The Argus at KellyGang 9/8/1880

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(full text transcription)





Committal hearing -continued

The preliminary examination of the case of Edward Kelly was resumed this morning by Mr Foster, PM, in the Beechworth Police Court. The prisoner was brought from the gaol, as before, in a cab about 8 o’clock in the morning, and was lodged in the courthouse cell. Long before the opening hour the court was crowded, and, as on the previous day, there was a large attendance of ladies. Mrs Skillian and Tom Lloyd were in their former places, and were now accompanied by Dick Hart. In addition to the other police officers present, Sub-inspector Baber is watching the case on behalf of the detective department. Mr C A Smyth, Mr Chomley, and Mr Gurner appeared, as before, for the Crown, and Mr Gaunson for the prisoner.

Mr Gaunson said that before the hearing of evidence was resumed he desired to call the attention of the Court to the method in which the public newspapers were speaking of the prisoner now standing on trial for his life. In yesterday’s Argus , for instance, a statement was made concerning both himself (Mr Gaunson) and Mr Zincke, the whole of which was absolutely untrue. This was grossly and manifestly unfair. Another respectable paper, the Ovens and Murray Advertiser, wrote about the prisoner as if he were something lower than a human being. If this kind of writing continued it would be the duty of the Court to commit some of the writers to gaol.

'Const M'Intyre's evidence continued at the committal hearing '

Constable McIntyre having been called, his examination by Mr Smyth was continued. He said:―In the conversation the prisoner and I had at the log he said, “You know I am no coward. Those people lagged at Beechworth the other day had no more revolvers in their hands than you have at present. In fact they were not there at all―these are the men” (nodding towards his mates). I said, “You cannot blame us for what Fitzpatrick has done to you.” He replied, “No, but I almost swore after letting him go that I would never let another go, and if I let you go now you will have to leave the police force.” I said, “I will; my health has been bad, and I have been thinking of going home for some time. If I get these other two men to surrender, what will you do with us?” He replied, “You had better get them to surrender, because if they don’t surrender, or get away, we will shoot you, but we don’t want their lives; we only want their horses and firearms.” During this conversation the prisoner was keeping a watch down the creek. He had the two guns laid up against the log. I thought it might be possible, by a sudden spring, to get one of the guns in the event of the other men coming in sight. I therefore took a short step towards the prisoner, to be ready for a spring, and Hart, the man in the tent, cried out excitedly, “Ned, look out, or that ― will be on top of you.” The prisoner coolly looked up, and said, “You had better not, mate, for if you do you will soon find your match, for you know there are not three men in the police force a match for me. Are there any others out?” I answered, “Yes, there was another party to leave Greta.” He asked who they were, and I said I did not know, but that they were under the command of Sergeant Steele.

At this time it was getting late―between half-past 5 and 6 o’clock―and I expected that Kennedy and Scanlan would shortly arrive. I therefore said again that I would try to get them to surrender if he would promise faithfully not to shoot them. A moment afterwards Kennedy and Scanlan came in sight, 100 yards down the creek. Prisoner said, “Hist! lads, here they come.” He said to me, “You stop at that log and give no alarm, or I will put a hole in you.” I went to a part of the log he pointed out, 10 or 12 yards off, and had scarcely time to sit down when Kennedy and Scanlan had come within 40 or 50 yards of me. They were on horseback, and their horses were walking slowly. I thought the gang were more than a match for us, and intended to try and get Kennedy and Scanlan to surrender. I therefore stepped towards Kennedy and said, out aloud to him, when five or six yards away from him, “Oh, sergeant, I think you had better dismount and surrender, for you are surrounded.” At the same time the prisoner cried out, “Bail up! Hold up your hands.”


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