The Star 18870321

Report from The Star, Christchurch, issue 5881, 21 Mar 1887

A case concerning a Mrs Sandoe, accused of assaulting Mrs Caudle
who lived nextdoor with her daughter, another Mrs Sandoe.

At Ashburton on Friday, Mr Baddeley, R.M., had an amusing case to deal with. A woman named Sandoe was charged with having been too handy with her fists to the detriment of the fair features of Mrs Emily Broker, and the reverend countenance of a lady bearing the classic name of Caudle. It was not stated whether the latter lady was any relation of the heroine of ” Curtain Leotures,” but from the manner in which she gave her evidence, one would have been quite justified in believing in her ability to give points to the better known female. The case of the assaulted ones was handled by Mr Crisp, while Mr Wilding championed the cause of Mrs Sandoe. It appears that the parties are neighbours, and breathe the pure ozone of Trevorton — alias New Chum Town, a suburb of Ashburton, and Mrs Caudle makes her abode with her daughter, another Mrs Sandoe. Mrs Caudle floated into the box with an air that was quite Junoesque, and when she turned the tap of her eloquence on the Court, there was laughter much and hearty. She gave details of the assault that had been committed upon her by the Sandoe woman, and dramatically held up her ample cheek to the view of the Court, so that the exact site chosen by Mrs Sandoe for planting a blow could be seen. She said her enemy came at her like a wild cat, hammered at both doors and windows violently, and having gained admittance proceeded in the forcible way that caused the information to be laid to express her opinion cf the voluble Caudle and the less demonstrative Broker. The evidence was given with much suiting of the action to the word, and closed with a grand peroration, that she had told “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Mr Wilding took her in hand for crossexamination, but he failed to shift her story, and declined to “say what she didn’t know.” ” Oh, no ! Mrs Sandoe was not ‘elplessly drunk she was ‘ tiger drunk ‘ ” — whatever that may mean. Then Emily Broker waltzed into the box. Her eye was not in a sling, so that the extent of Mrs Sandoe’s alleged attentions to her could be to some extent gauged. It certainly was a bad eye, and could not have been more artistically blacked, if she had been engaged in a discussion of the respective merits of candidates for the Wakanui seat. She was quite in accord with all Mrs Caudle had said. Then Ah Fan, a Chinaman, toed the mark. No match blowing for him. He waa a good Catholic, and swore on the Gospels. He saw Mrs Sandoe jump the fence and fight Mrs Caudle, but What they fought each other for He could not well make out. Then Mrs Sandoe told her story. It was washing day, and she was at her tub. She heard the Caudle and her gossip, Mrs Broker, talking about the ” dirty woman next door.” The geography and topography of the place was such that she only could have been meant, and feeling her reputation assailed she sought an explanation. Mrs Caudle made use of language not calculated to cement the peace, and wound up the discussion by ” smacking ” Mrs Sandoe’s face. Then the fat was in the fire, and she ” smacked ” Mrs Caudle. Then the modest Broker waded in, and Mrs Sandoe had to hold her own against the double-barrelled attack, but her denial as to having inflicted Mrs Broker’s black eye was very emphatic. The Broker fled the fight, and in her haste to flee hit her head on the door- post, eliciting, at the same time, from Mrs Sandoe the sympathetic remark, ” And serve you right.” Equally emphatic was her repudiation of being fond of a drop, and on that eventful washing day she had had nothing. Sergeant Felton gave Mrs Sandoe an excellent character, but believed the parties did not hit it together very well. The Magistrate thought the ends of justice would be best served by binding all the trio over to keep the peace for six months, themselves in £2O each and two sureties of £lO each. This done the curtain fell.

  • Comments: The accused is Jane Sandoe 1855JA02, The plaintiff is Elizabeth Caudle 1819EL02. The plaintiff’s daughter is Amelia Sandoe 1851AM01.

Updated: Dec 2021