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Ex-Liverpool player to pay £85 in damages


July 31, 1931
A sheriff’s jury sat at Preston to-day to assess damages in an undefended action for breach of promise and seduction, brought by Florence Atkinson, a minor, suing through her father, of Eccleston Street, Prescott, against James Holmes, of Albion Road, West Park, Chesterfield, a Sheffield United footballer.

Mr. R.C. Essenhigh, for plaintiff, said she was 19 years of age, and defendant agreed to marry her on February 20, 1930. Defendant was then playing football for Prescott Cables, and in July, 1930, he signed for Chesterfield.

Then he induced plaintiff to give up her work and go to live near him at Chesterfield. For the first fortnight at Chesterfield he gave her £1 a week; then she got unemployment pay, and defendant added 4s. a week to that. She was then 17 years of age.

When plaintiff went back to Prescott in September, her mother would not have her at home. On January 23 defendant wrote breaking off the engagement, and asking for the return of a ring and a bag.

He added, “If you don’t mind I won’t get married to you. I will pay for the child.”

Plaintiff had thought she was in a certain condition, but that turned out not to be the case.

In March, 1931, in answer to plaintiff’s solicitor, defendant’s solicitor wrote repudiating liability and saying that defendant during his association with plaintiff, had “received information from various sources as to your client’s character and reputation in the district, which entitled him to bring such association to an end.”

The jury awarded £60 damages for breach of promise, and £25 for loss of wages.
(Source: Yorkshire Evening Post: July 31, 1931)

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