John B A Blanchard
ALLEGED INDECENT ASSAULT.
A young man named John B. A. Blanchard, for whom Mr. W. P.Kelly appeared, was charged with indecently assaulting Rose Marie Belcher on February 26th at her residence in Gisborne Street. Sergt. Ferris stated that on February 26th, Percy . William Belcher went to the police station, and made a complaint to him and he went to Belcher's residence in Gisborne Street and there saw Rose Marie Belcher, who was crying and was very agitated. After he saw defendant, who lives in a small detached cottage adjoining Belcher's residence. He said to defendant 'Come in here'. He and defendant then went into Belcher's sitting room Mrs. Belcher and Constable Baynham were also there. Witness said to Mrs. Belcher, 'Is this the man?' and she replied 'Yes, that is the man Blanchard. . He tried to criminally assault me.,'. Defendant replied, 'No, I didn't Mrs. Belcher, I didn't do anything to you.' Witness then said, 'What did Mrs. Belcher slap you in the face for,' and defendant replied, 'I don't know.' Witness said, 'She also threw some chicken feed over you.' and defendant replied, 'She didn't.' Witness then said to him, 'Turn round and let me have a look at you.' He noticed some stain on his clothing and remarked, :'What are these wet stains on your trousers,' and hereplied, 'She did throw something on me,' and on witness asking him if she had done so, defendant replied, 'I don!t know. There was something happened, but Mrs. Belcher was a consenting party. I met her earlier in the day and she was looking for Reg,- as she was afraid he was drinking, and I said to her 'Don't you drink,' and she replied 'she might have a glass of wine sometimes, and he told her that if he had known that he would have brought her some wine for the cup of tea she had given him. He brought home a bottle of wine, and they had a drink together and she kissed him and then sat on his knee and must have acted as she did when she thought her husband was coming.' . Mrs. Belcher replied 'That is a lie.' He asked defendant to accompany him to the police station, and on the way, defendant said he would tell how it happened, and a statement which was taken down in writing, was made This statement was read. After reading the statement, witness told defendant; that he would not charge him with anything at that stage and allowed him to go until he made further inquiries, as he was not then satisfied. In reply to Mr. Kelly witness said that Belcher's lived in a three roomed house with a kitchen, and defendant lived next door. He found the bottle produced on the dressing table, there was a little wine left in it. Mrs. Belcher admitted drinking some of the wine, but was in the company of her husband at the time. Mrs. Belcher told him that defendant had pulled her on to his knee and witness asked her if she had kissed Blanchard, and she replied, 'No, but he kissed me.' and to Blanchard she said. 'You pulled me on to your knee.' Constable Airs gave evidence as to arresting defendant on the present charge.
Rose Marie Belcher said she resided with her husband in Gisborne Street. On February 26th, she saw defendant, this would be about 1 p.m.. as she was leaving the house. He was then about six yards ahead of her when he turned round and saw her coming, and waited until she reached him and he asked, 'Are I you going down the street,' and she replied that she was, and he asked if he might walk down with her. She told defendant that she was going down to see if she could find Reg Thomas, a young man who was staying with them, as he might be drinking with a friend, and she did not want him to have too much drink. They had nominated this young man from England, and she did not want him to get drinking. Blanchard . then said, 'Surely you don't mind anyone having a drink' and she. replied, 'I have a glass of wine myself at times, but only when my husband is with me.' They reached the corner of Lee Street and , defendant then said he would he would have to go to Austin's to pay the rent, and she said, 'If you see Reg Thomas tell him to come home and he replied that he would do so. She then walked down as far as Fulton's corner and looked across to the Club House Hotel to see if she could locate Reg Thomas, but did not see him. She then walked down towards her home, and defendant came across the road and told her he had not seen Thomas in the hotel, but the young man he was with was there. She then went straight home. Previously when she told defendant she had an occasional glass of ' wine, defendant replied 'had I known that I would have brought you some', but she told him she did not need it. She went home and about 4.30 she went to have a rest and lay down and shortly afterwards heard some one calling, 'Mrs. Belcher' and she went to the kitchen and there saw defendant standing at the door with something wrapped up in a news paper. He said, 'Is the boss in?' and she replied that he was not, but would be back in a few minutes. Defendant then said, 'Would you like some wine,' but she replied, 'No, not until my husband returns.' Defendant then went into the kitchen and sat down and shortly afterwards her husband and Thomas came in by the front door, and defendant said to her husband, 'Would you like a drink, Dug.' and her husband replied he did not have time. Blanchard then got a corkscrew and took out the cork and poured some wine into three cups and a glass, the latter being handed to her. After they all had had a drink, Blanchard said to her husband, 'What about coming down and having a drink,' and her husband and Thomas went away with defendant, and she went to have a lay down again. After she had been resting for some time, she again heard someone calling, 'Mrs. Belcher' and she went out to the kitchen and again saw defendant. She asked him where was her husband and Thomas. 'How is it you did not all come home together again.' Her little daughter came in then and defendant sent her on a message. Witness was sitting on a chair near the door and defendant was standing when he came across to her and put his arm round her and pulled her on to an arm chair in the corner. She tried to get away, but he pushed her and in the struggle she got away from him and got back to the chair she had been sitting on. She told him to keep away and in trying to get. away she fell to her knees and then backwards on to the floor with defendant on top of her. She slapped his face several times, and he got up and said he was very sorry. She had a dipper of chicken feed on the stove, which she picked up and threw over him. When he pulled her onto the chair he acted indecently towards her and she told him she was not a woman of that sort, and to leave her alone, and get out of her house and never come inside it again. Defendant again said he was very sorry and left the house. Later her husband returned and she told him, what had occurred, and her husband went for the police. She had heard what defendant. had told the police, and she had replied that it was not the truth, and she did not consent to anything defendant did. This witness was cross-examined by Mr. Kelly at some, length, but her evidence in chief was not shaken.
Percy William Belcher, husband of the previous witness, said he got home to lunch from work on the 26th February at about 2 p.m., and after lunch he and Thomas went to Mr. Field's, Marcus Clarke and Co's representative, and returned home at about 4.30 p.m., and when they got home Blanchard was in the kitchen and when he saw witness he said, 'Hello, I have been waiting for you to go down the street.' Blanchard said he had brought some. wine and asked them to have a drink. Blanchard opened the bottle, and poured some wine into some cups and a glass. He only had a small drink and his wife had a little in the glass. The bottle produced was in the same condition now as it was on that Saturday and, had not been touched since. They had only one drink each, and afterwards Blanchard asked he and Thomas to go, down town and have a drink, at first he refused, but'went out with him. They went down together, but when they got to Lee Street, Blanchard left them as he said he wanted to see his father-in-law.- Witness and Thomas walked down the street to the corner, where witness stood talking to some friends, but Blanchard did not come along, and after waiting for a little while they went towards home. They next saw defendant coming out of his own gate, mount a bike and ride away. When he and Thomas arrived home his wife came out and exclaimed, 'Oh, Reg, that man Blanchard has been here again since you went out and has been trying to take liberties with me.' His wife had been crying and was agitated. Afterwards he noticed a lot of potato peelings on the floor of the kitchen, also scraps of bread, etc. Defendant did not come down, town with them, although they waited, at the Club House Hotel for him. In reply to Mr. Kelly witness said that his companion, Thomas had the time. He knew defendant for about a fortnight and had spoken to him four or five times. Reginald Thomas said he was staying with the Belcher's. On the afternoon in question he went with Belcher to Field's and returned home at 4.30. Blanchard was there and had a bottle of wine which he opened and poured some into three cups and a glass, and had a drink. Then Blanchard asked Belcher and him self to go down and have a drink.
Witness gave similar evidence as given by witness Belcher in respect to Blanchard leaving them to go and speak to his father-in-law and not returning. On returning home they found Mrs. Belcher in tears and the floor of the kitchen strewn with stuff, and was dirty. He heard Mrs Belcher make a complaint to her husband. In reply to Mr. Kelly witness said he had a wristlet watch and knew the time they left and returned by it. The P.M. said there was sufficient evidence to commit defendant to stand his trial, and committed him to stand his trial at the Dubbo Supreme Court on April 20th, bail, self in £50, one surety in £50, or two in £25.
Source: Wellington Times 10 Mar 1927