Royal Commission report day 45 page 22

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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

15673 Was that letter in the envelope?— Yes.

15674 From whom did you receive that?— From Johnny Sherritt I think.

15675 Not through the post?— No; I posted it myself after.

15676 What was your object?— Instructions from Mr. Nicolson, to show that it came through the post.

15677 For what purpose?— Arrangements he had made with Sherritt, to show that Sherritt was faithful to the gang.

15678 Can you account for the stamp on the envelope in that position—[handing the same to the witness]?— I could not tell the stamp. I put a stamp on it.

15679 Do you think that is the same stamp?— I could not tell that.

15680 Will you look at that stamp, and see whether there has not been a post-office date stamp under it?— I cannot account for that at all.

15681 Is the envelope in about the same condition as when you got it first?— No, the stamp was not obliterated at the time I put the stamp on it and put it into the post.

15682 How can you account for this stamp covering the post-office stamp?— I cannot account for it any way

15683 When Sherritt handed you that letter what did he tell you ?— I do not remember that.

15684 You do not remember the conversation that took place ?— No.

15685 Do you think it is possible you received that through the post, and afterwards had an interview with Sherritt in relation to this letter ?— No.

Mr. Sherritt . —I think I made a mistake; I think I did give that letter to Ward to post.

15686 By the Commission (to the witness). —Did Sherritt say whom he got it from?— Yes, he said a man came into the paddock and gave him the letter, and he did not know the man. He gave a description of the man. I described the man and sent the letter to Mr. Nicolson .

15687 Was that before or after Mr. Nicolson was acquainted with Sherritt?— I think after. Mr Nicolson will be able to tell; I cannot give the date.

15688 I may tell you that the time that Sherritt handed you that letter was previous to Mr. Nicolson knowing Sherritt at all?— There should be a report attached to that letter— [The same was handed to the witness]— “Since writing, the attached has been handed to me by Jack Sherritt. A man came to him in his father's paddock and asked him to put a stamp on the letter and post it for him, and when the contents of it be published in the papers he said we will pay you well. Description of man:— About 30 years of age, 5 feet 7 high; wore moustache only; grey tweed suit. Jack never seen him before; he was on foot. Aaron has not come back yet.”

15689 That was really before Mr. Nicolson saw Sherritt?— I sent it to whatever officer was in charge.

15690 Did you hear the first time that Sherritt got to know Mr. Nicolson?— September, at the Agricultural Show.

15691 Would there be anything inconsistent in Sherritt's swearing that when he saw Mr. Nicolson he knew it was Byrne?— He might have told him that, but I did not hear him tell it.

15692 He may have withheld it from you?— No doubt he did.

15693 You have been about the North-Eastern district a very long time?— I have.

15694 Except the suspicion that arose from the statement made by Aaron Sherritt, do you know of any other case against Jack Sherritt of a criminal nature?— No.

15695 Connected with this saddle, was not there a suspicion cast upon one of the young Byrnes of having stolen it?— Well, I never heard that there was.

15696 Was not the saddle found in Mrs. Byrne's house?— Yes, there was a search warrant for some jewellery there.

15697 They found the side-saddle Sherritt was accused of having stolen?— Yes.

15698 Was not young Byrne suspected of having taken it there?— I did not trouble my head about the saddle at the time. I had too much to attend to at the time.....

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