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Hokitika, May 16. Mrs M B Gahey, wife of the man who now lies in Hokitika gaol, charged with the murder of Bell, arrived in town by coach from Christchurch on Saturday lasi. Soon after her arrival she went to the police station and confessed to Sergeant Moller that she had wilfully set fire to her husband’s house at Larry’s Creek in the month of December last. It appeai-s from her story that funds were subscribed to enable her to leave Reefton, and that she went to Westport, and from that port took ship for Lyttelton. She obtained an engagement as servant to a family in Amberley. She was, however, constantly disturbed by the apparitions ol her husband and the murdered man Bell. These ghostly visitors urged upon her to make atonement, and as she could not bear their continued reproaches she determined to come back to the Coast by the first opportunity and deliver herself up to justice. Sergeant Moller arrested her upon a charge of arson. She also informed Sergeant Moller that she asked the spirit of the murdered man whether she should take her own life, but was advised to come over here and confess what she had done. Her statement was minute, and she said she had walked twelve miles in order to bum down her house, which she resolved should never become the property of the mortgagee after all her hard work to make a home for herself. It is clear that the unfortunate creature’s brain must be temporarily affected by the schocking events with which her name is connected. -She was brought up at the R.M. Court this morning on a charge of arson, and remanded, on the application of the - Inspector of Police, for eight days to undergo medical treatment, the accused being in a very weak state of health.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 346, 17 May 1881

Word Count

A STRANGE CONFESSION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 346, 17 May 1881