Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

9 corrections, most recently by Bjenks - Show corrections




At the Central Criminal Court on Saturday, before his Honor Mr. Justice Windeyer, the trial of the prisoners con- cerned in the Waterloo outrage was concluded: William Hill, George Duffy, William Newman, Michael Donnellan,

Thomas Oscroft, Joseph Martin, William Boyce, Hugh   Miller, Robert George Read, George Keegan, and Michael Mangan were charged for that they did, on the 9th of

September, at Waterloo, ravish and carnally know Mary Jane Hicks against her consent.      

Mr. Teece, with him Mr. Pring, instructed by Mr. Williams, Crown Solicitor, appeared for the prosecution.    

Messrs. Elles and Scholes, instructed by Mr. Gannon, ap- peared for Oscroft, Martin, Miller, Keegan, and Newman ; Mr. Gibson, instructed by Mr. Gannon, appeared for Hill and Mangan; Mr. O'Mara instructed by Mr. H. Lovien for Read; Mr. Moriarty instructed by Mr. M. William- son (Williamson and Williamson), for Boyce ; Mr. Cana- way for Duffy, and Mr. Edmunds, for Donnellan, both instructed by Mr. Williamson.      

At the time we went to press on Saturday morning counsel for the defence were addressing the jury. The following is the continuation of the report:  

Mr. O'Mara addressed the jury on behalf of his client,  

Read, who, he thought, had every reason to complain of an enquiry upon which his life depended being taken at such a late hour. Time ought to be     no consideration with any of them in a case   of life and death. They had the unwanted spectacle of 11 young men placed in the dock charged with a crime for which each of them might be sent to the gallows. Those young men were called upon to satisfy the jury that they   were not guilty; and it was his duty, on the half of his client, to submit his defence why he should not suffer death at the hands of the law. Outside the crime with which his client was charged no young man had ever stood in the dock with a better character. Mr. O'Mara then referred to the evidence given by respectable witnesses as to the good character of his client. He contended that when the pro- secutrix was called upon to recognise these men she was not in a fit condition to identify them. It     was a cruel thing to the girl to bring Miller, the first one arrested, into the girl's presence when she was in an almost unconscious condition, to ask her to identify him; but it   was a more cruel thing to Miller, to whom it was a matter of life and death. The proper mode of identification would have been to have placed the accused amongst other young fellows, and asked the prosecutrix to point out those who had perpetrated the outrage. He characterised the witness Smith as a scoundrel, who had sworn to what was not a

fact, if he had not sworn to an absolute lie, on the subject of identification; and maintained that if ever an alibi had   been established in a court of justice he (Mr. O'Mara) had proved it on behalf of his client. In conclusion, he     claimed that if they felt any reasonable doubt as to his   client's guilt, they must give him the benefit of it.

Mr. Teece, for the Crown, rose at a quarter to 2 o'clock to reply. He said that, with his learned friend, he regretted they should, at such a late hour, be called upon to listen to the arguments of counsel. His learned friend claimed that if they had any doubt his client should receive the benefit of it; but he (Mr. Teece) maintained that such a doubt must be that of thinking, reasonable men, not the doubt of vacillation. Mr. O'Mara had dwelt for some time on the testimony as to his client's character but he left that for the jury to decide after the evidence to which they had listened during the trial. With reference to the character of the evidence, he pointed out that there was nothing whatever to show that the evidence given for the Crown was marked by vindictiveness against any one of the prisoners. But in the case of the witnesses for the defence   they had heard evidence with which people conversant with courts were but too familiar. Let them look at     the character of the witnesses for the defence.   Some of them were thieves, and some who were   married men were living apart from their wives. One of the Counsel for defence characterised the unfortunate victim as a virtuous girl, and another put a witness forward, though he did not believe one word of it, to try and prove that she was a prostitute. He asked the jury to consider the character of the witnesses for     the Crown. Nothing was said against Stanley. Mr. Moriarty said that the lad Smith was an intelligent, good witness; Mr. O'Mara denounced him as an unmitigated liar. The question was, whether he had an object in telling the truth, whether his accounts had been the same all through. He maintained that the lad's con- duct all through had been such as they could have expected from a jockey boy. If he had de-   parted from the statements made by him when at the police court there were half a dozen barristers to have cross-questioned him. Smith was a most important witness, and he asked if his evidence had been shaken in any one point. On the other hand, it had been strongly corroborated by the other witnesses for the Crown. His Honor would point out to them that it was not necessary for the Crown to prove that     each one of the prisoners had committed an assault upon the girl, if it were shown that they were there in com- pany when some others of them were guilty of the crime. Innocent men did not require to put witnesses   into the box to tell lies, as was the case with two of the witnesses. The prisoner Duffy stood identified by five witnesses, and stood out also as the   greatest ruffian. He had likewise confessed to par- ticipation, but alleged that it was with the woman's consent. He pointed to discrepancies between the statement made by the prisoner Newman when arrested, and by the witnesses called for his defence. In the case of the prisoner Donnellan, he said, when arrested, "I took good care you would not catch me." Why should   an innocent man make such a statement? According to his     statement, he was down town all day; according to the witnesses for the defence, he was about his mother's house the whole day; and where they found such discre-   pancies in the evidence for the defence it strengthened the case for the Crown. It was a very strange thing that when the prisoner Oscroft was arrested he did not say, "It was impossible for me to be there, because I was driv-   ing a greengrocer's cart at the time." Nothing was easier   than for him to have done so, if it had been the fact. But the first the Crown heard of this defence was when the witnesses

were called, for the defence. In the case of Boyce, he found that he was identified by six witnesses. The defence set up in his case was an alibi. It was attempted to be   proved that he could hot have been at the outrage, because he was selling fowls. The prisoner's father and mother   stated to the constables that the prisoner was not out of the house all day, and the defence set up on the trial was that he was out selling fowls on that very day. Then just after the outrage he disappeared, and was     found travelling under an assumed name, and, more than that, he refused to give the police any information as to   where he was on the day of the outrage. The defence, he said, was a lying defence—there was no fowl transaction there. Coming to Miller and Keegan, there were three wit- nesses swore to Miller, and two to Keegan. In their cases an attempt was made to prove an alibi, but their witness could not say at what hour he saw them; there were so many persons in and out during the day that he    

could not fix the hour at which he saw     them, so that defence was worthless. The pri- soner Read was next referred to, and it was stated that he travelled in the wool season for work, but it was a most extraordinary thing that he should have travelled under a false name. When arrested he gave a false name, and refused to furnish any information to the police. Those facts were strong evidence of' guilt. He next referred to the   prisoner Mangan, and did not wish to say a word against the witnesses called on his behalf, but it was a strange thing that when asked about Mangan's whereabouts at a certain hour the principal witness said he could not say whether the man he supposed to be Mangan was Mangan or not. The prisoner Martin was sworn to by three witnesses as having taken a very active part in this outrage. He asked them, in conclusion, if they were convinced beyond reason- able doubt, to stamp out this evil, which was destroying the fair fame of this land.        

His Honor said that at that late hour he would not commence to address them, but would do so at 9 o'clock on

Saturday morning.                 The Court adjourned at 3.30 a.m. until 9 o'clock. "  

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