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From the Sussex Express, 6th October 1896

COMMITTED TO THE ASSIZES – On Saturday before the Mayor and Captain J Shiffner, Edward Bartlett was charged on remand with aiding and abetting Robert Cracknell in a criminal assault on Mary Sivyer, a girl of 13 years of age, on the 25th July last.

Mary Sivyer said she lived at Ley Cottage, Beddingham, and on the date in question she was sent to Lewes by her mother to do some shopping. She returned about half-past eleven in the morning, and met the defendant in company with another man near Mr Wallis' house at Southerham. They asked her where she was going, and she said she was going home. Both men then took hold of her and pulled her into a hedge, and defendant held her down while Cracknell committed the assault complained of. Complainant tried to get up but could not. Afterwards two men came up from the chalk pit and pulled defendants away and subsequently sent for the police. John Buckwell, living at Gardener Street, Southover, said on the 25th July last he was working in the 'Grey Chalk Pit' at Southerham. From a communication he received witness went, in company with his mate Gaston, to the top of the pit and saw defendant with the girl while Cracknell was attempting to commit the offence complained of. Witness knocked Cracknell into the hedge and sent for the police. Cracknell was arrested, but Bartlett got away.

William Gaston of 2, Garden Cottages, Cliffe, said he was at work in the pit. Witness, in company with Buckwell, went to the top of the pit and saw the two men with the girl. They pulled the defendants away, and defendant Bartlett put himself into a fighting attitude. They were then given into custody, but the defendant got away.

PC Upton said on the 1st October he proceeded to Oxted and there found prisoner detained by the Oxted police. Witness read the warrant to him, and he made no reply. He was subsequently brought to Lewes.

The prisoner, who had nothing to say, was committed for trial at the next Assizes.

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