Citizens come to the rescue in 1937

A struggle in Trafalgar Street

Civilians who went to the aid of the police in a serious disturbance late at night on 1st May 1937 were warmly congratulated by Brighton magistrates in the town hall.

People assaulted

During the struggle in Trafalgar Street, which was fierce, PC Bliss had to draw his truncheon. He and another officer, PC Penfold, and two civilians were seriously assaulted.

Drunken hooligans

In court Superintendent Crouch, the Deputy Chief Constable, described two men in the dock as “drunken hooligans”.  Both were sent to prison, while two others were fined.

They were sentenced

Michael Doyle, aged 23, a seaman, was sentenced to one month’s hard labour for being drunk and disorderly and to three months for assaulting PC Bliss.

Patrick Donnelly, aged 23, a fruiterer, received six months’ hard labour for assaulting PC Bliss, Mr Geere, and another civilian, Mr Albert Boxell.

Edward O’Malley, aged 19, a driller, was fined 20s for being drunk and disorderly, 40s for assaulting PC Bliss, and another 40s for assaulting PC Penfold - £5 altogether. Constable Bliss said O’Malley could hardly stand but managed to kick him heavily in the stomach. “His language was indescribable”, he told the court.

A charge against James Douglas, 22, an unemployed seaman, of assaulting Mr Boxell was dismissed but Douglas was fined 10s for being drunk and disorderly in The Lanes, where PC Prescott arrested him.


[Previously published in the North Laine Runner, No 67, May/June 1987 and republished in No 219, November/December 2012]

This page was added on 18/12/2012.

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