Burying a child alive
On Tuesday evening about 6pm, Thomas HARRIS, gardener to Mr CHAFFERS was returning from his work, he heard the cries of a child proceeding from a small shrubbery close to the premises of his employer in Anfield Rd, West Derby. On making an inspection he found the noise was coming from loose sods, from removing them he found a buried infant, still alive but in an exhausted state. The mouth of the child was filled with earth, and the poor sufferer was in a pitiable state. The hole into which the infant had been forced was not very large, and the earth and sods had been spread over with the least possible care. Mr HARRIS disinterred the living babe, and called in to his assistance MOONEY, No 519, the active and intelligent officer of the county constabulary force stationed in Fairfield.
The policeman took the child at once to the West Derby workhouse, where Mr GOUCH, the governor, gave instruction that it should be properly taken care of. The midwife of the workhouse, from some unusual marks which were on the body at it's birth recognised the child as that of Ann MURPHY, an unmarried woman, who resided for the last 20yrs in Liverpool, and who was confined about a fortnight ago in the workhouse.
As soon as the officer obtained this information as to the unnatural mother, his first efforts [after leaving the child where it would be attended to] were directed to the discovery of the woman. Accompanied by Mr GOUGH [who volunteered his services in order to avoid difficulty in identification] MOONEY went about 10pm to the lodging house in Upper Beau St, and there he found Ann MURPHY in bed. On being asked to produce her child, she said she had sent it off to Glasgow that afternoon by the 5pm boat. The officer then told her that she would have to go with him on the charge of attempting to murder her child by burying it beneath the earth and covering it with sods.
On her way to the Old Swan police station, the cruel mother said, "I am sorry that I have done it - I have murdered the child."
MURPHY, it appears left the workhouse with her child on Monday. The infant before leaving the workhouse was provided with proper clothing, but when it was unearthed the body was only covered with a few old rags. No doubt the workhouse clothes had been removed in order to prevent identification of the body. A portion of the clothes which the child wore on leaving the workhouse were pledged, and another portion was found in the lodging house where Ann MURPHY was apprehended. From the statements of the prisoner and those of the gardener who made the discovery it would appear that the child must have lain in its untimely grave from 2 to 3hrs.
The prisoner was brought up yesterday at the county magistrate's office, before Mr William RATHBONE and Mr T. BROCKLEBANK, and remanded until it is ascertained whether the child is likely to survive, it being at present, in a very delicate state.
Liverpool Mercury, Aug 15th, 1860
Liverpool Summer Assizes
Crown Court, Before Baron MARTIN
Tuesday August 14th
Charge of attempt to murder a child
Ann MURPHY, aged 27, was charged with exposing her infant, only a few days old, with intent to murder it. Mr DREIGHTON prosecuted, the prisoner was undefended.
On the 21st May last the prisoner was admitted into West Derby Workhouse, in a state of pregnancy, and on the 31st was delivered of a female child. On the 11th June she left the workhouse and took lodgings in Beau St. The following morning she left her lodgings, taking her child with her, in the evening she returned without it, and said she had sent it to Ireland. About 6pm that evening the child was found in a plantation at Walton covered with sods. The child was taken to West Derby Workhouse, where, under careful nursing, it recovered from the effects of the exposure. The prisoner in her defence, said she had no means of supporting the child, and, she did not know what she was doing. She was found guilty of common assault and sentenced to 4mths, imprisonment with hard labour.
Liverpool Mercury, Feb 24th, 1862
Liverpool Police court
Feb 22nd, before Mr RAFFLES
Charge of attempting to pick pockets, a decently dressed man named John STRETCH was brought up on a charge of attempting to pick a lady’s pocket, the only evidence against the prisoner was that of James EVANS, Bookseller, stationer and newsagent, Byrom St who also does a little business in the amateur detective line. He stated on the previous evening he had been to Hengier’s Circus, and was passing the Teutonic Hall as the Mayor’s carriage was passing there a crowd had assembled around the equipage and he noticed the prisoner place himself near the lady in a suspicious manner. He watched and saw the man put his hand in the lady’s pocket and seized his hand just as he was taking it away. He believed STRETCH did not take anything from the pocket, she went away before he had time to detain her. Committed for trial, he was imprisoned for 3mths for attempting to pick pockets in June last.
Alleged stabbing case, William LEWIS was brought up on remand for having stabbed Ellen GODFREY and Ellen MC LOUGHLIN, the offence to place in MC LOUGHLIN’S house, 12 Bolton St, Edge Hill, on the night of the 15th inst, during a dispute between the parties who are related. The medical evidence showed it was not a case of stabbing but the wounds were caused by a blunt instrument - committed for trial
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