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ATTEMPTED SUICIDE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 136, 7 August 1880
Before the Resident Magistrate yesterday, Isabella Craig Perry was accused of attempting to commit suicide by taking chlorodyne. Thomas Stephens, sworn, said —I am a cab driver, residing in Ashburton. Re-
member last Tuesday. Know the accused by the name of “ Bella.” Know a house called the “lean-to it is a house of illfame. Brought the accused from the lean-to between six and seven to Mrs. Harper’s ; thence to the Royal hotel; and then to Mr. Neate’s. the chemist. She asked mo to get her two bottles of chlorodyne as she was sick. She gave me money to give to Mi’. Noate. Mr. Neate gave mo a parcel containing two bottles. Mr. Neate asked me what it was for. I told him it was for my brother, who was not well. I gave the bottles to accused. I then drove her back to the lean-to, and left her there. I. believe accused was sober. Did not see accused after.
By accused—You were quite sober when you were in my cab. While in the cab you had one glass of porter. Charles Neate, sworn—l am a chemist, residing in Ashburton. Remember last Tuesday evening. On that occasion, the last witness came to my shop about six o’clock, and purchased two small! bottles of chlorodyne, the size of those produced. He said they were for his brother. Chlorodyne is a sedative ; ten to thirty minims is a dose. Thirty minims is a full dose. Chlorodyne contains ether, prussic acid, chloroform, morphia, Indian hemp, and treacle. The two bottles would contain about 240 minims. Being a powerful sedative, taking the two bottles, I should think, would cause death. Chlorodyne is largely used in the colony, and there is nothing unusual in selling two bottles at a time. Death has resulted, from my own knowledge, from overdoses of chlorodyne. When last witness came for the chlorodyne he had no paper. Did not know there was a cab outside my shop, and did not see the accused. William Graham Ross, sworn, said —I am a medical practitioner, residing in Ashburton. Remember a young woman coming for me about seven o’clock on the evening of the 3rd August. At her request, 1 went to the house known as,the “lean-to.” It was about quarter-past seven when I got there. Saw the accused there in bed. She was very drowsy, and her breath had the odour of cliloi’odyne. Her pulse was slow, and the pupils of her eye were contracted. From what I had been told, and from the symptoms, I judged she had taken chlorodyne. Accused admitted taking chlorodyne. I gave her an emetic, which operated in a very short time. I kept her walking about for some time as she was very drowsy, and as she continued so, I had her removed to the Hospital. Gave instructions there that she should be kept awake for the night. Saw accused yesterday, and gave her her discharge cured. Previous to going up to see the accused, I sent the young woman to the chemist to procure an emetic which she was to give to the accused. When I arrived, I found that the emetic had not been taken. I had some difficulty in getting her to take the emetic, but on threatening to use the stomach pump if she still refused, she took the emetic. 1 gave it several times, and she did not refuse again. When I arrived, accused had not taken the chlorodyne sufficiently long to produce dangerous symptoms. Administration of the emetics was in sufficient time to prevent fatal results. Taking two bottles of chlorodyne is certainly dangerous to life. Accused was not under the influence of drink.
Ellen Moore, sworn—l reside at the house called the “lean-to,” with the accused. On Tuesday evening remember accused going away in a cab, and i’eturning between seven and eight o’clock. She was nearly an hour away. When she came back she asked me to take her things off and put her to bed. I did so. There was a tumbler on the table in the bedroom, and on going out I was about to take it with me, but she asked me to leave it. I then went into the kitchen, and in about ten minutes she called me back. Accused told me she had taken the “stuff, and that it was poison. ” She told me at the hospital yesterday that she had taken the chlorodyne in water. On returning to the bedroom, the tumbler was on the table, and it smelt of chlorodyne. When I went into the kitchen I left Polly Wady in the bedroom. Polly came into the kitchen afterwards, and left the accused alone. When accused told mo she had taken the poison I went for Dr. Ross. He gave me a prescription to get an emetic. 1 got two from Mr. Neate, the chemist. Tried to give Bella one of them, hut she upset it, and said she did not want to take it, as she would soon be all right. About five minutes afterwards Dr. Ross came. He tried to give her the emetic, but she refused, saying there was nothing the matter with her. Dr. Ross told her if she refused to take the emetic, he had some men there who would help hun to use the stomach pump. When she first saw the doctor, accused said I ought not to have gone for him, as there was nothing the matter with her. Yvffien accused asked me to undress her she was a little tipsy. Don’t know that there was anything the matter with her. We were in Christchurch together on Monday. Saw two little empty bottles on Bella’s dressing-table. Gave them to Constable Neill yesterday. Have known the accused for twelve months. Don’t know that she has had any trouble, or anything that would induce her to take her life. We are good friends. Do not know that accused was taking chlorodyne before. By accused—When I offered you the emetic you said you was all right, not that you would soon be all right. Mary Wadey corroborated the evidence of last witness.
By accused—Do not know whether you upset the glass on purpose. Constable Neill sworn—l arrested the prisoner last night at about ten o’clock in a house known by the name of the “ leanto.” Was told she was in bed. She came out to me, and I read the warrant to her. She asked who laid the information. I told her I did not know. She said she was not fool enough to poison herself , that those who laid the information did not know anything about it, as it was a medicine. She said that at the time she took it she was drunk, and did not know what she was doing ; it was a mistake. We came from the “lean-to” to the station in a cab, and Nelly Moore came along with us. Accused said to Nelly Moore, “The Harper’s should not have known anything about it ; they are sure to make something of it.” Went back to the “lean-to” about midnight, and in a room which I was told was prisoner’s bedroom, the Iwo bottles produced were found.
After being duly cautioned, the accused said she had taken chlorodyne as a medicine before. At the time she took it on Tuesday, she was a little the worse for liquor. She had no wish whatever to poison herself. His Worship committed the prisoner for trial at the next criminal sessions to be held at Christchurch. Bail would be allowed, the accused in a bond of L2OO, and two sureties of LIOO each.
ATTEMPTED SUICIDE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 136, 7 August 1880
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