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Newgate Calendar - JAMES FORD


Fined for a Brutal Attack upon a Woman

            The next case worth our notice at these Sessions (October 1811) was the trial of JAMES FORD, for a brutal attack upon a woman. The defendant, a gardener, residing at Rotherhithe, was indicted for a violent assault on the person of Ann Bliss, a poor woman residing in that neighbourhood. It appeared that the prosecutrix resided in a cottage, situate in a road leading to some premises belonging to the defendant. The footpath leading to her door being in extreme bad order, she had purchased about two loads of rubbish to mend it with, this rubbish was shot in the road near her house, preparatory to being spread on the foot path; during the time it was laying there the defendant had occasion to carry some hay to his yard at the upper end of the road; and, on perceiving this rubbish, under pretence that there was not room for him to pass, he directed his son, who was with him, to spread it about the road. Whilst the son was thus employed, the prosecutrix discovering what was doing, came out of her house, and telling the defendant for what purpose the rubbish was collected, requested he would not spread it about. Instead of complying with her request, however, he abused her very grossly, and struck her several violent blows with a shovel which he had in his hand. This statement of the prosecutrix was corroborated by several witnesses. The defendant attempted to prove that the prosecutrix had committed the first assault by striking him. The jury, however, found him guilty, and the Court, after animadverting with severity on his conduct, sentenced him to pay a fine of 20l.


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