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HELPLESS INFANCY

AT THE MERCY OF DRUNKEN MOTHER. THE STATE GIVES "BARY A CHANCE. The little antechamber of life to which the door of the Police Court, often, gives access ha? rarely offered a. move pitiful spectacle than that disclosed during this morning's .session of tho Dunedin City Court. For it demonstrated the complete defeat- of the maternal instinct (tho most unswerving form of altruism known to humanity) at the hands of liquor. A woman, youn;g and not devoid of good looks, was charged with drunkenness, and had to be remanded for medical treatment, .since just before the Court sat she had :i seizure, aparently of epileptic character. Her baby, only nine weeks old., was also before tin; Court for commission to a home, ;nid it, was the condition of this infant that educed the whole painful story. For the baby, while apparently of normal weight (about 71b) when boni, was now,, when two monllis'old, under 41b. There was no secret of the cause when the police had given evidence. Detective-sergeant Connolly sail! that the woman wat; reputedly of ill-fame, and very much addicted to 'drink. When he visited her house she was nursing tee baby, and was so much under the influence of drink that, upon rising, she staggered to such a decree, that he had to tell h"f to sit dov.ii. The child bore every evidence of being neglected and half-starved; there, was little .furniture, and no lire. Sergeant M/Ken/ie deposed that he | visited the. woman's house in Castle, street twice without finding her in, and subsequently found her at tin; house of another woman in Cumberland street —a house of ill-fame. .Roth women were drunk, and the other woman was feeding the ba.'oy in the normal way. Senior-s.-rgeant Dart, in marshalling the facts, stated that the doctor had "said that the child was probably normal at birth, and should now have* weighed 9H> instead of 4!b. If left in the present surroundings it could not possibly live. The mother was suckling it and drinking all tho time. The father, who was present, said that he did not drink. The Magistrate (Mr Widdowson. S.M.) committed the infant to the. Industrial ' School, and ordered the. father to pay ' 7s 6d towards its support. ' j

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19150108.2.70

Bibliographic details

HELPLESS INFANCY, Evening Star, Issue 15695, 8 January 1915

Word Count
375

HELPLESS INFANCY Evening Star, Issue 15695, 8 January 1915

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