The True Story of the KellyGang of Bushrangers Chapter 13 page 2
The value of this move at this particular time was, to say the least of it, extremely doubtful. No doubt it to some extent embarrassed the outlaws by depriving them of the services of many of their agents and diminishing their sources of food and other supplies, but at the some time it roused a bitterly hostile feeling against the police in the minds even of many who had no sympathy with the Kellys. Had there been available evidence upon which to commit the accused for trial the matter would have been different, but in nearly all the cases, though everyone felt morally certain that the prisoners were well disposed to the Kellys and were ready to help them, if they had not done so, there was no overt act in contravention of the law that could be proved against them. The result was that when the cases came on for hearing a police officer appeared at Beechworth and applied for a week’s remand, which was granted by the police magistrate. When the court sat again a remand was again asked for, on the grounds that to call the evidence of private people at that time would put their lives in danger from the outlaws, and that to call the police would necessitate taking them away from urgent duty. These excuses were flimsy. Counsel for the prisoners protested bitterly against this infraction of British justice involved in the continued imprisonment of persons against whom no charges supported by evidence were disclosed, but the police magistrate, with a hint from the Government, declared that exceptional cases demanded exceptional measures, and granted the remand. So from week to week the farce continued, the public growing more incensed, the prisoners more insulting and defiant, and the police officers themselves more disgusted with the false position in which they were placed, and the waste of time, caused by going every week to Beechworth on their unpopular task of asking for further illegal imprisonment of the sympathisers. However, they remained in gaol, and had a larger number been so arbitrarily treated results of some kind might have followed; but many of the Kellys’ best friends were still at large, including their sisters and other female relatives, while injustice was winning over others from the side of the law to theirs.
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This document gives you the text of the report about the KellyGang for this day. The text has been retyped from a copy of the original. We have taken care to reproduce this document but areas of the original text may been damaged. We also apologise for any typographical errors. This document is subject to copyright.