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Child Neglect at High Garrett

Illustrated Police News 30051891BRUTALITY TO A BABY

SOME horrible and disgusting facts were revealed at Chelmsford Quarter Sessions.

Mr. Arthur Hutton, for the S.P.C.C., said it was the very worst case he had ever been connected with. The child, who was the son of the male prisoner's sister, was illegitimate, and was placed under the care of the prisoners. Fanny Booth, a laundress, delivered the child to the female prisoner at Liverpool Street Station, and also handed over a parcel of clothes for it. Hannah White, who resided next door to the prisoner at High Garrett, said she remembered the child first coming to the village. It was then a clean, well-dressed baby. It was put to sleep in a basket downstairs.

About October witness saw sores on its body, and afterwards, on three occasions, witness gave the prisoners clean beds for it to lie on, as she could not bear, she said, to see the little thing lie to slow, wet, and dirty. The cot was foulness itself. In March Mrs. Beardwell went stone-picking from ten till four, leaving the child at home in the basket. She took her own children with her. At Easter the child was lying up to its arms in wet. It had only a nightgown on, and when witness was about to wash it she discovered that its body was in a horrible state. Its knees were glued together rom being cramped up in the basket. Witness washed the child as best she could. Mrs. Beardwell returned home on Easter Tuesday, and the police arrived at the house an hour later. Dr. Taylor, of Bocking, said the child was fearfully emaciated, and only weighed 10½ lb. instead of 16lb or 18lb. It was the grossest case of neglect he had ever known. There were bed-sores on the child's hips and back. The fingers were bent into the palm of the hand, and could not be opened.

The Jury found the female prisoner guilty, but returned a verdict of not guilty against the man, who, however, they considered ought to be reprimanded. The man was thereupon discharged and the woman sentenced to nine calendar months' imprisonment.