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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1815, Sunday, January 9, 1831

[Southwark sessions]

At the Southwark session on Monday, James Dunnett, a cad to a Croydon stage, was sentenced to three months' imprisonment in the Borough Compter, for assaulting a young woman, servant to Dr. A. Smith, of Bloomsbury square. The prosecutrix, a fine young woman, stated, that she came from Croydon on the 14th December last, by the stage. She had been on a visit to her sister. At the Elephant and Castle the coachman got down, and the prisoner took his place, and drove to Gracechurch street, where she got down from the box, and requested her bundle of him, which he did not give her; but, learning from her that she was going to Bloomsbury square, told her to get inside, and he would take her home by a nearer way than she knew. She did get in, and the coach drove off, but shortly after stopped, and the prisoner came into the coach, leaving some other man to drive, and commenced behaving rudely to her. He took off her shawl, threw his arm around her waist, and seized one of her hands. She because excessively alarmed, and screamed, when the street-keeper came to her assistance, and saw her home as far as Holborn; and he also restored her bundle to her the following day. The Recorder, on passing sentence, said, there was proof that the prisoner was a married man, and, if he (the Recorder) knew ought of what was due to society, he had been guilty of a most atrocious outrage on the feelings of a modest female. If such men were allowed to take advantage of a woman under such circumstances, what husband, or father of a family, would ever allow his wife, daughters, or servants, to enter a stage-coach. The prosecution had been very properly urged on by Dr. Ashby Smith, and he was happy to find that the prisoner's master on learning his conduct, had discharged him immediately.