Royal Commission report day 41 page 9

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The Royal Commission evidence for 2/8/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 41)

Const Thomas McIntyre giving evidence

14365 Each man when he joined this expedition was fully under the impression that the men he was in pursuit of were of so dangerous a type that they might require firearms in self-defence, to protect themselves?— Yes, that was the impression. The impression was that it would be difficult to take them —that they would defend themselves; but not that they would attack us.

14366 That having been guilty of an attempted murder, they might be guilty of another murder?

14367 Under those circumstances did you not feel the importance individually, apart from any official instructions you might have received, of being constantly watchful against a sudden attack from men of that character?— I did not anticipate that we were close to them, because they never, to our knowledge, came to Mansfield. We thought we would have to go twenty miles into the bush before we got to their haunts.

14368 When the party were selected, were they told the nature of the work, and the object?— Yes, I was told it was in search of the Kellys .

14369 Had Sergeant Kennedy any knowledge that there were any camps of the Kellys in the immediate neighborhood?— I do not know; I think not. Of course I cannot say what knowledge he had.

14370 Have you any recollection of having heard that the late camp of the Kellys was shown there previously to your starting?— No; I know he was shown out to that place by a squatter.

14371 From what you know now, and from your memory of the whole proceedings, are you under the impression, in the slightest degree, that those two men, Sergeant Kennedy and Scanlan, were decoyed from the camp, with the view of subsequently attacking the whole party, and overcoming and murdering the whole of them—did you ever hear anything that would lead you to suppose that?— I have no definite opinion on that subject, because there are some things that would lead me to believe so, and some not.

14372 Of your own knowledge, either before or subsequent to the event—the murder of the police —are you now under the impression that those men were purposely decoyed for the purpose of the party being subsequently attacked and murdered?— It is a matter I have no definite opinion upon. I will tell you my reasons.

14373 Have you ever heard from anyone that such was the intention?— I have heard it publicly spoken of amongst the constables that Sergeant Kennedy and Constable Scanlan knew they were in the neighborhood and did not impart the information to me or Lonigan—to me they certainly did not impart it.

14374 Did you ever hear that those men were decoyed into the position—that they went for the especial object of leaving the two who were to camp to become an easy prey to the attack of those men?— Yes, I have heard so.

14375 How does that coincide with the evidence that Kennedy and Scanlan went away of their own free will and told you nothing about it ?— Decoy would not be the proper word. He might have been decoyed with previous knowledge, obtained before he came to the ground. I would say he was induced, not decoyed.

14376 Might it be possible, as you say Kennedy and Scanlan took provisions with them, that their desire might be to catch the Kellys themselves without your being present?— Yes, that is possible.

14377 Did that strike your mind?— No, not at the time.

14378 You had confidence in one another when you were out?— Yes, I had.

14379 You have no belief now that Kennedy went away for the purpose of getting any special advantage for himself to lead you to that belief?— I think it is very strange they went to that neighborhood instead of continuing the direct road to Hedi.

14380 You think it is possible, then, he acted from knowledge?— I do; but against that, on the evening that we arrived there he asked me to fire a shot at some kangaroo near the camp, and I think, if he knew the Kellys were in the immediate vicinity, he would not have asked me to fire a shot.

14381 Do you think the Kellys premeditated the murder of the whole party?— I do not think they did.

14382 Would it be an impulse on their part?— I think they intended to take our horses and firearms, as Kelly himself said that was his intention, but I think he did not care much whether he shed blood or not just allowed himself to be led by circumstances whether he would or not.

14383 He placed himself in a position to shoot you all from good cover?— Yes.

14384 And he did not apparently attempt to take the horses?— They took the horses afterwards.

14385 I mean they were not acting like men who came to steal horses alone?— No, they could not have stolen the horses without our knowledge.

14386 Had you seen Kelly before?— No.

14387 You did not know who they were?— I knew them from description and from family likenesses. The very first intimation we had from them was to “bail up,” and we looked round, and they had their arms presented.

14388 Can you give any fresh information that has not been given to the public. I suppose you have read the evidence with reference to that?— No, I cannot think of any that would be useful.

14389 I suppose what we have got is nearly all that can be got?— Yes....

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