Spotlight: Victoria – The Escort Robbery (03/08/1853)

Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 – 1859), Wednesday 3 August 1853, page 2



From the Melbourne papers which have come to hand, we glean the following particulars:—

It will be some gratification (says the Herald of the 28th ultimo), to leam that the leader of the gang who attempted the wholesale and cold-blooded slaughter of the Private Escort yesterday week has been captured and recognised, and that he admits himself to have been one of the party. The wretch was taken in bed on the following Saturday at McIvor Diggings, where he was lying, booted and spurred, with a female as abandoned as himself. He is an ill looking fellow, named Christie, about twenty-six years of age, and whose life has been one scene of crime from first to last. He had not long escaped from Pentridge Stockade, and it was the look-out for him as a run-away convict which led to his detection as one of the would-be murderers. Christie is said to be a native of Sydney, but this is not certain. A great many other parties have been taken on suspicion, and discharged for want of identification, but it is to be hoped and expected that the large rewards offered by the Government and the Company for the apprehension of the gang will cause a “split” among the villains, and ultimately lead to the detection of all the culprits. As yet none of the gold or the money has been recovered.

Intelligence was received in town yesterday, 28th ultimo, of the death of Mr. Morton, a fine young man, one of the Escort guard, who was shot near the region of the lungs. It was also reported that Flooks, the driver, was no more; but this, we are informed, is premature, though he is in a very weak condition. The prisoner Henry Hazel, apprehended on suspicion at Kalkallo, will be brought up for examination at the District Court to-day, but it is supposed that a further remand will be the consequence, as the witnesses have not had time to come to town. Yesterday afternoon the detective police arrested a man named McQuinn on suspicion of being one of the murderers, and he is now in the watch-house. This person was charged at the police-office yesterday with vagrancy, but was discharged, and immediately after found himself in the hands of the police under more serious circumstances. At the present moment it would be improper to state more than the mere mention of the charge against him. The Escort troop started for Melbourne yesterday in a very respectable style. Their number has been increased, and their “turn out” was very creditable.

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