1896: Aldeburgh – A Christmas Eve Disturbance

On Saturday at the Moot Hall, before the Mayor and Mr. H. Cowell, Oscar Downing, fisherman, was charged with assaulting James Miller Ward and Annie Ward, his wife.

A wedding had taken place next door; the defendant and others had been drinking healths all round, and Downing, by his singing outside the house, caused the complainant and his wife to come out. The defendant then wanted some whisky, and on being refused, a blow was struck over the gate at Ward.

Downing then entered the garden, and was twice knocked down by Ward, while Mrs. Ward pulled his hair.

Police-constable Jackson said he saw defendant and complainant and his wife, and three of defendants’ brothers all in Ward’s yard. Defendants’ brothers were trying to get him home. Ward told witness he had been grossly insulted. The officer advised defendant to go home, and ultimately took his arm and got him home. Defendant was drunk and bleeding from the nose at the time.

– The Bench, in consideration of the fact that defendant had been knocked about, fined him only 5s and £1 0s. 6d. costs; in default, imprisonment for seven days. The second case was, with the permission of the Bench, withdrawn.

– The fisherman outside the Court marked their sympathy with the youthful defendant by subscribing nearly sufficient money to pay his fine.

The Ipswich Journal, Saturday 18 January 1896