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JUDGE BACKHOUSE ' AND

MR. HEYDON.

?? ?? ?» ? ? ?

The following correspondence boars npon tho subject of Mr Crick's letter to tho He? aid on

Tuesday -

41 Judgos' Chambers, District Court, Sydnoy,

¿4til Docombor, 1815

44 Dear Mr Gould,-Nothing is so misleading ns a statement in which there is n Bcintilla of ti nth, vvlnlo the whole intention meant to be convov oil is absolutely untrue I therefore wish to placa before j on what did take placo between Mr Hoj don and inv solf with reference to tho Roto

coso

44 Tho first charge against Mr noydon, nnd in forentially against mo-for I declino to bo white- washed at tim oxponso of Mr Heydon or anyono olso-was that he had pnvatelj approached mo with a viow to influencing me in tho sentence to bo pasjed on Rofe 1 ho form of the qusstions asked by Mr. Perry, and tho roforonee to tho sentence m Mr. Crick's speech of last Thursday, show this lins charge was donicd The chargo nov, mado is that Mr Ilovdon 4 succeodod in getting tho Tmlgo to tako a different view of tho case ' What happened was this i After the conviction of Rofe I heard that Mr Hovdon still bohovoil lum innocent lliiukiug that Mr Hoydou would not tako such a v ion vv ithotit somo vcrv good grounds, and feeling that somo things pointed lo Rolo'« not fullv understand- ing what tia was doing up to tim timo of his arrest, I asked Mr lloj don when I saw lum ou otlior business if w hat I had uoaril was truo Ho acquiesced, and I then shortly put to him what I considered the strong points against Roto, and said, 4I If you can throw any now light (of course I meant in court) on theso matters I will recommend an inquiry under the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 18S3 " Tho whole internen did not last many minutes, and I did tho talking, not Mr Heydon But, as I wish to bo strictly accurate, it was partly a few minutes before the afternoon sitting on Friday, boforo son tonco was passed on Rofe, and for a few minutes after I went into my chambers, vvbon the jury bad retired in the second Dean case After those few

minutes, till tho jury agreed, wo wore talking about general matters, and a third person was present most of tbe time Later on Mr Heydon sent my associate

to mo to ask mo to allow certain exhibits in tho caso to leavo the court till Monday Mr. Heydon took these, and on them and other matters addressed me on Monday.

441 am, Dear Mr Gould.

41 Yours sincerely,

"AI.K. P. Bicnionsi.

" Tho Hon. A. J. Gould, Minister of Justice."

'* Judges' Chambors, District Court, Sydney,

" 25th November, 1895

" Dear Mr Gould,-Although tho grossest mis- representations with regard to tlio Rofe case, and

tho wildest charges of improper conduct on my part havo been made, conscious of no ovil doing, mid be- lieving that what 1 did was absolu tch right, I should not have roforrod to tho maller again wfroitnot that I am afraid Unit opinions formell in au unrea- soning excitouiont ma} load to an alteration of olio of tho most useful of our penal »Ututos, aud I there fore wish to placo on record mj vio» of tho shara Roto took in tho Butler conspiracy cas3 -rho measure of his complicity in the crmio is far loss than that of Butlnr, Davis, or Peake Ho had nothing to do with tho bringing about tho circumstances point- ing to adulto!) on Mrs Butler's part, and I am abso- lute]) certain Unit ho knew nattung of a plot till January this year, months after the jooroo nisi bad

beon obtained bv Butler, and that ho is as innocent as I um of tho main wrong dona Mr» Butler No doubt Rofe, as soon as Ita 'got tho knowledge, should hnvo commmuuicatod with Uio Judgo in Dtvorco, but his not doiug so was no cruno, although it was misconduct on his part as a solicitor for which ho could havo been dealt with If in Mav Rofe had not helped Buller with tho afhdavit necessary to obtain the dooroo absoluto-not upphod for by Rofo and, in fact, nover obtained-1 question whether thero would havo boen a caso agatnst him This affidavit as drafted was no doubt untruo, and as snorn to by

Butler, although verb lily correct, was misleading Rofo very soon repented of his act", for a foi» days aftor the afliduvit was drawn ho saw the Judgo aud axplauicd exactly how matters stood '1 ruc, tho Crown urged Uiat his nction was brought about hy the arrest of Davis and Peil c, mid I agroo that it was, but I also think that it was niter tbo arrest that Roto for tho first tuno nppree otod what 1 o had dono Hint ho kept Uio draft affidavit, which without ex- citing nuy suspicion ho might havo devtroyed, aud that ho produced it voluntarily at Butler's trial, giros food for thought whether he betnro arrest realised his position at all This short statement of the COKO can be fully homo out by Uio evidonce, ami I will gladly if you wish it go into tho matter in detail and prov o beyond doubt that my v low is correct 1 hese being tho facts, to speak nt Rofo's guilt as equal to that of the others convicted RIIOWS an ignorance of the case. But, further, my duty to the public, mv duty to Rofo, was to imposo such punishment as I thought his particular caso deserved, irrospeclivo of other casos, tho ovidenco in which was not com- pletely before rae-moro especially Uie evidenco of character Taking the view I did I thought tho caso carno pre-omiaentl) within Uio provisions of tho Tirst OfToiidcrs Act, and I Iroitcd it accordingly Bj tho way, it ma) be romarl ed that tho language of that Act is perfectly clear, and that there is nothing m it to limit tho application to young or any particular class of first offenders Purtlier, although tho oxpressed intention could not bo modified by opinions expressed during debate, such opinions may bo considered in finding out what was the actual intention of the Legislature A refcronce will show that tho actual intention waa tho oxprossod intention

" I nnl Dear Mr Gould, v oura sincerely,

"Aiv P BACLHOUSK "

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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