William Slaven, an engineer on strike, was charged with assaulting Frank Boyce. Mr William Bell appeared to prosecute; Mr A.T. Crow, jun., defended. The prosecutor stated that he was employed at Messrs. Wilson's Engine Works, Monk Street, Monkwearmouth, where he also lives. They left work at a quarter-past nine on Friday night, and at twenty minutes to eleven they came out of the works and went into the Red Lion Inn, Roker Avenue, where they had some refreshment. When they came outside they were met by the prisoner and some others. The prisoner asked him to leave the town, and witness said he would not do so. The prisoner then said that if he did not leave the town he would lame him. The prisoner said he wanted a little quiet talk with witness, that the strike would be ended in a fortnight, and that be had better leave the town. Witness again told the prisoner he would not leave the town while be had a good situation. The prisoner again asked him, and on witness replying that he would not leave, the prisoner struck him on the cheek bone with a stick, causing the mark still visible.-- James Fox gave corroborative evidence, and said that after prisoner struck the blow be saw him pass the stick behind his back and another young man take it.-- P.C. Cockburn deposed to seeing the prisoner strike the prosecutor on the face. He knew the prisoner by sight. There were a lot of engineers out on strike who go round as pickets, and he had seen the prisoner among these.-- Mr. Crow said if the Bench thought proper to convict the prisoner, he asked that he be ordered to pay a fine and not sent to prison.-- Mr. Crow called Wm. Cunningham as a witness.-- The Chairman cautioned the witness, but, with the permission of the Bench, witness was withdrawn.-- The Chairman said the Bench looked on this as a most dastardly attempt to interfere with the freedom of action which every Englishman is supposed to have, whether working or not. If the prisoner chose not to work, be was perfectly at liberty to do so; but his fellow workmen also claimed the liberty to work or not if they liked. The prisoner had in a very dastardly and cowardly manner attacked this man in the night with a weapon, and the assault was, in the opinion of the Bench, so serious that they had unanimously decided to commit him to prison for six weeks.
The Newcastle Courant (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England), October 26, 1883.