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EPITOME OF NEWS. ............-


Three Children Murdered by…

Examination of the Prisoner.1…


Examination of the Prisoner. The prisoner was brought into the Southwark Police- j oourt as soon as the night charges had been disposed of, and charged before Mr. Barcham with the murder of her three children already named. She was decently attired, but evidently in a weak state of health, and; wearing a green shade over her eyes. Her manner and demeanour was cool and collected. Superintendent j Branford and Inspector Manson were in attendance to watch the case. The first witness called was- George Laek, who deposedae follows I am a son of the prisoner, and am seventeen years of age. I had a brother named Christopher; aged nine; a sister named Eliza, aged five; and another sister named Esther, aged about two years. I lived with my parents at No. 10, Skin-market-place, Barikside, where we had three rooms, two on the ground floor and one room on the first floor. In the last-named room I saw my two little sisters alive, but asleep in the bed, about eight o'clock. I saw my little brother alive about twelve o'clock. He was then in the front room on the first floor, and about retiring to bed in the same room in which the little girls were asleep. I think my mother (the prisoneB) was then in bed in the same room. My father came in about twelve o'clock, and I went out for a walk for a few minutes, not feeling well. On my return I saw my father on the ground floor, but I myself fell asleep on a chair at the door.: My father-awoke me to go and call person in the neighbourhood at a quarter to t wo o'clock. Hy fe.ther then himself went-out again, but again returned about -hen r-, -olcho,. oalled out to Kim, and he went a few steps up the ataira. My mother said something to him, which l did not hear, aaa my caLUer came downstairs again wringing his hands. I asked what was the matter, but my father could not.apea.k, and I went upstairs and there saw the, three children lying with their throats cut. My mother was then standing close to the beduoom door, but did not say anything to me. I rushed downstairs and halloed out for help, and a young lad, a neighbour, came up, bat was.afraid to go upstairs. In a short time my father came back with a police-conatable, and my mother was taken into custody. In reply to Mr. Burcham, tine witness said prisoner had been ill seven years, and; was nearly three parts Mind, but could see things when brought close to her eyea. At times he had noticed that her mind was astray, and that she did not remember to have done things which she had done. This had been, the case during the last fortnight. His mother was to have gone into St. Thomas's Hospital on Monday under a letter of admission which she bad reoeived on the pre- ceding Saturday, but she said she did not like to go, leaving her children behind her. The prisoner, when asked if any questions to the witness, said, George, where are the children ?" „ The witness, who was deeply affeetedj burst into tears, but did not make any Te^ly. Mr. Edward Hibbard, surgeon, gave formal evidence as to the cause of death. Richard Gardner was the next witness called, but before he could be sworn be fell down in a fit, and was seized with fearful convulsions. He was removed from the court, and on his restoration he was brought in and seated at the solicitor's table. On being sworn he said. T am iu the employ of Mr. Matthews, a fruit salesman in the Borpugh- market. I married the prisoner's eldest daughter, and lived in the same house in Skin- market- place. This mornipg, about three o'clock, X was awoke 'by 'hearing my brother-in-law, George Lack, who has been examined As a witness, sobbing violently on the staircase. I came out of my room in my night shirt, and asked him what was the matter. George could not answer me, and I went into the first-floor front room, and again asked what was the matter. The prisoner at once said "That's the matter," at the same time point- ing to the bed on which lay the two little girls with their throats cut, the bad being covered with blood. Their,heads were nearly severed from their bodies. I then turned and saw the little, boy lying on his back on the mattresa on whioh he usually slept. His legs were distended, and his throat was cut in a similar manner to: the two other children. By Mr. Borcham married ten meatha and have known the prisoner during the whole time. I have often seen her very strange with the children, ] sometimes chiding tham witii se verity, and the next ] moment taking them up and kissing them. She is by j birth a native of Wales, and in general itreated her 3 children as an affectionate mother, and was very kind j to them. She had not oomflamed .of poverty, bnt on Saturday last she stated that she did not like to go into the hospital, as she did not wish to leave her children to the mercy of anybody. „ George Lack wa8 re-called, and, in reply to rMr. Bursham, said that his mother was always kind and affectionate to the childrep. -Before his,father went npstaira at three o'clock he. (witness) did not hear any cries or screams from the children. .,„ Polise- sergeant Pearce, 7 M, deposed as tollows: 1 went to the house of <No. 10, Skin-market-place, shortly before fonr o'clock this morning, and saw the prisoner in the upstairs room. I said, Who has done this ? and cautioned the prisoner in the usual way. The prisoner at once said, I' know perfectly well what I am about. I murdered the children. I awoke about three o'clock, and got up. I then went downstairs and got the razors. I came upstairs again, and first,cut the throat of Christopher, then I went to the bed and out the throat of Eliza, and then I cut the throat of the baby. After I had done it, I took up the body of the baby and kissed it." I then asked her what had caused her to -do-this, and the prisoner replied that she was about going to the hospital, and did not like to leave her children behind her. On this her son-in- law—the witness Gardner—said ts her, Mother, you oupht not to have done this, for you knew I would take care of the children." She replied, "Yes; but they are my own flesh and blood." The ptisoner was at this time; quite cool and collected a»d not,the least { ^Bidhard Gardner was reaallod, and added to his j former evi^saoe that the$risoii#r: Ijad paidjthat.she did not know what she had done until she had feissed the baby after cutting its throat. This morning he I (witness) brought some tea to his mother, and saw j her about eight o'clock in one of the cells of the ad- joining police-station, and then she said to him that the children were better in heaven than starving about the street. She did not say that some one had whispered to her to do it. The husband of the prisoner said his -wife had made the statement to him. The depositions having been completed, were read over, and the prisoner was told she could now put any question she might think fit to any of the witnesses. The prisoner, who had remained seated, with her head resting on her bands in front of the dock, here roused herself, and said she had no questions to ask. Mr. Burcham then cautioned her in the usual way, when The prisoner said: I have only this to say. I was quite destitute, and my little girl was quite blind. My husband had himself been taken ill, and I fretted my mind because I had to go to the hospital, and I thought it better to do what I did, because I thought my children would be safer to be in heaven. The witnesses were then bound over to prosecute, and the prisoner was fully committed for trial at the next sessions of the Central Criminal Court. The prisoner was at once removed from the dock, and conveyed by Downs, the gaoler of the oourt, to Horsemonger-laiie Gael.

The Inquest.