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THE REEFTON MURDER.

Grkymouth, April 22.

The adjourned enquiry into this case was hold at Reefton on Wednesday and Thursday. A number of witnesses were examined, but the greater portion of the evidence was only corroborative of the facts already published. Tho accused, M'Gahey, listened to the evidence in a most calm and collected manner, and keenly cross-examined the witnesses upon material points.—Dr Thorpe said there was no sign of any gun-shot wound about tho be dy of the murdered man. In his opinion, the wound on the head had been caused by one blow only.—Thomas Lecher said ho had worked for Bell for some time, and Mrs M'Gahey was living there. She and Bell were on good terms, though they had a quiet growl sometimes. Often hoard her say she was afraid of her life of M'Gahey. Bell did not appear to be afraid. Ho said if M'Gahey came there to annoy him he would prosecute him. Mrs M'Gahey and Bell did not live together as man and wife ; they had separate rooms. When he returned to Boll’s on Friday night he told Mrs M'Gahey and Bell about meeting M'Gahey at Gallagher’s, but they made no remark. Never saw any impropriety between Bell and Mrs M'Gaeey while living there. Never observed any clothing of Bell’s in Mrs M'Gahey’s room, except on Sundaj*, when he noticed a colored shirt in that room. In reply to M'Gahey, witness said he never heard of 801 l being kicked by a cow. Never heard Bell say anyone had a down on him but M'Gahey. 801 l and Mrs M'Gahey parted on good terms. The inquest was resumed on Thursday. Alexander King said M'Gahey stopped at his store on Friday night. He had a loaded gun, and was excited. M'Gahey was anxious to go on that night, about ton, but witness prevailed on him to go to bed, and when taking him upstairs M'Gahey said, “ My God, King, I must have revenge.” Next morning, about C o’clock, he saw M'Gahey leave, and go towards Boatman’s. Had heard M ‘Gahey speak disrespectfully of Bell and Mrs M'Gahey, but never heard him make use of any threats. M'Gahey gave no reason for wanting to leave that night or so early the next day. When accused made use of the expression he was in liquor, but not drunk. In reply to accused witness said—When I took you to bed you said you had been accused of an action of which you had not been guilty, and that ; you would have revenge. That was when

you made use of the words “ I’ll have i revenge.” The splinters produced are . like the wood of the gun you carried, blit I could not swear to them. Frank M'Lean said he had a drink with M'Gahey at his invitation when going down the Buller road. Saw something strange about his face, and asked his trouble. He said he was in trouble about his wife, and that she was in town procuring a warrant for his arrest. He said he was in a great way about his wife, as a man named Bell asked him why he did not go away from the place altogether. He said he would not for the present, and would have his revenge upon them. Witness cautioned him about such remarks, and said Bell and she were not worth interfering with. He said he did not care, and would blow their very brains before Sunday. Again cautioned him about what lie was saying, and told him to be very careful, as he was then in a state of great excitement. For a second time witness wanted accused to come to his place and have a cup of tea, but he declined, and said h« would go back to town. That was the last ho saw of accused. He could not say whether he went to Reefton or the Buller. He had no swag or gun. He was sober, but vei’y excited. Previous to this had never heard him make any remarks about his trouble. Was not acquainted with Bell or Mrs M'Gahey. In reply to the police in respect to M'Gahey’s threats, witness said that when he cautioned him about talking so, M'Gahey replied that he would do away with himself, or words to that effect. —Thomas Penniall knew Bell and M'Gahey. Was down the Buller road on April 16 at 10 a.m. He was threequarters of a mile from Larry’s Creek when he heard the report of a gun, and remarked that someone was shooting. When he and Bennett, who was with him at the time, went to Bell’s, they found the body lying on its left side in the cowshed. There"was a mark under the right ear and a crack at the back of his head. He picked i p pieces of paper which he took to be the wad of a gun. Saw Constable O’Brien pick up a paper collar with blood on it. (Previously a witness had deponed that Bell did not wear a paper collar.) Noticed what was apparently the print of a man’s heel in the mud, and spots of blood about the shed ; also where the body had been dragged along the mud inside. Looked about, but saw no marks of shot or bullet. Found no other traces of the gun but the two small splinters produced. Took no notice of footprints about the shed. He had not seen M'Gahey that day.—Michael O’Keefe said he saw M'Gahey on Monday night on the road to Antonio’s. He said he was in want of a cup of lea. —George Rees said—M'Gahey came to his house on Monday night, and asked for a supper and bed, saying ho was very hungry. Witness gave him dry pants and socks, as he was wet, and he 1 had a drink at the bar. Accused gave him 1 three pound notes wrapped in a piece of 1 newspaper, and asked him to separate > them, as they were wet, and take payment for three meals as he was very 1 hungry. Showed him to bed at ten p. m. 1 He said he would not get up very early, [ as he was sleepy. About 2 o’clock he was arrested and taken to Reefton. On enquiry as to where M'Gahey came from,' he said he had been prospecting, but did ■ not say where. His wet and miserable ' condition did not create any curiosity in i the mind of witness, because such a thing ■ was a common occurrence in that part of I the country. At this stage of the proceedings Inspector Emmerson applied for an adjournment, which was granted.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18810423.2.16

Bibliographic details

THE REEFTON MURDER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 326, 23 April 1881

Word Count
1,111

THE REEFTON MURDER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 326, 23 April 1881

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