The charges read: That at Gilgandra on July 1, they did break and enter the shop of Alfred W. Wood, and whilst in the said shop did steal 5 pair of trousers, 2 tent flys, and 1 tent, the property of A. W. Wood.
Det.Sergeant Frankish gave evidence that at about mid-night on July 1, from something he was told, he proceeded to Eumungerie railway station, and at about 9 a.m. on July , 2 saw defendants Henderson and Fletcher walking along the railway line about 16 miles from Eumungerie . When defendants saw the car coming they secreted themselves by dropping to the ground, and remained hidden from his view. He was accompanied by Constables Perkins and Love, and they proceeded to a railway viaduct, and when Henderson and Fletcher walked along the line over this, Constable Perkins and Love called upon them to put their hands up. Both men were carrying a swag and a suit case each. Witness continued: I said to the two men, 'It is alleged you were in a railway truck at Eumungerie last night, and were arrested by Constable Perkins. You escaped and you were pursued by the Station Master, who alleges that a revolver was drawn and a threat made to shoot."
The witness said that Henderson replied that something like that did happen, but he had no gun, and Fletcher said "I am no gun man." The defendants were then searched, but no firearms were found on them. They were taken to Eumungerie Police Station and charged with the other offences. Henderson was later brought from his cell, and when questioned, admitted that the suit case shown him was the one he had carried the previous night, and was his property, but that "Curly" had some things in it too. "Witness continued: I told Henderson that I was going to take possession of some of the things for identification. I then showed him two tent flys, and five pairs grey flannel trousers, telling him that they were found in the truck and on the ground, having been dumped when they ran away the previous night from Constable Perkins and the Station Master. Henderson said, "I know nothing about them". I then searched Henderson's suit case and found an addressed envelope to J. Scott, bearing the post mark of Mortlake. I know Ainsworth as Scott and he is known to his associates as "Curly." I then brought Fletcher from his cell and questioned him regarding his port and swag, when he admitted it was his property, but that some of the things belonged to "Curly." In his port I found papers bearing the name of J. Scott. When opened on the verandah I found an Anthony Hordern printed tag, on which were the.numbers AG84, another set of numbers partly obscured, and the number 7058, together with the size 7, and the price 10/6 marked thereon. I said to Fletcher, "Where did this come from, it is similar to the tags on the five pair of trousers you left in the truck." He replied, "I know nothing about it." The same afternoon I saw Ainsworth at the Dubbo Police Station and said to him," "You were travelling with "Snowy" and "Monk' from Gilgandra? "'He said, "Yes"I said, "I have now been informed that the proceeds, of a robbery that was committed at Gilgandra were in the truck from which you men escaped from Constable Perkins." He said, "They had my things alright. I got away with the tucker bag, as I did not want to get pinched for scaling. I got on the back end of the train and came on to Dubbo". I told Ainsworth that my information was that he had camped with the other two men at Gilgandra, had boarded a train there and travelled to Eumungerie, where they parted. He said "That is correct, but I know nothing of any stolen property." I asked him to make a statement, giving him the usual caution. He asked for a pencil and paper, and retired to his cell, and whilst on the way to the Dubbo Police Court next morning he handed me the statement now produced. I also produce the envelope bearing the name of J. Scott, found in Henderson's port, and the correspondence addressed to Scott in Fletcher's suit case, and also the trade tag found in Fletcher's port.
To Fletcher: You were carrying a suit case and swag when arrested.
Fletcher: You never showed me any trade ticket you got from my port.
Witness: Yes I did, at Eumungerie Police Station.
Fletcher: No you never.
Sergeant Taylor of Gilgandra, deposed that he made an examination on Tuesday last of Mr. Wood's business premises at Gilgandra, and at the rear of the shop found where a pane of glass in a window had been broken. The back wall was of galvanised iron and there was reddish mud on it, about three feet up, indicating where a boot had slipped from one corrugate down the wall. On the ground outside there were several marks made by boots which he would say were of three different sizes, ranging from six up to about a 9. On the floor inside the shop were small particles of glass. Out side was an iron bar, similar to the one produced.
Henderson: Could you not have taken finger prints of the marks on the window sash?
Sergeant: There were marks there, but they were useless.
To P.M.: We had rain in Gilgandra on 30th June, and the marks at the rear of the shop were made
about the time the rain ceased.
Ainsworth: It is not possible that others could have walked under the window at the back of the shop?
P.M.:He did not say it was you that walked under the window.
Ainsworth: No, but he said the boot tracks were 7's, 8's, and 9's. which makes it appear that it was us.
Constable Perkins, of Eumungerie, said that about 7.30 p.m. on 1st inst., from something he was told, he proceeded to the railway yards at Eumungerie, to await the arrival of a goods train. Accompanied by the Station Master, Arthur Jones, and the guard, Leonard Meridith, the train was searched. They walked along to a timber truck, in which there were three men. The man now known as Henderson was the nearest, and he was asked to come out of' the truck. Henderson remarked. "It is a copper, we had better get out." He then picked up his swag and suit case, continued Constable Perkins, and climbed over the truck on the opposite side to where I was standing, and dropped to the ground. Fletcher and Ainsworth stood up in the truck, and I crawled underneath the truck to the side where Henderson son was. The station master climbed on to the buffer of the truck, and I heard him speak to the men. They each picked up their swags and suit case and climbed out of the trucks Fletcher's swag, unrolled, and portion fell to the ground, including a pair of trousers and a tent fly. I saw the articles by the light from the lamp in the S.M's hand. I told them they were under arrest, and not to move. Henderson started to run away, and I pursued him but in the darkness he escaped. I was returning past the truck when I noticed 2 tent flys and three pairs of trousers on the ground The station master, in the presence of Ainsworth and Fletcher said 'This swag belongs to this man, indicating Fletcher." I continued the search for Henderson, when I heard Jones call out in a loud voice: "Constable Perkins, these men have got away. Look out for the man with a sweater on, he has a revolver, which he pulled on me." In the darkness I was unable to locate any of the defendants. I returned to the train and near the truck took possession of five pairs of trousers and two tent, flys (produced), which were identical to the articles which dropped from the truck when Fletcher got out. In company with Jones and Meridith a thorough examination of the train was made, and I am certain that the three defendants were the only men on it. The constable then corroborated the evidence of Det. Frankish, as to the arrest at the railway culvert, and subsequent interviews at Eumungerie Police Station. I said to Henderson, "I told you last night you were under arrest." He said "We beat it, and got away. When Fletcher was questioned, I heard Det. Frankish say "What is this ticket, it is similar to ones found on the trousers in the truck you were in at Eumungerie?"
To Det. Frankish: I was in the railway yard before the arrival of the train, and had it under observation. I saw no one leave it with the exception of the defendants.
To Ainsworth: No one else was in the truck you were in, or in the truck behind you.
To Fletcher: I still say you were carrying a swag and port when arrested. Det. Frankish did question you about a ticket. I did not say where he got that ticket from.
Arthur Edward Jones, station master, at Eumungerie, gave evidence that he was on duty at 7. 30 p.m. on July 1, and received a telephone call. In company with Constable Perkins he awaited the arrival of the goods trains, and then in company with Guard Meridith it was searched, when three men were located in a truck of timber. In essential parts he corroborated the evidence of Const. Perkins as to subsequent happenings." He said he saw Fletcher trying to poke something between the timber and the side of the truck, but he could not see what it was. There were 4 pair trousers and a tent fly in the truck and he told Fletcher to take them, but he replied, "They are not mine." Witness said to him, "Well you were trying to put them away." Witnessthen put the articles down on to the ground. Guard Meridith said to Constable Perkins that the man was getting away, and Constable Perkins went after him, telling the other two men that they were under arrest. As soon as Constable Perkins got through the fence, continued witness,Henderson, who was wearing a red sweater, said, 'What are we arrested for - for train jumping." I said "You know perfectly well you have no right to ride on this train." He made a couple of steps towards me. Fletcher was standing about four yards back, and took to his heels and ran, carrying his suit case and swag. Henderson then picked up his and followed. I went after them, calling "stop." I called "Stop or I will Fire" and repeated it several times. It was about 250 yards to the fence from the truck. Fletcher got there first. "Henderson then doubled backed," said witness, "and said to me. 'You stand, I can fire too.' I stood, and, later called out to Constable Perkins. 1 would not definitely say that it was a revolver that Henderson pointed at me. It was a dark night. Henderson first put his hand down low, as if into his pocket, and did have something in his hand, which was pointed at me." Witness further stated that Fletcher, whilst in the truck, was lying on tent flys and trousers, and he was present, when Constable Perkins later picked up the articles.
To P.M.: I am definite there was no one else in' the truck
To Henderson: I think it was Ainsworth first out. I remember going to the Police Station, at Eumungerie. I did say you were not the man, but you had a hat on at the time. I did say I could not definitely identify you, that I thought the man was a bit stouter. At the present time I would not swear that it was you.
To Fletcher: You had.a suit case when you got out. I gave you your swag and threw out the tent fly and trousers.
Ainsworth (to witness): You picked the wrong man. I should have been the man that was supposed to have done the shooting, as Henderson was first away. I am the man that is supposed to have said "Stand or I will shoot too." There were several interjections, above which Henderson was heard to remark: You ought to get twelve months.
Constable Gould gave evidence that on Tuesday, 2nd. July, he went to Toll's second-hand shop, in Gilgandra, and saw a tent fly. The record book was examined, after which he took possession of the tent, and removed it to the Gilgandra Police Station. The one produced was the one. Edward John Toll, second hand dealer, deposed that at about 1.20 p.m. on, July 1 he purchased a tent from defendant Henderson. 10/- was paid for the tent, and a record of the sale was made in his book. Witness, continued: I had a conversation with Henderson and told him I did not want to be pooled, as I was, 3s bad off as him, was it straight forward and honest Henderson said he got the tent at Coonabarabran. The tent produced is the one I purchased, and was later, taken possession of by Constable Gould.
To Henderson: I will swear it was you who sold me the tent. I have your signature in the book.
Henderson: Let us have a look at your book. The book was produced for examination, and after Henderson had had a look at it, he asked the P.M. to take a note of the writing.
Witness: I told him the first name would not do me, and he signed it again. The first time Henderson signed "P. Lynch."
Alfred William Wood, secondhand dealer and produce merchant, carrying on business in Miller Street, Gilgandra, gave evidence that prior to leaving his business premises between 5.30 and 6 p.m. on June 30, the doors were locked, as was the general custom. The shop had a back window and door, and these were also locked, and at that time the window was not broken. The piece of iron produced in court was off an old bedstead, and had been placed by him alongside the fence at the back of the shop. When he returned, to the shop on Monday morning he was told something by his employee Jack Hearn, and an examination was made when it was discovered the back window was broken. The piece of iron was then lying between the window and the fence. Witness said that some two years ago he had made a purchase from Anthony Hordern, comprising flannel trousers and two-piece suits. Portion of that consignment was in his business premises when he locked up on 29th. June. Some of the consignment was also in the shop on Monday morning and a pair of trousers was handed to the police, bearing Anthony Hordern's ticket, and priced 10/6, with number on the ticket, which were on when purchased. The trousers produced in court had similar marks. Witness said there were also tent flys in the shop on Saturday when he locked up. There was now a short age, of one tent and two flys, which were missed on the Monday. He had no private marks on these, but his employee did. No one was given authority to remove the goods from the store. He claimed the trousers before the court as his property, but had not made an examination of the tent or flys.
To Henderson: I did not know the window had been broken until after the police came to the premises, and asked did we miss anything. As the result of another question by defendant, witness examined the tent and said that the writing 33/- was similar writing to that of his employee J. Hearn, who wrote up the ticket. He would not swear that the tent was his property. The police came about 10.45 on the Monday, and told him they had found some tents and trousers at Eumungerie, and asked did he lose anything.
John Morris Hearn, shop assistant, employed by A. W. Wood, said he knocked off work between 5.30 and 6 p.m. on June 29, and in company with his employer, before leaving, had looked up the premises. He did not take any particular notice of the back window, as there was nothing unusual to attract attention. He returned to the premises about 9 a.m on Monday and found that the back window was broken. The trousers produced as exhibits were similar to ones that were in the shop on, Saturday. Some had tickets on and some did not. Part of his duty was to mark prices on purchases made by Mr. Wood. The 33/- on the tent was in his handwriting. The tent was in stock on 29th June. One tent fly was also marked by him, and was identified as Mr. Wood's property. It was not sold. The other tent fly was not marked, but it was similar to ones in stock on June 29. It was discovered that there was a shortage of about four flys of the same quality. The shortage was discovered on the Tuesday. He would swear that the ones with his marking on were the property of A,. W. Wood.
To Henderson: I could not say when the goods were taken, but they were missed on the Tuesday. The tent is valued at 33/-, one fly at 24/- and the one not marked at 12/-. The trousers range in price from 7/6 to 11/9. I noticed the trousers in stock on the Saturday, but could not say how many were there.
To Fletcher: I did not know the things were gone until the Tuesday.
Fletcher: Wood said on Monday.
P.M.: Well, he has got it all wrong
Henderson: Like this, man has too
To Henderson: It was on Tuesday, that I found the window broken.
To P.M.: It was Tuesday,when the police came, and found that the window had been broken.
This concluded the police case, and the charges were read over to the defendants by the Magistrate, after which he committed them to stand their trial at the Dubbo Quarter Sessions on July 22, or such other court as the Attorney General may think fit. Bail was allowed, self in £50, with two sureties of £25 each, in each case.
Gilgandra Weekly and Castlereagh 11th July 1935
The Eumungerie Case 1914