Brutal attacks on Police Officers

Liverpool Mercury, March 6th 1868

Murderous attack on a County Police officer

By burglars

During the winter months the residents of the suburbs of Liverpool have been kept in a state of alarm in consequence of numerous burglaries which have been committed in their midst. It would seem that these districts have been infested with a gang of scoundrels who have entered houses and carried away a quantity of plunder. The burglaries committed by them were from time to time reported to the police, but the robberies were planned with such skill and carried out with so much caution that the thieves generally escaped detection. In most of the localities on the outskirts of Liverpool there are very few of the county constabulary on duty. This fact the thieves seem to have been acquainted with, and there is no doubt that many of the robberies have been committed at places where policemen, from the extent of their beats, would not often visit. The county officers in these lonely parts have sometimes dangerous duties to perform. They have frequent contests with poachers and other rough characters, and in some instances have been brutally treated. These lawless affairs have suggested the necessity of increasing the county police force in the localities in question, and representations to that effect have been made to the head constable.

Early yesterday morning a murderous attack was made upon a county constable by burglars who were interrupted by the officer as they were endeavouring to enter a gentleman's residence at Knotty Ash, near this town.

It appears on Wednesday night police-constable No 797, Robert JOLLY, a county officer, left the Old Swan police station to go on duty in the neighbourhood of Pilch Lane, about 2 miles from Old Swan, and id near Knotty Ash. Whilst proceeding towards his beat, he observed three rough-looking men loitering about the neighbourhood of Knotty Ash and he at once went to Knotty Ash police station and reported the circumstances to the sergeant who was on duty there. The latter instructed him to keep a good look out, and during the night to go round another beat as well as his own. The officer, who had not been more than a month on this duty, however, could not find his way to the other beat and, unfortunately for himself returned to his own. About 12.30 to 1am he was passing the private residence of Mr Henry DUCKWORTH, which is situated on the corner of Pilch Lane and Grant Rd, when he saw a man in the garden at the front of the house. This man appeared to be keeping watch, and the officer opened the gate and entered. He accosted the intruder, asking him what he was doing there, when the man replied in an impertinent style, "What the ----- are you doing here? I have as much right here as you." The constable was about to seize this suspicious visitor, when the latter whistled, and two other men rushed from the direction of the parlour window of the house, and they all instantly made a most brutal and murderous attack upon JOLLY.

They first felled him to the ground, and then, leaning over him, commenced beating him about the head and kicking him about the body. He offered every resistance in his power, and grappled with one of the ruffians, but three powerful fellows proved too much for him. They tore his cape from off his back, and his overcoat was ripped up and taken off him. Hiss staff was wrestled from him, and with this his assailants managed to inflict some severe injuries upon the prostrate constable. In raising his arm to protect his head he received a blow with the deadly weapon which rendered the limb useless. One of the burglars had been rummaging the pockets of the constable's coat, and had succeeded in finding the handcuffs which were slipped upon the wrists of JOLLY, and locked with dexterity which showed that these ruffians were not altogether unacquainted with the mechanism of the "darbles" Having secured the poor fellows limbs, and rendered him quite incapable of making further resistance, they rifled his pockets, taking his purse containing 15s, his whistle, knife, and other small articles from him. One of the ruffians had been holding him by the neck all the time, and with the pressure on his windpipe the blood spurted from his mouth and nose.

After they had cleared his pockets the officer saw the men leave the garden, and tried to raise an alarm, but his strength gave way and he became insensible. He did not recover until about 2am, when he found he had been divested of all his clothing except his shirt, trousers, and undercoat. He was securely handcuffed, and it was with considerable difficulty that he managed to rise to his feet. The spot is very lonely, and knowing that it was useless to attempt to raise an alarm he made the best of his way to Knotty Ash, police station, which he reached half an hour afterwards. The blood was streaming from his mouth, nose and head, and he was covered with mud. Police-constable ROBINSON, No 76, who occupied the station, at once gave every attention to his brother officer, and after putting him to bed an officer was despatched for medical aid, and another went to Mr DUCKWORTH'S house, where he found the officer's clothing torn to shreds. His whistle, knife, and hat were strewn about the garden, and his staff was found in a field opposite the house. The thieves had not left the money behind them, but had left the empty purse. On examining the parlour window of the house it was found that an attempt had been made to enter the apartment. The garden vases had been drawn up to the windowsill, upon which was found a jemmy.

Dr FITZPATRICK of the Old Swan, attended the injured constable, and found him in a very exhausted state. His left arm was much swollen and the doctor believed his collar bone had been fractured. From inquiries made last night, the injured man has been confined to his bed during the whole of the day, and has suffered considerably from a pain in his side caused by some injury to the kidneys. His arm is yet entirely useless, and he is otherwise disabled.

No trace of the burglars has yet been obtained, and JOLLY is afraid he would not be able to identify them as it was very dark at the time, there being no lamp at the house.

Liverpool Mercury, March 7th 1868

Police-constable No 797, Robert Henry JOLLY, a county officer on Thursday lay in a very exhausted state, and suffered great pain. Yesterday he had slightly improved, and last night he was progressing as favourably as can be expected under the circumstances, the ruffians who committed this cowardly assault have not yet been apprehended.


Liverpool Mercury, Dec 28th, 1888

Brutal outrage on a Liverpool Police Inspector

The north end of Liverpool maintains its notoriety for ruffians of the worst type and the frequency of outrages upon members of the police force shows that there lurks in the savage breast of the lawless classes in that locality a bitter antipathy towards the officers of the law. The latest victim of the lawlessness which is associated with the gang known as the "High Rippers" is Inspector NESBITT, who has charge of the fire police at the Athol St, Station, and who is one of the most respected members of the force.

About midnight on Wednesday he was returning home from one of the north docks, where he had been to inspect some cotton that had been burnt at sea, to the Athol St, Station. Whilst walking leisurely along Boundary St, a thoroughfare having high warehouses on each side and little frequented at night, he was surprised by half a dozen men rushing at him from a dark corner. One of them tripped him and he fell to the ground. Before he could get to his feet he was savagely kicked upon the head. He struggled with his assailants for some minutes until overcome by the savage blows dealt at his head, he fell insensible to the ground. He was several minutes before he regained consciousness, and then he was too weak to rise to his feet. He crawled on all fours to a warehouse step, and there he rested for about half an hour, when he had regained sufficient strength to walk to Athol St, a few hundred yards distant. His face, arms and legs were frightfully discoloured, bearing evidence of the brutal treatment he had received. Yesterday he was confined to bed in a weak condition, and it is feared he will be unfit for duty for several days.

At an early hour yesterday morning PC 119, COWHILL, was on duty in North John St, when he noticed a man entering a dark passage. He suspected the man was about to commit a felony and followed him. The fellow who was powerfully built set upon the officer, seized his whistle, and kicked him savagely. Assistance came to hand and the ruffian was overpowered and locked up. The constable was taken to the Northern Hospital where his wounds were dressed.


Evening Telegraph, 11 February 1925

Struggle with an armed maniac

Policeman escapes from shower of shots.

A Liverpool police constable named M'Neal has had a desperate experience with an armed madman. At the request of a relieving officer he went to a house in Desmond Street, Everton, for the purpose of removing to an institution a mentally deranged man of 30 named Cryer.

When the two men entered Cryer, who was sitting in a chair, refused to move, and the relieving officer left to bring an ambulance. Cryer then calmly walked across the kitchen, and, picking up a five-chamber revolver. Fired point blank at the constable. The bullet whizzed past his ear and embedded itself in the wall.

Exclaiming, "Get out I will kill you" he fired several more shots rapidly. The officer luckily escaped being hit, although he was almost blinded by the flashes. The maniac, then in a frenzy, threw the empty revolver at the constable, who closed with him, and overpowered him. The man was afterwards removed in the ambulance.


Western Daily Press, 30 December 1926

Point duty PC stabbed

Woman remanded at Liverpool.

Police Constable Anderson was busy directing the traffic at the corner of Spellow Lane, Liverpool, on Tuesday, when he is alleged to have been stabbed in the back with a sailor's jack knife. The blade penetrated his great coat and tunic and inflicted a flesh wound a quarter of an inch long. The constable fell to his knees but scrambled up and helped to arrest the assailant.

At the police court yesterday a woman was remanded until Monday. It was stated that she had a grievance against the constable for giving evidence against her. Anderson was not seriously injured.


Liverpool Echo 10 April 1917

Struck lady officer

Policewoman's adventure in Bold St

The adventure of a Birkenhead policewoman was told at the Liverpool City Police Court today, before Mr J. Kinghorn, Deputy Stipendiary Magistrate. Nora Carberry, a well-spoken young woman was charged with assaulting Liverpool police constable, and Birkenhead policewoman.

From the evidence of the police-constable, Police-Sergeant Phyllis Lovell, and Police-constable Violet Owen, it appeared that prisoner was drunk and disorderly in Bold St, just before ten o'clock on Monday night. Police-sergeant Phyllis Lovell. who, with Police-constable Violet Carr Owen, was on her way home, spoke to her kindly and desired to help her to get home.

Carberry, who was reeling about the street, resented the offer, struck Police-constable Violet Carr Owen, and continued the assault in spite of warnings. The policeman to whom she was given into custody was also assaulted by the prisoner on the way to Seel St, bride well.

Carberry admitted the charge of drunkenness, but denied the assault on the policewoman, she was sorry if she had been disorderly. She was bound over to be of good behaviour


Western Daily Press 25 February 1930

Constable's fight on roof of church

Assize story of dramatic arrest

A dramatic story of a police constable's fight with a suspect on the roof of a church was told at the Manchester Assize yesterday when Mr Justice Rigby Swift put back for a day or two for consideration the case of Frederick Harold Roberts, aged 24, who pleaded guilty to shop breaking and attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm on a constable.

When chased the prisoner was alleged have taken refuge the roof of the German Church in Liverpool. Police Constable Seddon, of the Liverpool City Police, followed him and found him crouching behind a tower.

The prisoner, it was alleged, struck at the constable as he climbed up, causing him to slide back over the slates. Recovering his hold the constable crawled after the prisoner to the other side of the roof, when the prisoner hit him on the head with a wooden weapon.

Despite the injuries PC Seddon overpowered the prisoner and brought him, when the accused remarked, that the fight was worth it.

Mr Justice Rigby Swift, [to the accused] You met a man as brave and as strong as yourself who brought you here. The Judge commended the constable for his courage.


Western Daily Press, 17 July 1933

Night attack on policeman.

Passers by ignore his plea for help.

A Liverpool police constable was rendered unconscious by six men while dozens of pedestrians looked on and refused to help him yesterday. Constable Richard Little was on patrol in Pembroke Place at 1 a.m. when saw the men and told them to move on. They set upon him. Little drew his staff to defend himself but it was taken from him and it is alleged he was repeatedly struck with it. The men threw the constable to the ground, where he received kicks and blows.

Another policeman found Little lying unconscious and covered in blood. He was taken to the Royal Infirmary where he was detained with head and body injuries. Three men will appear at Liverpool Police Court this morning.


Hull Daily Mail,11 June 1935

Unconscious in street Liverpool P.C. Attacked

Police Constable David Morgan was found lying unconscious and wounded in the head in Cazneau St off Scotland-road, Liverpool, early to-day. He had been struck from behind by an unknown assailant, either by a stone or a blunt instrument. He recovered consciousness in hospital, no arrest has been made.

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