At the Bishop Auckland Police Court yesterday, Felix Slaven, a blind man, belonging to Shildon, a notorious bad character, and Thomas Early, alias O'Brian, were brought up in custody, charged with a violent assault upon Thos. Dunn, and also with assaulting P.C. Dobbie. Shortly after midnight on Sunday evening, Dunn was going home, and, when near his own house, in South Church Lane, he was attacked and roughly handled by the prisoners. The blind man, who is a notorious blackguard, and a terror to all respectable inhabitants at Shildon, where he lives, always carries with him a huge stick, and has a dog following him. Without any provocation, Dunn, who is a respectable man, was knocked down, and kicked and struck most unmercifully. His brother heard the disturbance outside the house, and came out to his assistance, and received similar treatment. Prosecutor had several teeth knocked out of his head, and his face cut and bruised, and some ribs broken. Some of the neighbours came out, and got the young man into the house, when it was found his pockets had been turned out, and he had been robbed of his money. -- P.C.'s Dobbie and Smith came upon the men, and in an attempt to apprehend the blind man, he struck Dobbie a blow with his stick, which broke in his helmet, and also injured his arm, while the other man took up a half-brick. Ultimately, the ruffians were taken into custody. Slaven was sent to prison for two months, and O'Brian for one month.
Felix O'Brian, defendant in the above case, John Slaven, James Pullen, Patrick Cullen, and John Hopkins, were all charged with assaulting James McNaughton, at Shildon, on New Year's Day. Complainant had been assisting his brother, at the Surtees Arms, when the prisoners went in, and John Slaven challenged to fight any one in the house; and, as complainant was passing, struck him which was the signal for the attack by the others, who kicked and struck him on all sides, from the effects of which he is still suffering. They were fined £1 each and costs, and, in default, one month to Durham Gaol.
Northern Echo (Darlington, England), January 18, 1870.
Note: I assume that in the second paragraph, they meant Felix Slaven, not O'Brian.