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Police Constable Patrick O'Hara

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Police Constable Patrick O'Hara

Post by Karen on Wed 12 Jan 2011 - 0:41

Metropolitan Police-constable Patrick O'Hara of the X Division, was charged and imprisoned in 1881 for assaulting a horsekeeper.


Patrick O'Hara, 153 X, who had been charged with committing an assault upon a horsekeeper in the service of the London General Omnibus Company, is now doing (will he be let out before he has done it as other P.C.'s have been?) two months' imprisonment with hard labour. Mr. Shiel, in passing sentence, said, "Nothing could be worse than the prisoner's conduct. He was there to protect the public; but instead of doing so he endeavoured to pick a quarrel with the complainant and his wife. If it had not been for the discretion of Inspector Brewster, who refused to take the charge against the complainant he (Mr. Shiel) felt sure that the prisoner would have backed up the case with perjury." Such an expression from a magistrate demonstrates conclusively the truth of the assertion we have so often been compelled to make, that there is too much confidence reposed upon the word of the police, which emboldens them to trump up a charge against anybody they have any animosity against, with the hope assured that in spite of the evidence brought to combat the charge, a conviction will surely follow. If the inspector in the case before us had been like the one who called Mr. Warren (a respectable cab driver) a stupid old fool when he went to the station to complain of the treatment he had received from a constable, O'Hara might still be at large to insult and assault enceinte women. The police certainly have too much power instrusted to them. If a cabdriver innocently causes one of them a little annoyance he will probably be charged with being drunk, and if a doctor is sent for, the divisional one comes, smelt the breath of the man, and if there is the faintest trace of alcohol it's all heads with the driver. We are sorry for any man's fall, but not when he deserves it so richly as O'Hara.

Source: The Centaur, January 9. 1881

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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