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2 corrections, most recently by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

POLICE COURT.

Tuesday. May 14.

James Johnson alias William Cooper alias James Wilhams was charged with the wilful murder of a man whose name is supposed to be James Bunton, near the junction of the Darling aud the fei ur ay, on or about the 21st April last.

The prisoner, who is the person at first supposed to hare been tbe same with the notorious Hamilton, is a man of most repulsive appearance. H is left eye, which is nearly closed from the effect of some disease, presents a raw and ghastly spectacle ; the cheek is contracted towards the withered eye, and the cor

responding corner of the mouth drawn up con- j siderably out of its place. The Court, as might have been expected, was crowded to suffocation.

We understand that the prisoner, who had refused to eat since his capture, was threatened by the Colonial Surgeon, on his arrival at the station house, with medical treatment, unless he could find his appetite ; he preferred food to medicine, and has since eaten very heartily.

James McLeod, stockholder on the Darling1 I Left his station on the 9th inst. ; had business in

town, but was induced to come down much sooner, from suspecting prisoner to have stolen two horses : saw him first, on the 20th April, near the Darling1, in company with a man whom he had heard called James Bunton ; they were assisting a man, named Thomas Moore, to cross the river Darling with a dray ; saw no more of them till the next morning (Snnday) when they were going up the river on the opposite side ; enquired who they were, and Moore said they were the same persons ; heard that they stopped at Dr. Fletcher's, but saw no more of them ; they were leading horses, and were mounted them selves ; on Monday evening a man came to his place in Search of a horse, which he supposed they had stolen ; lent him a horse on Tuesday morning to follow them ; he returned on Thursday with the horse he had borrowed, but not that he had lost ; he said he had overtaken oue man who confessed that he had stolen the horse and exchanged it for a mare he had with him ; he said he did not take the mare from the man, bnt witness had since beard that he did ; sent James Smith, a man in his employ, to look for his horses ; he returned on the 29th without finding them, but said he had heard of one man driving horses on the road; witness started the same day in pursuit of the man ; followed him for four days, and reported the case at Moorundee; did not return to his station again ; heard of the pri- soner all the way down the Murray, but not any- thing of his companion, except that he had said he left him on the Murray; had not recovered the mare and colt he had lost; reported the murder to   the police, as well as the loss of the horses ; re- ported the murder first to Dr. Fletcher, one of his neighbours ; heard of it first from Mr Paterson, who brought some bones with him ; could not say what bones they were; they were human bones, and there were some teeth ; some of the bones

were those of the hand ; went to look at the place where the bones were found ; was directed to it by Mr Paterson's shepherd who had seen the fire burning ; it was about a mile or a little more from witness's place, on a billy bong; the fire was not burning, but there was a great mass of timber ; it was an old tree that was lying on the ground, and the fire had spread ; near where the large fire had been there was the appearance of a small camp fire, but nothing like a wurley or breakwind ; touched none of the bones till he made the report at Dr. Fletcher's, whose son and Mr Moore, J.P., returned with him ; besides the bones, there were a knife and a spur alongside of the fire ; there were also

parts of a skull, very much broken ; there were a number of buttons also in the ashes ; all the things

mentioned are still at witness's station ; there were two small pices of bone, supposed to belong to the scull, not much burnt; thev were merely small

splinters, and seemed to have been broken, not cut ;

there was blood close to the large fire, between that and the small fire ; the tree, before it was burnt, would have made a breakwind ; could not say. as the small fire had spread, whether there had been room between it and the tree for a person to have laid down ; there was not much blood, no hair, nor any appearance of struggling, but the ashes were thrown about in some places ; from the position of the bones, should suppose that the body was laid at full length in the fire; left all the things knife, spur, Seo., with Mr McPherson, to keep safe; they live in the same house ; it was about the 24th April that the bones were found; started from his station when Smith returned ou the 29th ; horses appeared to have been tied to the trees round about the place where the fire was; they had not been' allowed to feed ; found out two places where pri soner had camped on his way down, besides hearing of him at places where he had called ; believed the Erisoner to be the same man he saw with Bunton ;

is waistcoat (blue velveteen) was similar, bat was not near enough to him when he was with Bunton for the buttons to be seen; he wore gaiters or leggings over his trousers similar to those the pri soner had on ; Dr. Fletcher could speak to him more positively, as be stopped there for the night ; did not know Bunton ; did not notice the brands of the horses ; only saw them ou the opposite side of the river ; could not say -whether the men were armed ; heard the same description of the prisoner at each place where he had stopped, but he did not appear to have ridden the same horse all the way up ; the first was a grey one ; heard of the horses he had with him all the way along the road ; had not seen the prisoner before seeing him, as he

thought, with Bunton. j

By prisoner-The first time I saw yon was on a Saturday evening on the banks of the Darling ; I

did not notice whether you had anything with !

you.

By His Worahip-rHe waa not riding at that time; was told next morning that the men riding en the opposite side of the river were the same, but had no further means of knowing ; the blood at the camp fire was about four or five yards from where the body appeared to have lain ; did not know how many horses the men had ; did not count them, but was told there were seven ; prisoner told the nag man whose horse he had taken, that Bunton

gone to McCalvay's, but on enquiry it was found that no such person had been there.

Robert McCnlloch, Sergeant-Major of Polk» - Received informatica through Corporal Dungey, at the police barracks, at two o'clock «n Wednesday morning, May 8, that a murder had been committed ;

reported the ease at daylight to Hr Alford ; accom panied him np town, and got on the trail of the prisoner that morning ; heard that be had left on Sunday; started in pursuit on Wednesday, and reached Wellington, on the Murray, the same evening ; crossed the river on Thursday morning at daylight, and followed on ; at five o'clock came nd with the prisoner close by the Salt Creek, on the Coorong, seventy miles from Wellington ; he was encamped and drinking some tea ; another man was with him, named Carney, a settler in the Tatiara country, who was travelling overland with him ; Mr Alford galloped np a-head, and witness came to the rear of the men ; both jumped off their horses, and Mr Alford desired witness to secure the prisoner ; ' Mr Alford told him he was a prisoner on a charge

of morder he replied, it was "a heavy charge ; Mr Alford cautioned him very distinctly to he careful in making any statement to him-then asked bim where he had got the horses he brought down the Murray ; he said he bought them of a man on the Murray, for either £37 or £47, witness could «not say which ; Mr Alford asked him the name of the S man, and he said he did not know ; had handcuffed

him at the first, and now proceeded to search him, by Mr Alford's orders, lie had saddle bags made of a common flour bag ; there were in it a woollen night cap, and a brown silk handkerchief with white spots, which had apparently been washed and ironed since it was used There were a few pairs of cotton

socks one blue and one white cotton shirt clean and

one dirty shirt. There was another silk pocket handkerchief (coloured) in the saddle-bags, also a towel with no name on it. and a new hat-ribbon, a blue cotton handkerchief, and an old black silk neck erchief, a new pair of tweed trousers, ration bags with some tea and sugar in them, a watch-coat, a pair ot new spurs, and a small paper of such nails as saddlers nse ; a ticken bag, containing a house wife with needles, thread, and a small tooth-comb ; a new razor in a leather case, shaving box, &c. Wit ness found a pistol capped bnt not loaded in the Erisoner's coat pocket. There were in the ticken

ag a wooden whistle and a German-silver clasp comb, and a box of caps to suit the pistol, soap brush, and an oilskin cover for a cap ; three pocket knives, two old and one a new one ; one of them had two blades ; and a corkscrew and a steel to strike fire with. A large hunting silver watch was also fonnd in the bag ; there was no name on it ; it was capped and jewelled and numbered 9726, with a steel chain and a common key attached. Also a kangaroo-skin pouch containing an order numbered 67, drawn by Maria Mate, dated January 8th, on Mr Thomas H. Mate, of Tarcutta, in favour of Peter Taylor. Also an auction note of which the follow ing is a copy : -

" Melbourne, 9th August, 1849. u Ralston,

*' Bought of Bear and Son at auction White horse (very dirty).. £6 5 0 Duty .0 1 0

6 6 0

By deposit. 1 0 0

5 6 0

" Received Bear and Son, «. Per H. Whitehouse."

Also au order for £ I 3s. as follows

" fl 3s, Sterling Bengallow Greek,

8th April, 1850.

" Please pay Thomas Jones or bearer, One Pound three shillings on account of JOHN MCKINLAY,

E. N. Emmett, Esq.,

Hindley-street, Adelaide.

Also a discharge of James Johnson from the service of William White, Mooney Ponds, dated March 12th, 1850. Also the following:

Certificate of Freedom, dated Sydney, 20th March,

1844.

"Name, William Cooper alias James Johnson. " Trade, labourer.

" Convicted in 1837, at Kent Assizes. " Became free 20th March, 1844.

"Boru in 1811. Native place, West Kent

" Height 5ft. 6| inches. j " Complexion, ruddy. " Hair, brown.

" Eyes, dark hazel.

"Left eye much inflamed and swollen from

natural affection.

«. Scar on heel of left hand."

A five shilling note, healed BOYD, payable in Sydney or Twofold Bay ; two £1 notes, of the Melbourne branch of the Union Bank, and one £l note of the Sydney branch of the same Bank ; 29 sovereigns, two halfcrowns, and two sixpences. He had also a saddle and bridle and a strong martingale, with a very fine bay mare, with black points, a star on fore

head, and a white stripe on the nose, and branded ! J W on the near shoulder. She was three years old,, and appeared as if she had recently slipped her foal, j The prisoner had a new tether-rope and neck-strap, and brown girths to the saddle and saddle-bags. The certificate of freedom described him correctly, except that his eye was there called dark hazel. Witness would term it light hazel, but was aware that the colour of the eye often changes. The saddle be had with him was not very new-it was apparently of colonial make. The last day's jour ney made by witness and Mr Alford was very severe -about seventy miles. Could not distinguish the different places where the prisoner had camped, as so many travellers passed on the same road. He must have taken pretty long journeys. Some natives were near him, and the mare was feeding. she did not seem fagged ; she was so quiet as to be easily caught. From the time of his capture on Thursday to the time he was given np at the police-office on Monday, he ate nothing but a few monthfulis the second day ; food was offered him, but he refused it. He took one glass of wine and one glass of brandy -very little tea, merely enough to rince his mouth; he was constantly chewing tobacco ; he pretended to spit a little, but must have swallowed the greater portion of the juice.

The prisoner, whe declined asking any questions,

was remanded for a week.

An immense mob followed him as he was taken handcuffed to the station house. He walked as hastily a3 possible, but kept his head bent down, as if he felt much annoyed at becoming so great an object of public curiosity.

Wednesday, May 15th.

Charles Clark iras charged with creating a dis- j turbanco in the streets.

It was not proved that he was drank; bat he ap peared to have been labouring auder some mental i excitement ; crying out ** Molder.0 He did the

same after being taken to the station house. I Discharged.

The prisioner was again taken in charge in thc coarse of the day, and sent to gaol fiar a week fer safe custody as a dangerous lunatic

Edward McCabe appeared on remand, charged with feloniously receiving a quantity of stolen lace.

His Worship (Mr Tolmer], asked Mr Hanson whether Mr McCabe were acting ander las advice.

Mr Hanson-Decidedly.

. His Worship-Are you aware thnt he insulted me in my private room at the time of entering into

his recognizance?

Mr Hanson-He did not do so by my advice.

His Worship-He said that he would make me Ey for this. I made no answer ; but I wish it to

understood that I have only acted in this matter in consequence of information laid officially before me. I know nothing of the witness Denmead, and

I had no communication with h'm before he was ex

amined in Court. The circumstances of a supposed robbery were brought under my notice, and I was bound in duty to investigate thens. 'Mr McCabe appears to think that I instituted the charge. He is mistaken. I only acted in this as I should in any

other case.

Mr H anson-Had certainly been at a loss to know on what information his Wouship could have been proceeding ; or what could have induced him to remand the case, when there was no evidence of any robbery having been committed.

H is Worship-Mr Bobin swore that to the best of his belief the lace was stolen from him. That was sufficient to justify a remand.

Sergeant Reid stated that some of the witnesses were still unable to attend from illness. They could only speak to their having purchased cards of lace

at Mr McCabe's.

William Henry Belcher. Hindley-street, store keeper-Knew nothing about the cards of lace pro duced. Denmead brought one of them to him, and said he had bought it for sixpence. Did nothing in consequence. Went nowhere with Denmead. The lace was shown iu consequence of a conversation they had on the nuisance of the night auctions. Gave no information to the police-had none to give-knew nothing.

Charles Robin, recalled-The cards produce

were the eame, he be ieved, that he saw on hi8 former examination ; they had bis mark, bat having so many of the same kind, he could not speak to them positively ; one of them was brought to his house by the police, the other by Denmead, the the person who 6poke so long the other day ; a policeman was at the door while Denmead was in the shop, and they went away together; a policeman called shortly afterwards; could not say if it were the same; did not know who sent Denmead to him; gave no information to the police; did not tell them nor Denmead that he had been robbed, and stated so last time ; what Denmead said was not true, all

that he said was that if those cards of lace were

sold for six-pence apiece, he thought they must have been stolen ; was not able to say that .he had been robbed ; had said that to the best of his belief the cards must have been Btolen, because he knew that he had sold none under 5s 6d ; that, and the way in which Denmead came to him on the subject, were the only things which created a suspicion in his mind ; had never seen him before he called at the shop; knew nothing more of the matter, but about a week ago a man named Jones, whom he pointed out, came into his shop and stated ¡hit ho bought four cards of lace there for 5s 6d and 4s 6d each, and that he had afterwards sold them at Mr McCabe's for a shining each ; could not say whether the cards produced were some of those spoken of by Jones ; did not direct Denmead to go to the police, asked him his motive, as he suspected he was put to it by pawnbrokers in the town, he said he was actuated by those feelings which ought to exist between man and man, and was determined to in vestigate the matter: did not by word or deed urge him to go to the police, had given information to the police since the last examination relative to a person he suspected, but had given them none pre viously.

His Worship thought that after this additional evidence, it was unnecessary to proceed with the

case.

Mr Hanson expressed his regret at the course which had been pursued by the police ; had they mentioned to Mr McCabe in the first instance the correct date of the transaction, they would hare found an entry of the lace as received from Jones on the 28th January, and the particulars of the ac* count sales rendered to him. They would also have found on further enquiry that it was bought by Jones of Messrs Robin at its full value. It was not right that a person of respectable character and of five years standing iu the colony, should thus be brought forward as a felon,. without the slightest evidence. Mr McCabe had ia the most honorable

manner produced his books to the police, suffered them to inspect them, and aided them in their

search.

His Worship denied that there was no evidence. First, there was that of Denmead. who spoke to the purchase of the goods at Mr McCabe's auction ; then there was Mr Robin's evidence, identifying the goods; next that of the police-sergeant to whom Mr McCabe denied that he ever sold them.

Mr Hanson -That was on reference to his books under the incorrect date given him. It cannot be supposed that a man who sells two or three hun dred articles in an evening, 'can carry each one in his head and remember all about it three or four months afterwards. His books were .first shown to the police ia his absence, and afterwards he searched for two or three weeks farther back than the date they gave him.

His Worship-I consider Mr McCabe did not give all the information he ought to have done.

Mr Hanson-What more could he have giren ? The caséis now dismissed, and I have a right to reply to such a remark, which is wholly unjust and

unwarranted. Mr McCabe cannot os coane let the matter rest here.

His Worship-Mr McCabe can take any coarse he likes, bat I will take care that neither Mr McOabe nor any one else shall insult me here. Th« information is dismissed.

Thursday, May 16.

Ann Cameron and Susan Griffiths were sent io

gaol for a mooth, for disorderly conduct ia Sing

William-street.

Mary Eusdale, a dangerous lunatic, was sent to gaol for safe custody.

MARRIAGE.-The latest definition of ma*" riage, is as follows : Au insane désire to pa7 a young woman's board.

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