REWARD FOR SERVICE
FROM the vault – The Cork cattle stealing case, 1905: Patrick and Ernest Hewitt, William Lilley, Walter Farrell and Charles Williams appeared in the Winton Court on December 30, 1905 charged with stealing 128 calves that were the property of the Darling Downs and Western Land Company at Cork Station.
The unbranded calves aged six to eight months, were taken from their mothers and driven back to the accuseds’ camp. Patrick Hewitt, age 12, was discovered by Russell the head stockman from Cork Station, looking after the calves. Hewitt later confessed all to Sergeant Michael Brosnan. Charles Williams, one of the last men arrested, confirmed Hewitt’s statement and Walter Farrell was brought in by Constable John Hanrahan, of Diamantina Lakes Police Station.
John Farrell, father of Walter Farrell, offered Constable Joseph Doyle a bribe of 100 pounds, if he gave Mr Chubb (the solicitor of the accused) any information that would break down the case against them. Const. Doyle did not succumb to the offer but was severely reprimanded for not reporting it immediately to Sgt Brosnan. All the accused (except for young Patrick Hewitt) were found guilty of stealing calves and were sentenced to two years of hard labour.
In recognition of their valuable service in the Cork cattle stealing case, the Queensland National and New South Wales Banks presented Sgt Michael Brosnan with 25 pounds.
Const. John Hanrahan, Joseph Doyle, P. Maloney, Andrew Hickson and James Dunlea each received five pounds from the banks.
TOP SQUAD: Five of the six police officers on the Cork Cattle Station case. Back: Constables John Hanrahan, P Maloney, Joseph Doyle. Front: Sergeant Michael Brosnan and Constable James Dunlea.