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THE KELLY GANG
CHARGES AGAINST NED KELLY
The appearance of Mr G A Smyth and Mr Gurner, Crown solicitor, in the City Court this morning, betokened that something important was on the tabis ????. At the outset of the proceedings Mr Smyth said that Edward Kelly’s name appeared on the sheet, No 27, for wilful murder. The prisoner was unable to attend, through the wounds he had received and the Crown must therefore ask for a remand for a week, with the understanding that there would be a further remand afterwards. The Crown intended to go on with the case in about three weeks’ time. Kelly is charged with the murder of Sergeant Kennedy, and Constables Scanlon and Lonigan. Constable McIntyre is the chief witness, the survivor on that occasion. Of course there are many other charges, and of capital nature, as robbery under arms, to be brought against the prisoner, if need be. These include the sticking up of the banks at Euroa and Jerilderie, with a ramification of individual charges in each of those cases. It is a matter to be substantiated by evidence as to whether Edward Kelly was concerned in the murder of Sherritt. Probably this will never be gone into; but the law would admit of no distinction between Byrne and Edward Kelly, if the latter were a consenting party. Another matter charged against him, by various testimony, is the murder of Cherry. Kelly’s firing on the police at Glenrowan was a capital offence. Then there is the original affair of the shooting of Constable Fitzpatrick for which the police were after Kelly when the first murders occurred. Although there is such an array of capital offence is as never could have been mounted up against any prisoner of the Crown in Victoria .
It is doubtful whether such a variety was piled on the head of any of the worst bushrangers of old times in Tasmania or New South Wales . The Law officers of the Crown have at least 20 charges from which to make their election, but it is merely a question of legal curiosity to enter into them. Being on trial for his life, the Crown will have to provide him with a barrister in defence, unless his own friends do so. It may be taken for granted that the trial will be long, and fought out, even if it only affords an opportunity for professional forensic distinction. The Crown will communicate, in the first instance, with the prisoner's relatives, and ascertain whether they intend to fee a barrister in offence. If they reply that they are unable to provide the means, the Crown will employ any barrister their relatives choose, or selected the best available, if the choice be left to it. Such is the merciful quality of the English law.
Professional etiquette would require that any barrister who is requested by the Crown to defend Edward Kelly shall do so. This is a protection to the barrister himself, so that no gentleman of the bar can incur odium for appearing as the advocate of Kelly. Many people have talked in a foolish way on this subject, but it must be remembered that the best legal talent in the country will be employed to convict Kelly, and it is an actual provision of the law that a prisoner tried for his life shall be defended. In defence of the murder of Kennedy, Scanlon and Lonigan counsel may be expected to enter upon antecedent circumstances, which will rip up the whole of the proceedings in regard to Constable Fitzpatrick, who has since been relieved from duty as a member of the force. The whole history will be disclosed in open court, and laid bare.
The city magistrates having concurred with the arrangement mentioned by the Crown as to dates, Kelly's case will be mentioned again next Monday, then postponed to the following Monday, and so on weekly till the prisoner is recovered, and the case ready. No prisoner can be remanded for more than eight days, which is the explanation for the repeated postponements being necessary.
THE GLENROWAN TRAGEDY
Now that the excitement caused by the recent events at Glenrowan has subsided, some facts appertaining to the affair not hitherto published, and some interesting particulars in connection with the career of the gang are coming to light. We learn that several of the police requested permission to
RUSH THE HOTEL, but the officer in charge positively declined to permit them to expose themselves to what he considered unnecessary danger. If the statement be true -- and we have it on excellent authority -- the officer committed a grave error of judgment -- and inconsequence cast a grave slur on the police.
A PANIC AMONGST THE POLICE. It appears that the fact that the police shots failed to take effect on Ned Kelly caused panic. The constable saw bullet after bullet hit the white coat of the outlaw and drop harmless at his feet. They were completely puzzled how to account for this until Sergeant Kelly called out
“BOYS, HE’S BULLET PROOF” and not “Boys, he’s the bunyip,” as currently reported. Then Sergeant Steele called out to fire at his legs, and this was effectual.
NED WITHIN A YARD OF THE POLICE. Ned Kelly declared that after he got away from the hotel, wounded in his hand, he got behind bush to try to stop the bleeding; and that, whilst so standing, he was within a yard of the police.
HOW BYRNE WAS SHOT. From the pictures of the armor, it will be seen that the first and second plates do not join closely, but leave a gap at the lower portion of abdomen; and it was here that Byrne was shot, the missile going between these plates.
THE ARMOR. Though the armor protected the outlaws, the nature of the headgear made it very difficult for them to fire, as they had to turn their bodies very slowly almost completely round before they could see; and peculiar manner in which Ned Kelly turned round and walked helped to increase the mystery of his appearance.
NED HOWLS FOR MERCY. Some persons, whose statements are worthy of credence, and who were present when Ned was rescued, assure us that he
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