Aii inquest was held in the Somerset Hotel to-day on the body of the child found at Rakaia, alleged to to that of Sarah Brimmicomb. Dr. Trevor was Coroner, and Mr. F. Pavitt was chosen foreman of the jury. The following evidence was taken :
Dr. Boss said he had made a post mortem examination of the child. The body was that of a full-grown child, but the features of its face were indistinguishable. The .skin was dark bi’own. It was impossible to make out whether there were any marks of violence- or not. The umbilical cord was.about 18 inches in length and had evidently not been tied in. the ordinary way. On opening the chest, the lungs were found in a perfect state of preservation, and destitute of air—they had never been inflated, and the child had never breathed. I have known Sarah Brimmicomb for some time. She : presented signs of pregnancy. I used all the ordinary tests for the lungs of the child, which I should say had been dead for over a, fortnight—fourteen or seventeen days. The lungs were just beginning to decompose. The lungs sank in water. Sergeant Felton—-On the 9th of December I went to South Rakaia, to the house of a man named Brimmicomb. Sarah Brimmicomb and her mother were in the house. I said, “I have a, search warrant, and have come to search for the body of the child of which I believe you, Sarah Brimmicomb, are the mother.” i
Mrs. Briinmicomb said, “ I know nothing about it; do I, Sarah?” Sarah said, “ No, mother, you don’t. I had it about one o’clock oa Tuesday week (23rd Nov.) It was a slip about as long as my linger. I was standing upby mymother’sbed,anditcame from me. I rolled it in a rag and put it : amongst the potatoes.” 1 said, “The potatoes havebecnsearched, audit isnot there.” She then said, “I put it down the closet; it’s in an old holland sleeve.” I searched the closet, and found the full-sized afterbirth of a woman, the umbilical cord to it. The whole was loose and not wrapped up in anything. It looked fresh, but was bloody. 1 showed it to the girl, saying that it was all I could find in the closet, and that it looked to me like that of a fullgrown child. She said, “ Yes ; that’s mine, and what I had was in it. It was about that (nine inches) long, and was in an old coat-sleeve.” I said, “'Was it formed 2 ” and she said it wasn’t properly formed; On the 13th inst. I searched the back cf the house, near the corner, about throe yards from the back door. I found the dead body of the child. It was wrapped in a piece of coarse blanketing, covered with about six inches of soil. There was a large tub over it. Brought the body to Ashburton"; saw Sarah Brimmicomb, and told her I had found the body, and explained where I had found it. She said, “ Well, mother knew nothing about it ; the tub must have been put there since.” The mother of Sarah Brimmicomb was not with me when I found the child, but she pointed with her finger in the direction of the place, saying, “ Somewhere there.” Eliza Jane Brimmicomb—l am the mother of Sarah Brimmicomb, and live with my husband at Rakaia. I knew Sarah was pregnant. I saw her at the police station the day before yesterday, when she told mo whore she had buried the body—by the side of the house, near the pig tub. I pointed the place out to Sergeant Felton. My daughter never was married. The Coroner said tha* the evidence of Dr. Ross was to the effect that the child had never breathed. This disposed of the case as to the child having been killed, as the law did not recognise a child that had never breathed as a child that had lived. The jury could, however, bring in a verdict of “ Found Dead.” After consultation, the jury returned the following verdict:—“ That the child was that of Sarah Brimmmicomb, and was still born.”
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 217, 15 December 1880
INQUEST. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 217, 15 December 1880
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