Street Assault in Fremantle 1933 - Herb Hawkins & Les Turner
Fremantle Advocate, 9 Feb 1933
STREET ASSAULT - Herb Hawkins v. Les Turner
AFTERMATH of MATRIMONIAL TANGLE
Herbert Hawkins, represented by Mr F. W. Martin, proceeded against Leslie Turner, for unlawful assault, in the Fremantle Police Court, during last week-end, when Messrs H. J. Craig, R.M., and F. Instone, J.P., were on the Bench. Mr. W. Slattery appeared for Turner.
Hawkins, sworn, said he was in Henry-street on January 25, at about 3.15 p.m., when Turner came out of the doorway of a bag merchants. Hawkins said he was accompanied by two men. Turner called Hawkins a bad name and Hawkins replied that Turner had done him enough injury in his home as it was through him that his wife would not come back to her five children. "Turner replied that my wife would never return to me," said Hawkins, "and that he was not afraid of lawyers letters or the police." Hawkins said Turner struck him a blow on the chest, without provocation. Hawkins tried to get away from him but he followed him across the road hitting him as they crossed. "He hit me on the nose and between the eyes," complained Hawkins, "and when I fell over he went to attack me while I was down and one of of the men called out, 'don't hit a man while he is down.' I got up and made off down the street and he called out 'If you want more you can have it.' I reported the the matter to Constable Potter and showed him the marks made by Turner where he hit me.
To Mr Slattery, Hawkins said "Turner was at McClusky's delivering bags.
Mr Slattery: What were you doing in Henry-street?
Hawkins: I was going down to the treasury in Phillimore-street.
Mr Slattery: Why didn't you go the shortest way from Uglieland, which would have been along Phillmore street?
Hawkins: I went for a walk.
Mr Slattery: Did you ask Arthur Edward Douglas to come with you and see you clean Turner up?
Hawkins: No, I didn't.
Mr Slattery: Did you have a private detective with you?
Mr Slattery: Will you swear he was not there?
Hawkins: He was not there under my instructions.
Mr Slattery: But he had been working for you ?
Hawkins: Yes, but before that time.
Mr Slattery: You have been to McClusky about Turner?
Hawkins: Yes, I wanted him to help me get my wife back to my five children.
Mr Slattery: Didn't you wait outside McClusky's for Turner to come out?
Hawkins: I did not. He came out as we were passing.
Mr Slattery: Didn't you say to Turner when you met him 'now I've
got you I'm going to give you a good hiding?
Hawkins: No, I did not.
Mr Slattery: Didn't you ask Douglas to go with you to clean Turner up and didn't Douglas say he would come but he wouldn't help you?
Mr Slattery: I suppose you just asked Douglas to go for a walk?
Hawkins: I did not
Mr Slattery: Didn't you hit Turner?
Hawkins: After the fourth blow I tried to defend myself. I wasn't going to stand any more blows.
Mr Slattery: You have a grudge against Turner?
Hawkins: Yes, I have. He did me an injury coming into my home and getting my wife to leave me and our five children. Every time he comes near me he calls me a mongrel and other bad names. I saw you once to get you to write to Turner to try and get him to let my wife come home.
Arthur Edward Douglas said he was with Hawkins and Bevil Morris on the date in question. He saw Turner and Hawkins meet in front of McClusky's and he heard them muttering but did not hear what was said. He walked away a bit then turned around when he had got a yard or so away and saw them hitting at one another. Hawkins was hit a couple of times when he fell on to the road.
"I don't know whether he was going to put the boots in or not," said witness, "but a bystander called out don't put the boots in.' I called out myself a couple of times, but apparently they did not hear me and I let them box on. Hawkins was trying to get away and Turner told him his wife would never come home to him anyway."
Another witness gave evidence on similar lines, adding that Turner's face was bleeding.
Mr Slattery: Who started the fight?
Witness: It is hard to say; the first thing I saw was Turner pushing Hawkins away. I was about 40 yards away then.
Constable Potter stated that Hawkins made a complaint at the police station regarding the assault by Turner on January 25.
Leslie Turner, sworn, said he went into McClusky's on January 25 to deliver some bags. He came out of the door to see Hawkins standing there with his hands on his hips looking at him.
I pushed past him,' said Turner, and he said a man ought to give you damn good hiding and then he struck at me. I retaliated and we finished up on the other side of the street. Later Douglas came up to me and said 'I hope you've nothing against me, I've got nothing against you. Hawkins asked me to come down and give him a hand.
Defendant said there had been ill-feeling between himself and Hawkins for some time, Hawkins had been going around to his customers trying to do him an injury.
Mr Martin: Douglas denies having told you he was asked to come down to see you cleaned up.
Turner: He did say it. He is telling a lie. He told me afterwards that he had to study his bread and butter as he was working with Hawkins.
Mr Martin: You have received letters from me regarding Hawkins and his wife. Did you remark to Hawkins that you were not afraid of lawyers letters or the police.
Turner: No, I did not.
Mr Martin: As a matter of fact the women police have been at your mother's place with regard to Hawkins' wife, who is living there?"
Mr Martin: You know that Hawkins has done things in an orderly way. I've written to your mother, yourself and his wife.
Mr Craig: What is the reason for the grudge Hawkins has against you?
Turner: He accuses me of being responsible for his wife leaving him.
Mr Craig: Where is his wife?
Turner: Living at my place with my mother and working for her living.
Mr Slattery held that the offence was not proved. He said that Douglas did not hear any argument, although he was only four feet away. He would not say who was the aggressor. Turner was heard to say to Hawkins 'You can hit me if you like' If Turner had been the aggressor they would have said so.
Mr Slattery asked the Bench to take notice of the fact that Hawkins went a roundabout way to the Treasury instead of taking the nearest route.
"On the evidence" concluded Mr Slattery, "I submit that Turner is entitled to the benefit of the doubt. Hawkins' sworn witness said that Hawkins stopped."
The Bench did not waste much time in coming to a decision.Turner was convicted and fined £2 with £3/16/0 costs.