The Argus at KellyGang 20/1/1879 (2)
Mr Bowman said that exceptional cases demanded exceptional remedies. The case was then gone into.
Mr M'Niece, clerk of courts, proved the proclamation of the act in the Gazette on the 15th November.
Superintendent Sadleir, who is in charge of the district, deposed that he found it impossible to collect evidence against the prisoners at present. The chief witnesses were constables at present out on duty after the Kellys, and private citizens, whose terror of the outlaws was greater than their terror of the act. The present prisoner was an uncle of the Kellys. He (witness) expected to be able to produce evidence that the prisoner was one of the most active confederates of the Kelly gang.
Cross examined. - This man committed the offence prior to the 15th November, according to my information. I decline to give the name of any of the witnesses, as by naming them I would jeopardise their lives. I could name a score. I decline to say what constables are out after the Kellys. This man was arrested on the 3rd January. I did not arrest the private citizens I require to give evidence because there is nothing against them. They can and do give me information. I have obtained no summonses for witnesses.
This closed the case for the Crown.
Mr Read argued that the only thing against the prisoner was that he was an uncle of bad men, and he had been dragged from home when there was really nothing against him. First he had been remanded from the 4th January to the 11th, then to the 18th, and now another remand was wanted. The police could have got witnesses if they had any, and they had not done so, and it was unfair to deprive a man of his liberty. Were the men tried in Melbourne they would be free in five minutes. Mr Read then at length told the magistrate his duty.
The police magistrate said an exceptional case had been brought before him, and he thought reasonable grounds had been given why further evidence could not be given, and that under the circumstances, as the police could not produce their witnesses, the prisoner would be remanded for eight days. The Court then adjourned for an hour. On resuming,
Mr Bowman withdrew the charges against Perkins, Delaney, Woods, Miller, and the two Stewarts and they were discharged. Mr. Bowman then said the same case was against the others, and suggested taking all together.
Mr. Zincke objected to this course as, with a view to ulterior proceedings, he must have evidence in each case of the date of apprehension as well as the information and warrant. Frances Hearty was then charged.
After some legal arguments, Superintendent Sadleir was put in the box and deposed that since the passing of the act the prisoner had been an active partisan and confederate of the Kellys. He had been warned not to interfere with the course of justice. Witness then repeated his former evidence as to witnesses.
Cross-examined by Mr. Zincke. - If the information I received be correct, the prisoner is an ally of the Kellys.
Senior-constable Strachan deposed that he had had several conversations with the prisoner, who said he had seen the Kellys since the murder of the police. Had warned the prisoner and showed him a printed circular. He said," You are paid for looking after the Kellys. Find out where they are." He afterwards met the prisoner, and he said he would give the police no assistance or information whatever. On the 16th November witness saw him with Jack Quinn at Kelly's residence, Greta, when the prisoner said he was looking after cattle, and added, "I will give the Kellys tea and tucker whenever I like, in defiance of the police." He further said, "I consider Ned Kelly a better man than Fitzpatrick, who lagged his mother wrongfully." Prisoner did not say he had given the Kellys tucker.
Mr Zincke urged that no evidence had been given in support of the information. The prisoner was remanded for eight days.
Mr Bowman then said that if Mr. Zincke would consent to the other prisoners being remanded, he would ask for no further remand, but would allow the cases to proceed on their merits, and prosecute to an issue.
Mr Zincke consented to this course. the police magistrate said he fully recognised the understanding between the lawyers on either side, but would not commit himself, to any line of conduct when the cases were again brought before him. M'Elroy, James Quinn, John Quinn, Strickland, John Lloyd, Hart, Wright, M'Monigan, D Clancy, J Clancy, Haney and Ryan were then brought up and remanded for eight days. The court was crowded during the hearing of the cases.
A very unhealthy sympathy prevails throughout the district with the Kellys.
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