His­tor­i­cal theft:

Holy Trin­ity Angli­can Church par­ish priest David Still is ap­peal­ing for the com­mu­nity’s help af­ter an an­tique lock was stolen from Ned Kelly’s cell at the old Be­nalla court­house ear­lier this month.

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - By Monique Freer

A Be­nalla priest is seek­ing help from the com­mu­nity af­ter thieves stole an ir­re­place­able an­tique lock from the old Be­nalla court­house ear­lier this month.

Holy Trin­ity Angli­can Church par­ish priest David Still said the ca­st­iron lock on Ned Kelly’s hold­ing cell at the for­mer court­house was jem­mied off and re­moved, leav­ing only the screws be­hind.

‘‘The door was pushed open and the locks were gone,’’ Fr Still said.

‘‘We think some­one was af­ter a bit of Kelly mem­o­ra­bilia.’’

The hold­ing cell forms part of the Ned Kelly trail, which visits towns and sites where one of Aus­tralia’s most fa­mous bushrangers spent his short life.

‘‘It was part of the trail he left around the area,’’ Fr Still said.

‘‘We’ve had it all set up as if he were in here.’’

In the late 1870s Ned Kelly was on trial at the for­mer Be­nalla court­house and was kept in the hold­ing cell. He es­caped from the court­house and was cap­tured across the other side of Arun­del St.

The cast-iron lock was the orig­i­nal lock on the build­ing dur­ing Kelly’s trial.

Fr Still said due to its his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance the lock was in­valu­able. ‘‘The lock’s ir­re­place­able,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s part of the orig­i­nal build­ing and in one sense it can’t be re­placed.

‘‘We have the church open all the time and we have had lit­tle in the way of dam­age, so this is par­tic­u­larly dis­ap­point­ing.

‘‘It dam­ages it for ev­ery­one else in the long term.’’

Fr Still said he was un­sure of the worth of the lock, but it would be valu­able for some­one who was in­ter­ested in rare Kelly mem­o­ra­bilia.

Be­nalla Po­lice Sergeant Je­nenne Stiles said the theft oc­curred be­tween 7 am on Sun­day, May 4 and 6 pm on Sun­day, May 11.

Sgt Stiles said noth­ing else was re­moved from the cell how­ever items had been dis­turbed.

Fr Still said it ap­peared Ned Kelly’s hel­met had been tried on dur­ing the theft.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion is urged to phone Be­nalla po­lice on 5760 0200 or Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

Call­ing for help: Holy Trin­ity Angli­can Church par­ish priest David Still at Ned Kelly’s cell at the old Be­nalla court­house, from where the an­tique lock was stolen.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.