Thursday, March 11, 2010

More policing by Sergeant Hodge

Continuing the articles on my ancestory William Hodge decsribing his police work in Sydney from aprrox. 1850-1855. The previous article described making an arrest at Tighe's public-house on South Head Road (now Oxford St, Sydney) - this one describes an assault on Hodge by Tighe himself. It seems that William Hodge may have been the influence of drink, as deposed by the defendant and several other witnesses. This would not be the first instance of drinking on the job ; his regimental discharge papers in 1850 not that William was of good character... "although it appears that he was tried by a Regt Court Marshall in having been drunk when in charge of the Main Guard at Wallingford {note: in Northamptonshire} on the  19th of Octb 1843, and was sentenced to be reduced to the ranks."

Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday 14 April 1853, p2,3

ASSAULT ON THE POLICE - On Friday, the 1st instant, an argument followed by blows arose at Tighe's public house, South Head Road, in consequence whereof a man named Barry complained to the magistrates, and a warrant was granted for the apprehension of James Tighe, the landlord, and James Tighe his father, which was delivered for execution into the hands of Sergeant Hodge. For the assault the defendants were tried, and paid a penalty of 20s. each. Yesterday, James Tighe the elder appeared before the Mayor and Mr. Hill, charged by Sergeant Hodge with having on the evening of the 2nd assaulted him in the execution of his duty. Hodge deposed that on the afternoon of the 2nd he proceeded with a warrant to Tighe's house, whose wife said he would be home to supper at six or seven o'clock ; at the appointed time he found Tighe at supper ; Tighe asked him to wait until he had finished his mean which he did ; that business over, he hurried Tighe to come away, which he thrice refused to do ; having always been on good terms with Tighe, both while he (Tighe) was in the police and since, he went alone to his house without the slightest misgiving ; he at length found it necessary to call for assistance, went to the street door, made the understood police call, and returned to the room where Tighe was sitting ; no sooner in than he received a blow from Tighe which felled him senseless, and how many more blows he received he could no say, but must have had several. Cross-examined: Whas perfectly sober: did not vomit in Tighe's house ; did not fall down either before or after going to Tighe's ; Dr. Rutter, police surgeon, deposed that on the morning of the 3rd instant he was called to see Serjeant Hodge ; found him in bed, his face much swollen, with contusions over both eyes and under left ear, and abrasion on the right cheek, and a slight bruise on the right side, where he complained of great pain ; he was confined to his bed for three days. Cross-examined by Mr. Nichols : The abrasion may have been caused by a fall, but the others were the result of direct injury. For the defence two or three witnesses were called, who, more or less positively contradicted the assertions of Hodge, as to the state in which he was. Their worships thought there was sufficient evidence before them to warrant the conclusion that Hodge was not perfectly sober on the occasion, which, however, was no justification to defendant's improper conduct, aggravated as it was by the experience he had himself had as a constable of police ; he knew that it was his duty to go with Hodge, who was authorised to arrest him, and he knew also the course by which any impropriety of which Hodge may have been guilty should be brought under  the notice of the Superintendent of Police. THey held, however , the assault was proved, for which the defendant was sentenced to pay a penalty of 40s., with 4s. 6d. costs of court and 10s. 6d. costs for the prosecuting attorney.

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