The Argus at KellyGang 10/8/1880 (5)

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Frank Beecroft gave evidence at Ned Kelly's committal hearing

McIntyre threw up his hands, and Lonigan ran for a log. Lonigan got behind the log and was firing at me, when I fired at him and shot him in the head.” He also said the man was a fool for running away. He then said that when Kennedy and Scanlan came up, and he called upon them to surrender, That Scanlan tried to fir at him with his gun, and that he then shot him on his horse. He also said that whilst watching Kennedy and Scanlan, thinking the latter was shaming, MrIntyre escaped; that Kennedy fired at him from tree to tree until he ran into an open piece of ground and held up his hands; that he (the prisoner) thought Kennedy was going to fire again; that he therefore fired again at Kennedy, who then fell; that he said to Kennedy, “I will have to go, and as I don’t want to leave you in a dying state I will have to shoot you;” that Kennedy asked to be allowed to live, but that he (Kelly) shot him dead and covered him up with a cloak. The prisoner had a rifle at Euroa―a Spencer rifle―which he said he took from Scanlan; he showed us how to load and unload it at the stock. Towards morning I fell asleep.

Cross-examined by Mr Gaunson.―I am 20 years of age, and my parents live at Longwood. Have been two years in Mr Gloster’s employ, and am still in his service. Mr Gloster told me he had written an account of the affair, but it was never shown or read to me. Constable McQuirk interviewed me at Euroa about a month ago. Mr Gloster was not present. I wrote a statement myself. Mr Gloster told me what he could say, and I told what I could say. Never agreed with Mr Gloster about anything. I wrote out my statement at Detective Ward’s request, and sent it to him. Mr Gloster has asked me to remember Kelly’s statement about the death of Sergeant Kennedy. I cannot say that on the occasion when Mr Gloster and I talked about the Kellys that we compared our recollections of what occurred at Younghusband’s station. When Kelly’s name cropped up we generally spoke about what took place at the station; we never placed our statements on the matter side by side. I can’t remember Mr Gloster ever having asked me, “Do you recollect what Kelly told us about shooting Kennedy on the ground?” but I cannot state positively that he has never asked me such a question. Mr Gloster was present when I was interviewed last week by Sub-inspector Kennedy.

At a quarter to 5 o’clock the Court adjourned until 10 o’clock next day.

BEECHWORTH, Monday night .

The following message has been received by Mr Gaunson in reply to his second telegram to the Chief Secretary:―“Your second telegram received, but, under all the circumstances of this case, I must decline to vary the order of my predecessor in office.―(Signed) Graham Berry .” The probability that some relative or sympathiser of the gang will attempt to hand Ned Kelly some means of evading the gallows is so great that the strictest precaution has to be exercised. The only chance he has at present of obtaining poison or some deadly weapon is when in the dock, but it is so constructed, being built up against the wall of the courthouse, that no one can approach it unseen. Dick Hart appeared in court again to-day, and when the prisoner observed him they smiled in a peculiar way at each other.

When Kelly was being conveyed back to gaol this afternoon he was very dull, and scarcely spoke at all. There are a good many witnesses to be examined yet in the case of the murder of Lonigan―eight or nine―including Mr Scott, manager of the bank at Euroa; the accountant of the bank at Jerilderie, Sergeant Steele, Senior-constable Kelly, and Constable McQuirk. When the case of Lonigan’s murder is finished, it is the intention of the prosecution to proceed with that of the murder of Scanlan, and the evidence now being given will have to be repeated.

With regard to the burning of Jones’s hotel at Glenrowan, the following facts have transpired. Senior-constable Johnson, having been authorised by Superintendent Sadleir to fire the house, went and obtained a bundle of straw and a bottle of kerosene. He then pretended to the people about the railway station that he was going to feed the horses in the railway paddock. He accordingly went down in that direction, entered the bush, and made a detour round to the other side or end of the hotel in his perigrination; and when passing round the other side of the rise beyond the hotel, he came across four men fully armed with guns and revolvers. He recognised none of them. Certainly they were not policemen, and the conclusion is that they were sympathisers waiting to assist the gang. Johnson saw at once that they were not friends, so he put the evasive question to them, “Did you see two horses, a grey and a brown, pass here recently?” They replied in a surly manner that they had not, and he passed on down upon the hotel, and fired it in the way already fully described. This incident confirms the suspicion or belief that was entertained that on the night at Glenrowan sympathisers were ready to fight with the gang. The witness Stephens, who was examined to-day, did duty with Constable Bracken at Glenrowan.


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