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Concealment of birth at Quorndon

Loughborough Advertiser - July 16th 1874

(See also petty sessions for first hearing, Artefact 141)

Mary Ann Wilders, 21, factory hand, was charged with endeavouring to conceal the birth of a male child of which she had been delivered at Quorndon, in the month of April, 1874. Prisoner pleaded not guilty. - Mr Merewether prosecuted, and prisoner was undefended. - William Wakeling, labourer, said he was employed to take some manure from a privy near where the prisoner stayed. When unloading the manure he came upon the body of a child. He laid it in a field and covered it over with staw. He went and informed his master.

On coming back he met a policeman with the body. - Matilda Wate spoke to seeing the prisoner go into a privy, and after hearing a splash the prisoner came out scarecely able to walk. Witness observed the prisoner pick up two brick ends and throw them into the privy. Eliza Wooden deposed to the prisoner having told her that she was pregnant. PC Higgs spoke to finding the body and apprehending the prisoner.- Mrs Holloway, of the police station, Loughborough, deposed to the prisoner stating to her that she was seized with the pains of labour while in the privy. - Samuel Harris, surgeon, Quorndon, spoke to examining the body, but owing to it being in an advanced state of decomposition, he could not state, with any certainty, its age or whether it had breathed. He believed that it was a six months' child. The birth might have taken place as the prisoner had stated. -

His Lordship, in summing up, said that the jury had to say whether or not the prisoner secretly disposed of the dead body of the child, as it was upon that that the case rested. The jury found the prisoner not guilty. The prisoner was accordingly discharged.

 Submitted on: 2009-07-18
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 266
 Artefact URL: www.quornmuseum.com/display.php?id=266
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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