THE SUMMING UP.
The Judge commenced to sum up at 9 o'clock on Satur- day morning.
His Honor, in committing his address, said he re- gretted very much that he had found it necessary to keep the gentlemen of the jury sitting for so many hours at a time, but as some of them were not in good health, he thought it desirable to push the business on, looking at the great importance of the case with which they were dealing.
It was desirable that the case, when once begun, should be brought to a conclusion in the ordinary way. He was afraid he did put some pressure upon the counsel in the case, and he could not sufficiently thank them for the able manner in which they had defended the prisoners. Although one of them complained of having been called upon to address the jury at 3 o'clock in the morning, he thought they would agree that it was not probable that he would have made a better speech at the present time than he made when called upon to address the jury, and he was sure he would not think that any more pressure had been put upon him than upon any other counsel. He (his Honor) knew what the responsibility of counsel was, and the course he
adopted was one which had been followed over and over again. The jury could not be too careful in weighing the evidence which had been given, and in giving a cool and collected decision. The jury had already been told in most expressive terms how great their responsibility in the case was. They had been told on the one hand that the case was one of the utmost importance to the prisoners, but it was no less the fact that on the other hand it was one of the greatest importance to society. He need not urge upon them the necessity of dismissing from their minds anything they may have read or heard respecting the case with which they had to deal,
nor could he sufficiently impress upon them the necessity of considering the horrible facts which had been given in evidence before them with all the coolness they could com-
mand. The facts of the case were calculated to disturb the calmest and best balanced minds. They were of a character not only calculated to enlist the sympathy of everyone present for the victim of the outrage, but were also calculated to raise a feeling of disgust, and he might be permitted to say hatred, towards those who could be considered capable of committing such a crime. The jury, however, should not allow any such prejudice to act on their minds in weighing the evidence that had been produced. They must as far as possible dismiss all feeling in the matter. It was of momentous importance, not only to the prisoners, who had at stake everything that was dear in this world; but it was
of the greatest importance to the State and to society that the truth should be arrived at boldly and fearlessly. There
was no doubt a horrible crime had been committed, and those guilty of it should be brought to justice. In this case, as in every other case, the jury must get beyond suspicion. His Honor, then repeated the facts of the case according to the statement of the girl, Mary Jane Hicks. The case for the Crown was that those who took part in the assault upon the man Stanley were acting with the common design, their
design being to commit rape upon the complainant. He then defined the offence with which the prisoners were charged, and pointed out that with only one exception the learned counsel for the defence had not attempted to set up the question of consent on the part of the
unfortunate girl Hicks. The facts showed that the girl screamed time after time, and resisted the assaults made
upon her. He pointed out that the horrible assaults made upon the girl precluded the idea of consent, and, with one exception, the learned counsel had honourably acquitted her of any such horrible immorality. There were circum- stances in this case which would cause them to dismiss any idea of consent from their minds. His Honor then went on to explain that the law protected even the very worst character from assaults such as had been made upon this unfortunate girl. His Honor then proceeded to deal with the alibi proved on Mangan's behalf. He considered the evidence worthy of the gravest consideration. The witnesses were respect- able working men in the municipality of Waterloo, who said they had seen him working during the time he was alleged to have been concerned in the outrage on the girl. The case of Oscroft was the next one dealt with by his Honour, who read portions of the evidence, showing that the prisoner was on the ground at the time the assaults were committed, even if he did not participate in the outrage itself. The girl mentioned the name of Oscroft several times, but appeared to have entertained some doubt on one occasion at the police station as to whether he was the man, and on another occa-
sion she expressed herself sure that Oscroft was one of the set engaged in assaulting her. It appeared that the girl had been assaulted by two different sets of four each, and Oscroft was named by her as being concerned with the second set. There was also evidence to show that he had set out for and returned from his usual business at the usual time that day, and that he did his usual work, or at any rate made his usual wage. On the other hand, it was quite possible that the evidence bearing on this point, which was not very strong, must have been given in mistake, the witness, perhaps, confusing his recollections of one day with those of another. The next case dealt with by his Honor was that of William Hill who was accused of having prevented the witness Stanley
from coming to the girl's assistance at the time of the out- rage by dragging him away by the arm. The prosecutrix corroborated the evidence of Stanley in this particular, and further charged Hill with having taken her into the bush. The question for the jury to decide was whether Hill's object in taking the girl away from Stanley was, if not to ravish her himself, at any rate to enable the others to ravish her. Both Stanley and the girl swore to Hill's having taken the girl in the direction of the swamp, and then went away, leaving her with four others who, she alleged, outraged her. She stated that she did not see Hill again till she was sitting with two men by the drain. It was proved beyond a doubt that the girl was taken by someone to the swamp.
Hill admitted himself, that he was present on the occasion, and if the jury believed what the girl said of him, whether he actually outraged her or not, then he was the main cause of the outrage having taken place, and therefore guilty accordingly; and if he carried her off for the purpose of being outraged by the others, then he was just as guilty as the rest, for without his interference the outrage would in all probability not had taken place. The girl herself did not accuse Hill of having actually outraged her, but another witness averred that Hill had his arms around her waist, the girl not appearing unwilling, although she had just uttered a scream, when one of the others threw her down and effected an assault. She then got up by herself and was walking away, when Hill, it is said, went after and brought her back. He is even alleged to have thrown her down him-
self, although he does not appear to have succeeded in effecting any further assault. One witness—Stanley—was positive in asserting that Hill had called to three others to come up and assault the girl the very moment after he had told the girl to rely on his protection. The prisoners were armed with knives and sticks, while Stanley had no weapon; so that he was unable, single-handed, to rescue the girl. His Honor next referred to the case of Miller, and read the evidence relative to his identification by the girl. When she first saw him she was in a half-fainting condition, and
said she did not think he was there. Soon after she was confronted with him, and said he was one of the men. In her deposition she positively declared that Miller was one of the men who assaulted her, and that it was he who at one time put his hand over her mouth. The witness, Smith, identified Miller, as one of the men who took part in the outrage. The weight of Smith's evidence depended upon the reliance they placed upon it, and it was for them to weigh the evidence with the rest that was offered. The evidence of Denny against Miller was read, and then his Honor read the evidence against Keegan, which showed
that the girl at once recognised Keegan when he was
placed before her, and about a week after she identified
him amongst a number of men, and afterwards recognised
several of the prisoners. She recognised Keegan by his pale face. She identified Miller as the man having his hand over her mouth, and Keegan as the man who held her legs. His Honor then proceeded to deal with the evidence with
respect to Duffy. When Duffy was arrested he denied having been connected with the outrage. His Honor then read the evidence of the complainant, in which she asserted that Duffy was one of the first four who criminally assaulted her, and that it was Duffy who threw her down.
According to tho complainant's evidence it was Duffy who made her take off her boots and stockings, and with New- man lighted a fire in the bush to dry her clothes. His Honor read the statement which was made by Duffy whilst in gaol. It was quite clear from the prisoner's statement that he did criminally assault the girl, and it was equally clear that the girl was not, as he attempted
to make out, a consenting party. He was iden- tified by a number of the Crown witnesses as one who was present and took part in the outrage. His Honor then referred to the evidence called by Duffy in de- fence, and read the evidence given by the witness, Matthew Doran, which was to the effect that at one time he had been on terms of intimacy with the complainant, while on the other hand the complainant denied the allegations made, and had stated that she had never seen Doran in her life before. The girl was nothing more than a wreck at the present time, in consequence of the treat- ment she had received, and no sane person could believe that she consented to what had taken place. His Honor then passed on to the case of Newman, reading portions of the evidence, including the prisoner's statement when arrested, and also the evidence given in defence. With regard to the evidence called to prove an alibi on behalf of Donnellan, the jury would have to decide whether the alibi was not supported by witnesses of such question- able character that they could not be believed. The ques- tion was, did their evidence outweigh the evidence given on behalf of tho Crown. The next prisonor was Martin, who, when arrested, said that on the day of the outrage he was out at Botany all day fishing by himself. He was identified by Mary Jane Hicks as one of the four who were present at the time she threw herself into the drain. One of the witnesses who had identified Martin said he had known him for four years. There had been no attempt to prove an alibi in this case, and the prisoner had been sworn to in a positive manner. That being so, could there be any doubt as to Martin having been present when the outrage was committed? Was there anything whatever to upset the positive testimony which had been given against him? His Honor then dealt with the case of the prisonor Boyce. The evidence of the witnesses Smith and Brown went to show that the prisoner Boyce was present; and also, that he assaulted the complainant. The evidence of Constable Bell showed that the prisoners Read and Boyce were arrested whilst travelling beyond the Queensland border under assumed names, and in reply to the charge both refused to state where they were on the day of the outrage. The com- plainant had identified Boyce as one of the first four men who had assaulted her. The prisoner was also identified by other witnesses for the Crown, including Kane, Smith, and Stanley, who had sworn positively to having seen him taking part in the outrage. His Honor having read the evidence given on behalf of Boyce, proceeded to deal with the case against the prisoner Read. He stated that Read had been identified by the complainant, and also by Smith. In reviewing the evi- dence given, his Honor pointed out that Read up to the date of the outrage had borne an excellent character. He referred to the fact that read when arrested was several hundred miles from Sydney, and travelling with the pri- soner Boyce under a false name. How could his action in this respect be accounted for? The matter was one which would have to be considered by the jury. His Honor then read the greater portion of the evidence which had been taken,
and concluded by reminding the jury that they could con- vict one or any or all of the prisoners. It was not neces- sary in order to to establish the case that they should be satisfied in what order the prisoners assaulted the girl, so long as they found that some had outraged her whilst some were present aiding and abetting. They were all equally guilty whether they outraged her or not, and that explanation might relieve them of some difficulty. The young woman might have been almost in a state of oblivion when she was being outraged, but there were other intelli- gent witnesses who told clearly what took place. It was for the jury to look at the whole case, and to say how far they considered the Crown had made out its case, and it was for them, divesting themselves of all other considera- tions, to consider the matter solely in the light of the evidence they had heard, and to carefully weigh the whole of the evidence in this case remembering the heavy responsibility that rested upon them, but at the same time not shrinking from the conscientious discharge of their duty. They could only be expected to act upon the evidence to the best of human judgment and human capa- city. The prisoners had been defended with very great ability, and speeches had been made which were a credit to the court; but he reminded them that they were not to be determined in a decision by speeches, however valu- able they might have been, but by the evidence itself. If in the case of one, or any, or all of the prisoners they felt an honest reasonable doubt, they must give the prisoners the benefit of that doubt. The responsibility of the verdict was theirs, not his. He had endeavoured to place the matter plainly before them, and it was for them, after weighing the evidence, to say where the truth lay. He would leave the case entirely in their hands, and with them must rest
the responsibility of saying whether the prisoners were guilty
or not. They had a difficult task to perform, but he was sure they would do it fearlessly and faithfully. He said to them in conclusion, with all earnestness and sincerity, and with a due knowledge of the terrible responsibility which rested upon them, that it was they and not him upon whom the responsibility of the verdict rested. He again and again would say to them that if they felt any reasonable possible doubt in favour of one, of any, or all of the prisoners it was their duty to give them, the benefit of such
doubt. But if, on the contrary, they deemed the evidence to have been sufficiently strong against one, or any, or all of the prisoners it rested with them to do their duty fearlessly and impartially, no matter what the consequences might be to one, or any, or all of them. He then asked them to consider their verdict.
The address of his Honor was concluded at 20 minutes past 8 o'clook, and the jury retired at 21 minutes past 8 to
consider their verdict.
The jury returned into court at five minutes to 11 o'clock with a verdict of guilty against the prisoners William Hill, Hugh Miller, George Keegan, George Duffy, William Newman, Michael Donnellan, Joseph Martin, William Boyce, and George Read. The accused persons Michael Mangan and Thomas Oscroft were found not guilty, and were discharged.
The jury recommended the prisoners to mercy on account of their youth.
In reply to the usual question,
The prisoner William Hill said : "Although the jury have found me guilty of a crime for which I am to suffer death, I am perfectly innocent, and that girl and the wit- nesses for the Crown have sworn my life away. I saw the girl that day, and I acted the man to her. My friends and relations outside know I am innocent, and I can go to
the scaffold as an innocent man."
The prisoner George Duffy said he had nothing to say. The prisoner Michael Donnellan said: “Gentlemen of the jury, you have found me guilty, but I am innocent of the charge. Although the gentlemen defending me did their best, Dr. Marsden's evidence condemned me straight. I have nothing more to say. I am not afraid to face death in twelve hours. I am innocent of the charge."
The prisoner Joseph Martin said : "What I did to that girl was with her consent. That is as true as God's in
The prisoner William Boyce said: "Although I am found guilty of this charge I am innocent of it."
The prisoner Hugh Miller said: "I am quite innocent of the serious charge made against me. The first time I saw that girl was on the night of the 9th September, and the witnesses in this case have been prompted by the police to swear my life away. I am innocent."
The prisonor George Read said: "Although I am found guilty of this terrible crime I am innocent. I hope God above will forgive those who have sworn my soul and my life away. I have no more to say."
The prisonor George Keegan said: "I wish to say I am not guilty of this dastardly outrage. If the death sentence is not executed upon me, and I hope it won't be, I will have the honour to bring before you my innocence in the
His HONOR said: Prisoners, you have been convicted of a most atrocious crime, a crime so horrible that every lover of his country must feel that it is a disgrace to our civilisation. I am glad to find that this case has been tried by a jury that has had the intelligence to see through the perjury upon perjury that has been committed on your behalf, and the courage to declare the truth as they see it. It is ter- rible to think that we should have amongst us in this city a class worse than savages, lower in their instincts than the brutes below us. No language could express the abhor- rence of right-thinking men of a scene such as that described by witness after witness in this case, as this poor defenceless girl, friendless and alone, is, like some wild animal, hunted down by a set of savages, who spring upon her and outrage her until she lies a lifeless thing before them, and then, when returning consciousness brings with it the terror of further outrage, she, in frenzy, seeks in such opportunity of death as seems to present itself a refuge from the horrors of her life. I warn you to prepare for death. No hope of mercy can I extend to you. Be sure no weakness of the Executive, no maudlin feeling of pity, will save you from the death you so richly deserve. Those who are charged with the administration of our affairs, to whose keeping is confided the safety of the public, will remember there are things more precious to society than life itself–the honour of our women and the safety of our families, com- pared with which the wretched lives of criminals such as you are of no account. It is true that you are young, but the remembrance of that fact is coupled with the recollec- tion that not twice nor thrice only has public feeling been horrified by the perpetration of similar crimes by young men like yourselves. The present outrage is, I believe, the outcome of the past, and I solemnly express my belief that this cul- minating atrocity has been brought about by the immunity from the death penalty which your class has so long enjoyed upon the ground of your youth. I hold in my hand a list of crimes similar to these which have been perpetrated during the last few years. The first is an outrage that was committed by a number of young men upon a girl in the neighbourhood, of Parramatta-street, but by some mis- chance a gross miscarriage of justice, as l believe, took place in the acquittal of the men. The difficulty of proving such cases is often great, and false evidence is always ready, too ready, at hand to throw its protecting shield around criminals of your class. This out- rage was followed by an outrage upon a young woman at North Shore, and the perpetrators escaped the death penalty on account of their youth. After this an outrage took place upon an old woman in the neighbourhood of Ultimo, and I have not the slightest hesitation in saying that a miscarriage of justice took place there in the ac- quittal of the prisoners, young men like yourselves—an acquittal which amazed me, as the evidence was of the clearest kind. This was followed by another, where the wretched woman was done to death somewhere in the neighbourhood of the locality now made infamous by this crime; and again, as I believe, a miscarriage of justice took place in the entire acquittal of all concerned. This was followed up by another frightful outrage in Woolloomooloo, where the wretched creature was found lying dead, like a dog, naked in the street, under circumstances of outrage too horrible to mention. Only one of the ruffians who out- raged her was brought to justice, but escaped with his life. Again, last year I tried eight men for a concerted outrage of this kind upon an old woman under circumstances too disgusting to refer to. They escaped the death penalty, too, and the outcome of all this mistaken leniency, and failure to convict, is this culminating horror. You cannot expect that those who are charged with the execution of the law will hesitate under all these circumstances
in handing you over to the death which you most righteously deserve. Outrages such as this are not committed upon the children of the rich, the surroundings of whose life give their children protection, but upon the daughters of the people, who in the pursuit of their honest avocations are compelled to go about alone,
exposed to the attacks of such gangs of ruffians as choose to assault them. Under all these circumstances be sure no pity will be extended to you; our pity must be reserved for the homes that are desolated and the victims who are
wrecked for life by outrages such as these. I warn you not to waste your time in idle protestations of your inno- cence. I advise you to prepare to meet your Maker; and if you are capable of understanding the position in which you stand, remember that your time is short. The recommendation to mercy which the jury have made in your favour it will be my duty to convey to the Executive. Your fate rests with them, not with me; but I can hold out no hope that this recommendation will be acted upon after all that has taken place of late years in this country. The time has come when a terrible example must be made of those who seem to be restrained by no pity for their victims, no sense of shame, no dread of the loathing of their fellows. Crimes such as yours it
is too clear can only be restrained by the fear of death, the fate which awaits you, I have now but one duty to dis- charge, and that is to pass upon you the last dread sen-
tence of the law.
Silence having been called,
His Honor, naming each of the prisoners, said: The sentence of the Court is that you be taken hence to the place from whence you came, and thence, on a day hereafter to be named by the Governor in Council, to the place of execution and that there you be severally hanged by the neck until your bodies be dead. God help you to repent of
The prisoners, who appeared unmoved by the sentence, were then conducted from the Court to Darlinghurst gaol, and the Court was adjourned until 10 o'clock this (Monday)