Royal Commission report day 36 page 7

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The Royal Commission evidence for 6/7/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 36)

[[../../people/peD_G/fitzpatrickAPC.html|Const Alexander Fitzpatrick]] giving evidence

12874 Where had they been in the meantime?— Planted in some of their haunts about the bush, or with some of their relations about the Greta district.

12875 Were the police searching for them?— Yes.

12876 And could not find them?— No.

12877 You said if Williamson got into the house he might have got through by removing a sheet of bark. Was the house bark or slabs?— Bark and slabs.

12878 Where was the bark, on the side or on the roof?— There was a bark partition. How I know that is that the first shot fired at me grazed the bark behind my back, and lodged in it. I cannot say whether the outside walls were of bark.

12879 Then they had no particular reason for firing at you?— Any constable would have been in the same position.

12880 In your letter to the Commission you stated that you could give information with reference to the first outbreak that would throw light upon the cause of it?— No more than merely that the officers could have taken measures to prevent such an outbreak. There was a deficiency of police in the Greta district, where crime was being committed and horses stolen nearly of daily occurrence.

12881 Who was the superintendent of the district at the time?— Lnspector Brook Smith was in charge during my time there, and Mr.Chomley during another portion of it.

12882 Who was in charge of the Greta district at the time?— Constable Thom was stationed at Greta.

12883 What officer?— Inspector Brook Smith.

12884 Where was Mr. Sadleir?— He was in charge of the Mansfield district.

12885 You give that as one of the reasons for the outbreak?— Had it not been for this case of Baumgarten's horse stealing, horses stolen from persons close to Greta; and information was received by Sergeant Steele and several other constables that there was a warrant issued for the arrest of Ned Kelly. Sergeant Lynch, stationed at Chiltern, obtained some evidence that there were two men seen driving those horses; he thought they answered the description of Jack Lloyd and Dan Kelly, and a warrant was issued for Dan Kelly and Jack Lloyd, which I went to execute.

12886 At the time you went to Mrs. Kelly's hut?— Yes. Shortly after the outrage was committed on me Jack Lloyd was arrested and was discharged.

12887 What had that to do with the outbreak?— You see this warrant was issued–this was the ground of the warrant being issued–and they were actually against Dan Kelly and Jack Lloyd if I had brought them up at that time.

12888 How would that account for the outbreak–the mere fact of being taken up on suspicion would not justify them in taking to the bush. Had the arrest of Mrs. Kelly anything to do with the out-break?— No; Ned Kelly told me distinctly, previous to that, that he was persecuted by the police, because he could not do as he liked; anything that occurred he was put down for it.

12889 Had the police good reason to believe be was a criminal?— They had every reason.

12890 Then there could be no persecution in trying to get him up for crime when they supposed he had committed it?— No.

12891 That does not clear up any points with regard to the outbreak. How long have you left the force?— I was discharged in April last.

12892 What for?— On the report of Senior-Constable Mayes, at Lancefield; and I asked the Chief Commissioner if he would kindly inform me why I was discharged from the police force, and he told me. He said, on the recommendation of and communication from Senior-Constable Mayes, of Lancefield, stating that I was not fit to be in the police force, as I had associated with the lowest persons in Lancefield, and could not be trusted out of sight, and never did my duty.

12893 Had you any opportunity of reply?— I never had the slightest opportunity at all. I applied for a board of enquiry, and the Chief Secretary ( Mr. Ramsay ) declined, as he had left all power with Captain Standish . Notwithstanding that, there were two petitions got up on my behalf by the residents of Lancefield and Romsey, asking that I might be reinstated.

12894 You think you were harshly treated?— I did, indeed.

12895 How long were you in the police force?— Over three years. (JJK)

12896 Did you plead guilty to charges of misconduct during that time?— I did, foolishly.....

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