Mrs Probert and Margaret Ellen Williams

A street scene and allegations in Bethesda, 1902

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At the instance of the Police, Mrs Probert, formerly of Clarke Street Caernarfon, was summoned for committing a breach of the county bye-laws. Margaret Ellen Williams of Coed Parc Bethesda, whose husband is currently working at Penrhyn Quarry, said that whilst shopping at Bethesda with a number of other women, the defendant called after her “traitors and tails” and swore at her. Witness gave no provocation whatsoever. Similar evidence was tendered by Ann Williams, Coed y Parc, who, however, could not swear that the defendant was amongst the crowd.

PC David Roberts (68) said that he was certain the defendant was among the crowd that called after the women. He asked her to move on but she declined, saying “I won’t move on, you Old Devil”. Cross examined by Mr DG Davies, who represented the defendant, the officer denied using the word “ti” when addressing the defendant.

DG Davies : Did you use the words Tanrallt Caernarfon? PC Roberts : Yes

DG Davies : Is this woman a respectable woman? PC Roberts : As far as I know, and I am respectable too.

DG Davies : Do you think it is right, for an officer of your standing to tell a woman to go to Tanrallt to her prostitutes?

PC Roberts : No I didn’t tell her that. I told her it was impossible to know where she had come from. I did not intend to reflect upon her character.

For the defendant, Mr Davies submitted there was no evidence to show that his client called after the complainant, and that he was sure that, in framing the bye-law, the County Council never anticipated a police officer giving peremptory and rude orders to crowds. Sarah Jane Morris and Jane Williams, Bryntirion, stated that the defendant did not call after the woman, nor did anybody else.