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Hanging Too Good for the perpetrator.

Late on Friday night, the usually peaceful little |;ownship of Kaiapoi was thrown into a pemendous state of ex. citement by tne news that a little girl f only eight yea’s of age, the daughter of a well-known' and respectledresident

had been brutally assaulted. The child had been playing about outside its home, and was missed about 8 o’clock. A search was made, and the poor little girl was found about an hour afterwards lying amongst the flaxbushes by the river side, in a semiunconscious state. An examination of the little one showed that she had received several bruises about the head and face, and also that a most inhuman and brutal outrage had been committed upon her. She was at once conveyed home, and the rumor spread rapidly through the town, and a meeting was 1 at once held, at which over 100 people were present, to decide upon what steps should be taken. The excitement was very great, and any number of volunteers were ready to scour the country for the perpetrator of the dastardly act. The searchers were assisted by the evidence of some other girls, who had seen a man whom partially described, and who had, it appeared, attempted to induce others to go with him, under the pretext of showing him where different people lived. For a long time the search was a fruitless one, but about half-past twelve information reached Sergeant Gilbert that a man answering to the description of the ruffian wanted had been seen going in the direction of Ohoka without a coat and with a black hat on. Mr Hurse, Sergeant Gilbert and Mr T. Wilson at once started in a buggy for the Ohoka, and from the information they continued to glean they proceeded to a house near the Mandeville Railway Station, where a man named William Hart resides. Hart was arrested, as from the description given, as well as the fact that his boots bore marks of river mud, similar to that in the neighborhood of where the girl was found, and his trousers were wet and stained with blood, they were convinced that this was the man. In answer to questions by Mr Hurse and Sergeant Gilbert, the man gave some very evasive and contradictory statements, and appeared surprised at being arrested. It appears that Hart has lived at this house for some time, as he had been working in the neighborhood uprooting stumps. When the accused saw the buggy standing at his door and the little crowd of horsemen, he enquired in a bantering tone, whether they were after the Kelly gang ? The fellow whose name is William Hart, alias “ Bill, the Barman,” was employed at Shearman’s Hotel, in this town, about three years ago, as night porter. He has acted as barman at several hotels. Formerly he was neat and spruce in his appearance, and wore an air 'T general smartness. Now he is a very unkempt looking object. He is described as a man under the average height. He was cohabiting with a woman at the time of the assault, having lived with her for some time, and she, in a measure, assisted the arresting party, by identifying the hat that the Sergeant showed her as the one that he wore. During the whole of the proceedings and the journey to Kaiapoi he was silent, and he was locked up at 5 o’clock. The man had no doubt been drinking during the day. On Saturday afternoon he was brought up before Mr Whitefoord on the charge, and was formally remanded till to-day, but it is understood that a further remanded will be applied for till Wednesday to enable the police to collect evidence. Sergeant Gilbert has been assisted in this by Detective Neil, and several witnesses will be called in the case. This further delay will also enable the little girl to be present to give evidence. She is now progressing as favorably as possible under Dr Ovenden’s care. Great sympathy is felt for the poor parents in their sad trouble, while it would certainly go hard with the man who has been the cause of that trouble if he once got into the hands of the mob.

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Bibliographic details

SHOCKING OUTRAGE AT KAIAPOI., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 535, 16 January 1882

Word Count

SHOCKING OUTRAGE AT KAIAPOI. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 535, 16 January 1882

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