Ireland Old News
July 22, 1872
THE NEWTOWN-STEWART MURDER
DUBLIN, JULY 20.
The trial of Sub-Inspector MONTGOMERY for the murder at Newtown-Stewart has not yet concluded, but is expected to terminate on Monday. Several witnesses were examined yesterday to connect the links of circumstantial evidence upon which the prosecution depends. James KIRK, a railway navvy, swore that at half past 4 o'clock on the day of the murder he overtook Mr. MONTGOMERY near Grange Wood, going in the direction of Newtown-Stewart. He had a glazed coat on, and was conversing with Thomas KANE, the crossing keeper. KANE, the next witness, stated that he had seen the prisoner's servant a few minutes before he saw the prisoner, who had a waterproof coat on. He asked witness where the "strike" was, and the witness replied that the men had resumed work. The morning had been fine, but there was rain in the latter part of the forenoon. To all appearance he had been caught in some heavy showers of rain, and said he was almost ashamed to go through the town, he was so dirty. The witness looked at him from head to foot, and said he did not see any dirt upon him, only that his feet had got wet. He told the witness to desire his servant follow him into town, and continued to walk to the town. The servant returning he gave him the message, and the witness then heard of the murder. Next morning at 6 o'clock he saw Mr. MONTGOMERY on the line. He just came on the line and looked up. Robert COOKE, a servant boy in the Bank, swore that on the return of Mr. STRAHAN in the evening he was sent with a check to the post office, and on his way met Mr. MONTGOMERY and told him that Mr. GLASS had cut his throat. The prisoner asked him, was he dead? Head-constable HOBSON, stationed at Newtown-Stewart, who had been absent on the day of the murder with some constables at Drumquin, deposed that on his return to town at 12 o'clock at night he heard of the murder, and having found that the out-stations had not been communicated with, expressed his belief that the police would get into trouble. He also asked who had last been seen in the Bank, and hearing that it was a man named MONCRIEFF, said his house ought to have been visited. The sub-inspector went out and in 20 minutes returned and stated that they had rapped at MONCRIEFF'S door and could get no answer. Mr. MONTGOMERY enumerated places which he had telegraphed to - Belfast, Derry, and twice to Omagh. He said that when he sent the first message to Omagh he did not know that Mr. GLASS had been murdered, as he had not seen the doctor. He stated that Commander SCOTT, a magistrate, had been at the Bank with him and made inquiries, but nothing important was disclosed. He gave as a reason for not sending notice to the out-stations that he had been so occupied with Mr. SCOTT sending the telegrams and examining Mr. GLASS'S lodgings, that he could do no more. The witness and he searched the Bank, and on the floor the witness found a piece of newspaper and a cover of a Hue and Cry. Mr. STRAHAN told him that about 1,100l. had been taken away, and the witness remarked to Mr. MONTGOMERY that it was no stranger who had done the deed. The prisoner asked him why he had come to that conclusion, and he answered from the fact, observed by Mr. STRAHAN, of the nature of the wounds and the thrusting of the file into the head of the deceased lest he should ever be able to say a word. Mr. MONTGOMERY, at his suggestion, then sent communications to the out-stations. They were engaged up to half-past 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning, and Mr. MONTGOMERY then remarking that the witness must be very tired and that he was himself unwell, said he would go to bed, as they could do no more that night. He did not say anything about having been in the Bank himself on the day of the murder, but it was proved by the evidence at the inquest that he had been in the Bank. Mr. MONTGOMERY, when spoken to about it, told witness that he had found the door ajar, and went up and had a conversation with Miss THOMPSON about Mr. STRAHAN and his going to fish. Mr. MONTGOMERY'S pistol had cartridges specially made for it, and cast bullets could not used for it unless they were very small. He did not see any bullet mould when searching the prisoner's lodgings. Mr. PURCELL, sub-inspector at Omagh, swore that about half-past 12 o'clock on the night of the murder he received a telegram in these terms:- "Mr. GLASS, bank cashier, murdered. Large sum of money stolen. Please examine trains and Mr. GRAY'S house." He had several copies made and sent to the out-stations in the district, and then got on a car with the head-constable and drove to Newtown-Stewart. On the way, near the gravel pit, he met Mr. MONTGOMERY, who said he was glad to see him. They went and examined the Bank, and on coming out the prisoner asked him whether a person who was seen coming out of the Bank without any stains of blood on him could be convicted of the murder. The witness replied that he thought not. The prisoner then told him that he had been in the Bank after 3 o'clock. Head-constable THOMPSON, who accompanied the last witness, corroborated his evidence, and stated that he walked the distance from the town to where they met the prisoner in 15 minutes. Next morning Mr. MONTGOMERY returned with them on the car at 5 o'clock a portion of the way, and got off after they passed the gravel pit. Sub-constable SHAW proved that on the night of the murder the prisoner went to MONCRIEFF'S house, but did not knock, and said he would not disturb the man. Commander SCOTT, J.P., deposed that during the inquiry at the Bank after the murder the prisoner said he would telegraph that a death had occurred under suspicious circumstances. The witness objected, and said it was a foul murder. Margaret M'CLENAHAN, a daughter of the hotel-keeper in whose house the prisoner lodged, swore that he did not come home to dinner that evening as usual, nor until 6 o'clock the next morning. Mr. HUGHES, sub-inspector at Derry, stated that on receiving a telegram he proceeded to Newtown-Stewart, and brought some police out with him, to search Grange Wood for the money. The prisoner asked to accompany him, but he declined to allow him, and the prisoner asked him if anything was found how would it affect him. Mr. REED, secretary of the Inspector-General of Constabulary, proved that when appointed a cadet in the constabulary in 1863 the prisoner made a formal statement to the effect that he was 24 years of age, a native of Cavan, and that he had been an accountant in the Belfast Bank for seven years and four months. Before he removed to Newtown-Stewart he had been stationed in Newtownards, county Down. Samuel HOOD, a farmer, deposed that at 6 o'clock on the day of the murder he saw the prisoner, whose clothes appeared to have been changed and were quite clean. He also swore that on a certain day in the summer he saw Mr. MONTGOMERY and Mr. GLASS go together into Mr. CLENAHAN'S hotel, and he afterwards saw GLASS, who was a sober man, standing in the road, apparently ill, with his hand to his brow. The woman in whose house he lodged then proved that he came home sick. Evidence was given of the finding of notes to the amount of over 1,000l. in the most retired part of Grange Wood. Also pieces of a newspaper, the Belfast News Letter. There were stains of blood on the notes. A sub-constable at Newtown-Stewart proved a conversation with the prisoner, in which the latter remarked that it was strange no one had attempted to rob a Bank, and that it could be easily done by knocking the cashier on the head, and Mr. John BURGOYNE, assistant county surveyor, and Dr. COWAN proved a conversation in which the prisoner examining a life preserver, asked the doctor what part of the head should be struck to render a man insensible. The Solicitor-General proposed to give evidence as to the pecuniary embarrassments of the prisoner, but the Court rejected the evidence. The case for the Crown closed, and Mr. MACDONOGH, Q.C., addressed the jury today for the prisoner.
Submitted by: County Cavan Newspaper Transcription Project
IMPORTANT NOTICE: All rights to the pages found within this site are retained by the original submitter of the information. Pages may be printed or copied for personal use only. They may NOT be reproduced in any form in whole or in part by any individual or organization for profit.