Liverpool Mercury, Aug 28th 1855

On Thursday at St Helens, James SWARBRICK a labourer was brought up before Josiah EVANS Esq, at Haydock and committed for trial on a charge of stealing a scythe, belonging to Robert SEPHTON, farmer, Moss Bank.


Liverpool Mercury, November, 1855

A fearful outrage on an aged woman at Haydock

A dreadful outrage on an aged woman, committed in the vicinity of Haydock, has caused the greatest excitement and indignation among the inhabitants of this ordinarily peaceful and orderly community. On the evening of Monday last, at 10pm, and under circumstances of great atrocity, Ellen OAKLEY, aged about 45, was proceeding along Ram's Head Lane, Haydock, with Francis WILSON, a blind man with whom she cohabits, when the couple were encountered by four men, who had the appearance of colliers, these fellows attacked them without any preliminaries, separated the man and woman, depriving the poor blind fellow of his assistance and cast him into a ditch, rendering him incapable of any interference with the subsequent brutal proceedings.

They dragged the woman into an outbuilding belonging to a farmhouse, here, successively the four villains subjected the woman to their violent brutality, under circumstances of extraordinary aggravation. She resisted and screamed, "murder" for a considerable length of time, but this, only irritated her abusers, without preventing the completion of their purpose. She was severely bruised about the body, legs and arms, and received many injuries about the face, her throat had several black marks upon it, her cheeks were swollen, hand teeth marks where on her left cheek, and a piece of her lower lip was entirely bitten off, so that the poor creature presented a most awful and repulsive spectacle in consequence. After completing the outrage the unmanly ruffians quitted the place.

It was some time before the woman recovered and was able to proceed on the way to Ashton, when she met her blind companion returning with some assistance, she made known the circumstance to the police and Sgt CLARKSON was immediately on the alert, the officer succeeded in apprehending the perpetrators, and transferred them in custody to the Newton lockup. On Saturday last they were brought before John GREEN Esq M.D, and arraigned on the capital charge. Their names are Ralph LEYLAND, John MONKS, Thomas PENNINGTON and William MEREDITH, all colliers, residing in the immediate vicinity of Newton. The woman fully identified them and their own statements made against each other fully corroborated her testimony. They were committed for trial at the next assizes.


Liverpool Mercury, December 15, 1855

Lancashire Winter Assizes, Saturday Dec 8th, before Mr Justice WIGHTMAN Ralph LEYLAND, aged 31, John MONKS, aged 22, Thomas PENNINGTON, aged 21, colliers, and William MEREDITH, out on bail, where indicted for having at Haydock, on the 29th October, violently assaulted and felonishly ravished, Ellen OAKLEY. Mr LORESCHE prosecuted, and Mr Tindal ATKINSON appeared for the prisoners. MEREDITH was acquitted. The other prisoners were found guilty and sentenced, each of them, to 4yrs penal servitude.



Liverpool Mercury, Aug 27th 1856

Mary LUNT wife of a beerhouse keeper in William St was brought up at the Birkenhead Police Court, on Monday last, charged with assaulting Inspector GUNNING. There was a disturbance at the prisoner’s house and the officer interfered to restore order. The woman in a state of intoxication seized a wooden bar and struck the inspector several blows on the shoulder - fined 10s and costs.

At the Birkenhead Police Court, yesterday a young man Thomas FAZACKERLEY of Mount Pleasant, Oxton was brought up before Rev M. CROXON, charged with extinguishing a gaslight at 1am. The prisoner who was tipsy was seen by PC. PARR in the act of climbing the lamp post and committing the mischief. In his defence he said the officer should have stopped him, the magistrate had a different opinion- fined 10s and cost