Saturday, December 20, 2008

A heated political discussion in Avondale, 1905

Sometimes, we here in Avondale can get really fired up about politics. This article from the Auckland Star, 9 February 1905, comes from the days when John Bollard was MHR for the Eden electorate, which included Avondale's electors. I wonder what he'd done , or not done, to get these two so fired up?

A discussion of a political character between two Avondale residents eventuated in the Police Court to-day, when Mr. Wardell, S.M., listened to a charge of assault preferred by George Glasscock against George Coppin.

The plaintiff stated that as they were going home from the railway station on January 28 a discussion arose over the merits of the member for the constituency, witness being his supporter and the defendant holding different views. The discussion became so heated that Glasscock took the opposite side of the road, but he stated that Coppin crossed over, tripped him up, and punched him several times.

Coppin's story was that hostilities commenced through his political opponent hitting him with a kit which contained something solid, and this was followed by "a couple of rounds", in which Glasscock did fairly well as a boxer. The plaintiff kicked him on the shins and picked up some scoria. Before he could throw it witness threw some at Glasscock.

The magistrate listened to all the evidence and then told the defendant that he disbelieved his story. Coppin had given way to a fir of anger during an exciting political discussion, and kicked the plaintiff. It was a gross assault, and he would be fined £3 with £2 13/ costs, or a month's imprisonment.

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