TO THE EDITOR OF THE CARLISLE PATRIOT.
SIR, -- It is with pain and reluctance that I again trouble you to insert this letter in your next number relative to the case of my son, John CONKEY; and in laying this statement of facts before the public, and also an extract of digest of evidence, I do so in the interests of justice, as neither the Watch Committee nor the magistrates who tried the case have the power to re-open or grant a re-hearing. The evidence I now produce would, had it been brought forward at the trial, have resulted in proving my son's innocence, and thereby acquitting him of the charge preferred against him; but unfortunately, at the time he was convicted I was not in possession of such evidence. I now submit the testimony of ten respectable citizens, and will leave their names with you to substantiate the bona fide nature of their evidence, and you will perceive that not one of them has corroborated the statement of NORMAN and his confreres, thus illustrating how dangerous and hazardous it is to convict anybody on the unsupported and uncorroborated evidence of the police. I do not give their names here; but I leave them with you.
J. A.'s Evidence. -- When I came down Botchergate NORMAN and GILLESPIE were standing alone. I heard NORMAN say to GILLESPIE, "I'll take you up." GILLESPIE said, "Thou can't; I've done nothing." NORMAN then and there seized GILLESPIE, and some policemen on the other side of the street came to NORMAN'S assistance. J.A.'s statement is corroborated by another, who can be produced when required.
G. B.'s Evidence. -- Saw the affray when no more that five or six were present. GILLESPIE was on his feet. Saw CONKEY near Dugdale's, and we kept together as far as BOWE'S shop, where I lost him. On the way up the street we were pushed to the front two or three times. Up to BOWE'S shop I saw no kicking or striking by anyone. CONKEY could not possibly have kicked or struck anybody without me seeing him. Just after leaving the Bank, I saw a man kick NORMAN, and a little further on this same man tried to wrench a stick out of my hand, saying, "Lend me you stick; I'll soon scatter him!" I accompanied the crowd as far as the West Walls.
J. L.'s Evidence. -- I was standing among the crowd near Dugdale's when CONKEY first came up. I followed the crowd as far as the Court Houses. Saw CONKEY several times in going up Botchergate. Never saw him after we passed the Bank. Saw no kicking or striking by anyone until after we left Botchergate.
J. H.'s Evidence. -- First saw the affray between Dugdale's and Nixon's. Was in front nearly all the time. Saw CONKEY between the Bank and Parker's shop. Saw no kicking or striking by anybody. CONKEY could neither have kicked nor struck anybody without me seeing him do so. Saw a policeman swinging a stick to keep the crowd back.
R. L.'s Evidence. -- Saw the affray first at Nixon's. GILLESPIE was lying down. Followed the crowd as far as the West Walls. Saw neither kicking nor striking until we came to the Court Houses; here it was darker, and the crowd became rougher. Saw a man try to wrench a stick out of NORMAN'S hand. Never saw CONKEY at any time.
T. W.'s Evidence. -- Joined the crowd near the Albert Hotel. Never saw CONKEY. Was in front several times. Saw no kicking or striking by anyone.
J. W.'s Evidence. -- I joined the crowd near Dugdale's, and followed to the top of Botchergate. Never saw CONKEY. Saw neither kicking nor striking.
W. M.'s Evidence. -- As the crowd passed BOWE the butcher's CONKEY came up, and I stood speaking to BOWE and CONKEY, and came home with the latter.
W. B.'s Evidence. -- Stood talking with CONKEY and W. M. at my shop door after the crowd had passed. CONKEY was calm and cool, not in the least excited; he was dressed in a light grey suit, and he went down Botchergate in company with W. M.
The evidence of the police was to the effect that John CONKEY both struck and kicked NORMAN. The crowd was great, so much so, that the police were surrounded on all sides. In cross-examination, one of the police admitted that he was on his knees, and that his back was to CONKEY, and he deliberately took his oath that he looked round and saw him (CONKEY) both kick and strike NORMAN; and when asked how CONKEY was dressed, said he could not say, although he (CONKEY) was dressed in a light suit of grey tweed that rendered him a conspicuous object to the most superficial observer. Certainly, he could not say how he (CONKEY) was dressed, because he was not present at the time NORMAN was assaulted. G. B.'s evidence proves there was neither kicking or striking up to reaching the Bank; and W. M.'s evidence is conclusive that the (CONKEY) went no further than BOWE the butcher's, and then returned home in company with the said W. M.
In conclusion, I ask, is the evidence of the police to be entirely relied upon, and the testimony of these ten respectable citizens of Carlisle to be ignored? Well, sir, I will now leave the case to public opinion; who, after reading and digesting the evidence, will be in a position to say whether John CONKEY has, or has not, been unjustly convicted. It is quite papable that whatever striking or kicking there may have been, it did not take place until after CONKEY had left the crowd; and therefore the evidence I now produce has incontestably proved an alibi, namely, that CONKEY was elsewhere at the time the kicking, striking, and assaulting the police occurred. -- I remain, sir, your, &c., GEORGE CONKEY, Father of the Victim.
99, Botchergate, February 13th, 1877.