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INQUEST.

The adjourned inquest on the body of the male child of Margaret Edwards alias Margaret Heads was held at the Resident Magistrate’s Court this morning before Mr Coroner Carew. Mr Sim appeared to watch the proceedings on the part of the mother of the child. Sergeant O’Neill, recalled, stated that at 7.15 on the night of the 3rd inst. ho went to Mrs Kenney’s house in Loudon street and saw there a young person about whom ho gave evidence at the previous inquiry, and who gave him tho name of Margaret EdWP.rdt’. This morning he went to the Benevolent Institution and took the same person into custody. Ho found that her name is Margaret Heads. To Mr Sim : He was certain that she gave the name lid wards. Mr Sim said that Mias Heads was willing to give e.vidence, and so was a person with whom she had arranged to stay during her confinement. Margaret Heads, after being cautioned not to give evidence unless she chose, said she was a single woman, and went to live at Mrs Kenney’s a week and a day before tho child was born, which was on the 3rd inst. She had not anticipated the event before the end of the. month, and had arranged with a Mrs Robertson to stay with her during her confinement, and Mrs Robertson was to supply baby clothing. Witness was to have gone there on the Sth inst., Mrs Robertson being unable to take her before. Witness fainted when the child was born, and it was quite dead when she came to. IShe told Mrs Kenney about it three or four hours after. Witness rolled her skirts about the child. Mary Robertson, resident in George street, said she had known Heads for eighteen months. She told witness six or eight weeks ago that she was in trouble, and witness agreed to take her in on tho Sth inst., and find clothes. The Coronor said the jury would have to consider if the child was born alive. Dr Coughtrey was of opinion that it was, but would not speak positively. If they found that- it was bom alive, they would have to find the cause of death. Dr Coughtrey said the symptoms were consistent with death by suffocation. Mrs Kenney’s evidence was very damaging, but it was for the jury to say how fur it had been explained away by the mother. If the child was born alive and was deliberately smothered the verdict should be one of murder; but if they thought that though born alive the mother thought it dead, and in wrapping her skirts around it to conceal it accidentally smothered it, the verdict should bo one of manslaughter. If, again, they found the child was not alivo when born they should return a verdict of 44 Stillborn.” The jury retired for a quarter of an hour and then brought in a verdict that the child was still-born. Miss Heads was then formally charged before Mr Carew, as Resident Magistrate, with concealment of birth. Inspector Weldon asked for a remand for eight days, which was granted. Bail was allowed—accused in LIOO, and two sureties in LSO each.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890820.2.9

Bibliographic details

INQUEST., Issue 7990, 20 August 1889

Word Count
531

INQUEST. Issue 7990, 20 August 1889

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