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How does a man hanged for murder become an Australian national hero Ned was just 16 when he was convicted of receiving a stolen horse and served three years in gaol before being released in 1874 Whether or not he was set for a life of crime is hard to say but one event had a dramatic effect on determining his future and that was in April 1878 A police officer called Fitzpatrick accused Neds mother of attacking him and Ned of shooting him in the wrist But whatever actually happened the end result of Fitzpatricks claims was that Mrs Kelly was sent to prison for three years and a one hundred pound reward was offered for the capture of Ned From that time on Ned and his brother Dan kept to the bush On the 26th October 1878 together with friends Joe Byrne and Steve Hart they came across police camped at Stringy Bark Creek Ned believed the police intended to kill him and Dan so he called on them to surrender Nevertheless three of the officers resisted and in the fight that followed their death The reward for Kelly and his gang rose to two thousand pounds and would later rise to an amazing eight thousand pounds the equivalent today of nearly two millions dollars In June 1880 Ned made his last stand at the Glenrowan Hotel when police surrounded them Prepared to fight the four bushrangers wore suits of armour made from steel During the battle Ned escaped through the police lines Rather than fleeing into the bush he returned a number of times to fight police He was trying to rescue his brother and friends Eventually he collapsed with more than 28 bullet wounds to his arms legs feet groin and hands After Ned recovered he was convicted of the murder of one of the police officers at Stringy Bark and despite protests by thousands of supporters was sentenced to death
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