Constable William RAYMOND
14 April, 1866
At the time of his death Constable Raymond, Senior Sergeant John Healey, and Constables Andrew Kilpatrick and Edward Mitchell were escorting eleven prisoners to Darlinghurst Gaol where they were to help with building works. When the wagon in which they were travelling reached Bargo Brush (now Pheasant’s Nest) the prisoners attacked their escort in an escape bid. In the ensuing brawl one of the prisoners (James Crookwell) managed to seize a police revolver. He fired at Sergeant Healey however the bullet struck Constable Raymond in the face, killing him instantly. The constable’s first name is sometimes recorded as Edward.
On 20 April, 1866 an official inquiry into the “murderous assault by prisoners on the police under whose charge they were being brought from Berrima Gaol to Sydney” took place at Darlinghurst Gaol, before Captain Cloete, the Water Police Magistrate. In evidence, Senior Sergeant Healey gave an intimate account of the circumstances of the murder.
“We were proceeding towards Sydney, and about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, when within about ten miles from Picton I heard a shout in the coach, and at the same moment I was seized from behind by both shoulders by two men; I made a spring forward and fell off the coach; I jumped up and went round to the near side of the coach; I saw prisoners Weaver, Slattery, and Lee take hold of Constable Mitchell; they were trying to wrest his arms from him; they were all standing up in the coach; prisoners Berriman, Crookwell and Owens had hold of Constable Kilpatrick on the same side of the coach, but at the back seat; they were trying to wrest his carbine from him; Crookwell had hold of his throat; Berriman and Owens had hold of his carbine; the prisoner Forster, was standing up in the centre of the coach; I presented my rifle, and told the prisoners if they did not let go I would fire; they did not let go; I pulled the trigger, and the cap snapped; I then seized my rifle by the barrel and made a blow at Smith, who was still struggling with Mitchell ; I hit the coach, and broke the stock of the rifle; I then saw most of the prisoners rush to the off side of the coach; I was still on the near side; when I got round I saw that Constable Raymond had got out of the coach and was standing alongside it; when I got up to the coach, I looked in and saw Crookwell with a revolver in his right hand, and holding Kilpatrick’s throat with his left hand; I said to him, “Put down that revolver, or I’ll blow your brains out”; prisoner Lee was shouting out to the others, “Shoot the b-s’. Weaver cried out, “Shoot the b–sergeant;” Berriman was shouting out, “Fire, fire;”‘ directly I said to Crookwell I would blow his brains out, he turned round and said to me, “you b-,” at the same moment he fired; Raymond was standing in front of me, between me and the horses; and Crookwell was standing at the back part of the coach’; I heard something like a bullet pass me, and I immediately fired; I think I hit Slattery; as soon as the shot had been fired by Crookwell, I saw the blood gush from Raymond’s nose; Raymond turned half round and fell on his face.
At this time Constables Mitchell and Kilpatrick were both struggling with prisoners in the coach; I then saw Owens had got out of the coach and was running away; I followed him, and called upon him to stand; he refused; I fired; he immediately fell down and rolled over, and cried out, ” I’m shot, for God’s sake do not fire any more.”; I did not fire again; I went up to him and brought him back to the coach; when I got back to the coach, Mitchell and Kilpatrick had got out, and were standing by the side of the coach; Crookwell was holding up a revolver, and cried out twice, “I surrender”. Several of the prisoners also cried out that they would surrender; I did not hear any other shots fired; I made Owens get into the coach, and handcuffed himself; I noticed blood was coming from Slattery and Bland; two or three civilians then came up, one of whom was a clergyman, who assisted Mr. Whatmore to put the body of Raymond, in the boot of the coach; Raymond, up to this time, had not moved from the place where he had fallen”.
The constable was born in 1838 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 3 June, 1862. At the time of his death he was stationed in the Sydney Metropolitan District.