Western Mail Cardiff, Thursday, December 24th 1874  



On Wednesday, at the Pontypridd petty sessions (before Mr. M. Williams, Dyffryn Firwd; Mr. Wm. Prichard, Crofts; and Mr. Ebenezer Lewis, Brocastle), Pat M’Carthy, Robert Shorthouse, and George Shorthouse, Gilfachgoch, were charged with cutting and wounding David Webber and Seth Applegate, at Gilfachgoch, on the 14th last.

David Webber said he lived at Gilfachgoch, and was a coker. On the 14th inst., about 7:30 p.m., he was in the Gilfach Inn having a glass of beer with a friend, when George Shorthouse came in and quarreled with an old man named Jarret. He (prosecutor) told him to be quiet, when he replied by challenging him to “come outside.” He (prosecutor) went out,” not liking his insinuations.” While outside talking to George, Robert came and struck him a fearful blow, and all the prisoners then closed upon him, and one of them (M’Carthy) struck him on the head with the stone he had in his hand. He managed to take hold of his hand, and took the stone from it. He (prosecutor) was on the ground at this time. Robert then pushed his finger into his eye, and attempted to gouge the eye out (the inside of the eye was very much inflamed, and there was a small wound at the bottom). M’Carthy said “Finish the beggar off”.

By the bench: Robert struck me with the stone several times, and I fully believe that they would have killed me had assistance not come.

Prosecutor continued: I was on the ground ten minutes, and was kicked several times in both sides. Had four to the head. There had been a large lump on the right side is larger than egg, and bruises on the other side. Most of the wounds were inflicted by Robert with the stone. Was kicked by George, but succeeded in getting to his feet, and escaped into a large gutter under the railway, and passed out at the other end, where Robert attempted to catch him, but fortunately he eluded his grasp. Reached home, and Dr. Jones was sent for, who came and attended to his wounds, and ordered him to bed, where he was for three days, and was unable to leave the house for a week. Suffered very much from his side’s now, and the wounds in his head had “gathered” in several places. His eye was dim, and light appeared misty through it. He’s clothes worn at the time were produced in court, and were covered with blood.  By George Shorthouse: I ran a race with a collier about half past three on the day in question, and I lost it. I never said I did not get fair play. I did not drink with you in the public, and challenge any collier chap to run. I did not say “If I lost the race by running, I will not lose by fighting.” I did not say a word about fighting. By Robert Shorthouse: Was by the side of the road near the railway gate when you struck me. By M’Carthy:  I was on my back when you struck me with the stone. By the Bench:  I am sure that M’Carthy struck me with a stone, as well as Robert. Seth Applegate said that he saw the attack upon the prosecutor on the night in question. He followed them out from the Gilfach Inn in a couple of minutes. Saw Webber on the ground, and the three prisoners beating and kicking him. Went to his assistance, and try to raise him. He called out, “Beth, I am strangling,” and could hardly speak. M’Carthy struck witness on the head with a stone he held in his right hand. McCarthy stood at that time on a little elevation by the side of the road. He held the stone firmly in his hand. Robert struck him on the head with a “tommy box” (a food box used by colliers to take their food underground). He (witness) could not state which blow cut his head open.  Robert jumped upon him and he fell to the ground, and then attempted to strangle him by twisting his handkerchief with his fingers. Had marks of fingers in his throat the following day. He (Robert) also kicked him on his right side. Succeeded tumbling him over, and got up making his escape under the railway in the same way as Webber afterwards came. Webber was in the ground when he (witness) made his escape. He was too much afraid of the prisoners to return to his assistance. Saw them kicking Webber in the sides whilst he was on the ground.By the Bench: Had not known the prisoners before that night. Webber was not quite sober, but he was not drunk. Went away chiefly because of a cry heard by him of “Finish the beggar off.” There were about thirty people in the public house close by whilst this was going on.Webber, recalled by the bench, said his object in going out was to fight George, and the others followed.Mr. Ebenezer Lewis: And you got more than you bargained for? – Prosceutor: Yes, indeed sir.By George Shorthouse: We did not fight for a-quarter of an hour before anyone came. I did not pull you out.Applegate’s shirt was produced in court with blood on the top part of it.Richard Pugh, labourer, Gilfachgoch, said that he was in the Gilfach Inn on the night in question. Saw George Shorthouse there challenging Webber to a fight, and both left the house together. Went out some minutes afterwards, and saw Webber on the ground about 30 yards from the public. The three prisoners were beating and kicking him, and he (witness) heard Webber crying out, “Oh, he is strangling me!” He also saw Seth assisting Webber to get up, when he saw McCarthy striking Seth on the head with a stone he held in his hand, saying, as he did so, “Finish the beggar off!” he (witness) ran to the public and cried for help, as a man was being murdered outside. There were many men in the house, but none would go out and render assistance. Went out again, and found that Webber and Seth were gone and the prisoner on the railway.By George Shorthouse: I did not tell you” If Webber cannot ‘leather’ him I will.” I did not say a word to you; you are mistaken.

Wm. Bowden said that Webber told George in the public house “Not to impose on an old man” ( Jarret), George then challenged Webber to a fight, and Weber got up and went out. Went after them, when he heard Webber calling out, “Oh, he is strangling me!” He (witness) run into the house for assistance, but all refused to go. Went out again, and saw George holding Webber by the hair, kicking him.

Mr. Pritchard: What did you say when you called for help in the public house”

Witness: A man is being killed outside.

Mr. Pritchard: Did anyone go out?

Witness: No sir.

Mr. Ebenezer Lewis: Killing a man does not appear to be much of a thing in Gilffachgoch.

Witness: Stared at the Bench, and shook his head. He then corroborated the above evidence, and he said he saw Webber and Applegate escaping.

Dr. Jones, Dinas, said he saw Webber on the 15th, the day after the assault was committed. Found a cut on his forehead about an inch and a half long – a lacerated wound, exposing the bone: two on the left side of the head, and another at the back. Both eyes were bruised; the left eye was bloodshot. Examined his body, and found a bruise on the chest and bruises on the legs. Ordered the sufferer to be kept in bed as a precaution against erysipelas, and not because he feared imminent danger to life.

By the bench:  Some of the injuries to the head might have been caused by falling on stones in the road. They must have been caused by some blunt instrument.

Police Constable David James, stationed at Gilfachgoch, said he apprehended George Shorthouse and McCarthy on Monday night at Gilfach Inn.

Little before this he had met Applegate, covered with blood. Charged them with cutting and wounding Applegate. Both said that they were innocent, that they were not near the row, and that he was taking innocent parties, and they would be ——- if they would come. George said this. Left both prisoners in charge of Boobyer and went out and met Robert. The two prisoners were taken in custody to the station, when McCarthy said, “I shall have six months again for this Mr. Miskin, I suppose.” (Laughter.) By the bench: Has he been to prison? Has he had six months? M’Cartney: No, sir. I never in my life had more than 21 days in goal. Witness continued: M’Carthy and Shorthouse said, “We shall spend our Christmas in goal, no doubt.” He (witness) then went in search of Robert, and found he had gone in the direction of Tonyrefail. Found that Webber had gone across the valley in the direction of Abercendin Farm, from which place he was being led home by a girl, he being blind from the injuries received. Robert was apprehended on the day following at Tonyrefail by Police Constable Boobyer. For the defense was called David John, landlord of the Gilfach Inn, who said he saw the parties going out. Webber and George went out first, followed by Applegate and one or two others. Heard McCartney telling Seth Applegate in the house, pointing to George Shorthouse,”This is the man to fight you.” He (witness) turned out McCarthy, but he came in again. By George: I told you to be quiet; don’t be a foolish man. I am not certain that you said, “I won’t be quiet.” By the superintendent: I did not see either Webber or Applegate do anything to either of the prisoners. I am sure that they did not do anything to them in the house. Heard George saying to Applegate, “I don’t care for you.” A witness, named Evans, said that Applegate was singing in the house, when McCarthy called out, “Shut up, you beggar.” Applegate got up and asked, “What did you say?” McCarthy said,”Sit down.” Applegate said, “You are not enough of a man to make me sit down.” McCarthy replied, “If I am not enough of a man, I’ll soon find a man.“ He (witness) then went to another room, and McCarthy followed, and asked George if he would come out to handle him. He refused then, but said he would do it so presently. Saw them going out, and the first thing he saw was George striking Webber, who fell. Applegate then went out to lift George who had fallen upon Webber, when Robert rushed forward and struck Applegate on the head with a tin box. The prisoners and Applegate and Webber then rolled down the bank. He (witness) told the men in the house that a man was being abused outside, but no one went to his assistance. Heard someone cry, “go for a policeman –  they are killing a man.” He (witness) went and lifted Robert and George from Webber. They were both on top of him. McCarthy, upon this, struck Webber with a stone, but could not say where. He (witness) continued to hold George, and Webber got up and moved away, but fell down again, and Robert went in and kicked him. Webber got up and escaped into the gutter under the railway. There was no further conviction proved against Robert Shorthouse, but against the other prisoners several former convictions for assaults were proved, and the three prisoners were committed for trial at the quarter sessions.


Western Mail Saturday January 9th 1875.


(Before: Mr. R. O. Jones, chairman, Mr. C. W. David, Mr. E. S. Hill, and Mr. H. J. Evans.) The Court sat at 11 o’clock.


George Shorthouse, aged 25, collier, Robert Shorthouse, aged 22, a collier, and Patrick McCarthy, aged 21, a haulier, were indicted for maliciously wounding a man named David Webber, at Llantrisant, on the 14th of December. Mr. Henry Allen prosecuted.

On the evening of the attack the prosecutor and the prisoners were in a public house, and there George Shorthouse offered to fight the prosecutor. The four men went out, and the three prisoners knocked the prosecutor down, kicked him, and George Shorthouse hit him on the head with the stone.

The jury found all the prisoners guilty, and they were sentenced – George Shorthouse to two years, Robert Shorthouse to twelve months, and McCarthy to 18 months imprisonment, with hard labour.

Western Daily Press Glamorgan January 9th 1875.

Before Mr.H.O. Jones and Mr. C.W.Davies.


George Shorthouse, 25, Robert Shorthouse, 23, colliers, and Patrick McCarthy, haulier, wer indicted for unlawfully and maliciously wounding David Webber, a collier, at Llantrisant, on the 14th of December. The case was a very serious one, the complainant being beaten and kicked, and by one of them an attempt was made to gouge out his left eye. George Shorthouse was sentenced to two years, Robert Shorthouse to 12 months, and Patrick McCarthy to 18 months hard labour.


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