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5 corrections, most recently by Rhonda.M - Show corrections


BEECHWORTH, Monday.      

Ned Kelly made some very important state-   ments to a reporter in Beechworth gaol yesterday.   Reporter: " You have said you were hardly and     unjustly treated by the police, and that you were  

hounded down by them. Can you explain what you mean." Kelly: "Yes; "I can. McIntyre, in his evidence said I told him Lonergan had given me a hid- ing in Benalla; it is not true that I ever said this to McIntyre, but I will tell you what the real facts  

are, which probably McIntyre may be acquainted with. Some time ago I had been drinking, and I think I was drugged. I was arrested for some trifling offence — riding over a footpath, I believe — and lodged in the lockup. On the fol-

lowing day, when I was taken out of the lockup, and still dazed, I escaped and was pursued by the police. I took refuge in a shoemaker's shop, and four constables soon came in after me. They, assisted by the owner of the shop, tried to put the handcuffs on me, but failed. In the struggle that ensued my trousers were almost torn off me. Finding me a more difficult man to manage than they expected, Lonergan seized me in such a cruel, cowardly, and disgusting manner that he inflicted terrible pain on me, but still I would not surrender. The act of Lonergan, which cannot be described, might have ruined me for life, if it did not actually kill me. While the struggle was still going on, a miller came in, and, seeing how I was being ill-treated, said the police should be ashamed of themselves, and he en-   deavoured to pacify them, and induced me to be handcuffed. I allowed this man to put the handcuffs on me, though I refused to submit to the police. It may seem strange, but it is as true as I am here from that time up to Lonergan's death I suffered excruciating pain from his treatment, but, from the day of his death until now I have been free from that pain and the ill effects I before experienced." Reporter: " That is one of   the examples you give of an exasperating char- acter of the harsh treatment indulged in by the police." Kelly: " It was in the course of this at-  

tempted arrest Fitzpatrick endeavoured to catch hold of me by the foot, and in the struggle    

he tore the sole and heel of my boot clean off. With  

one well-directed blow, I sent him sprawling against the wall, and the staggering blow I then gave him partly accounts to me for his subsequent conduct towards my family and myself." Reporter: "Now, Kelly, what is the real history of Fitz- patrick's business; did he over try to take liberties with your sister, Kate Kelly?" "No, that is a foolish story; if he or any other policeman tried to take   liberties with my sister, Victoria would not hold him." Reporter: "Then what is the real story?" Kelly: " I will tell you. I declare     to you that I felt more keenly than I can express the unjust treatment meted out to my mother, who was arrested with a baby at her breast and convicted of a crime of which she was innocent." Reporter: " Tell me the whole   story of that affair." Kelly: " I will. My mother,   her son-in-law Skillion, and a man named William Williamson, were tried October 28, 1878, at the Beechworth assizes, by Sir Redmond Barry, who sentenced my mother to three years, and Skillion and Williamson to six years each. Williamson is   not related to us; he occupied land at Greta. The   one witness of the alleged attempt at murder was constable Fitzpatrick, who has since been dismissed from the police force. His evidence, I declare, is foully false. On the 24th of October my mother,   brother-in-law, and Williamson were sentenced, and the police started to arrest my brother Dan and me on the 25th October, or 13 days after my mother was sentenced. Now, the following is a true version of the affair. I think a warrant had been issued at Chiltern for Dan's arrest on a  

charge of horsestealing, of which he was quite innocent. Before this warrant could reach Fitz- patrick, he somehow became aware of it, and  

started out to Greta to arrest Dan. He got drinking at some place in the neighbourhood while he was watching for Dan to come home. He saw Dan outside the house, and said to him " Dan, I want you to come into town with me." " No," says Dan, "I don't care to go into town; I have no business with you." " Oh," said Fitzpatrick, " there is a warrant against you for horse steal- ing." "Very well," said Dan, "if that is the case I will go; but I have just come in from a long ride, so let me have something to eat before I go." Thereupon the two went into my mother's place. Dan did not like to tell my mother, and Fitzpatrick was silent, but after a little time he said he was going into town with Fitzpatrick, and my mother wanting to know what for, Fitzpatrick said " There is a warrant out against him, and I have arrested him." "Well," said Dan, "you have said so much   about a warrant; show us your warrant." Fitz- patrick said, " I have got no warrant, but a tele- gram came saying there was a warrant out for you." " Well," said my mother, who was putting some fire on the oven, in which she was baking, "I don't see why any man should be taken on the mere word of a policeman;   and Dan, you need not go unless you like." Fitzpatrick at once drew his revolver, and covered my mother with it, saying, " I will blow your brains out if you interfere." My mother said to Fitzpatrick, " You would not be so ready to show that pop-gun of yours if Ned was here." Instantly, Dan, with the view of distracting his attention, cried out, " There is Ned coming along by the side of the house." Fitzpatrick at once fell into the ruse, and looked in the direction indicated by Dan,

but I was not in fact within 200 miles of the place at the time. Directly Dan saw that his atten- tion was taken off him, he rushed him, disarmed him, emptied his revolver, gave it him back, and let him go, not offering any violence whatever. A day or two after, my mother, Skillian, and Williamson, neither of whom were present on that occasion, were arrested on a charge of aiding and abetting an attempt by me to murder Fitzpatrick, and confined six months before they were tried. In May, 1878, a reward of £100 was offered for my apprehension for this alleged attempt at murder. At the trial Fitzpatrick swore I shot him in the wrist, and he was afterwards compelled to submit to the cutting out of the bullet. I now know the position in which I stand, and now declare to God Fitzpatrick's statement is false from beginning to end. My version may be doubted, but there are one or two facts that help me. Fitzpatrick has been since dismissed from the force. Dr. Nicholson gave evidence that Fitz- patrick's wound might have been caused as stated by him, but that he had not probed the wound. Since the trial the doctor has told Fitz-

patrick that his wound was never caused by a bullet. I believe Fitzpatrick, in order to give a colour to his story and to relieve himself for his failure to arrest Dan, inflicted a mere flesh wound on his wrist, but whether it was so or not I declare that his statement affecting me was wilfully and deliberately false, for I was not within hundreds of miles of the place at the time. At the time my mother was arrested up to her sentence, Dan and myself kept out of the way, and were earning our living quietly by digging. As soon as my mother's conviction had been obtained in that way, the police evidently

made a determined effort to earn the reward that I believe had been increased to £200. I am much

indebted to apprehenders, but I firmly believe they only wanted the slightest pretext to shoot my brother and myself."