[Editor: This article, about a possible wrongful conviction for murder, was published in The Bulletin (Sydney, NSW), 28 March 1903.]
“Scribo” on a forgotten murder:
Reported for a Melbourne daily at Castlemaine in ’66 the trial of David Young, the alleged Daylesford murderer. Arrived at the conclusion that the Crown had faded to prove its case; also, the Judge (Barry) summed up in favor of the accused. So I was greatly surprised when the verdict of guilty was returned.
The counsel assigned to the prisoner by the Crown was a decrepit old country barrister, whose services were of no value against the Crown Prosecutors, C. A. Smyth and B. C. Aspinall. A smart man would have made mince-meat of the Crown case.
I determined to write a letter to one of the morning papers, showing the weakness of the case against Young, but the day after I got back to Melbourne both Argus and Age came out with strong articles demanding the execution of the condemned, and being a mere youngster at the time, I thought it useless to face such odds.
The murdered woman was the wife of a miner, and she was killed while alone in a tent, her husband being at work on the night shift. There was a feeling that someone ought to be hanged for the protection of persons so situated on the goldfields.
Detective Berliner quarrelled with his superiors over this case, and left the force, having asserted that the late Detective Williams placed Young’s pipe on the safe in the murdered woman’s tent. Certainly, the pipe was not found there on the occasion of the first search.
Young admitted on the scaffold that he was a bad lot, but solemnly protested his innocence of the crime for which he suffered. Some years after the execution it was rumored that an Italian, a former lover of the woman, had confessed the murder on his death bed. There were also other rumors afloat for a long time. The truth of the matter will probably never be known now.
The Bulletin (Sydney, NSW), 28 March 1903, p. 35 (column 4)
Crown = the governing power of a land operating under a constitutional monarchy, which is said to govern on behalf of the Crown (i.e. on behalf of the ruling monarch); may refer to the government or elements acting on the behalf of government (e.g. a legal prosecuting service operating in the name of “the Crown”); monarchical, regal, or imperial power
daily = daily newspaper
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]