Manchester Guardian, June 6th, 1922
Mother charged with attempted murder
Birkdale Sandhills scene
At Southport Police Court yesterday, Anne SHERIDAN, a domestic servant, recently employed at Birkdale, was charged with the attempted murder of her daughter Winifred Mary SHERIDAN aged 12, by attempting to strangle her.
The Chief Constable Major EGAN, applying for a remand, said Walter MORRIS, 7 Lloyds Sidings Birkdale, said he was walking on the sand hills near Esplanade at Birkdale on Saturday morning, about 8.30, when he heard cries coming from the sand hills as if a child was in great pain or fright. He searched the hills and discovered the accused bending over a child aged about 12. Accused had the girl gripped by the throat, and when he asked what was the matter, she replied, “My little girl is not well.” He saw the girl was black in the face and blood was coming from her nose and mouth. He pulled the accused away from the child and released the girl, whom he found unconscious. When she regained consciousness she said to Mr MORRIS, “Do not let mother kill me.” The child appeared in great pain and distress. Mr MORRIS carried her to the boys camp at Birkdale and then the police were telephoned for.
While they were waiting for the police the accused said to MORRIS that people were talking about them. She said, according to MORRIS that she had tried to drown the little girl and she had ran away, that she took the child into the sandhills intending to kill her and afterwards to kill herself. Asked if she had any objection to a remand accused said, “ I do not want to go to my death innocent. I have every cause for what I have done.” As she was leaving the dock she said, “You will not put me to my death will you, between this and Friday?”
The accused woman was remanded in custody until Friday. She is said to come from Staffordshire.
Manchester Guardian, June 10th, 1922
Alleged attempted murder by Mother on child at Birkdale
12 year old victim
Anne SHERIDAN aged 40 of Stafford, recently employed at Birkdale as a domestic servant, was committed at Southport yesterday for trial at the Liverpool Assizes on a charge of attempting to murder her 12 year old child Winifred Mary SHERIDAN, on the sand hills at Birkdale on Saturday last
Walter MORRIS, Lloyds Sidings Birkdale, said he was walking on the sand hills near Esplanade at Birkdale on Saturday morning last, about 8.30, when he heard a scream as though someone was in terror. He searched the hills and discovered the accused bending over a little girl lying on her back. Accused had the girl gripped by the throat, and when witness asked what she was doing, she replied, “My little girl is not well.” The girl was black in the face and blood was coming from her nose and mouth. Witness released the girl, whom he found unconscious. When she regained consciousness she said the accused had tried to kill her. Accused told him she had tried to drown the child, but it had run away. People, she said, had been talking about them, and saying they were bad characters. She took the girl into the hills to kill her, then she intended to kill herself.
The girl in evidence, said her mother roused her on Saturday morning about 6.30 and said they were going to town. When they got outside the house her mother posted a letter, saying it contained her will, which she was sending to her uncle in Stafford. They went down to the sea and witness asked if there were any whirlpools there, as her mother had previously said there were. Accused said there were none, but witness grew frightened and ran away. Her mother caught hold of her and they went to the hills. They fell down on some grass and her mother said, “Let us rest, I am tired.” Accused then fell upon her and got hold of her throat. When she heard her crying out, “I am dying” accused got hold of her nose and stopped her breathing. All the time her mother was exclaiming, “God forgive me, we will be better out of this world. I will die with you.” Her mother tried to choke herself also. Recently, she said, her mother had been strange and had accused her of theft. She understood her mother had bad nerves.
The employer of the accused said she had noticed that she was strange. She had talked a good deal about her furniture in Stafford, and had an idea people could get her furniture out of the store and sell it.
Dr DEARDEN, police surgeon, said the child was bruised over the throat. There were marks on the throat and chin caused by finger nails, he came to the conclusion she was suffering from delusions and that she had been publicly accused of being a bad character.
Accused said she wished to clear her character from accusations which were nor true. What she had done was the outcome of what people had said.. She thought it would be better to be out of this world than be accused of such wrong. If she had done anything to the little child she would have done it to herself also. She wanted to clear her character and go through life free.
The Chairman intimated that steps would be taken to secure legal representation for the accused.