Old news from Armidale and New England

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Stamps, gelignite, and revolvers (part 2 of 3)

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The Northern Daily Leader (Tamworth, NSW : 1921), Tuesday 22 March 1921

HILLGROVE CASE.

YOUNG MAN BEFORE THE COURT.

What the Police Found.

STAMPS, GELIGNITE AND REVOLVERS.

GLEN INNES, Thursday.

At the local police court this morning before Mr W. S Perry, Jack McCarthy Woodburn was charged with having stolen from the Hillgrove Post Office postal notes, stamps and money, to the value of £200.

Defendant, a young man about 26 years of age, well groomed, appeared unconcerned during the court proceedings.

Sergeant McGrath stated that about 1.30 p.m on the 19th instant, in company with Constables Stewart and Cumming he went to No. 12 room at Tattersall’s Hotel where he saw defendant lying on a bed. Witness inquired his name. Defendant replied “McCarthy”. In reply to witness defendant said he had come from Armidale that morning by car. Witness asked when he arrived at Armidale and he replied “by train from Sydney last Wednesday.” “Have you ever been in Hillgrove?” asked witness” “No never”, replied defendant. Constable Stewart asked “Isn’t your name Woodburn.” Defendant replied in the negative. “What is it all about anyhow?” asked defendant. ‘The Post Office at Hillgrove,” witness replied ”was broken into last night, and a quantity of stamps and money stolen.” Witness asked defendant if the bag in the room belonged to him. He replied “yes.” The bag was then opened by Constable Stewart, who said “it’s all-right Sergeant; he has all the stamps and paraphernalia here.” Defendant was taken to the lockup and when formally charged replied “right.” Drawing an automatic revolver from the bag witness asked where did you get this?” Defendant replied, “I got it from a friend of mine yesterday.” The Sergeant said, “where did you get all these stamps in your bag.” Defendant replied, “I got them from the same friend, at the same time.” Witness said “there are several plugs of gelignite, a fuse and detonators in the bag. Where did you get them?” Defendant replied “I bought them in Sydney. I have often to use them at my work as a carpenter.” The portmanteau was further examined and was found to contain an automatic revolver loaded in two chambers, an extra revolver magazine, 13 revolver cartridges, two coils of fuse, a box of detonators, 23 sticks of gelignite, two sticks of blasting gelignite, one stick of dynamite, a file, a gelignite piercer, 12 Chub lock keys, a lady’s pocket knife and a mouth organ. There was also an envelope addressed to the Postmaster at Hillgrove, containing stamps to the value of £5/11/7. A second envelope was found to contain stamps to the value of £1/1. There were also in the bag 270 stamps at 1/, 180 at 9d, 290 at 6d, 240 at 5d, 440 at 3d, 120 at 2½d 1302 at 1½d, 938 at 1d, 1163 at 2d, 556 at 1d, 4768 at 2d, 1219 at a half-penny, representing a total value of £112/4/10. Witness said “Do you still say you got these things from your friends?” Defendant replied “I’ll say nothing, I will take my gruel.” On searching defendant at the lockup witness found £4/10 on him.

Constable Stewart said he charged defendant and said “Is it correct you went to Hillgrove last Friday?” Defendant replied “Yes.” “How many shots did you put in the safe?” witness asked, and defendant replied “One.” In reply to witness defendant said he did it between 12 o’clock and 1 o’clock. “Did you have a car waiting for you?” witness asked, and defendant replied “No, I pulled the mail driver out of bed and he drove me to Armidale.” Further questioned defendant said “I had a mate.” He followed on behind on a motor cycle.” Witness said “You paid Mackenzie and Sons £4/3 on Saturday for clothing. You also paid £2/10 to Mrs. Turnbull for board in advance. Is that right?” Defendant replied ‘That is correct.” “What did you pay for the car from Armidale to here?” asked witness. Defendant replied, “£6; my mate gave me the money to pay for board and car.”

Defendant refused to give witness a signed statement.

Defendant was remanded to Hillgrove and intimated that he did not wish to apply for bail.

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Written by macalba

May 6, 2013 at 9:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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