The Age (20)

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After this I said 'Men, have you got anything else to suggest; our conduct will be severly commented upon if we don't do anything,' I said, 'If I rushed them, will you be game to follow.' I asked separately, and they all said, 'Yes.' We then determined to wait for a better opportunity. Thinking also that as they were the attacking party they might rush us, we waited quietly for a while with that expectation. Previously to this Mrs Barry and Mrs Sherritt returned to the hut. I then closed both doors and put out the fire. We heard voices, but could see no one. We heard talking at intervals up to daylight. When it got daylight another constable I went round the hut and found that the outlaws had left. A Chinaman passed. I wrote a note and gave it to him notify the Beechworth police. This was about seven o'clock in the morning. I proposed going myself, but it was decided that as the party was small we should not separate. We thought we might be attacked again. I gave the Chinaman 5s, and put the note in his boot. In a short time he returned and said he would not go. I then sent him with with the note to Mr O'Donoghue, the schoolmaster. Mr O'Dondghue came back and said he would not do it, as he was afraid being shot. I tried to get two others to go, but could not succeed ………………………………….. met a man ……………………. Horse and rode into Beechworth , arriving there at one o'clock.

At the time the firing was going on I heard whistling in the distance at the rear of the house. From our position in the room I could not command a view of the door. The only opportunity I had …. … have shot either Mrs Barry or Mrs Sherritt.

To Mr Foster: I have reason to suspect that the outlaws knew of our presence at the hut. I have also reason to suspect that our messages were intercepted on the way to Beechworth. On my way to Beechworth I saw Patsy Byrne, brother of the outlaw. He was galloping backwards and forwards. We did not care to leave sooner because we wished to be near the spot when reinforcements arrived from Beechworth. I was disguised as a digger. We had no horses at the place.

Constable Robert Alexander corroborated the evidence of the last witness. This concluded the evidence.

The jury said they were quite satisfied as to the cause of the death of the deceased. One of the jury stated that in his opinion the surviving member of the gang ought to be present when the verdict was given. Mr Foster said he could not adjourn the inquiry for that purpose.

The following was thereupon returned:- 'That the deceased Aaron Sherritt, in the colony of Victoria, on the 26th day of June 1880, from gunshot wounds, received of Joseph Byrne, and that such wounds were inflicted by the said Joseph Byrne on the said Aaron Sherritt, with intent to kill the said Aaron Sherritt, thereby feloniously, wilfully and of his malice aforethought to kill and murder; and that Daniel Kelly aided and abetted the said Joseph Byrne in the murder of the said Aaron Sherritt.' After the jury had been discharged the foreman mentioned to several person within the court that there were eleven in favour of adding a rider in favour of adding a rider to the effect that the police did all that could be expected of them under the circumstances.


Beechworth, Wednesday night

I have had an interview with Mrs Barry, mother in law of the deceased man, Sherritt; Mrs Sherritt, his widow, and John Sherritt, his brother. The latter knows scarcely anything of the tragedy which occurred at Sebastopol Saturday night; but from the women I was enabled to glean information of a more detailed character with regard to the affair. It is evident that although Byrne and Dan Kelly were the only persons seen about the hut, the other two members of the gang could not have been far off. In fact it is known to the police that at the very time Sherritt's house was surprised Ned Kelly was engaged in an interview in the immediate vicinity with a young women, friendly to the outlaws, to whom he is understood to have been deeply attached. From the evidence given at the inquiry today it seems that long after the gang had left Sherritt's hut loud talking was indulged in by some persons outside the place. There can be no doubt that if this was so more people than the outlaws must have been concerned, either directly or indirectly, in the attack upon the police. It is inadvisable at this stage of events to mention any particular name but it is no breach of confidence to say that the authorities have the matter diligently in hand and are taking steps towards bringing the alleged implications in the outrage home to the suspected individuals. Joe Byrne after shooting Sherritt, was freely communicative to Mrs Barry, but the poor woman was too much agitated to answer many questions put to her. Mrs


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