T H E Y O U N G C U B , O F A N O L D F O X
At the age of 15 Ned was first brought before a court of law on a charge of assault on a pig seller named Ah Fook, and Ned recieved 6 months in Beechworth gaol. And later that year, for aiding a bushranger named Harry Power (alias Henry Johnson) for some of his robberies.
Ned Kelly was found not guilty due to lack of evidence he was convicted of receiving a stolen horse he had no idea the horse was stolen and received 3 years hard labour.
He received the horse off Isaiah "Wild" Wright a professional horse stealer, Wild told Ned that he had lost his mare near the Kelly home, Ned & Wild looked for it all day, when they discovered there was no point in the continuation, they left for the Kelly home and Wild told Ned that if he could borrow one of Ned's horses and if Ned finds Wild's to return it to him and switch over again.
Ned agreed, one morning Ned was riding through Wangaratta Ned spotted the mare and retrieved it Ned was on his way home, in doing so he had to ride past the Greta police barracks.
Constable Edward Hall, seen Ned on the mare, and called Ned over supposedly about signing papers in which needed to be signed from his last case drop. Ned rode over to Hall, with no questions asked Ned was ripped from his horse by hall and thrown to the ground, the mare bolted in fright , taking off from Ned's own words:
"...She was a chestnut mare white face docked tail very remarkable branded (M) as plain as the hands on a town clock. the property of a Telegraph Master in Mansfield he lost her on the 6th gazetted her on the 12th of March and I was a prisoner in Beechworth Gaol until the 29 of March therefore I could not have Stole the mare. I was riding the mare through Greta Constable Hall came to me and said he wanted me to sign some papers that I did not sign at Beechworth concerning my bail bonds I thought it was the truth he said the papers was at the Barracks and I had no idea he wanted to arrest me or I would have quietly rode away instead of going to the Barracks.
I was getting off when Hall caught hold of me and thought to throw me but made a mistake and came on the broad of his back himself in the dust the mare galloped away and instead of me putting my foot on Halls neck and taking his revolver and putting him in the lock up. I tried to catch the mare. Hall got up and snapped three or four caps at me and would have shot me but the colts patent refused. This is well known in Greta Hall never told me he wanted to arrest me until after he tried to shoot me when I heard the caps snapping I stood until Hall came close he had me covered and was shaking with fear and I knew he would pull the trigger before he would be game to put his hand on me so I duped, and jumped at him caught the revolver with one hand and Hall by the collar with the other.
I dare not strike him or my sureties would loose the bond money I used to trip him and let him take a mouth ful of dust now and again as he was as helpless as a big guano after leaving a dead bullock or a horse. I kept throwing him in the dust until I got him across the street the very spot where Mrs 0'Briens Hotel stands now the cellar was just dug then there was some brush fencing where the post and rail was taking down and on this I threw big cowardly Hall on his belly I straddled him and rooted both spurs onto his thighs he roared like a big calf attacked by dogs and shifted several yards of the fence I got his hands at the back of his neck and trid to make him let the revolver go but he stuck to it like grim death to a dead volunteer he called for assistance to a man named Cohen and Barnett, Lewis, Thompson, Jewitt two blacksmiths who was looking on I dare not strike any of there as I was bound to keep the peace or I could have spread those curs like dung in a paddock they got ropes tied my hands and feet and Hall beat me over the head with his six chambered colts revolver nine stitches were put in some of the cuts by Dr Hastings And when Wild Wright and my mother came they could trace us across the street by the blood in the dust and which spoiled the lustre of the paint on the gate-post of the Barracks Hall sent for more Police and Doctor Hastings..."
Next morning I was handcuffed a rope tied from them to my legs and to the seat of the cart and taken to Wangaratta Hall was frightened I would throw him out of the cart so he tied me whilst Constable Arthur laughed at his cowardice for it was he who escorted me and Hall to Wangaratta. I was tried and committed as Hall swore I claimed the mare the Doctor died or he would have proved Hall a perjurer Hall has been tried several times for perjury but got clear as this is no crime in the Police force it is a credit to a Policeman to convict an innocent man but any muff can pot a guilty one Halls character is well known about El Dorado and Snowy Creek and Hall was considerably in debt to Mr L. O.Brien and he was going to leave Greta Mr O.Brien seen no other chance of getting his money so there was a subscription collected for Hall and with the aid of this money he got James Murdock who was recently hung in Wagga Wagga to give false evidence against me but I was acquitted on the charge of horsestealing and on Halls and Murdocks evidence I was found guilty of receiving and got 3 years experience in Beechworth Pentridges dungeons
N E D K E L L Y A G E D 1 6 Y E A RS O F A G E
Ned was in the Beechworth Gaol for 18 months and he spent the rest of his term in Pentridge prison in Melbourne.
He worked down at Port Phillip bay , helping build the docks and had become a very well built strong man by the time of his release.