The actual case involved a man who had gone drinking at a tavern only to have his wife and some of her female friends make an unwelcome appearance. An argument ensued and the man fled, pursued by his wife. A night watchman seized the fleeing man who resisted arrest and assaulted the watchman.
In front of the magistrate, the man denied ever assaulting the magistrate but he was not believed and was remanded in custody. The incident seems to have caught the Victorian public's fancy because of what was to them, the hilariousness of the man's wife bossing him around.