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  • Co. Armagh Petty Sessions May 1868

Co. Armagh Petty Sessions May 1868

Transcribed by Jane from The Ulster Gazette Saturday May 23, 1868

Armagh Petty Sessions – at Armagh

Thursday [Before Joseph KIDD, (in the chair) Samuel GARDNER, Wm. PATON, and Andrew CRAIG, Esqrs.]

Alleged Robbery and Assault

Thomas CONNOLLY, an aged pensioner, charged Thomas HUGHES and Samuel ROGERS with having assaulted him and taken £3 out of his pocket on the road leading to the Railway station on the 16th April. He stated that he had just received his pension and was proceeding to the station-house when he was followed by the defendants who knocked him down and robbed him of £3.

Mr. COCHRANE appeared for the defendants and examined the plaintiff – he said, I could not swear as to the exact time the robbery took place; I was as sober then as I am now; immediately after I was robbed I went to the police barracks and informed the police that I was knocked down by the defendants. I was not arrested by the Head Constable for being drunk; I lodged in HUGHES’ at the time this took place; I owed him an account and promised to pay him; I called in the guard room for help. Were you not lying in a state of drunkenness in the guard room? No I was not drunk at the time at all. How much did you owe HUGHES? About 17s.

Head Constable HICKS stated that the plaintiff came to him on the 16th April and accused HUGHES of robbing him; he brought the parties down to Mr. GARDNER who inquired into the case and discharged them. The plaintiff was the worse of drink at the time; and he told him it was a shame for him to be in that state. After a short consultation the Court dismissed the case.

Abduction and Shooting AtThe Queen v. John DODDS

Mr. M’KINSTRY, Sessional Crown prosecutor appeared to prosecute the defendant for having on the 22nd April fired a loaded pistol at a man named Wm. DODDS; that pistol did not take effect upon Wm., but wounded two other men on that occasion, in the house of a man named O’TOOLE. Mr. M’KINSTRY submitted that, if the Magistrates considered that a case of shooting at with intent could be established, it would be their duty to return the defendant for trial at the Summer Assizes. Mr. COCHRANE and Mr. SIMPSON appeared for the defendant.

Robert DODDS was examined by Mr. M’KINSTRY and said – I live in Segaghan; my son’s name is William DODDS; on the 22nd April I was in the house of Henry O’TOOLE, of Ballymacnabb, O’TOOLE’s own family were present at the time, I know Rachel DODDS, the daughter of the defendant; it was between nine and ten o’clock in the evening when my brother John came in; he began to abuse my son for going about his house, and called him some ill names; they wanted to soothe him, and offered him drink but he would not have it; we got him to sit down between half-an-hour and a quarter, and Peter O’TOOLE was keeping him on his seat; he then looked round to see who were there, and pulling a pistol out of his pocket said he would make short work of Wm., who had taken away his daughter; Peter O’TOOLE put out his hand and pushed the pistol under the table; the defendant retained, the pistol in his hand; I went round to assist him, and the pistol went off and shot me in the hand, and the contents entered another man’s arm; the pistol was loaded with shot. Wm. was at the side of the table when it took place; I cannot say in what direction the pistol was pointed; my son was about four feet from the defendant; Dr. LEEPER of Keady attended me, the flesh was blown off my hand; my son stayed in
O’TOOLE’s that night.

Cross-examined by Mr. COCHRANE – I am John DODD’s brother; I am not much indebted to him; he lent me £40; he became security for me to the amount of £300. And is this the way you show your gratitude to him, by helping to steal away his daughter? What day was she stolen? On the 22nd of April. You heard that the house was broken into and the girl taken away? No, I did not hear the house was broken into; but I heard she was stolen away; I don’t know how far it is from O’TOOLE’s to the public house; I heard on the 22nd April that she had been stolen away about two or three o’clock in the morning previous; the servant told us she had been stolen away; I did not hear BLEVINS tell that day that John DODD’s daughter had been brought to Kinnegoe; I did not see BLEVINS that day until he came with John DODDS; there was whiskey in the house that day; there was whiskey drunk before I went there; there was no whiskey except a few half-glasses drunk in my presence; I paid for a pint of whiskey; I didn’t see any others paying for whiskey; I believe the girl is under 21; I heard BLEVINS was there before the pistol was fired; I saw Susan in the room when John DODDS came in; he did not appear to be tipsey; I offered him more drink but he didn’t take it; I swear he was so well watched he could not get an opportunity to shoot William; Peter O’TOOLE was on his right side, no one was on his left; John DODDS took the pistol out of his own pocket; Peter asked him had he firearms, and then he pulled out the pistol; I won’t swear who pulled the trigger; I had hold of it at the time it went off; John DODDS was standing at the time; Peter had hold of it also; I don’t believe it went off by accident; I don’t know whether it was cocked or not; John DODDS had the butt of the pistol in his hand; I held the pistol also. To Mr. M’KINSTRY – I did not pull the trigger; I did not touch the lock.

John O’TOOLE examined by Mr. M’KINSTRY, said – I live in Ballymacnabb; Peter is my brother; I was in my father’s house when the shot was fired; it was about one or two o’clock on the morning of the 22nd the parties came over to my house; about an hour after John DODDS jun., came the defendant arrived; when the old man (defendant) came in he called some names; he sat down but refused to take any drink; he said he would make short work of Wm. DODDS, and then pulled out a pistol; it was pushed off by Robt. DODDS, myself and my father. We were not able to get it until it went off; Robt. DODDS and myself were wounded; Dr. LEEPER said there were forty pickles of shot in my arm; DODDS may have been tipsey.

Cross-examined by Mr. SIMPSON – I don’t think it a strange thing for young people to run away in the middle of the night; (laughter) Robt. said he was displeased with his son for having run away; I won’t swear that he was well pleased with the match; there was drink on the table at the time; John DODDS called Wm. DODDS several names; he was in about three quarters of an hour before the pistol was fired; I heard my brother say he must have had a pistol. Mr. SIMPSON cross-examined the witness at considerable length to show that the pistol must have exploded accidentally in the struggle amongst the party.

Peter O’TOOLE examined by Mr. M’KINSTRY, said he let Wm. DODDS and the young woman into his house upon the night of the 21st or morning of the 22nd; saw John DODDS in his house that evening; he had a pistol in his possession at the time, he pointed it just opposite to William DODDS; he was excited, and they tried to soothe him and to keep down his temper.

Cross-examined by Mr. COCHRANE – William DODDS might not have been opposite John DODDS when the pistol went off. Did you tell any person it went off by accident? I won’t swear whether I did or not. Did you not tell Mr. M’CLURE it went off by accident? I don’t remember.

George M’ALISTER was next examined, and said that when the pistol was discharged it was not presented at any one.

Wm. DODDS, the next witness, examined by Mr. M’KINSTRY stated that he was the young man who ran away with Miss DODDS; was in O’TOOLE’s house when his uncle came in; he appeared to be angry; he sat for half-an-hour; he was talking and scolding a little; heard him say he would put an end to me; saw him take the pistol from under his coat; it was during the time the parties were holding the pistol it went off; it was presented at me where I was sitting.

Cross-examined by Mr. COCHRANE – Who instituted this prosecution? – who paid for the summonses? I don’t know; I had no conversation with my father about them. I believe that young woman has left you – when did she go? I don’t know (laughter) – I don’t know anything about the summonses that were issued last Monday. Was it not because the old man had taken the girl from you that the present action was brought? No. Don’t you know that it was because old Mr. DODDS endeavoured to cut you off from about his house where you were prowling that you took this method for frightening the old man and getting money from him? I don’t know. You are aware that John DODDS wrote a letter to your father telling him to make his son stop at home, and that if he refused he would withdraw his £300 security; was’nt [sic] it on that account this case is brought forward? No; it is not. Was’nt [sic] the door of Mr. DODD’s house left open intentionally that you might smuggle his daughter? No. How much land has your father? 78 acres. Have you any money past you? No. Nor a house to bring her into? No. Did your father give you any money to pay for drink upon that night? No, he did not; I paid for a pint of whiskey that night; I swear John DODDS directly presented the pistol at me; I don’t know whether it was cocked or not. This closed the examination.

Their worships after a short consultation dismissed the case.

Mr. M’KINSTRY said the defendant was also indicted for having firearms in a proclaimed district; he would ask them to postpone the case the Sessions, which was accordingly done.

Unlicensed Dogs

Acting Constable WHITFIELD, Richhill, charged Benj. M’ELROY with having an unlicensed dog on the 5th ult. The case had been postponed from last Petty Sessions day. The Constable produced a witness who bought the dog on the 6th ult from the defendant; and the Constable having served the summons on the 5th ult. when the dog was unlicensed, the Court fined the defendant 2s 6d with costs.

A few cases of drunkenness having been disposed of, the Court rose.