boswell a second time; that was in Bridge Street, near the station—I did not say that it was on the Embankment I saw him.

FRANCIS BOSWELL (Detective Sergeant L). On Sunday afternoon, 13th November, I was in Bridge Street—I saw Williamson there—I did not see him assaulted—I saw him after the assault in Bridge Street, a few yards away—he was bleeding profusely from the ear—he was cut; he was partly unconscious—I went to his assistance—I saw the witness Bevan, he spoke to me; that may have been two or three minutes after I went to Williamson's assistance—Williamson was assisted to the station—I did not go with him—later in the afternoon I saw Bevan, and told him to go to the station—I told him to go in the first place, but I met him again about a quarter-past 5 on the Surrey side of Westminster Bridge—I gave him that direction in consequence of what he said to me.

Cross-examined. I was not in uniform—I knew Bevan in common with a good many others that were there—I am known to two-thirds of the residents in Kennington—I was carried along with the rush with Bevan—he spoke to me—if I had seen him there it is. not likely I should have spoken—he spoke to me first—he came to me the second time; that was slightly on the Surrey side of the water, as far as I recollect—I cannot give in detail every little incident that took place, so many people spoke to me—it was about 300 yards from where the assault took place that he spoke to me, and he went with me to the station—where he first spoke to me I should imagine was under 120 yards from the station—that was about a quarter past 4, I think; I can't say for certain—it would have been simply impossible for him to get to the station within half an hour, carried about by the crowd as we were, I tried and could not.

FREDERICK WILLIAM FARR . On Sunday, 13th November, I was acting as divisional surgeon to the L Division of Police—about half-past 6 I saw Williamson at my surgery—he had a wound on the right ear about three quarters of an inch long—it had completely divided the ear—there was also a contused wound about an inch long at the top of the same ear; the ear was very much swollen—the wound was such as might have been inflicted by one blow from an instrument like that produced—he was under my care for about a fortnight—there was another wound behind the ear on the bone of the head; it was all done by one blow.

Cross-examined. A similar wound would be produced by a heavy stick, or a policeman's truncheon—there were three injuries, but, I think, all produced by one blow.

Witnesses for the Defence.

FREDERICK NOLAN . I am an engine-driver—I know the prisoner—on Sunday afternoon, 13th November, I saw him in a procession coming over Westminster Bridge—before that I saw him at the Lambeth Progressive Club—at that time he had nothing in his hand that I am aware of, or anything concealed under his clothes—in the procession he was not near me—he was in advance of me—he was before the banner; I was behind it—he would be one of the first men the police would see in the procession—he was from 18 to 20 ranks in front of me—the procession was brought to a halt at the foot of the clock tower—the marshal, Mr. Davis, had charge of the procession at that time—I saw the prisoner then; I saw nothing in his hand—up to that time the procession was an orderly and peaceable one—there was no interference with it whatever—I saw no arms of an offensive nature in the possession of the processionists—we had orders to leave our walking-sticks and umbrellas at home when we started, so there was nothing in the possession of the procession that was likely to do any harm—I know the prisoner to be a member of the club—I have known him about 12 months—when the procession was broken up I lost sight of him, and I did not see him for a fortnight afterwards, at the time he was bailed out.

Cross-examined. We had no band belonging to the procession—there was a band in advance of us—we merely had a banner; that was all—we had no sticks—the members had orders to leave their sticks and umbrellas behind—we had no idea that the men in the procession were carrying things like these—the last I saw of the prisoner was at the clock tower.

ALFRED ROWE . I am a scaffolder—I know the prisoner—I did not see the procession—I was standing between King Street and the bottom of Parliament Street, and I saw the prisoner with the police going quietly along—I did not see him assault the police—I stood at the corner as he passed.

Cross-examined. I saw nothing of the bother—I only just saw the prisoner pass as I was standing there—he is a mason by trade.

CHARLES HOLLY . I live at 20, East Street, Kennington Road—I am a member of the Lambeth Progressive Club—I know the prisoner as a member of that club—I saw him in the procession at Kennington Road—he had no weapon in his hand—I did not see any concealed about his person—I was at the head of the procession; he was in the next four—we were walking in fours—he was behind me when we got to Westminster Bridge—he had no weapon at that time.

Cross-examined. We went with the intention of marching to Trafalgar Square if possible—I knew that the processions were to be stopped—I had no idea that any of the persons in the procession were carrying things of this kind—everybody had instructions, even those carrying walking-sticks, not to take any weapons, I did not hear umbrellas spoken of—I had no stick; I never carry one—the prisoner was in the procession till we passed Parliament Street—the procession was stopped by this row all in a minute—he was with us when our banner was seized by the police, and I saw the police baton him—he said to the people who were hooting the police, "Don't hoot the police; don't give the police any chance."

Re-examined. I was not aware that the procession was to be stopped at Westminster Bridge. I saw the police batoning in all directions. I

did not see the prisoner hit—he did not hoot the police—he asked the people not to do it.

MARY ANDREWS . I am married, and live at 4, Grosvenor Street, Page Street, Westminster—I have known the prisoner 12 months, he has lodged with me during that time—he is a quiet, respectable man, peaceable and well disposed—I remember his going out on Sunday morning, 13th November—he took nothing in his hand; he had no iron weapon, nor anything covered with paper; he had no stick, nothing.

Cross-examined. He left about 10 minutes or a quarter to 11—I saw no weapon in his possession then.

Three other witnesses deposed to the prisoner's good character.

GUILTY .