George Bindley & George Thorpe

Desborough: Murderous Attack

3rd December 1864

George Bindley and George Thorpe, weavers, of the above place, were charged with a most savage and brutal assault upon William Curtis, on the evening of the 3rd inst.--Mr. Rawlins was for the defence.

--Complainant, whose eyes were much blackened and nearly bunged up, and who had, besides, other serious wounds near the right temple, said: I am waggoner to Mr. E. Howard, and live at a lodge of his about three-quarters of a mile from Desborough. I was at Desborough on Saturday evening last, and left the village that night a little past eleven. When I had got near the village, I saw Bindley and Thorpe come behind me. Bindley struck me on the head with his fist, and knocked me down, and said, "Here's into you, you ----." Bindley then lay across me, and struck and kicked me whilst I was down and left me insensible. I produce my hat which was cut to pieces, (there is blood upon the fragments,) and also my coat, which is all over blood. I lost a great quantity of blood. I got home about 12 o'clock and went to bed, and lay there till Sunday night. Dr. Moore, of Rothwell, came to see me, and rendered me all the assistance he could. I could not see for two or three days. Bindley threatened me about twelve months back. Never did anything to either of the defendants, and suspect Bindley held out the threat owing to my watching game, whereas I have nothing to do with game no further than I am now and then called upon to assist the keeper, and cannot well refuse. I was perfectly sober at the time I was assaulted.

--Cross-examination: I got home as well as I could. Cannot say exactly how long it took me to get home, perhaps a quarter of a hour or a little over. Went into Kilburn's and had a pint or so of ale. Mr. Crick did not tell me I was drunk. Did not want to fight Bindley. Did not say to Bell or anyone else that if I could see Bindley I would have an up and down with him. Bindley did not say "Why here is Bindley, now's your time." Did not strike Bindley at all. I know of no other reason for being assaulted except about the game. I heard Bell say something to Mrs. Crick about buying game of poachers.

--Thomas Bell said he was gamekeeper to Mr. Hambrough. Was with complainant at Desborough on Saturday night last. Left the village with Curtis about 11p.m. Went on by himself part of the way and then stood still, waiting for complainant, and thought him long. At length Curtis overtook him in the field, without his hat, and his face smothered with blood. He told him what had happened. Complainant was none the worse for drink. Curtis could not see at all out of one eye, and complained very much of his head.

--Cross-examination: Had nothing to drink but ale. Both were sober. Curtis did not say "If Bindley was here I would have an up and down with him." Did not ask if Bindley was in Crick's house, for he saw him there.

--William Biddles, labourer, said: Last Saturday night, between 11 and 12, he was standing under a blacksmith's shed. Heard George Thorpe tell a party that he and George Bindley had had a row with Bell and Curtis. Knew Thorpe's voice, could tell it from a thousand.

--On being cautioned in the usual way, Bindley said, "I am not guilty," and Thorpe said, "I was not there."

--Both were committed for trial at the next Quarter Sessions. Bail was asked, and the sum of £20 was required in each case, or two sureties of £10 each.

 Northampton Mercury, Saturday 10 December 1864