The Argus at KellyGang 10/2/1879
THE MANSFIELD MURDERS
[BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH]
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)
Fourteen men accused of complicity with the Kelly gang were brought up again on remand yesterday, before Mr A. Wyatt, P.M. Superintendents Hare and Furnell conducted the prosecution. Mr Zincke and Mr Bowman appeared for the prisoners. Mr Zincke asked to see the information, but this was refused. Thomas Lloyd was the first prisoner brought up, and Mr Hare asked for a further remand, on the same grounds as last week. Mr Bowman objected for similar reasons as before, again quoting Mr Sadleir's promise that no further remand should applied for, but that either the prosecution should he brought to an issue, or the cases withdrawn. Mr Wyatt said there was some misapprehension as to what Mr. Sadleir had said. He (Mr Sadleir) had told him there was a difference between what he and Mr Bowman said. He meant that he would not necessarily go on finally, but would bring forward some evidence. Mr Bowman said it was Mr Sadleir's own proposition. Mr Zincke had asked Mr Foster to arbitrate.
Here a few words occurred between Mr Zincke and the Bench. Mr Bowman then asked what the prisoners were kept for? Were they to he kept in gaol because the police were so demoralised, inefficient as to be unable to catch the out- laws? No reasonable cause had been shown and no evidence given to warrant the detention of the prisoners. Was it reasonable, then, to hold them with nothing against them? The first remand was reasonable, but now they were to be remanded till the Kellys were caught, an event which might never happen. He was familiar with the Magna Charta, one of the clauses of which read as follows: - "I will sell to no man, delay to no man, deny to no man, justice," but in this case the Crown both denied and delayed to these men justice. It was a monstrous injustice to keep them. The information disclosed no offence, and there was no proof the accused had anything to do with the Kellys any more than he had. Mr Wyatt said his position was a difficult one, and there was great weight in what Mr Zincke and Mr Bowman said.
The men were charged with an offence by the police, and there could be no reason why they should make a false or stretched charge. If these men were let go it was certain that some of them would co-operate with the Kelly's, and the consequences of letting them go would be tremendous. The police knew what they were doing. He had been in communication with Mr Foster, and they were substantially agreed in remanding the prisoners. He knew he was doing what Mr Foster would have done, but on his own responsibility he would remand the accused. He wished to know what day would suit the learned counsel. After some bandying of words, during which Mr Zincke said he would apply to the Supreme Court, to which Mr Wyatt replied that he wished he would do so, and he would be glad to give him any assistance in so doing, the accused was then remanded till Tuesday next.
John M'llroy was then charged. Mr Hare applied for a remand. Mr Zincke said that in deference to the Bench he had before sat down, but he now intended to speak. He would call attention to what Mr Sadleir had said. There could be no mistake about it. To guard against any misunderstanding, he (Mr Zincke) had said he wanted no splitting of words, and desired Mr Foster to arbitrate between himself and the Crown. Mr Sadleir distinctly agreed that on the following Saturday he would either prosecute to an issue or withdraw the charges. Mr Foster said he would not be bound by any arrangement. The following Saturday Mr Sadleir was shunted, and Mr Hare sent in his place. The police had entered into a binding arrangement, which they had deliberately broken.
Since then there had been constables in the court who had sworn informations. He had seen constables Strachan and Mullane, both of whom had sworn some of the informations against the accused Mr. Wyatt said this was ad captandum argument unworthy of Mr Zincke. A man could swear information on information received. Mr Zincke continued. - The constables had heard a man say he had seen the Kellys, and could, if he liked, breakfast with them. Was that sufficient reason to detain them? Mr Wyatt said it was. Mr Zincke asked to have the informations read. Mr Wyatt declined. Mr Zincke asked for the remand warrant, which was read by the clerk of the Bench. Mr Zincke then detailed the reasons advanced by the police for the remand.
The men bad been five weeks in custody, and he asked was the liberty of the subject to be infringed because men were arrested on rotten informations, which contained neither date nor place of alleged offence. Mr Wyatt said the date was immaterial. Mr Zincke. - Then I shall go to the Supreme Court. Mr Wyatt. - The sooner the better.
Mr Zincke - Here are men detained in custody while homes are neglected, crops rotting, their families perhaps in want. One man, he knew, was at feud with Kellys, and his wife was near her confinement. Could he go into the streets and meet a Frenchman, German, Italian, or Russian, and boast of English freedom Was this law! Did any one overhear anything like it before? Why did not the Crown suspend the Habeas Corpus Act? After speaking at length in the same strain, Mr Zincke asked that the remand should he for seven days, to give him time to go to town and test the case. After some further talk, the accused was remanded till Saturday. The other prisoners were remanded for a week also.
When James Quinn came up, Mr Wyatt said. - I would rather let you go than any other if it was for your good, but in your case the devil has got hold of a halter at one end and I at the other, and if I let you go you will probably be hung. For your own sake I will remand you." To Isaiah Wright Mr Wyatt said, "Well, Wright, we have met before." Wright replied, "There is no fear of the Kellys shooting me. You will not get the Kellys until Parliament meets, and Mrs Kelly is released, and Fitzpatrick put in her place. I could have done nothing, as the police had their eyes on me for four months before I was taken." James Clancy said be knew nothing about the Kellys. Thomas Lloyd was brought up again and remanded to Saturday. Mr Wyatt frequently interrupted counsel, and his attitude on the Bench was unfavourably commented on. Amongst other things he said to Isaiah Wright "I would give you fair play if I could." Mr Zincke proceeds to Melbourne tomorrow morning. '
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