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1-232 (Text)

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author,male,Sydney Gazette,un addressee
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Decisions of NSW Supreme Court
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Murder.- The first case that became exhibited to the Court was one of a sanguinary description, in which two fellow creatures were to stand their trial for their lives, on the charge of depriving a fellow mortal of that existence which man can take away, but which none except the Creator can bestow.
Michael Murphy and John Sullivan were indicted for the wilful murder of William Byrne, on the evening of the 7th of March last.
(The prisoners were informed that they had a right to challenge, on the ground of interest or affection, any of the Jury.)
The Attorney General opened the case, in which the learned Gentleman briefly stated such facts as became developed in the course of the evidence. The first witness called on the part of the prosecution was, Dr. Anderson, Assistant Surgeon on the Colonial Establishment, who deposed, that he examined the body of William Byrne, the deceased, on the 8th of March last, in the General Hospital. He found the head considerably injured and swelled by two contused wounds; one of which was much larger than the other - the largest at the back part of the head. That, in cutting down upon the scalp, there appeared a considerable extravasation of blood between the skull and scalp, with an extensive fracture of the occipital bone. So satisfied was Dr. Anderson of the cause of death by these wounds, that he proceeded no further in his examination of the body. The wounds were evidently inflicted by a heavy blunt instrument.
G.M. Slade, Esq. Coroner, deposed, that he convened an Inquest on the melancholy occasion on the 8th of March, the day after the murder, and that the papers now handed into Court were correct copies of the depositions and verdict.
John Thomas Campbell, Esq. proved some additional depositions that were taken before him, and other Justices of the Peace.
Catherine Bruce deposed, that she was acquainted with Byrne, the deceased, as well as the two prisoners at the bar. She lived at the Waterloo Mills, about 3 miles from Sydney on the Botany-road, with her husband. She came into town about 3 in the afternoon of the 7th of March, the day on which the murder was perpetrated; that upon coming to the toll-gate, she saw the prisoners at the bar, who were then apparently proceeding on the Botany-road, on their way to the Mills, of which the prisoner Murphy had then the charge as overseer and clerk. - At or about 8 o'clock in the same evening, she returned through the toll-bar, in her progress homewards, in company with three men, viz. the deceased, John Baxter, and Patrick Haydon. Shortly after their entering upon the Botany-road, the witness beheld four men advance from the bush, who leaped over the fence. Having hold of the arm of the deceased, she exclaimed, "Billy, my lad, see who is coming!" And before the words were scarcely articulated, poor Byrne received a violent blow on the head from one of the four men, which caused the blood to fly over the bonnet and face of the wituess