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Barfield, in custody for the attempted bank robbery, was committed on both charges yesterday. Ellis, one of the witnesses, and informer against the prisoner, said —In April he called me into his saloon and asked me how was business. I said things were very quiet. He said he had not taken sixpence all that day, and that if things did not change he would have to do something, as he was not clearing rent. He said he had sent L 5 to Nathan, in Auckland, and he had closed on this money, and stopped his credit till he should send more. There was only one way he said that he could see of clearing himself. I asked him what it was, and he said going to the National Bank. He added there was a, capital chance, as there was only one party on the Bank premises. I asked him who it was, and he said Mr Morris. He further said he had been weighing the matter in his mind for the last fortnight. I then enquired what he intended doing. He said he had a pistol, and said he could easily catch Mr Morris any night when going to the Club, or coming from it. He said if he could not get anyone to assist him he would go singlehanded. He informed me of Mr Morris’ movements, when he left the bank and when he returned. He said he could easily knock Mr Morris down, take the keys from him, and get into the bank. He knew Mr Morris generally left about six o’clock at night. He said nothing at that time about cutting Mr Morris’ throat, nor about setting the town on fire. I said I would think over the matter. I made up my mind to put Mr Morris on his guard. I never, at any time, had the smallest intention of taking part in the burglary. I subsequently called on Mr Purdie and informed him of the matter. On Sunday night he told me that if he gave it up that night he would go into the bank on the following Saturday with someone, and, when Mr Morris was perusing deeds, he would knock him on the head We went round on Tuesday night, and he was knocking about for some time before he could make up his mind to go in. It was between ten and eleven o’clock. I proposed to give it up, but he insisted on having a try. That was at the corner of the bank. We walked across the road to a swamp. We went into the swamp. Some persons came by, playing a concertina. Prisoner then started to blacken his face. He said—“ Come on, Ellis; how do I look ? ” I hesitated, and proposed to toss up half-a-crown whether to go or stop He said it would be dangerous to strike a light. I blackened my face then, and we went over to the bank. I carried the pistol, as I wished to save bloodshed. I feared, if he carried the pistol, he would most likely have shot someone. Prisoner knocked at the bank door. He had a parcel of pepper and a bludgeon in his hand. The door was opened by somebody I supposed to be Mr Morris, and a voice said —“ Come in ; ” whereupon prisoner rushed in, and I cleared away and returned home.

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Bibliographic details

THE ATTEMPTED BANK ROBBERY At TAURANGA., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 341, 11 May 1881

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THE ATTEMPTED BANK ROBBERY At TAURANGA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 341, 11 May 1881