HE WANTED revenge and hired two thugs to exact it.

Edward Jupre had a notorious reputation on the Channel Islands where he had constantly betrayed the good name of his family.

Naturally he was unaware of Southampton private eye Henry Duke who was specifically hired to investigate yet another complaint against him and found sufficient evidence to have him convicted at a jersey court.

Two years passed and little was Duke to know the vindictive Jupre had moved to Southampton to set up business as a merchant and tracked him down to an office in Winchester Road.

Late one night, he angrily confronted Duke in nearby Anglesea Road where two ruffians, who had been lying in wait, suddenly pounced.

Floored, Duke lay helpless as Jupre joined in.

"He caught me by the throat after the second blow and nearly choked me. He also struck me on the chin, the marks of his fingers left a mark there for over a fortnight."

Duke was standing in the witness box at Hampshire Assizes in 1903, recounting the evidence he had previously given to the town's magistrates court where Jupre had denied assault, claiming he had neither inflicted any blows, nor got anyone to do so.

And that, alleged the Crown, was perjury.

Prosecutor Mr Temple-Cooke said Jupre had lied and produced a key witness in Gordon Prewitt, a clerk at the magistrates court, who produced notes from the hearing.

The defence never sought to deny the private eye had been assaulted. Instead they claimed he had been dazed and confused in his evidence before the magistrates which explained discrepancies in his account.

However, the jurors disagreed and convicted Jupre, any lingering doubts they might have harboured about their verdict being swiftly dispelled by Inspector Edgar Tribe in delivering his antecedents.

"The defendant is a native of Jersey where he bore a very bad character, though he belongs to a highly respectable family. He married at an early age a girl of 16 years who he abducted and afterwards systematically ill-treated her."

Without a reported comment, Mr Justice Lawrance jailed him for nine months.