Monday, May 21, 2012

Maloney, Stephen

1890/2021 Maloney, Stephen

[Per Press Association.] NEW PLYMOUTH, April, 13.
A ferocious murder was committed in the recreation grounds on Friday, the victim being an old man named Stephen Maloney. The deceased was a discharged soldier, having served in the Crimea. He lived alone in a small cottage in the grounds, and was last seen, alive on Friday at noon. He was missed on Friday night, and search was made for him on Saturday afternoon, when his body was found lying in some fern and scrub about twenty chains from his house.

Marks of violence were found on the body, but were not at first considered to be of a serious character, and there was little blood visible. The post-mortem to-day revealed that the deceased had been horribly murdered. Nine cuts were found in the head. None of them, however, fractured the skull or penetrated the brain. His windpipe had been smashed by some blunt instrument, as there was no external cut; but there was severe concussion.

The theory is that the murderer used the blunt end of a small tomahawk, inflicting repeated blown on the throat with it which severed the windpipe, but no severe external wound was occasioned.

The deceased was a native of Kerry, Ireland, and had been in this Colony over thirty years. He was decrepit and could not walk without a stick. His stick and hat were found about six or seven yards further in the scrub. When the body was found it was noticed that one of the pockets had been turned inside out, and the deceased's purse (empty) was found near the body. The motive for the crime was evidently to obtain money. The police have arrested a Native named Mitu Kai, who was liberated from gaol fourteen days ago, having served a sentence for housebreaking.

Marks of blood were found on the Maori's trousers, and he was seen in the locality on the day the murder was committed. The deceased told the keeper of the recreation grounds that a Maori he did not know had called at his house alone on Friday morning, and he had given him his breakfast. He also said the Maori told him he was employed doing some work in the recreation grounds. The keeper told deceased that the Maori's statement was untrue, as no Maori had been working in the grounds. The police are engaged in getting up the case, and it is expected that evidence will be adduced at the inquest (which commences on Monday) sufficiently strong to commit the Maori for trial. The murder is supposed to have been committed with deceased's own hatchet, which bears marks of blood upon it. The deceased was a recipient of charitable aid, and had no relations in the Colony.
Star, Issue 6826, 14 April 1890, Page 3

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