Derby Mercury - 27 March 1833
STEEPLE v. BONSELL and WIBBERLEYThis was an action brought to recover damages for an assault committed on the plaintiff Steeple, who is a farmer re residing at Shirley, an old man 68 years of age. It appeared that the plaintiff after returning home from Ashbourn, wltere he had been on the 18th December last, for the purpose of voting at the general election, was rudely at accosted by the defendants Bonsell and Wibberley, the latter of whom called him an old rogue, seized his coat collar, and otherwise violently abused him. Bonsall is the brother-in-law to the other defendant. These Parties were called upon to apologize for their conduct, and on refusing at to do so, the plaintiff resorted to the present mode as the only alternative way to obtain redress.— John Yeomans, who is a farmer at, and constable of Shirley, proved the assault complained of, and that in consequence of the abuse displayed by the defendants, he was compelled to interfere, and convey the plaintiff to his home. Mr. Steeple did nothing that he saw to provoke the ill-treatmeist complained of. His evidence was corroborated by another witness, .Wm. Blake.
Mr. Humphrey for the defence, described the action as a trivial and paltry one, and which ought never to have at been introducecd into a court of justice. He said it was only brought for the purpose of putting the defendants to expense, since however small might be the damages awarded against his clients, a fearful amount would fall to their lot to be discharged in the shape of costs.
The jury returned a verdict for thle plaintiff, with one farthing damages.
On the application of Mr Balguy, the learned Judge agreed to certify in this case.
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