Royal Commission report day 45 page 21

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The Royal Commission evidence for 10/8/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 45)

[[../../people/peU_Z/wardPdet.html|Det Michael Edward Ward]] giving evidence

15647 To the Witness— Did you at any time know of this information as to which Sherritt complains of bad treatment—that Byrne had visited his mother's without being seen by the cave party?— I heard about that.

15648 He said that he was subject to certain insults because he told the police that Joe Byrne had paid a visit to his mother's and they had failed to discover it. Have you reason to believe his statement was correct?— I made enquiries.

15649 At the time referred to by Jack Sherritt , when the cave party said it was impossible for Joe Byrne to have come home, Aaron Sherritt said it was Denny Byrne coming to deceive Jack Sherritt . From the time you first knew Jack Sherritt, up to the time of the Glenrowan capture, had you any reason to believe he was dealing anything but honestly with you?— As far as I was concerned, Jack and I were not so friendly.

15650 I am not speaking about “friendly”; I want to know whether you, as an officer of police, thought he was conveying all the information he possibly could to enable you to capture the outlaws?— Well, I could not say he was conveying all he knew, but he did convey information that was correct.

15651 Have you any reason to believe he was acting in any other way than fairly to the police, according to the information he obtained?— No.

15652 You have no reason to doubt that he was doing all that lay in his power to assist the police to capture the outlaws?— I believe that.

15653 Did you at any time suspect him of being guilty of any crime at that time?— It was reported to me that he was guilty of a crime.

15654 What particular crime?— Taking a saddle from his brother.

15655 What date?— I cannot tell the date.

15656 When were you first informed he was suspected of having stolen the saddle?— On the day after it was stolen.

15657 On what day was it stolen?— I cannot tell either month or day.

15658 What year?— It would be during the time the cave party were out.

15659 You were informed he was suspected of stealing a saddle?— Yes.

15660 Did you take any steps to ascertain the truth of it?— I went to Benalla, and had a consultation with the officers about it.

15661 Would Aaron's marriage be before this?— Yes.

15662 What time was the cave party broken up?— I think it would be in January or February 1880 I was informed about his being suspected of that.

15663 What steps did you take to ascertain whether it was correct?— No steps, except to report the matter to the officers, Messrs. Nicolson and Sadleir.

15664 Verbally or by writing?— Verbally.

15665 What did you tell them. That Aaron Sherritt told me that his saddle was stolen on a certain date—that himself and wife were at a merry-go-round, that they remained there for some time, and locked the door going out. On their return they found the place had been broken into, that the saddle and a gold watch were taken. I asked them did they suspect anybody, and he said, “I suspect Jack .” I said “Why would Jack do that?” And he said, “On account of my getting married to Miss Barry .” I said, “I do not think Jack would do anything of the sort.” He said, “There was a collar and tie of his found in the house.”

15666 What did you do?— Nothing more.

15667 What was the impression conveyed to your mind by the statement of Sherritt?— I thought it was the jealousy between the two brothers.

15668 Did you think that Jack had really stolen it?— No, I did not think so at that time.

15669 Do you think he did since?— The saddle has been found since.

15670 Do you believe, from any information you have obtained since, that Jack stole the saddle?— No, I do not.

15671 Do you remember receiving this letter—[handing one to the witness,]?— Yes.

15672 Do you identify the envelope?— Yes.....

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