1923 - Gamekeepers Affray With Wombwell Miners

Sheffield Daily Telegraph December 12, 1923

Gamekeepers Affray With Wombwell Miners

At the West Riding sizes, yes, before Mr Justice McHardie, Harry Wigglesworth (24) miner of 56 Blythe Rd, Wombwell, Joseph Dyson (24), miner of Edward St, Wombwell and Edward Dyson (20) miner of Station Rd, Wombwell were charged with night poaching on land belonging to captain Vernon Wentworth, of Wentworth Castle, Stainborough Barnsley

J Dyson was also charged with shooting at John Taylor, with intent to do him grievous bodily harm and with a common assault. E Dyson was also charged with unlawfully wounding Thomas Ratcliffe.

Mr FJO Coddington, for the prosecution, said in the early hours a couple of shots were heard and afterwards the three prisoners came out of the wood. The gamekeepers at once attacked them, and Wigglesworth was captured. In his possession were found three recently killed pheasants.

The second man, Joseph Dyson, ran away, and on turning round, fired a gun at his pursuer. He escaped, and was arrested later in the same day.

The other prisoner also ran away, and he threw a stone at the pursuer, was struck on the head and stunned.

When the keepers attempted to capture Wigglesworth, prisoner struck one of them with a heavy stick. He was captured by the second keeper. J Dyson, when chased, pulled a gun from his pocket, and threatened to shoot his pursuer, and in fact did fire at him, though he was not struck.

J Taylor, a platelayer, Worsbrough Dale near Barnsley, was with the Game keeper, said that the prisoner, J Dyson, Runaway, shouted “if you come any further I will shoot you.” He was about 30 yards away, and witness did not hear any sign of shots or of pellets.

At this juncture Mr WP Donald, for the defence, submitted that under the Night Poaching Act, under which the prisoners were indicted, there was no case for the men to answer, as only two of them were in the land when the act stated there must be three.

The witnesses for the prosecution recall and re-examine. They all said that they had three men come out of 1 ounce, and then cross the road. Two of them entered the other house.

Mr Donald therefore abandon the technical evidence, and in the case of Edward Dyson trusted to an alibi.

Wigglesworth, in the witness box, admitted that on the night in question there were on the line for the pursuit of game. He did not see Edward Dyson at all that night.

Cross-examined by Mr Coddington prison refused to say all the third person was.

Edward Dyson, in the box, said he went back about 10 o’clock and went to bed. He got up at 9 o’clock next morning, and was not out of bed during the night.

Joseph Dyson admitted trespassing in the pursuit of game. He had not fired at one of the keepers. When they ran after him he had fired into the air to frighten them. His brother Edward was not with him that night. He refused to divulge the name of the third man was there.

Edward Dyson was found not guilty of all charges.

Joseph Dyson and Wigglesworth were found guilty of night poaching. Joseph Dyson was found not guilty of shooting with intent.

Edward Dyson was discharged and Wigglesworth and Joseph Dyson were each sentenced to seven months hard labour.