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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7931, 12 June 1889
OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER.
[Prom Our Melbourne Correspondent,] Wednesday, June 5. A MINISTERIAL CHANGE. Air J. Nimmo, who has occupied the portfolio of Minister of Public Works in tho Victorian Cabinet for the last three years, has been called upon by the Chief Secretary —the chief of the radical section—to resign, and Mr Nimmo has clone so very unwillingly, and it is only natural, because he has been allowed to live in a fool’s paradise, and has not until recently received the slightest inkling that hia absence would bo preferred to his company. On the contrary, when paragraphs have appeared in the newspapers portending a change, he haa received the aasurancea of the Chief Secretary that they were without foundation. Mr Nimmo haa been guilty of no act of maladministration which would justify his being forsaken by hia colleagues, but doubtless he had personal disadvantages and idiosyncrasies. It is said that the solo reason for the alteration in tho of the Ministry is a desire to placate a section of the Liberal members by the appointment of Mr D, M. Davies, who is a brother of the Speaker, and has been sighing for “tho dignity of responsible office ” for some time. This gentleman has certainly not proved himself to bo possessed of any_ marked ability to fit him for the post of Minister of Public Works, for although he has held office without portfolio in the past, he has been looked upon us a mere nonentity. Mr Nimmo haa a just cause for complaint in not beiug informed of the intentions of the chiefs of the Cabinet before the election, as he was placed in a false position before bis constituents. On this ground he is meeting with a great deal of sympathy from members of tho Homo, and Mr Doakin is likely to lose caste on account of his disingenuous conduct. When the general ejection took place there was a prevailing idea that Mr Nimmo would lose his seat. Probably the astute Chief Secretary calculated on this chance, and thought that it would provide the most satisfactory opportunity of carrying out the change which he desired in tho Ministry. A CONSTABLE KILLED BY A BURGLAR, A tragic occurrence happened at Pott’s Point, Sydney, on Monday, a young police constable named Sutherland being shot ami fatally wounded by a supposed burglar. About o a.m., us Senior-sergeant XXobertson and Sergeant Hogan were standing at the corner of William and Victoria streets, they saw a man walking towards them. He was proceeding at a very quick pace, and noticing that ho was very much excited and out of breath, they stopped him. Ilia trousers, coat, and vest were all smeared with blood, and there was a severe wound over his left eye. While they were questioning him Mr M'Elliono, jun., came up, and said that there was a constable lying on the footpath iu M’Loay street. The senior sergeant and Mr M'Elhone at once took a cab and went to where the constable w’as reported to be lying, and in the meanwhile the bloodsmeared man was conveyed to the Darlinghurst lock-up. Sutherland (the constable) was found lying as indicated by Mr M'Ellione, dangerously wounded, but conscious. He was taken to tho hospital, where he was found to be wounded in the abdomen, no hope of bis recovery being entertained. Sutherland unhesitatingly identified tho man who had been arrested, and who gave the name of John Morrison, as tho man who bad shot him, and Morrison, w ho had been brought to the hospital for the purpose of identification, responded : “ Well, it’s wrong of you to say that; I did not shoot you.” Subsequently tho depositions of the wounded man were taken, anil he succumbed to his injuries. lie stated that at half-past 2 a.in., while the constable was standing near tho residence of Mr C. J. Roberts, Chataworth, ho saw a man enter the gates in front of the adjacent house and pass towards the roar of the premises. After the man had boon inside the gates for a minute or two some dogs which were there began to bark, and they continued doing so until the man left, and walked into the middle of the road. The constable and the man exchanged a “Good night ” greeting, and the constable observed : “ You’re out early.” The man then attempted to make oil. The officer, however, caught hold of him, and asked what he was doing. The man replied : “ Let me go. If you don’t I'll shoot yon,” and he immediately thrust hia right hand into his trousers pocket. A struggle ensued, and just as they were about to fall the man fired his revolver. Whilst on tho ground he again fired. The constable, however, could not say whether the latter shot took effect. Before either of them regained his feet the constable drew his baton and gave the man a severe blow on the head. Owing, however, to his weak state the blow was not as severe as he hoped it would be. The constable, though wounded, wrested tho revolver from tho man, but as ho was very weak the other soon got the better of him, and, raising himself, snatched back the revolver, and made of. Sutherland was a native of Canterbury (N.Z.), where his mother and other members of hia family reside. AN IMPRISONED .SOLICITOR. The case of the imprisoned solicitor, Mr A. D. J. Daly, who was committed to gaol for one month for publishing letters commenting on the Cutler oases while they were being adjudicated upon, was the subject of a deputation of solicitors and others to the Chief Justice last Wednesday. It was represented to His Honor that Mr Daly had not acted with intent to defeat the ends of justice, and had only published the objectionable letters after obtaining the opinions of three barristers that the matter contained therein would not reflect upon the Court or have any sinister effect. A mitigation of the sentence imposed on Mr Daly was therefore asked for. His Honor said that the allegation of the letters having been submitted to members of the Bar was a new fact, and, as Mr Daly had written a letter expressing regret for his misconduct and presenting new facts which enabled him to mitigate his punishment, Mr Daly would be released upon the expiration of a week from the date of sentence, and upon payment of the fine imposed, L 25. ALLEGED MALPRACTICE. The charge of malpractice against Dr Edward G. Figg, of Williamatowu, came before the Melbourne Criminal Court last Tuesday. The case for the prosecution was that Dr Figg had performed an illegal operation on a widow named Margaret Dietrich, in consequence of what she had told him as to her condition. The Judge said that the case practical!y rested upon the fact whether the doctor was ignorant of her condition or not. As the evidence on tho point was not clear, the accused was discharged. REPRIEVED FROM DEATH. Ernest Buttner, a Sydney restaurantkeeper, who was sentenced to death for an alleged criminal assault on a young woman named Jessie Lennox, has been reprieved. The Minister of Justice in Melbourne wrote to the Executive Council stating that the woman had been a well-known prostitute here, and as the doctor who bad examined Lennox after the alleged assault was willing to modify his evidence the conviction was quashed, and Buttner’s release ordered. _ A peculiar circumstance in connection with the case is that the prisoner was set free on the day fixed for his execution. A FATAL FIGHT. A fatal fight occurred at Ulupua West, a township in tho north-western district of Victoria last Wednesday, between Henry Fitzpatrick (son of a farmer) and a stationmaster named James Richardson. The quarrel arose out of a slight mdee at a concert and ball held on the night of the Queen’s Birthday. A number of young fellows created a disturbance at the time, and some rancour was caused between Fitzpatrick and Richardson. The latter was driving past Ulupna, where tho other was ploughing in a field, and Fitzpatrick (who was tho aggressor all through) came up to him, stating that he would have to fight, Richardson expressed his unwillingness to renew the quarrel, but ultimately an encounter took place. It is stated that during the fight Richardson wished to knock off, but his opponent said he would see it out. Afterwards time was called, and both men commenced to re dress, but before putting on his coat Fitzpatrick fell forward on his knees. Richardson ran up to him, and assisted him on to his feet, but the young man died in his arms. The mother
of Fitzpatrick has since died from nervous | shock on hearing of her eon’s death. W hat ; makes the affair all the more sad is the fact f that the combatants had been close fiienda since boyhood. THE CAMBERWELL MURDER. John Anglin, who shot his wife at the . residence of his brother-in-law, at Camberwell, on Chiistmas Day, with a revolver, was so ntenced to death last Thursday. Additional medical evidence was given on tho point of the prisoner’s insanity. Three doctors called for tho defence agreed with three called for the prosecution that the prisoner suffered from delusions as to his wife’s infidelity, and that in all pro-1 bability when ho fired the fatal shots ho had j lost his senses to that extent that he did not know he was doing an illegal act, r lhe jury found him guilty of wilful murder, but | strongly recommended him to mercy on the i ground of his delusions. In answer to the j Judge, as to whether he had anything to say why sentence of death should not be passed, tho prisoner occupied an hour and a quarter in making a statement of his views to the Judge. Ho related his past career, urging that he had not borne the bad character that was represented, and said he had not been properly defended, and that his counsel had done more to blacken hia case than extenuate it. He said that if he were not sent to the scaffold, but allowed to end his days in Pentridge, the sole object of his life would bo to bring his fellow prisoners to salvation, as some sort of reparation for the in jury he had done his late wife. The Judge said he could hold out no hope of a reprieve, and passed sentence of death. A DEFAULTING CLERK. An impudent robbery of a large sutn of cash has been reported to the detective police. Last Tuesday a clerk named Frederick Elsley absconded from his employers, Messrs Macrow and Sons, taking with him a sum of Ll5O in cash. He went out of the office without his hat, apparently with the purpose of visiting the lavatory, and as he did not return for some time search was made, when it was found he had stolen the money. No trace of Elsley or the money has yet been found. A TRAMWAY ACCIDENT. A widow named Sarah Cutler has been awarded Ll2B damages from the Melbourne Tramway Company for injuries received I through a ear restarting before she had I alighted and throwing her to the ground. CLEVER ESCAPE FROM GAOL. The clever escape of a female prisoner from Melbourne Gaol by means oi p fraud as daring as it is novel is at present engaging the attention of tho police authorities, and will probably form the subject of a departmental inquiry. Last week tho detectives arrested two prisoners—James Street _ and Ellen M'Pherson—who had been victimising a number of people by passing valueless cheques. The woman M'Pherson was remanded, being committed in default of bail to the Melbourne Gaol. Street, who was also remanded, was fortunate enough to obtain bail. As Street had served a long sentence for a similar offence, some anxiety was felt about his liberation, and when he did not respond to his bail, the detectives lost no time in visiting the gaol to make sure of their other prisoner, where they found that she had been bailed out on the previous day on a surety of L 25, the bondsman being no other than her fellow-criminal, Street. It appears that Street had induced Mr R. Baldcrson, J.P,, to admit M’Pherson to bail, representing to him that he was a dentist, and that the charge against the woman was of only a trivial nature. The woman was at once allowed to leave the gaol, and tho pair made good their escape. The fact that Street gave his real name when applying for bail adds to the impudent nature of the fraud, and makes the necessity for an inquiry all the more apparent.
OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7931, 12 June 1889
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