Saturday, February 19, 2011

A most brutal assault

Searching Trove on the National Library of Australia website for Constable Galligan has produced a number of interesting articles.  To make sure that I'm referring to my Constable (John) Galligan I searched the Queensland State Archives and found 4 Galligan police staff files with the following service dates:
  • My John 1882-1913
  • Unrelated as far as I know
    • James 1868-1877
    • Morgan Francis 1886
    • Another John 1907-1972
So to the Brisbane Courier 17 March 1883

A most brutal assault appears to have been committed upon Constable Galligan about 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, in Albert-street, by three cowardly roughs. From what we have been able to gather it seems that the constable had occasion several times during the afternoon to caution a well-known character, John Starch, against behaving in a disorderly manner, and also for using disgusting language. About the time mentioned the man Starch was reclining in a yard off the street, and as he had been using obscene language the constable requested him to go home. The cowardly fellow rose and dealt the constable a vicious blow in the eye. This was the signal for two of his pals-Irish and another-and the three ruffians attacked the constable, and brutally maltreated him. They left him quite in a helpless condition, with the blood pouring from his face, and blinding him. Galligan was afterwards taken to the police barracks in Roma-street, where he was examined and prescribed for by Dr. Hobbs. His left eye is completely closed, and the whole of his face bears strong proof of the scandalous treatment he received. He will be unfit for duty for several days at least, and will probably have to go to the hospital. Two policemen were told off in plain clothes, and succeeded in arresting two of the offenders -Starch and Irish. Both men have been punished before for similar.

It was even mentioned in the Melbourne Argus on 19 March 1883

Constable Galligan was brutally assaulted and seriously injured on Friday afternoon by three roughs, one of whom he was attempting to arrest.

And the Brisbane Courier 20 March 1883 gives a full account with details such as
......struck witness a violent blow with his fist on the eye, saying to his mates "Come on and give it to him now" The three then attacked him, striking him about the head and face, witness succeeded in getting Starch down, he (Starch) immediately called out to the other prisoners to " go for him", and prisoners Irish and Clark set on to him (witness ), striking him on the head and face, as quickly as they could deliver the blow: Starch said "I have hold of him are you not able to strangle him'" Starch had hold of him by the privates  at this time; Irish asked witness to let Starch up saying he would go quietly with him, witness did so and Starch said "Go for him now"; the three again assaulted him and   drove him up against the fence he again got Starch down, but he called on his mates to strangle him (witness) the others kept beating  him until he was obliged to let Starch go, the prisoners after striking him a few more blows, ran away

At the City Police Court on Saturday, before the police-magistrate, ...........the prisoners were remanded till to-day (Monday) as Constable Galligan was not in a fit state to give evidence.

Stay tuned for the next post which will cover the sentencing

No comments:

Post a Comment