Royal Commission report day 45 page 23

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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

15699 You did not hear it said that Jack Sherritt was altogether away at the time the saddle was missed?— He was not, because I remember Mrs. Sherritt said that Jack was seen at the Hurdy Gurdy, on the Woolshed, that night.

15700 And Byrne was with him—did you hear that Byrne was missed from him?— I do not think it was Byrne; I heard of Burke.

15701 Did you hear that Byrne was missing from this Hurdy Gurdy on the night this saddle was stolen?— I might have heard this afterwards, but not at the time.

15702 If you had heard it, it would have taken away your suspicion of Jack Sherritt?— But at the time I would not have taken any steps under any consideration.

15703 You said about a collar and tie found there—did you hear afterwards that Mrs. Sherritt admitted that this collar and tie were similar to what her husband wore?— No, but I know that both Jack and Aaron wore a lot of my clothes; in fact, they used to wear a lot of the same clothes.

15704 Your collar and tie might have been found there.,—Yes, they might.

15705 Because of that, you would not like any one to believe you took the saddle?— No, I would not.

15706 You knew Jack Sherritt more or less from the time that he gave information to the police, and till after the capture at Glenrowan?— I did.

15707 Did you know him at any time make any statement; to you which afterwards proved to be untrue?— No, none that proved untrue.

15708 By Mr. Nicolson— Was it dark when Sherritt came in to Beechworth that time?— Yes.

15709 The sun sets on the 13th November at 6.46 p.m. —[looking at the almanac]?— Yes.

15710 If the sun sets at 6.46 p.m. , what time would it be dark in that month?— After the sun is down, it would be nearly half-an-hour before it would be very dark.

15711 You say he came in after dark?— I am certain he did.

15712 What time did he arrive—can you fix the time?— No.

15713 How many miles had he to come?— About five miles.

15714 Are you sure about his having stated that Kelly was to be back—that he had been told that Kelly was to be back at eight o'clock?— I would not be positive, but I think so. I think he was not into our place till after eight, after the time appointed.

15715 Why do you think so—you did not say so when you were examined first?— I think it was after eleven o'clock I gave him the money to go down.

15716 How long had he been in the office?— He might have been an hour in the office, not longer.

15717 Do you say I did not see him till nine?— I do not think you did, because I know it was eleven o'clock when I gave him the half-sovereign.

15718 Do you remember that Jack was very fearful at the time of being brought away by the outlaws to act as their scout?— I do, perfectly well.

15719 Do you recollect on that interview that night his speaking of having hidden himself after his sister gave this information?— Yes, he said he concealed himself until the night came on.

15720 By the Commission— Are you quite sure of that?— I am; he said he would not start till after night.

15721 By Mr. Nicolson— What is your impression of the period that elapsed from the time his sister gave the information till he started to Beechworth.?— I could not say.

15722 Did he say he came at once or remained some time?— I cannot say.

15723 By Mr. Hare— How was it when I came up to Beechworth, on the 2nd June, that you did not tell me that there was good information that Jack had told you—that you did not mention his name to me?— You had all the papers and everything in your possession.

15724 I had not read the papers when I saw you?— We had only a hurried meeting—I just spoke to you.

15725 Why did not you suggest that I should see Jack Sherritt, whose name you never mentioned to me, and I never heard till this enquiry, that he had given all this information?— You had all my reports I and minutes before you.

15726 I could not look over all those and be able to give an opinion on him. You thought him so reliable?— We have nothing to contradict that; he had not been doing anything for me for some time prior to your coming there.

15727 At what time was he discarded?— He was not discharged, because he never got regular pay, and got very little altogether.

15728 How did you pay him?— Five shillings now, and 10s. at another time.

15729 And £5 at another?— He never got £5 from me.

15730 How long previous to my coming up there bad he given you or Mr. Nicolson any information?— Not for months, I suppose. My sole agents were the other members of the family.

15731 Was it not your duty to have told me all this when I came up?— I thought you were in full possession of everything; he had not been working for me for months before. It was hard worn to get any money for Aaron even. Mr. Nicolson told me once to discharge him; he said he could not get money.

15732 Why did not you tell me that Jack Sherritt had given such reliable information?— I suppose I never thought of it—you had all the papers.

15733 By Mr. Nicolson— Was it not a fact that Jack had discontinued for a considerable time giving any information?— Yes; he was working at his business—a contract with Crawford.

15734 To Mr. Sherritt— You said you gave information to Ward when you did not to Mr Nicolson?— Yes, but Ward always received information from Mr. Nicolson how I was to act.

15735 By Mr. Sherritt (to Detective Ward)— Did I ever refuse to take any money for information?— Yes; you used to say, “Ward, you cannot afford it; I do not want money.” I must certainly say that the Sherritt family were the easiest people I ever met about money.

Mr. Nicolson — I can say the same.

Mr. Hare — I can say the same of Aaron .

15736 By Mr. Sherritt (to Detective Ward)— Did you ever give me or Aaron a collar and tie of yours?— I gave several ties and about a dozen collars.

15737 To both?— To both. Aaron I gave the ties to. I gave you clothes; I gave you coats.

15738 Did you ever give me a collar and tie?— I saw you wearing the ties that I gave Aaron.

15739 Did you ever give me ties?— Yes.

15740 Did you ever see Aaron wearing the ties you gave me?— I could not say that. The suit of clothes Aaron was shot in, coat, and pants, and everything else was mine.

15741 Was there anything to lead you to believe that it was for money that I was giving informtion?— No; you got very little.

15742 Did you ever find me out in trying to secrete information from the police?— I do not know of any case.

15743 Did Aaron ever tell you that I kept back information with regards to the outlaws.?— He did not.

The witness withdrew. ....

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