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The Rushden Echo, 12th May 1905, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Charge Against a Rushden Licence Holder

At Wellingborough Police-court on Friday, Alfred James Dyke, landlord of the Rose and Crown Inn, Rushden, was summoned for permitting drunkenness on licensed premises at Rushden, April 24th.

Mr. J. F. Stops appeared for defendant.

Edward Knight, labour, Rushden, said that on the day named he was in the Rose and Crown. About 9.45 in the evening, he saw a girl named Smith come in under the influence of drink. When she had been there a few minutes she asked him to have a drink. She paid for three or four pints and was served by the potman. She fell down outside in the yard and began to use very bad language. He helped her down the road when P.S. Judge came to them. He let go her arm and she fell against the wall. She came in about a quarter to ten, and stayed till a quarter to eleven. – By Mr. Stops: He regarded himself a respectable man, even though he drank three or four pints with her after she had had enough. He made a statement to the police on the Tuesday evening. He had no grudge against the landlord. He remembered being turned out and the landlord saying that he would not be allowed in again if he did not behave. He was refused a drink on Tuesday afternoon. He said nothing to the police till asked. On the Monday he had drinks with four other people, but was quite sober. He saw Wilby, Brice, and Bryant there. The woman fell to the left when she got outside the back door, and he tried to coax her up. The barmaid and barman came out, and he did not use abusive language to them. He had no money, and could not pay for any of the drink. He did not go to the yard for an improper purpose.

P.S. Judge said that about 10.45 p.m. he heard someone shouting and using obscene language in College-street, against the “Rose and Crown.” He found that it was a young gipsy woman named Smith. The previous witness offered to take her home. Witness went to the “Rose and Crown” on Tuesday morning and the potman, in the presence of Mr. Dyke, said that the girl had visited the premises three times. – By Mr. Stops: The woman Smith was very excited and said “It’s that woman’s fault.” Mr. Dyke explained that the woman mentioned had found her in the yard with the man. He new that Mr. Dyke had no charge against him during the eighteen months he had been in Rushden. He had also been a member of the Metropolitan Detective forces, and bore a good character then.

Mr. Stops, for the defence, referred to the excellent character of the defendant, and contended that Knight’s evidence could not be trusted because of his character and the grudge he had against Mr. Dyke.

Defendant was sworn, and said that he was serving in the “stand-up bar,” and Mrs. Clark and frank Coles were in charge of the taproom on Easter Monday. The latter had only been there about three days. Witness saw the woman Smith about 7.30, when she came in the bar where he was. A man gave her a drink, and she went away. She was sober then. He saw nothing more of her. – By Supt. Alexander: He saw nothing of the disturbance in the yard.

Frank Coles, potman, said he had previously been at the “Plough” Inn, Northampton. There would be about twelve people in the taproom when the woman Smith came in. She walked quite straight, and witness served her with one pint, between nine and half-past. It was untrue that she had five pints of beer, and she behaved properly. Witness heard someone call Mr. Dyke, and went into the passage, and then saw the girl Smith and the man under the shed. He asked them to leave the yard, and they did so. The girl was then very excited. – By Supt. Alexander:- P. S. Judge did not speak to witness next day, and he did not tell him that the woman was drunk in the yard. He could not say what was served by Mrs. Clark. The woman was quite sober when in the street.

P.S. Judge was recalled by the chairman, and said that the potman was called into the kitchen by Mr. Dyke.

Mrs. Clark said she saw the woman in the house, but did not see her come in. She did not seem the worse for drink, but witness did not serve her with anything, and did not notice her leave.

Elizabeth Ann Timon said she was waiting in the saloon bar. Late in the evening she went into the yard, and saw Smith and Knight there. When she spoke to them Knight swore at her, and she called for Mr. Dyke. – By Supt. Alexander: She had seen the woman in the house between seven and eight. The woman used beastly language in the yard, but was not drunk.

Henry Brice said he went to the house to see a man named Cook but had never been there before. He saw the woman, but took no notice of her, as there was nothing to attract attention. He saw her going out with Knight about twenty minutes to eleven, and saw her again in the yard. She was then sober, as was also Knight.

Edward Wilby and Chas. Bryant corroborated.

The Bench came to the conclusion that there was not sufficient evidence to warrant a conviction, and dismissed the case.

A sensation was caused while the witness Brice was speaking, the witness Coles falling forward in a fit and having to be carried out of the court.

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