The Age (31)

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The Age continued with its report of the KellyGang

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TRIAL OF KELLY AT

BEECHWORTH 7th August

[BY ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH]

[FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT]

Considerably before nine o’clock this morning groups of well-dressed people assembled in front of the courthouse, in order to see the outlaw, Ned Kelly, or obtain admission into the court. About twenty minutes past nine o’clock Kelly was taken from the gaol in a waggonette and was lodged quietly in the prisoners’ room where he was seen by Mr, Gaunson, the interview lasting some time. Mrs Skillon, Tom Lloyd and Richard Hart, a brother of one of the deceased outlaws, were accommodated with seats in the body of the court, and the case against Edward Kelly for wilful murder was resumed.

Mr Gaunson said that before the examination of Mr M’Intyre was proceeded with he would like to call the attention of the court to the method and manner adopted by the newspapers in speaking of the accused, who was on his trial for his life. The Argus had a paragraph in reference to the case, the whole of was absolutely untrue. It stated that he (Mr Gaunson) had been employed for a political purpose. It was grossly unfair to publish such unfounded statements. He also regretted to say that a paper published in the district, the Oven and Murray Advertiser , alluded to the prisoner as ‘a thing.’ He though those papers should receive a caution to be more careful, otherwise it would be the duty of the court to commit some of them to gaol for contempt.

Thomas M’Intyre examined by Mr CA Smyth, deposed: Ned Kelly said to me, ‘Why I broke out was that b--- Fitzpatrick was the cause of all this. Those people lagged at Beechworth no more had revolvers in their hands than you have at present. In fact they were not there. These were the men who were there,’ nodding towards his own mates. I said, ‘You cannot blame us for what Fitzpatrick did to you.’ He almost swore. ‘I would not let another one go, and if I let you go now you will have to leave the police force.’ I said, ‘I will do so; my health is bad, and I have been thinking of going some time. If I make these men surrender, what will you do with us?’ He said, ‘You had better; if they getaway we will shoot you; if they surrender we will not shoot you. We don’t want their lives; we only want their horses and fire arms.’ During that time the prisoner was looking down the creek. He had two guns resting against the log in front of him. I thought it might be possible to be possible to get one of the guns, in the event of one of the other men coming up. I took a short step, ready for a spring; and Hart, who was in the tent, sang out, ‘Look out, Ned, or that b—will be on top of you.’ The prisoner coolly looked up and said, ‘You had better not, mate, because if you do you will soon find your match, for you know there are not three men in the force a match for me.’ He asked, ‘Are there any others out?’ I said ‘Yes, there is another party at Greta.’ He asked me who they were, and I said, ‘I do not know;’ but that they were under the command of Sergeant Steele. At this time it was getting late, between half past five and six, and I thought the men would come home shortly. I said I would try to get them to surrender if he would promise not to shoot them. He said he would promise.

A moment after Kennedy and Scanlan came in sight, Kelly said, ‘Look, lads, here they are. You go and stand at that log, and you will get no harm.’ I went to the log he pointed out, about 10 or 12 yards off, and immediately afterwards the men came in sight. They were riding and walking their horses about fifty yards off. Sergeant Kennedy came on first, about twelve yards ahead. I do not remember if Kelly said anything more the. I stepped towards Kennedy and cried out loud, so that the prisoner could hear me, ‘Oh, Sergeant, I think you had better dismount and surrender for you are surrounded.’ At the same time prisoner cried out, ‘Ball up: hold up your hands.’ Kennedy smiled and put his hand out for his revolver, which was in the case. Immediately he did so prisoner fired at him and missed him. Kennedy’s face assumed a serious aspect, and I turned and looked back at the prisoner’s face. I saw him and the other three advancing from the hut and spear grass; they had their guns, and as they advanced they said, ‘Bail up, hold up your hands.’ When I looked round, on the firing of the first shot, the prisoner was behind the log, resting on his right knee. Kennedy must have seen him, for he was head and shoulders above the log. Before he fired and at the time the others were advancing, Kelly (the prisoner) threw down his discharged gun and picked up the one that was loaded, which he pointed in the direction of Scanlan. I then looked at Kennedy, and saw him throw himself on his face on the horse’s neck and roll off on the off side of his horse.

At the time he did there were four shots fired and Scanlan, who had pulled up about 30 yards from where the prisoner was, was in the act of dismounting. When he first heard the words ‘Bail up’ He fell on his knees. He caught at his rifle as if he had taken off the strap and then endeavored to get open his foot. He again fell upon his hands and knees, and in that position was shot under the right arm. The prisoner covered and fired at him but there were four shots fired at that time, and anyone of them might have hit him. Scarcely any time elapsed between the cry to ‘bail up’ and the firing of the shots. Seeing Scanlan fall, I expected no mercy to any one, and I caught and mounted Kennedy’s horse, which was close to me. Before I mounted the horse was restive in consequences of the firing, and turned its head north, and moved about two lengths while I was struggling to mount.

Mr Smyth: Did Kennedy say anything to you when you were mounted?

Witness: He said nothing while I was riding away. I heard two shots fired, but by whom I could not say. I saw a blood spot on Scanlan’s right arm when the shot was fired, and he rolled over on his back. I rode away. I rode northerly for about twenty yards, and then turned westerly. In riding along I was thrown off my horse by the timber. I was in the bush all night. I got to Mansfield at three pm on the following day (Sunday), and I reported what I had seen to Sub-inspector Pewtress. Some police and others made a search party, and I went with them. I started on the return journey about two hours after reaching Mansfield, and we got back to the scene of the murder about one or two o’clock on Monday morning; that was in the middle of the night.

We found the bodies of Lonigan and Scanlan where I had last seen them. They were both dead. We searched for Kennedy, but did not succeed in finding him.Our tent was burnt down, and what was not burned was taken away. All I found left was a tin plate. Sub-inspector Pewtress came out in charge of that party. Dr Reynolds afterwards examined the bodies. The bodies were taken on a pack horse, and reached Mansfield that day. We took them to Mr Monk’s, the Wombat saw mills, on pack horses, and from there in a cart. I was at the magisterial inquiry. I saw some bullets taken from Lonigan’s body. Dr Reynolds pointed them out to me. I saw three bullets altogether at the time.

I was not one of the party that found the body of Kennedy. I saw his body when it was brought into Mansfield . On the following Thursday there was a magisterial inquiry on the body of Kennedy. He had a valuable gold watch when we started first from Mansfield .

I never saw the prisoner again until I saw him at Glenrowan on the 28 th of June. Since the Mansfield murder I have been attached to the Detective department. Prisoner had been arrested when I arrived at Glenrowan.

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