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A Disgrace to Womanhood.

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A Disgrace to Womanhood. Horrible Cruelly at Llanfalrtalhairn. Painful Details. A SHOCKING case of child neglect was heard by the Abergele magistrates on Saturday, Mr Her- bert Roberts, M.P., presiding, the defendant being Sarah Ann Jones, of Rardd Fawr, Llan- fairtalbaiarn, the mother of nine children. Five weeks ago the woman was confronted, and it was chiefly in consequence of the sad condition of the newly-born baby that the Society for the Prevention, of Cruialty to Children prosecuted. Defendant, who apparently was in a statu of collapse,â-moaning and cryingâwa.s accommo- dated with a chair. She was given a glass of water, and attended by two women, evidently neighbours. Mr E. A.. Crabbe, wino appeared for the Society, said; it would probably be fresh in their worships' minds that. at the last court, a sum- mons was returnable, in which, the defendant was charged with persistently neglecting her children. Just before the court-day the woman was confined, and consequently he (Mr Crabbe) withdrew the summons. So far as the Society were concerned, no further proceedings would have been taken against her had she behaved herself as a decent mother would do under the circumstances, but as it came to their ears that the defendant was endangering the life of the infant through persistent neglect, the Society felt it their duty to take out another summons.. The woman was so offensively dirty in her house and habits that no one would help her, and as she was unable to look after them the children were sent to the workhouse. A Sbockiiis* Discovery. On the 5th of November, the- Society's in- spector, accompanied by P.C. Bythe-11, visited defendant's house, and found it in a deplorable and disgraceful condition. Defendant was' in bed with the baby. The bed was a mass of filth, and the floor was in the same disgusting condition. The children were wretchedly clad, although their bodies were fairly well nourished and free, from vermin. Their general health, however, was so bad that it jeopardised tneir lives. They appeared to be sent out in all kinds of weather to beg, and on this day their clothes were wringing wet. The husband was an agri-cultural labourer earning i&s a week. Unfortunately, owing to his wife's drinking habits, he could not give her any money, and was- obliged to buy the food himself. Some- times his work kept him from home nearly all week, and in his; absence the children, were neglected. She lay in bed nearly all day, and let the house, and everything in it, get into a deploration condition. After her confinement It was expected that she would, in a wask or so, get about and look after things, but in- stead of that, she stayed in bed. She did not even wash and chanlge her newly-born baby, and if some of the neighbours had not taken it away the baby would have' died. These were, shortly, the facts of the case. A Flaw in the New Act. Defendant was dealt with some time ago by the Society, and as a result she had grown stubborn and obstinate, and refused to do any. thing. One good thing would be to send her to an inebriates' home; but, unfortunately, the. new Act did not give the Bench that power unless through the intervention of the husband. But, as a matter of fact, there was not an inebriates' home in the whole of North Wales. Parliament delegated certain powers- to County Councils in this direction, but they did nothing to put them into force. Inspector William Jones, of tihe S.P.C.C., said the defendant had nine children, including a baby born two months ago. Two of the children were twins. Witness described the state1 of the defendant, her children, and the house, when he paid a visit on the 5th of Novem- ber. The bed coverings were absolutely black with-filth, and on the bed was a piece of bread. The smell in the room was shocking. The children and their clothing Were dirty, but their bodies were fairly well nourished. Witness said it was a mystery -to him how they lived in such surroundings. Defendant's excuse was that her husband refused to give her money, and that he bought the food himself. Such conduct, in his opinion, was- sufficient to injure the health of the children. In answer to the Clerk, defendant said she was too weak to look after her children. She asked for the services of a doctor, and could not get one. Mr Crabbe said they had been acting under the instructions of Dr. Jones, of Llanfair, who said the defendant was perfectly strong. Begging in the Wet. P.C. Bythell said the defendant's children were always begging in the village. They were very ill clad. Witness went with the Inspector to the house, and found it in a horrible condi- tion. On the day of their visit, the children had been out begging. It had rained heavily, and they were wet through. When the chil- dren had food given to them, defendant would seill it for p'gs' me:at to get drink. Drink ap- peared to have been the cause of all her trou- ble. Mr Crabbe": Can I -call the .husband, Mr George? I am in doubt about it. The Clerk: T don't say, you can't, but it would be very cruel. Mr Crabbe I won't call him then. Inspector Roberts spoke of the dirty state of the defendant, her children, and uer surround- ings. The smell in the house was abomina- ble. Mary Jones, wife of David Jones, xynewydd, who was subpoened to give evidence, said she Called )to see the defendant, and found the newly-born baby in a dreadful state. Its clothing had never been -changed for some days, and its body was raw and bleeding. Its tonigue had fastened to the roof of its mouth. It was a wonder the baby did not die. Defendant hysterically exclaimed that she was too weak to look after the baby. The Bench then, retired. On returning into court, the Chairman said they considered the case proved, and as it was the second offence, they inflicted upon the. defendant the maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment. .linn, 1

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