NOTE: Plaintiffs remarks are in bold.
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1911. W. No. 239.
In the High Court of Justice [in ENGLAND]
KING'S BENCH DIVISION.
Writ issued the 23rd day of January, 1911.
BETWEEN--JOHN JAMES WEST, Plaintiff,
WILLIAM DENNIS WILSON,
AND WILLIAM M. ALLEN, Defendants.
Statement of Claim.
1. The Plaintiff is a farmer and is also a rate collector employed by the Fermanagh County Council and resides at Crocknacrieve, County Fermanagh Ireland.
2. The Defendant William Dennis Wilson resides at Cretingham Rookery, Framlingham, Suffolk, and is of independent means. The Defendant James W. Wilson is the proprietor of the “Independent” a newspaper printed and published in Ipswich by the Defendant William M. Allen.
3. On or about the 22nd day of July 1910 the Defendant William Dennis Wilson falsely and maliciously wrote and caused to be printed and published in the issue of July 22, 1910 of the said newspaper and the other Defendants caused and/or allowed to be printed and published therein of and concerning the Plaintiff the following words:
meaning thereby that the Plaintiff was a criminal, was an aider and abettor in the prostitution of women and girls, was a hypocrite and an immoral person, was concealing and harbouring criminals from justice, and resided in and kept a disorderly house.
"Treason and Plot. A.D. 1910. A continuing stream of exposure of crimes of the Cooneyites…I pray you put the question to the powers that be and to the police. Will you institute new powers to deal with the White Slave Traffic. Especially the Crocknacrieve disorderly house of ill-fame and bad repute" (meaning thereby the residence of the Plaintiff.)
July 10th, 1910
"Mr. Edward Cooney,
"c/o Mr. John West (meaning thereby the Plaintiff), Crocknacrieve.
"It is reported, without proof, the lord of Crocknacrievism directed your steps to Salvation Army Barracks, Debenham, in this County. I have proof the Lord permitted me to hear you give testimony of your experience of your marvellous instantaneous ‘born again’ taking complete possession of you at the bedside of your 'd-e-a-r departed dying brother,' who you stated was born again in a Methodist Chapel. "I had permission ‘without gold, without silver, without brass,' to receive advice from you, gratis, which I took severely.
"Of course, what is fair for you is fair for me, you will not refuse from me what you practice yourself, therefore I will give you a little of my advice ‘without gold, without silver, without brass,' without price, without money, gratis, which I trust you will take severely from me, as I did from you.
"Whereas you have been gulled, bamboozled, humbugged, bewitched, by William Irvine, whose irreligion varies from day to day, it is my sincere, solemn, conscientious imperative duty to state he is a corrupt tramp, lecherous scamp, debased vagabond, exorcist employing certain damsels possessed with a lying spirit of divination which bring much gain in dollars and sovereigns by sooth-saying, with hunter appetite, exhibiting infallible proofs of monstrous blasphemy, atrocious cruelties, crafty hypocritical mockery, impious impiety, unredeemed by a single virtue, cunningly backbiting, slandering and finding fault with those who have deserved well of mankind, preying upon girls, wrecking Widows' homes, abstracting Maids and Youths, money, gold, silver and brass and food, by false promises, misrepresentations and fraudulent practices in a variable way with conspirators.
"My advice to you is:
“(1) ‘Go’ to the Police at Ballinamallard to help the Public Prosecutor to find the whereabouts of this William Irvine and his Conspirators, Allies, Confederates and Accomplices, with a view to haul them before Judge and Jury for crimes ‘worse and worse' than murder to ‘ignorant and unlearned,' destitute, homeless, moneyless girls, detorted away across the sea, 7,000 miles front Father, Mother, kith, or kin.
“(2) ‘Go’ to Mr. W. H. West (who I send a copy of this to), Secretary of County Council, Fermanagh (and let not this advice be like casting pearls before Swine), to thoroughly un-earth this underground work in money and girls in countless thousands.
“(3) ‘Go’ make haste, to the powers that be ‘all over the world,' to rescue the daughter of William Silliker, and the daughters of Widow Matthews, from traitors ‘worse and worse’ than assassins in jeopardy, haunting dead strewn pathway in pandemonium.
"You gave me advice which I took seriously, now will you take my advice seriously and act accordingly as ‘one born again,' influenced by your d-e-a-r brother born again in Methodist Chapel.---D. Wilson, an Overseer."
Telegram—July 5th, 1910, 11.55 a.m.
"John West" (meaning thereby the Plaintiff), "Crocknacrieve, Ballinamallard.
“Now, Sir, on your oath, have you or have you not abandoned the practice of promoting the White Slave Traffic, under the cloak of religion, for Cooneys disorderly houses of ill-fame and bad repute? Reply paid. Wilson, Cretingham."
Telegram—July 4th, 1910--11.55 a.m.
"West (meaning thereby the Plaintiff) Ballinamallard,
“Please put the question to Walker and White Slave Traffickers at Crocknacrieve.
“Now, Sir, on your oath, have you or have you not abandoned the practice of decoying girls away across the seas f or Cooney or Irvine or McClung or Hughes or other dealers in human flesh? Reply paid.-- Wilson, Cretingham.
"N.B.—There are three things which deserve no quarter: Hypocrisy, Pharisaism and Tyranny." (To be continued)."
4. On or about the 12th August 1910 the Defendant William Dennis Wilson falsely and maliciously wrote and caused to be printed and published and the other Defendants caused and allowed to be printed and published in the issue of the 12th Aug 1910 of the said newspaper of and concerning the Plaintiff the following words:
THE INTERNATIONAL PLAGUE OF PLAGUES
THE WHIE SLAVE TRAFFIC 50 GIRLS ENTRAPPED
“Band of Women Criminals Caught.
“Tullyhogue Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, Ireland
“May 8th, 1909.
“A series of mysterious seductions has recently occupied the attention of the Press in various districts, including Ballinamallard, near Enniskillen, in Ireland, the destination of several girls having been discovered under circumstances which pointed unmistakeably to foul play.
“There was no definite clue to work upon until a detective was employed, acting on certain suspicions, disguised as one of the fraternity, attended upon the kidnappers: Alice Pipe; Annie Smith; May Carroll; Emma Gill; J. Hughes; McClung and Company, Unlimited, in their Chapel in Leadbetter Street, Belfast, who was at once struck by highly offensive blasphemy emanating from these women during the temporary stay which was with difficulty concealed, but hearing sudden conversations behind the scenes, glanced around and saw the very girl, of tender age, of surprising good looks, who had been decoyed, that was sought for previously in vain. The detective dodged these seducers and obtained other detectives, who, on searching, found that other 50 girls had been entrapped.
“A quantity of doggerel literature was found on them, and shortly after three of this woman tribe were arrested, who, according to their statements, constituted a band of robbers under the leadership or patronage of J. West (meaning thereby the Plaintiff), W. H. West...Most of these are enormously strong and masculine-looking, and have terrorized girls, silly as young geese, harmless as doves, into their traps during the last 17 years, who, of course, were unaware of the misdoings behind the scenes.
" So far, these 50 seductions and others also have been traced to the gang, who netted by them a large sum of dollars.”
meaning thereby that the Plaintiff had been guilty of a criminal offence, had abducted young girls for immoral purposes, and had been a leading instrument in the procuring of 50 girls for immoral purposes, and that he had thereby obtained a large sum of money, and that he for purposes of gain concerted with procurers and procuresses of women.
5. In consequence of the premises the Plaintiff has been and is greatly injured in his credit and reputation and has suffered much annoyance and has been brought into public scandal, hatred and contempt.
The Plaintiff claims damages.
GEORGE F. KINGHAM.
Delivered the 2nd day of March, 1911, by HERBERT Z. DEANE, of 265 Strand, in the County of London, Plaintiff's Solicitor.
Read Edward Cooney's Statement for Court
Read Wm. Irvine's Statement for Court