Flippant approach to potential assault

Leeds Times
Saturday 1 June 1867

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

Late on Thursday night, a man named Quinn came running up Balne Lane, Wakefield, crying out in stentorian tones for the police. He happened to fall in with one of the supernumeraries of the West Riding constabulary, and to him detailed a strange story. At a wedding that day he had met with a young woman, whom he only knew by the name of Elizabeth, and he took her to a relative at Potovens, to endeavour to get her a situation. Whilst returning home across the fields they were set upon by a number of men with hedge-stakes, who seized the girl and carried her off, and the same fellows, he alleged, belaboured him until he got out of their clutches A force of policemen were despatched to scour the neighbourhood of the alleged outrage. They have ascertained enough to throw suspicion over Quinn’s story. The latter is a notoriously bad character, and the house to which he took the woman at Potovens is little better than a brothel. Returning home he attempted to abuse the girl, and some Alverthorpe men coming up at the time rescued her from his clutches, and one of them took her to his home. There is reason to believe that Quinn pumped up the charge in order to prevent another and more serious accusation being preferred against him.