Desperate Affray at Benalla [re. Ned Kelly, 23 April 1878]

[Editor: A report on the shooting of Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick by Ned Kelly.]

Desperate Affray at Benalla.

— The police authorities at Sandhurst are stated by the Bendigo Advertiser of Wednesday last to have received a telegram the previous night from Benalla, advising them of a desperate encounter which had occurred at a place called Greta, near Benalla.

It appears that when endeavouring to arrest a man named Daniel Kelly for horse stealing, the arresting constable, mounted-constable Fitzpatrick, received a shot from a revolver in his left wrist, was struck on the head by the mother of the culprit with a shovel, and threatened by a brother and two other men with revolvers, and they eventually compelled the constable to beat a retreat.

The facts telegraphed are as follows :— Constable Fitzpatrick attempted to arrest Daniel Kelly at his mother’s residence near Greta on Monday, when Ned Kelly, the brother, fired two shots at the constable with a revolver, and the second ball lodged in his left wrist. Two other men named William Skillen and Williams, alias Brickey, were there at the time armed with revolvers, which they presented at the constable. Mrs. Kelly struck the constable on the head with a shovel, and it was in throwing up his arms that he received the ball from Ned Kelly.

The descriptions given of the offenders are — Skillen, nationality, Irish; age 26 years; height, 5 feet 6 inches; stout built, round shoulders, fair complexion, and beard cut short. Williams, alias Brickey, nationality, Irish; age, 26 years; thin build, fair complexion, beard cut short. Both in bush dress and easily identifiable. Mrs. Kelly is well known to the district police, and the offenders will probably make for New South Wales. Constable Fitzpatrick is not in danger.

The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, NSW), Tuesday 23 April 1878, page 4

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