Four brothers fall foul of the police (and have the black eyes to show for it)

John, Richard, Charles, and Lewis Dunn were all drinking in the Goat, a public house in Kensington High Street in October 1880. John and his brother Charles were painters while Richard was an ordinary seaman in the Navy.

Perhaps Richard was just back from a tour of duty, or the four were celebrating some other occasion, the paper was not clear on this, but it seems they were drinking heavily. It was a Sunday night and their carousing turned into something uglier and the police were called to the pub.

Police sergeant Adams and constables Marner, Brinley and Bass arrived and attempted to eject John and Charles. In the process of trying to get John Dunn to leave PC Bass was hit in the eye and knocked to the floor. PC Brinley managed to get Richard out of the pub but the sailor pulled a knife and threatened him.

Sergenat Adams was attacked by Charles Dunn with a stick and badly beaten before all four were secured and taken back to the station to be charged.

In Hammersmith Police Court Bass gave his testimony with a bandage over his damaged eye and two of the prisoners appeared sporting black eyes.

When the magistrate inquired as to how they had obtained such injuries the police witnesses explained that the pair had fought amongst themselves at the station. Sergeant Adams told him that they had fought ‘like wild animals’ for twenty minutes before they could be separated. The brother claimed they had all been beaten up by the police.

Not surprisingly the justice sided with the coppers, and handed down prison sentences of between a month and three months to all the brothers for being involved in a ‘savage affray’ and assault upon the police.


[from The Morning Post, Tuesday, October 05, 1880]

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