A rather amusing but brutal case of assault was heard at Hamilton J.P Court Monday 21st February 1927, when Miss Margaret Duffy, a pithead worker, residing at Calder Street was charged with assaulting Elizabeth Park, a farm servant, of Townhill Farm.
The assault took place in the ladies’ room the Miners’ Welfare Institute, Auchentibber, where a dance was taking place.
According to the story which was pieced together before the Justices of the Peace (Messrs A. Frew and Thomas Russell), Margaret Duffy believed that the complainer, Elizabeth Park, had been “telling stories” about one of her relatives.
Elizabeth Park’s statement was that during the dance, she retired to the ladies room to dress her hair. Margaret Duffy was already in the room, and without provocation, began to use filthy language and set about her.
Elizabeth was knocked to the ground and was dazed. In defending herself she put her hands before her face, and Margaret Duffy leant down and bit Elizabeth’s left hand.
Assistance had to be obtained to separate both women. Police witnesses, who interviewed them later, said that the girl Duffy, who was only 18 years of age, admitted to them that she assaulted Elizabeth Park, and added that “she would give Park more the next time!”
In the witness box Margaret Duffy said she struck in self-defence, and did not bite Park. She only chastised her. Mr A. Frew said that it was evident that the assault was serious, and it was sad to see that Margaret, despite her day in court, did not regret what she had done. For a young woman she had used terrible language. A fine of 20s with the alternative of ten days’ imprisonment, was imposed.
Pictured in 1930s in Auchentibber.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c)