Committal of the Prisoners


Saturday, March 13.

There was an immense crowd assembled at the Court House to hear the decision of the magistrates given in the case this after-noon. The prisoners were brought into court handcuffed in pairs and occupied the jury box, the handcuffs being removed whilst they remained in court. They all wore an anxious, care-worn expression, and evidently waited with impatience for the pronunciation of the Magistrates' decision. Shortly afterwards the Magistrates entered the court and took their seats on the Bench.

[...] Squire Peters then addressed the prisoners according to the form of the statute, asking each of them whether they had anything to say. The prisoner making the uniform reply "I have nothing to say."

Squire Peters then delivered the decision of the Court, as follows: - The examination of witnesses by the able counsel both for the prosecution and defence being now concluded, it is our judgment that we find sufficient evidence against the prisoners now before us to send them for trial before a higher tribunal. We therefore commit James Carroll, John Kennedy, Martin McLachlin, James Ryder, John Purtell and Thomas Ryder to the common jail to await their trial at the Assizes, and thereat to be convicted of discharged by the Judge and jury.

Mr. Macmahon - I would ask Your Worships as you have committed them to accept bail in the cases of John Kennedy, Martin McLachlin, Thomas Ryder and James Ryder for their appearance at the Assizes. The evidence against them is so light that I anticipate there will be no objection.

Spuire Peters - We have no objection if the Crown has not.

Mr. Hutchinson - I must object to the statement of my learned friend, that the evidence against them is light. On the part of the Crown I certainly object to bail being taken. The prisoners can make the application to the judge in Toronto in the usual course.

Mr. Macmahon - then you won't bail them?

Squire Peters - I don't think we have a right to unless the Crown assents.

The prisoners were then handcuffed, but considerable difficulty was experienced in clearing the court, the friends of the prisoners rushing forward to shake hands with them.

In a conversation with Kennedy after the sentence was given, he informed our reporter that if there was any expense attached to applying to the judge for bail he would prefer waiting in jail until the Assizes, which would shortly be held.

Source: Unknown, "The Tragedy - Committal of the Prisoners," London Advertiser, March 13, 1880.

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