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A CHILD OVERLAIN BY ITS MOTHER An inquest was held at the Ash burton Courthouse this morning before Mr Robert Alcorn, Acting Coroner, on the body of an illegitimate male infant. Sergeant Fouhy represented the Police m the enquiry, and Mr J. V. Deßeer was chosen Foreman of the jury. The mother of the child, a girl oF about 16 years of age, deposed that she gave birth to the deceased infant on April 26th. She was not married to the father of the child. Sho lived a few miles out of Ashburton with her parents, and the child was born there, The child was healthy at birth, and was brought up on the bottle. She slept with her child alone at night. On the night of May 29th last, at 9 o'clock, the child was alive. She slept with the child that night. Gave the child no milk during the night. Usually gave the child milk once during the night. She woke about 5,30 on the morning of May 30th, and the baby was lying on its face. Witness thought it was asleep, and went to sleep again till half past six, when she got up. Thought the baby was still m the same position then. left the child m bed till about 7.30, being still under the impression it was asleep. At half past seven she picked the child up, found that it was deatf, and called her mother. The side of the infant's face was red and blue. The child was afterwards brought to Ashburton, and Dr Clark was interviewed. The father of the child wns Harold Gray, of Greenstreet, a threshing mill hand. His age was twenty Gyp, and he was unmarried. By Dr Clark—The baby wa3 given some " Irish Mosa " as it had a cough, but no medicine was administered for a week or two before its death. The mother of the last witness gave corroborative evidence. She thought her daughter must have overlain the child, as one side of its body was discoloured. Her daughter was very good to the child, and would not hear of its being sent away to be nursed. The infant was taken to Dr Clark •within an hour after its death was discovered. The mother of the child, re-called by Sergeant Fouhy, said she thought she must have lain on the child during the night, as thero was no other possible cause of death. Dr Clark deposed that after hearing the evidence, he thought the death of the child was quite likely to have been caused by overlying, and m his opinion was so caused. The child had been dead for five or six hours when brought to him. The child had been well kept and well cared for. The jury considered that it was unnecessary that a postmortem examination should be made, and returned a verdict m accordance with the medical evidence, adding, as a rider, that the time limit of one month imposed as the period within which an information can be laid m cases of offences on girls under 16 years of age be removed, so as to render the provisions of the Act more effective.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Issue 6584, 31 May 1905

Word Count

INQUEST. Ashburton Guardian, Issue 6584, 31 May 1905