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CHARGE OF MURDER., Sun, Volume V, Issue 1254, 18 February 1918
CHARGE OF MURDER.
THE CARRICK TRAGEDY. MOTHER PLEADS NOT GUILTY. CASE FOR THE CROWN. At the Supreme Court this morning Winifred Carrick was presented for trial on a charge that at Addington on December 8, ,1917, she did wilfully murder Donald Lewis Carrick. The court was not so crowded as was the case in the previous murder trial, but there were nevertheless a I considerable number of spectators, .about half of those present being young women. After his Honour Mr Justice Chapman had taken his seat, the prisoner entered the dock. She is a young woman of apparently 24 or 25 years of age. She was wearing a fawn-coloured overcoat, white blouse, and white panama hat with black band. In reply to the question Guilty or Not Guilty? the accused answered in a clear but thin voice, not guilty. She followed the proceedings in connection with the swearing in of the jurors with interest, but her demeanour did not convey the impression that she was seriously concerned, though she changed colour slightly when she was asked to plead. The case was then proceeded with before Mr Justice Chapman, and a jury of twelve. Mr S. G. Raymond, K.C., appeared for the Crown, and Mr O. T. J. Alpers for the accused. THE CASE OUTLINED. Mr Raymond said that Donald Lewis Carrick was the illegitimate child of the accused. The child was born on January 11, 1915, so that at the time of his death on December 8, 1917, it was nearly three years old. The child was a foundling, and after being taken to the Christchurch Receiving Home was boarded out to Mrs Burns, of Clifton Street, Addington. On the evening of December 7, the boy was last seen alive about 9 o'clock, by one of Mr Burns's sons. Mr Burns got up at 6 o 'clock, and on going into the backyard found the 'body of the child, with the head and skull smashed in. Close by was a spanner and a spade, and blood marks showed that these instruments had been used in connection with the murder. The prisoner had declared that she was not going to pay for the keep of a child, and would sooner go to Addington gaol, as she could only get three months for failure to pay. On December 6 the child was taken to the Receiving Home, and there the mother saw it for a few minutes. When Doreen Burns, the person in charge of the child, emerged from the Receiving Home she saw the accused loitering about Fitzgerald Avenue. The girl took the little boy back to the Receiving Homo, and later left in a cab for her mother's residence. The cab driver was that evening interviewed by a woman wearing a striped dress, similar to that worn by accused. She asked wdiere the child was taken to. Mr Raymond detailed the movements of the accused on December 6 and 7. On Monday, December 3, the accused entered the service of a Mrs Brown, of St. Albans. She left Mrs Brown's on Friday, December 7, saying that she was going to Wellington. She did not go to Wellington, but obtained a room from a Mrs Chillingworth. She did not sleep in the room that night. When the prisoner was apprehended by Detective-Sergeant Gibson and asked to explain her whereabouts on the night of December 8, she answered that that was her business. PLAN OF THE LOCALITY. Percy Edward Webb, a draughtsman in the Government service, gave evidence as to having prepared plans of Burns's house and the locality. At this stage Mr Raymond asked for permission to put in another plan, anil also that certain evidence be admitted relative to the abandonment of the child at Dallington. Mr Alpers objected to the admission of the evidence, as it would be impossible for accused, at this length of time, to deal with the meticulous details relative to this matter. His Honour said that he had considered the matter, and had decided to admit the evidence. A plan of the river Avon was then put in, showing Dallington Bridge, Gloucester Street North, Westenra Street, and various willow trees; also Mr Armstrong's house and a willow tree marked '' hollow willow.'' The witness (Mr Webb) said that the tree mentioned was hollow, and was eight feet above the road. To Mr Alpers: The back fence to Burns's house was 7ft 7in high, with barbed-wire entanglements. At the back was the Addington Gaol. MEDICAL EVIDENCE. Sydney Taylor Chamtaloup, Professor of Bacteriology at Otago University, stated that he had examined the spade and screw wrench received from Sergeant Stewart. They gave a reaction of human blood.
Dr. F. L. Scott said that he went to Burns's house at 6.30 on December 9. He found the body of the child in the garden. The child was dead, but the body was still warm, lie described the wounds on the child's head and body, iThe spade and screw wrench were bloodstained. The head of the child was lying in a depression, as though it had been forced into the soil. The fingers were bruised and skinned, as though the child had put its hands up to protect itself. The cause of deatli was laceration of the brain, due to fracture of the skull. He examined certain clothing handed to him on the evening of December 8. The bottom of the skirt was damp, and a hand-bag was also damp. The child might have been dead for anything from two to 36 hours —he could not be definite. To Mr Alpers: He could not say what was the weight of the child. It was a tallish child.. The blow that killed the child would have boon a fairly heavy blow. The night was a fairly warm one. AT THE RECEIVING HOME. Ethel Senior Woodhousc, clerk attendant at the Government Receiving Home at. Christchurch, said that during the absence of Miss Cox she was acting manager. On November 21 the accused saw her at the Receiving Home about the adoption of the child. She asked whether the child could remain in the home it was in then if it were adopted. Witness asked who wished to adopt the child. Accused said that it was not definitely arranged. Witness said she could give no advice unless she knew the name of the person wtio was going to adopt the child. She then said that the name of the person was Jeremiah O'Keefe. He was a widower with seven children—five boys and two girls. The two girls were over 20, and were away from home. She advised accused that she did not think a Magistrate would sanction such an arrangement. On December 6 accused came to the home with Doreen Burns. She saw the child in the presence of Miss Uren, the attendant, and Doreen Burns. She stayed 10 minutes. After accused left the home she kept the girl Burns and the baby for 20 minutes or half an hour. On November 21 she knew the child was boarded with Mrs Burns, After the accused left, Doreen Burns and the child came back agaiu. She then rung up for a cab, and the cabman took the children away. She saw accused on the other side of the road from the Receiving Home. Later when she was putting the children iuto the cab she noticed the accused close to the home. Witness identified a fawncoloured dress (produced) and a hat band as having been worn by accused. A FOUNDLING CHILD, Anna Blatchford Cox, manager of the Government Receiving Home, said she knew a child Carrick. He was brought to the home in the first instance in February, 1916, as a foundling. He was called John, and was registered as Donald Lewis Evans, and afterwards as Donald Lewis Carrick. The child was boarded out to Mrs Burns. On November 30 last she sent a note to Mr Burns to have the child at the Receiving Home on December 6. She was present in court on June 11,1915, when the accused was brought before tiie Magistrate's Court, charged with abandoning the child. At this stage Mr Alpers reminded his Honour that he had an objection covering all reference to this question. ORDER FOR MAINTENANCE. William Harte, second clerk at the Christchurch Magistrate's Court, gave evidence as to seeing accused, in company with Mrs Green, at the Magistrate's Court. A summons had been issued against the accused in connection with the maintenance of her illegitimate child. Accused did not want the matter to come up in open Court. She did not want to pay anything for the support of the child. She said that she could
not afford it. She eventually agreed to an order for 5/- a week, and was much disturbed about whether she i would have to pay past maintenance. He assured her she would not have to pay past maintenance. On Monday, December 10, he received a postal note I i for 10/-, signed Winifred Carrick. That I was the only payment ho had received. I To Mr Alpers: The child only lived a fortnight after the order was made, and | consequently no other payment was due. j Katheriue May Green, a member ofj the Hospital Board and the St. Vincent! de Paul Society, said that up to the! early part of 1017 sho was a visitor to i the women inmates of the Aldington Prison belonging to the Roman Catholic Church. She remembered accused coming to her house towards the end of September, 1917. She said the police j wero after her in Wellington regarding the maintenance of her child. She: wanted to get the child adopted. She| could not afford to pay, but she would i put down £2.1 to pay for adoption. Ac-I cused said that she thought the money j would go to the adoptive parents. Witness told her the £25 would go to pay off the arrears. Accused told her that; she had advertised about the adoption; of the child, and had got one answer, I but £IOO was wanted. Witness rang 1 up Miss Cox, and made arrangements: for accused to see the child on October; 2. Witness asked accused about the! father of the child, but. she auswered | that he had given her a false name.; Witness said that even so the police would find him. Accused did not answer. Witness then urged her to agree to an order. Sometimes accused would answer her; sometimes she would not. She met accused accidentally on October 21, and accused told witness that she had been to the Receiving" Home to see about getting the child adopted. Accused seemed very downhearted, and said that she had got a good talking to at the Receiving Home. Witness asked her whether she had known for long the person who was prepared to adopt the baby. She replied that she had known' the person all her life. (Proceeding.) «-
CHARGE OF MURDER., Sun, Volume V, Issue 1254, 18 February 1918
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