(FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.)
10th April, 1855.
Resuming my report of the Sessions here, I may remark on the lightness of the calendar, which has proved to be much lighter than it appeared to be at first sight, especially as to the absence of any deep or deadly crimes, which speaks greatly in favor of the moral condition of these gold-fields generally.
W.H. Smith was charged with horse stealing. The prisoner, who is well known as late landlord of the Carriers' Arms, challenged two jurymen. The Crown Prosecutor presented two counts in the indictment,-one for the felony, and another for the unlawful use of the animals, to the injury of
the owner. There were two mares taken from
the paddock of Wm. Fullarton, a near neighbor of the prisoner's, at Elphinstone. The com- plainant, on or about the 8th December, found
his fence broken down, and the marks of the horses passing through. Saw one of his horses that day in the bush, but did not get it for three weeks, and got the other in six weeks. Smith and himself has quarrelled. They were on bad terms. One Wm. Reid, a servant of Smith's, had been tried for stealing one of the horses and been acquitted last sessions.
Edward M'Grath, late servant of the prisoner,
Swore that on the evening of 6th Dec. her was of- fered £5 by Smith to steal Fullarton's mares, which he refused to do. That on tho night of the 7th he saw tho prisoner and other two men, Leach and Benton, break down Fullarton's fence, and take away the horses, bringing them into prisoner's stable. They saddled them, and Leach and Benton rode them away. Witness had a tent outside the house. Had been with Smith thirteen months. Ho remained with him up to the 24th January, and gave no information of the robbery till after that, not liking to be an informer. He heard Smith use threats of further injury to Fullarton after the horses were lost. He was turned off, and charged with stealing three half-crowns when he demanded his wages,-an usual plan, he said, with Smith when wages were asked. The two abettors tried to make him drunk the night of the robbery. He had married a servant woman in Smith's house after the robbery, but had never communicated a word regarding the robbery to her from that time up to the prosent. Never said anything about it to his wife, nor combined with her as to their evidence. There were no other persons in tho house but himself and the said Ellen Fenton, now his wife, and Smith's family.
Ellen M'Grath, wife of former witness, saw the mares brought to the yard by the parties aforenamed, there saddled and ridden away. Had given the prisoner a coat to put on before ho went out, and watched from her bedroom window. Smith said next morning to
her that Fullarton's mares were stolen. He answered that she knew it. A foal of one of the mares passed by, and Smith said to her, " What fools they were to have let it come back ; they
should have cut its throat." Never told her hus-
band a word about it, nor agreed as to what they should swear ; never spoke about the trial to him ; had other things to talk of. Never in- formed Fullarton of what she saw, and only told the police when Reid was taken up for stealing one of the mares. Was married after the rob- bery. They had their wedding dinner at Smith's, for which they paid. There was no one in tho house but herself and Smith's family.
Mr. Ireland, for defendant, sought chiefly to discredit the two former witnesses, dwelling on the improbability or impossibility of their never having communicated on such a subject.
For the defence, J. L. Brown swore that he was in Smith's employ, and living at his house at the time of the mares being stolen, and that Smith was then absent at Melbourne from the 6th to the 10th December, and that what M'Grath said was false. He himself was about
Henry Potter had been also in Smith's em- ployment, slept in the stable that night, and swore the samo as last witness as to Smith's absence. Leach and Benton were also absent.
William Reid swore that he got off on his trial on M'Grath's evidence, who said to him, when he was discharged and left the court, that he only said what he did to got
Ellen M'Grath had been offered money by Smith, but never said she would make all right if paid £20.
William Reid swore that she came to him, and asked him to tell Smith that if he gave her £20, to pay her passage to Van Diemen'sLand, she
would be off.
The learned Judge summed up briefly, re- marking on the incredibility of the witnesses, M'Grath and wife, who never communicated a word on all this matter to each other ; and that he could not see that tho case for the prosecution was established on such evidence, leaving that for the jury to decide. Verdict, " Not
James Gundi was charged with the man slaughter of William Ellson. Prisoner and de- ceased were mates at Hepburn, Jim Crow
Charles Jordan stated that he knew prisoner as Thomas Jones. The deceased, who was fifty years of age, was at his tent when the prisoner came and charged bim with stealing some £3 from him,-had some words, and prisoner knocked down Ellson, and went away, saying he would burndown the tent. He returned with four others, and witness warned them not to enter the tent. They, however, did so, and while two stuck him up in the corner, the others went into the next room. He heard his mate there say, they had put Ellson on the fire. He said he would apply to the Commissioner
They answered, "Don't do that, and it shall bo all arranged." Saw Ellson afterwards very much burnt, ho was so unwell that he stopped there that night, and next day w cnt to his own tent. The Commissioner sent a doctor to bim. Ho was ill for a week, the last few days insensible,
and then he died.
Daniel Smith stated that ho was in the tent, and was stuck up by these intruders, who scarchcdEllson nnd took money from his pockets. The prisoner put Ellson on the fire, and as he got off the fire, another of the mon pushed him back on it again.
L. Butner, a chemist, sent by the Commissioner, treated the deceased for the burns, and also for a pain in the chest, where he said he had received a kick. Dr. Prcshaw saw deceased, and examine! his body after death, found him burnt about tho head and hand. His lungs were diseased ant liver also, the heart healthy, and very smal ; being put on tho fire or kicked might producá death in this case ; the chemist had treated the patient judiciously.
The prisoner, in defence, said they had two bottles of brandy together, when he fell asleep, and on awaking found his money gone ; went to Jordan's tent ; found EUsjri
there, and asked for his money, and was laughed at. The deceased struck him, they fought, and when he knocked Ellson down he fell on the fire.
His Honor charged the jury that, if they believed that Ellson'« death was caused or hastened by being put on the fire aad oilier ill-usage, they would find the prisoner guilty. Tho jury presently gave their verdict, ' Guilty." The judge, in passing sentenco, lectured the prisoner on tho hcartlcssncss of his conduct, cspco-'nlly towards so old a mun ; thero was n» cause to show leniency, and he sentenced him ti teven years on the roads, which punishment w*s to take effect after the expiration of the term to which he was condemned for another crime.
IVm. Hugh, for stealing two horses, pleaded guilty, and offered no defence: sentenced to five years on the roads.
Geo. Haines, for stealing from the pers»n a pocket-book containing money, pleaded guilty and made no defence : sentenced to two ycara on
John, a Bengalee, charged with Btcaling a purse containing some £35 in money and two gold rings, keeps a boarding-house at Fryer's Creek. Alie, a fellow-countryman, slept at his tent one night, had the purse and contents whoa lie laid down, and had not seen it since. Asked the prisoner about it, when ho missed it ia the morning, who denied having it, and ho then went to tho commissioner. This complainant was sworn on tho bible, which hs declared was ns binding on him as an oath oa the Koran, but counsel for defendant made great objection to this course. Mahomet, another Eist Indian, swore that he lodged at that tent tho same night, and slept with Alie in the same bed, and six persons slept in the same room. At about one o'clock he had occasion to get up and go cut, and returned to his bed. He sawthepri-toner take the pouch from Alic's pocket. Ile asked him why he did so, and he replied, for a lark, aad that ho would return it in the morning. Wit- ness got up and loft the tent early in tho morn- ing, before anyone elso in the tent was awake, and went on his way. There was no light in tho tent, but it was a star-light night. He said nothing about it then, but afterwards, when Alie complained to him of lils loss, told him not to trouble himself, for John had his pouch and
Mr. Thompson, for the defence, argued that there was no probability attached to, or reliance to bo placed on, Mahomet's evidence ; and, with- out wishing to make any charge, it appeared by his conduct, in going off as he did that he was as likely to be the thief as the prisouer.
His Honor seemed to entertain much the same
opinion, by expressing very strong doubts as to the evidence, which, however, he left the jury
to decide on.
Vordict, promptly given, Not guilty.
Thomas Slattery, for stealing a horse of the escort service, from the Government Paddock, at Amherst (Kingower). It was proved by a ser géant and constable of the police, that the horse was used from March to November by the escort, was lost the first week in Decem- ber, and found in Mr. Twist's auction yard, at Simson's; and the Crown produced tho evidence given by the prisoner bot' >ro the police, wherein he said ho bought the horse in October for £28, und produced a receipt.
The prisoner, in defence, urged that ho was not in'possossiou of the horse,-in fact, that ho bad nothing to do with it ; and 'that it was not fair to try him for the "theft with- out bringing up Mr. Twist, in whoäo Î-ard the horse was found, and who hod givoa
lim in charge. His Honor pointed out the va- rious anomalies in the case to.tho jury, who, not being satisfied as to the proofs against the pri- soner, gnvo a verdict of Not guilty.
Sobert Bardsley, was charged with assault, aud fhe robbery of 5 ozs. of gold from Joseph Bar3el, an Italian. Complainant, on his road from dig- ging at Italian Gully, passed the prisoner's tent, and had a glass of brandy, was invited into ths lent ; his mate, Marco, who was before with him, having then gono away, was robbed and beaton.
After this two other men came in and turned him out. Said ho wa) sober at tho time. A constable stated that Bar: el came to Kyneton to complain, with his face cut, whereupon the prisoner was taken up. Tho latter, in defence, denied tho fact, saying that ho was not at tho tent at the time, and that complainant had not the cut on his faco when he left the tent.
His Honor left the evidence to the jury. Ver- dict : Guilty.
Tho Judgo would not bo harsh, as it did not appear any weapon had been used by prisoner ; giving him seven years on tho roads, and not in irons on tho latter account.
His Honor Judge Williams having gono through the Civil canes in the Supremo Court at an early hour this morning, by which it may bo concluded how few and unimportant they wero, took his de- parture for town at about two o'clock.
The weather is fine, but the nights are sul Ucnly become bitterly cold, and no prospect of tho much-desired rains, unless the white frost which crusted the ground early this morning be a sign of it; and notwithstanding these sessions the town is about as dull as usual, and will hardly improve until tho puddlers have water to ret to work in earnest, or the dig- gers find somo better holes.