Newspaper articles – The West Australian – 9th -11th March 1885

The West Australian



[From our own correspondent.]


Gilroy, who was arrested in connection with the Roebourne murder, has been discharged, there being no evidence to connect him with the crime. It is understood there is a strong case against the other two men, Bevan and Warburton. The latter, whose hat, stained with blood, has been found, concealed, and who cannot satisfactorily account for his absence from home on the night of the murder, has been committed for trial.





March 3rd, 1885.

I will now give you further particulars about the murder case, and shall confine myself to the evidence given in Court, for if I were to mention all the tales that are flying about, credited one day, and, on good ground, discredited the next, I should needlessly, and perhaps mischievously, occupy your space.

On the 28th ulto. the accused man, Gilroy, was discharged, as the only evidence against him was that of Lillis, and that was not strong.

0n the 26th February the prisoners were brought up on remand and six witnesses were examined. Mr. Chas. Zeddi stated that the pick found in possession of San Qui was not the pick lent by him to the Chinaman.

R. Burns swore that he and San Qui were talking together on the morning of the murders and that prisoner told him he did not think so much noise would have been made about the affair, for there was ” plenty murder at Singapore and no noise.”

Mrs. Burns’s evidence was, briefly stated, that upon observing to San Qui it was a cruel man who killed Mr. Anketell, he said, “no one man kill him, two three kill him.”

A son of Burns said to San Qui that he heard Mr. Burrup had been shot through the head and he replied “Shoot him pick-no one hear.” San Qui also said that no money had been taken, that there were plenty of cheques, but they would not take them.

Mr. Broadhurst’s evidence was that cheques were found in the Bank the morning after the murder.

Burns during his evidence stated that San Qui said that he (S. Q.) could neither eat nor sleep, for that when he went to sleep  Anketell came and knocked his head about, and he intended when Eaton (his employer) returned from the country to sell him (Eaton) his place and go away to Singapore.

San Qui got much excited in court during Burns’s evidence, and cross examined that witness at some length. He accused him of telling lies.

Mr. Eaton gave evidence that, on his return, he found the butcher’s tools were much cleaner than usual.

P.C. Thomas in evidence said that he saw Bevan and San Qui talking privately together on the Wednesday morning (day after the murders) and that when a Chinaman went in to get his hat, San Qui ordered him out, asking him why he came to listen to their conversation.

Dr. O’Meehan, upon some tools from the butcher’s shop being shown to him said that such instruments might have inflicted wounds similar to those on the deceased.

A Chinaman in evidence stated that Bevan asked him what he told lies for, saying that he (Bevan) was a policeman and would shoot him.

Mrs. Noonan stated in Court that Warburton came to her place about noon of the day of the murders, and in reply to her question whether he had heard of the crime said yes, and that he had come in to attend the funeral, yet in the afternoon when she saw him, after the funeral procession had started, standing alone under the hotel verandah, he told her that he never intended to go. She noticed on that day that Warburton was not himself, being disturbed and restless. On the Wednesday morning Bevan came to her house (a public house) and while talking of what had occurred, said it was the work of Chinamen, and on the previous day some one at the bar remarking that he had heard of the arrest of a Chinaman with a tomahawk. Bevan laughed and said it was a good thing it was Chinamen who were suspected and not whites.
A free pardon has been offered to any one who will give such information  as will lead to the conviction of the murderers, such person or persons not being principals of the first or second degree.

The next hearing of the case will take place on Saturday 7th inst., when some additional evidence, said to be of importance will be produced. As I said before we hear all sorts of rumours and one has reached us that Sergt. Rowe has discovered concealed at or near Warburton’s place his hat, battered and stained with blood. I give it you for what it is worth. It may or may not be true. At all events I cannot give it as a positive fact.