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CRUELTY TO A CHILD.

\ (BEX PRESS ASSOCIATION.) ; Ohrisxohurch, Augußt 19 J At the Police Court to-day ths man Abbott and his wife, charged with illtreating and starving the child Esther Powditch, were brought up on remand. A great crowd gathered m and around the Court, and the prisone'S would probably have been hooted, if not actually hustled, but that the police had taken precautions and conveyed them very early to the Court. The chJd Powdilch Was also present and the week which has elapsed since the case was first discovered, has made wonderful difference m her appearance. In spite of the great improvement, however, due to good food a d care, one witness who had been accustomed to tee her eveiy day up to the time she went to Abbott's swore tiiat he had much difficulty m recognising her. According to his gra^ hie, if somewhat colloquial version of the case, the child now looks a "regular old woman and knocked all 10 pieces." Godfrey, who originally adopted the child, deposed sac was always strong, healthy and of a lively disposition. He and Abbott had a mutual written agreement when the latter took charge of her. Two months ago Abbott w.ote saying he wished him to take the child back again, but he considered a bargain once i made was made for ever. He threw the letter I into the fire and took no further notice of the request. Adam Bloor, the same witness who had been hardly able to recognise Esther, said that some time ago he suspected Abbott was keeping the cbild prisoner m the house as he never saw her playing with accused's children as formerly, Esther Powditch, thirteen and a half years of age, herself swore that since the Abb-tts removed to their last dwelling place she had been constantly .maltreated and starved. She had been kept as much as three days without food as punishment for not getting on quickly with her work m the morning. The work consisted of nursing the children, scrubbing, washing and Cleaning the stove, Her food was generally wheaten meal, sometimes with milk but often without. She had I. ever had bread aLd butter, tea, vegetables, pudding or meat. When kept without food Mrs Abbott tied her up sometimes twice a week m a locked room, whi c Abbott who knew nothing of this was away at work, ishe was hea:en neany every day by Mra Abbott with a stick for being slow at her work. it appears Abbott himself never ill-treated the child, but once threatened, "If he once lifted his hand to her she would never complain again." It appears he knew the sort of food on which she lived, though he was ignorant of the beatings and tying up In trying to tell the story of how she made her escape to some neighbors, named Wj att, to obtain food after three days' starvation, the chiid became daz d and when descr.biog how the woman Abbott on her return plunged her head into a bucket of water, and kept her there she burst out crying. This piece of cruelty also took place during the absence of Abbott, and he was also out of the way according to the child, when the wife pulled handfulls of hair out of her scalp.

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CRUELTY TO A CHILD. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2203, 19 August 1889

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