Letter Written by R.D. Yelverton in Support of George Edalji
The following is a letter written by R.D. Yelverton in support of the release of George Edalji.
The George Edalji case
If accidental, it is a fair observation to say that in the Edalji case there should have been sworn testimony for the Prosecution that the place where the animal lay had been searched: there was none.
And Veterinary evidence should have been adduced by the Prosecution as to the nature, probable cause and extent of the injury: there was none.
The Veterinary Surgeons (Mr Edward Sewell and Mr Lewis in their evidence on oath to the Home Secretary since the trial, declare:
"That the evidence for the Prosecution should have included a careful survey of the place or places where the animal had been during the night and in the early morning of the 17th and 18th August."
And they agree that medical, i.e. Veterinary evidence, should have been called by the Prosecution as the probable cause and extent of the injury. (Mr. Lewis was the Surgeon called by the Prosecution to examine the pony, but he was not "called" by them as a witness as he did not support the theory of Prosecution.
I observe that in the cases of injuries since the conviction of Mr Edlaji, every injury is said by the Police to be accidental and attributable to barbed wire or some concealed danger. It is, I repeat, grossly unjust that evidence as above was not given the previous occasion, involving such grave consequences that a gentleman was sent to seven years penal servitude.
Mrs Edalji, mother of Mr Edalji, and his aunt - Miss Stoneham - are now in London, staying at 39 Woburn Place, Russell Square, and I have tendered them to the Home Office for cross-examination on their Statutory Declarations. I have also tendered the other witnesses (Statutory Regulations, number 14 in all) for cross-examination. These Statutory Declarations have not been challenged and establish that George Edalji was in the Vicarage the whole night of August 17th and morning of 18th; that there were no hairs on the coat which he wore at early breakfast on the 18th - (there was admittedly no blood on the "razor", and the path where the "down-at-heel" boot mark was said to have been walked over by several workmen and sight-seers before the boot was taken there).
This is the whole case, weak as it was, for the Prosecution, conclusively disproved.
How could a gentleman in the position and of the education of Mr Edalji , be supposed to write the following, put by the Prosecution before the Jury, as written by him. (They were sent either to the Police or to himself).
"You great hulking blackguard and coward I have got you fixed you dirty Cad - bloody monkey!" - p. 20 of "Case" letter C.R. 2.