... part of the KellyGang story
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The trial of Edward Kelly for the murder of Constable Lonigan on the 28th October, 1878 , at Stringybark-Creek, was commenced yesterday before his honour Mr Justice Redmond Barry, at the Central Criminal Court. The court was filled with jurors and others before the opening hour. Mr C A Smyth and Mr Chomley appeared for the prosecution and Mr Bindon for the defence. Mr Bindon applied for a further postponement on the ground that he had only taken the case in hand on Monday night, and required time to study the evidence. His honour replied that the prisoner had received two months’ notice of his trial, and had ample time to make preparations. Further time could not be wasted, and he therefore refused the application. The trial then proceeded, and eight witnesses were examined on behalf of the prosecution. Shortly after 6 o’clock his Honour said that the trial could not be concluded that night, and therefore he would adjourn the case till next morning. He suggested that the Court should sit at 9 o’clock in the morning. Mr Bindon said it would be extremely inconvenient to him to attend the Court at that hour, but on the jury expressing a desire to meet at 9 o’clock , he abandoned his objection. The jurors were not allowed to separate, but were furnished with quarters at the Supreme Court Hotel.
THE TRIAL OF EDWARD KELLY
At a special sitting of the Central criminal Court yesterday, before his Honour Mr Justice Barry, Edward Kelly was brought up for trial on a charge of having at Stringy Bark Creek, in the Wombat Ranges, on the 28 th October, 1878, wilfully and maliciously murdered Thomas Lonigan, a police constable.
Mr C A Smyth and Mr Chomley appeared for the prosecution and Mr Bindon for the prisoner.
Mr Bindon applied for a further postponement of the trial until next sessions, on the ground that the defence of the prisoner had only been placed in his hands on Monday night, and that he had consequently been unable to make himself thoroughly acquainted with the voluminous depositions taken in the case.
His Honour said he would not be justified in postponing the case any further. The prisoner received notice of his trial two months ago, and how the procrastination had occurred he (his Honour) could not tell. The case would now proceed.
A jury having been sworn in,
Mr C A Smyth opened the case by narrating the circumstances of the police murders and explaining the nature of the evidence he would submit. He called the following witnesses:-
Michael Edward Ward said he was a detective stationed in Melbourne. A document produced was a warrant for the apprehension of Edward Kelly, of Beechworth, for horse stealing. It was dated 15 th March, 1878. The person accused therein was the prisoner in the dock. He also proved the warrant which was issued for the arrest of Daniel Kelly on a similar charge. He had been in pursuit of the Kelly gang since the 9 th September, 1878 , until they were captured on the 29 th June.
Patrick Day , police constable, stationed at Benalla, proved the issue of warrants for the arrest of the prisoner and his brother Daniel Kelly for attempting to murder Constable Fitzpatrick.
Thomas McIntyre deposed , I am a police constable, at present stationed in Melbourne . In October, 1878, I was stationed at Mansfield , and on Friday, the 25 th of the month, left with Sergeant Kennedy and Constables Lonigan and Scanlan to search for the prisoner and his brother Dan, on a charge of attempting to murder Constable Fitzpatrick. Knew that there were warrants issued. They were notified in the Police Gazette. The party were in plain clothes, and Sergeant Kennedy was in charge. We started at about 5 o’clock in the morning, and camped in the Wombat Ranges, 20 miles from Mansfield , pitching our camp in a small cleared space. There were the remains of a hut there, and some dead logs lying on the ground.
On the following morning, 26th, Sergeant Kennedy and Scanlan left the camp to patrol no horseback, leaving me and Lonigan in charge of the camp. Sergeant Kennedy had a Spencer rifle and a revolver, Scanlan a revolver. Lonigan had a revolver, and I a revolver and fowlingpiece. During the day, in consequence of a noise having been heard down the creek, I searched the place but found no one, and on returning to the camp fired two shots at parrots. I and Lonigan, at about 5 o’clock , lit a fire in the angle formed by two large logs which crossed each other, and proceeded to prepare out tea. We were standing at the fire with one of the logs between us. Lonigan alone was armed, and he only had a revolver in his belt. My revolver and fowlingpiece were in the tent. There was a quantity of speargrass 5ft. high about 35 yards from the fire, and on the south side of the clearing. I was standing with my face to the fire and my back to the speargrass, when suddenly a number of voices from the speargrass sang out, “Bail up, hold up your hands.” Turning quickly round, I saw four men, each armed with a gun, and pointing these weapons at Lonigan and me. The prisoner, who was one of the men, had the right-hand position, and he had his gun pointed at my chest. I, being unarmed, at once threw up my arms out horizontally.
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