Herald at KellyGang - 8/8/1880 (5)

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(see previous)

Mr Gaunson: Not if it was private business.

Witness: Well, it was partly on my own, and partly on other business.

Mr Gaunson:  But unconnected with case?

Witness: Well it was not altogether.

Mr Gaunson:  Well, now I must ask you to tell me what took you to Benalla and what took you to Glenrowan.

Witness (after some hesitation)” Well, I went detecting.

Mr Gaunson:  Now Mr Stephens I will drag every word out of you, I suppose you know you were not telling me the truth when you said you were not offered a Government billet.

Witness: I was offered a billet. I am a married man, with a family. I continued to receive wages from Mr Younghusband up to the end of 1879 since then I have been paid by the Government. No one approached me on the part of the Government. I did not get a letter. I approached them, first in January last. I went to Mr Nicholson and asked him to give me employment in looking after the Kellys. He at first put me off, but at last we had a verbal agreement that I was to go out and try and fall in with the Kellys, and I was to get six shillings per day. I was very anxious to fall in with them. Of course I had my chance of sharing in the reward. The six shillings per day was to include my keep and everything else excepting if there were any external expenses. I was to be paid them. I have received about one pound for expenses. I have not out in any claim for a portion of the reward, but I would not object to it if allocated to me. I was not there, and I do not think I am entitled to any portion of it. I worked hard certainly. After this case is over, I expect at least intend to try and get a billet under the Government. I have sent reports of my doings from time to time. I was never shown a photograph purporting to be a photograph of the prisoner. I saw one – in the Sketcher I think it was - but that was before they came to Faithful’s Creek. I was at Glenrowan from the middle of March until about a fortnight before the final affair. After leaving Glenrowan I went to a farmers place.

Mr Smyth objected to any evidence dealing too closely with any person with whom the witness was connected. It was not to protect the witness, but to protect other persons. Much of the evidence could be objected to on the ground of privilege in the interest of public justice.

Mr Gaunson said he would not press for any names. All he wished to do was to find out how far this man was worthy of credence.

Cross examination continued: I was some time at Glenrowan, and for the purpose of my man hunting it was necessary for me to appear to be in some employment.

Mr Gaunson: In whose employment were you at Glenrowan?

Mr Smyth objected to the question as being opposed to public policy and produced authority to show that the rule was that questions might not be asked which would disclose channels from which information was obtained. It would be dangerous in the present state of the country for the name of persons giving information to be disclosed or even indicated, and he trusted his learned friend would not press the question.

Mr Gaunson said the objection was not based on sound law. The authorities state that questions as to whom information was got from could not be asked; but the distinction there was great. He had simply asked the witness in whose employment he was, and it might be necessary to show that this man, finding it necessary to make some show of employment, had induced some person to give it to him by representing that he was a poor devil hard up. As to the danger alluded to, that was simply a scare, and as long as the police behaved themselves like reasonable beings, there was no fear of their being harmed or any one else.

Examination continued: I did not see Kelly until he was brought down to Benalla. I was not then paid off, and I first heard of the Glenrowan affair at Benalla on the day it occurred. When Kelly came down every one knew it was Kelly. I appeared as one of the crowd. Superintendant Sadleir did not say to me, “Oh Stephens, now we’ve got Kelly don’t be out of the way, as we may want your evidence.” Neither did he saw “Now we have got Kelly we don’t want you any more.” He did not say it was a dreadful thing the police shooting down Cherry nor anything about taking the cannon up. I was paid off next day.

To Mr Chomley: I know Mr Gloster; he was in the room with us at Faithful’s Creek.


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