Herald (31)

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The Herald continued with its reports of the KellyGang and Glenrowan.

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Edward Kelly was this morning charged, at the Beechworth Police Court, for that he, on the 26th day of October, in the year of our Lord 1880, at Stringy Bark Creek, in the Northern Bailiwick, did feloniously of malice aforethought, kill Thomas Lonigan.  There was a second charge, in the same terms, for murdering Michael Scanlan. 

There was a great crush of people at the court, but the police made excellent arrangements.  The gallery was reserved for ladies, and was crowded long before the court opened.  Mr Gaunson conducted the defence.  The principal interest centered in Constable M’Intyre, as it had been freely stated that it was the intention of sympathizers with Kelly to shoot him in the witness box, he being the only man who could give evidence as to the murder of Kennedy’s party.  Mr Foster PM, presided, and some surprise was expressed at Captain Standish taking a seat on the bench, he being the only other magistrate present; but this was presently explained by Mr Foster, stating, in reply to Mr Gaunson, that he was sitting alone, and that Captain Standish simply took a seat on the bench by courtesy. 

Kelly came into court limping, but with a very cool demeanor.  Mrs Skillion was present and he smiled at her, and looked round the court with a very confident air.  Mr Gaunson suggested that as the prisoner was maimed the court would possibly allow him to take a seat.  Mr Foster, PM acquiesced. 

Mr Gaunson said that he found it necessary to make an application for an adjournment.  He fully recognized the great responsibility that rested on himself, as well as on the bench, when human life was concerned, and for that reason, he was compelled to make the application.  He regretted extremely the action of the Government in refusing this man’s relatives or other persons in whom he had confidence an opportunity to see him in order that he might have a chance of saying whom he would have engaged for his defence.  He had been retained at a moments notice, and had not had time to make himself acquainted with the facts of the case, but he desired to call the attention of the bench to the extraordinary nature of the proceedings in relation to this man Kelly. 

His had been taken to Melbourne, and remanded to Beechworth while the Justice of Peace Statute provided that an offender should be tried at the Court of Petty Sessions.  The charge was that of murder in the Stringy Bark Creek, and why should not this man be taken to Benalla, as would be done with other offenders.  He had not been afforded the facilities that were afforded to other prisoners to prepare his address, of he would have been allowed to see his sisters.  There would be no harm in a man seeking to see his relations, at a distance when every word could be heard by an officer.  In addition, in … present the learned Crown Prosecutor for the district the senior Crown Prosecutor – Mr Smyth, for whose abilities he had the deepest respect, Mr Gauner, the Crown solicitor, the Chief Commissioner of police and other notabilities, and he did not feel equal to the task of coping with all these without preparation.  In the name of common justice.  Therefore, he asked that a remand should be granted.

Mr Smyth said that he must oppose the application.  The statement that the prisoner had not been allowed an opportunity to prepare his defence was unfounded.  For several day, he had been in communications with many of his friends.  He had been afforded every opportunity of seeing his legal; adviser, Mr Zincke.  There was nothing exceptional in the treatment of this man for the act provided that offenders might be tried at any Court of Petty Sessions in the bailiwick, and the court might even be held in a private room or anywhere else.  He must point out to the court that there were a great many witnesses in this case, and as to the change in the prisoner’s legal advisers, the Government, had nothing to do with that.  There were very many good reasons why the prisoner should be taken to a place of safe custody, such as Beecworth.  If gentleman who appeared for the defence, choose to accept the offer, he (Mr Smyth) had no objection to a remand after the evidence for the Crown was taken.

Mr Gaunson: Cross examine when I don’t know the facts of the case?

Mr Smyth: They have all been published long since.

Mr Gaunson: I am very glad to say I never read the papers. (Laughter)

Mr Gaunson proceeded to say that if the same course of proceeding was observed as there had been no jury in the country would be found to convict the prisoner.

Mr Foster.—Under the circumstances of the case, I will grant a remand, but it will be for a very short period and in order to give the prisoner an opportunity to consult with his solicitor.

The court is adjourned until 2 o’clock.

Mr Gaunson rose to make an application that Mrs Skillian might be allowed to see her brother, but Mr Foster told him that the court was adjourned. And nothing more could be done.  Mrs Skillian asked Mr Gaunson if she could speak to her brother, and was told to do so if she could.  They shook hands and exchanged a few words, but of course in the presence of the police.

Tom Lloyd was also in court, and Ned Kelly shock hands with him in a most hearty manner.

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