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CHILD MURDER CASE AT ABERCYNON. PATHETIC STORY TOLD TO FHE CORONER. VERDICT OF "WILFUL MURDER" AGAINST ACCUSED. The inquest upon the body of the child drowned in the Glamorganshire Canal at Aber- cynon on Thursday last, of whose murder Eliza- beth Carpenter, a single woman, of 11, Beckett- etreet. Mountain Ash, stands accused, was held on Saturday morning at the Nav.gation Hotel, Abercynon (before Mr. R. J. Rhys, coroner). Mr. '1'. W. Jones was chosen foreman of the jury. The unfortunate mother was present in custody, having been brought down froll, the Xreharrm Police-station by Police-sergeant Danes. She eat on a chair in front of the fire, with her back to the court, and paid no heed whatever to the .t proceedings. Superintendent Thomey watched the inquiry on tho parr of the police authorities, Inspector JJavd, of Mountain Ash, being &.180 in attendance. li'z:ank Hopkins, lime burner at the Dowlais CollIery, said he lived at Park-street, Carne- .,wa,J. Abercynon. The limekiln was on the eide of the towing path of the Glamorganshire Canal at Abercynon. Ho was at work on JLiiursday last, and saw a woman carrying a baby pass by the limekiln, about five o'clock. it was dayl.ght, and ho could plainly see the walked in the direction of Cil- tynyaa. She had no basket on her arm. What to bfT rLhr0m™oanyilg appeared to him a bab}. Ihe woman present was tihe limekiln with the baby, j 6 e passed him noticed her going iler tn^. by the canal side, i in the water. The spot where she did this was about 50 varrv Lelow the Taff Vale to LIan- caiacn. He noticed some clothes near her on the bank and thought she was washing her hands. She got up, and he then sa v h. r ¿ hrow several stones into the water. She did this for fieveral mmutes. She afterwards picked the clothes up. and put them under her arm. He saw her throw the clothes dowa and again t rfown into tha water. Believing that there was something the matter he walked towards her. and when *he saw hun she walked up the bank towards Lim. When he mot her he asked her what she (tad been doing. and she replied that she had not done any- thing, and witness added, "I believe you have, from what I have seen of you." She made no reply to. this, and walked on to .the /ond near the colliery. He followed her back, and a policemai being near, he jrave her into cus- totVr rr^ not 2° t(? .see 'yhat was in the water. He saw something floating on the v ater. and he sent a young man to find out what it waa. The Coroner: Why didn't you go at once ai1W„ Ld° P* °'Jt yOU answer. befow tk»t "!°n 1 "00"° *bo:" P1"" The Coroner. When was it you !Îr'3t thought it was akely she had dene somethi.i^- tc her b& by ? n Witness: When I saw her throw stones into the water and pick up the clothes. M «p the empty clothes?—Yes. That s all. I wanted to know what acted on your nund at tho time. The Foremai: Had the child bera W in the water? The Coroner: He cannot answer that, Mr Jones- Edward Bowen, canal labourer, Feeder-row Abercynon, stated that, with others, he was bringing a boat up the canal on Thursday evening, and, from what he wae told by a young man, he Haw the body of a child floating on the water. Ry the means of a boo,t;wok he got the body out. The young man ran for the policeman. The bodv was quite warm, hut there was no sign of life in it. He rolled it in tne grass, but failed to restore life. The policeman came in about ten minutes. Police-consta.ble Henry Evans deposed that he was stationed at Ahearynon. Hopkins first spoke to Kim about the matter on Thursday, about 4.45 p.m. In consequence of what he told him, he went to the canal bank, and there eaw Elizabeth Carpenter. He noticed her carrying the child's jacket and hart; (pro- duced). He cautioned her before he asked her u qU^ IM1*' ,her wllat had become of her CMS, and she made no answer at first, but she afterwards said, "I have done nothing. It <? not my child. Witness told her be would detain her, and he took her into the colliery office, and put her to t"it down. He Drooeedpd back along the canal bank, and met the youna man referred to, who aaid the bodv had wt, taken out of tfcfe canal. He afterward* saw it with Edward Bowen. He examined it and found it to be warm. He afterwards took it to the police-station, and it was that bodv that the jury had viewed that day. The spot where the body was found could be seen from the limekiln. The towing path wa» practically a puuiio thoroughfare, as people were continually parsing op and down. There are no houses overlooking this particular apot, Witness subsequently cautioned Carpen- ter, and charged her with the wilful murder of her child by drowning it in the Glamorganshire Canal. In answer she said, It is not my child." She afterwards said "It is my child. I fotched it from Cardiff from Mrs. Wilkins. 18, Salisbury-road. I did not know what to do with the child. I thought to take it to the union workhouse. I didnt do it wilfully." He lodged her that evening at Treharris Police-station, where she had been ever There she furthertold hurn she had come from Cardiff with the two o'clock train, and that she had spent a. long time in the railway station at Abercynon. Letters were then produced by tho witness, who said they had been given him by Mrs. Carpenter at her house at Mountain Ash on Frioay even- ing. Police-sergeant William Davies, stationed at Treharris, said he rcoeived the woman Car- penter into custody at ths station at seven o'clock on Thursday night. He charged her with the wilful murder of her infsnt child by drowning it in the canal at A.^x-ynon that day. He told her to be carcful. us that what sho said would be given in evideno^ ng-ainst her. She said: "I did not do it wilfullv." Wit- ness then asked her if she wished then to com. miimcnte with any of her relations, and she said. Yes tell my parents." She afterwards made the following statement:—"I wag eon- fined of a child, a. Erirl. on the 8th of Novem- ber. 1895. at Cardiff Workhouse. My father knows nothing about it. My mother does, and agreed with a Mrs. Wilkins, 18. Salisburv- read. Cardiff, to take the child for £15. Mother had paid her £10. The other £5 was to be paid the «Mid of this week or the beginning of next. This morning mv mother received a letter from Mrs. Wilkin* to say that ilIa could not keep the child unless she agreed to pa" more than £15. In consequence of that letter I went to fet-h the child. My mother did not know I went for it." The Coroner (to the accused): Have you any- thing- to a.sk the sergeant? The woman in a sobbing voice replied in the negative. y Dr, Alexander Jamea GptfEths. Abercynon. *a.id ho flaw the child at a nuarter to six on Thursday evening, at the Abercynon Police- station It was the body of a female child. apparently about fifteen months' old. It was a. small child *ot its age. It had been fairly well nourished, and there was no sign of emaciation. There were no marks of violence on its bodv showing that it had been struck by stones. The cause of death wae drowning. The Coroner: Is it a fact that sometimes mothers eet into such a rtate that they get rid of the thing they are fondest of? Witness: Yeg, it does happen, sir. The Coroner: It 18 a question for another court, but still I think we should ask it. as it may play an important part in this case. Ro!>11v, it is a form of madness? Witness: Yes, wir; it is. The Coroner: Suoposing Hopkins saw the woman stoop down by tho canal bank five or six minutes. Suppose the child was in the water that time, that would bring about its desth? Eliza Wilkins. wife of John Wilkins, 18. Salisbury-road, Cardiff, said the baby 6he had seen that moraine' was "her dear little Ada." The Coroner: How do you identify it, you sa.v? Witness (sobbing): As mv dear little baby. She advertised on the 18th of February last wishing to adopt a. child. In consequence of that advertisement she saw Mrs. Carpenter, and nsrreed to take the child if paid a premium of £15. She fetched the child from the Pontypridd Union on a Wednesday, and thp mother and her sister came with her to Cardiff and had tea at her bouse. The womam present—Elizabeth Carpenter—wae the mother of the child. She c-tiled her child by the name of "Ada The mother fetched the child away on Thursday morning. When che called at the house she was very much surprised to see hor call. Since she had adapted the child she had received JE5, jB4, and £ 2—total. £11. a"d she intended to have the child "signed off" this month, when the remaining £4 was to be niid. Witness meant to do well by her (the child), the mother being a healthy woman. The child was delicate, and oost her more than she expected in medical attendance a.nd food. Witness did not intend to press for the money, but as the mother was a strong and healthy woman she thought she could pay a few more pounds. A letter was rea.d, written by Mrs. Wilkins to Mrs. Carpenter, which would have reached Mountain Ash on the morning the child was fetched away, in which the writer pointed out that the child wanted considerable medical at- tendance, and that, under the -.ire iiusmu-sqr, she eongidercd ",b.a oug-ht to have a few pounds more before the child was "rigned off." A second letter, dated February 11, written by Mrs. Wilkins to Mrs. Carpenter, mentioned how the accused had come to her 1:WU.B sr.d taken the child, presumably to tie union Witness, in further examination, said the accused did not appear strange when she called at her house. Miss Carpi-nter persisted in taking the child away, and eaid that her father drank a great deal, and her mother could not afford to pay any more for her. Witness asked to be allowed to change the child's clothes, and the accused replied that the child would not want clothes where it was going. The Coroner in summing up said the story the jury had heard was a very sad one. Some- t;*nes it was a difficult thing for a single young woman to get on with a. baby, but, unfor. tunately, there were plenty of people like Mrs. Wilkins, who were prepared to take children if they were paid to do so. There was no sug- gestion that Mrs. Wilkins did not do her dirty towards the child, for the doctors had said that, although it was undersized, it had not been in any way starved. He had not a. single word to say against Mrs. Wilkins personally, but he did say that temptations were put in the way of people by commercial transactions of this sort. The jury had had ample evidence to show that the child was put into the water by the mother, but it was no part of their duty to ascertain whether she was in such a. state of mind at the time as to know what she was doling. They had to say whether in their opinion there was a. prima facie case against the woman of wilful murder, and, after the evidence, he did not think they would have any difficulty in arriving at a. conclusion. The jury, after a. short consultation, returned a. verdict that the child was drowned by its mother, adding a rider that, taking all the circumstances into consideration, they were wishful to recommend her to mercy. The Coroner: With regard to that recom- mendation, I am. sorry I cannot not upon it- I have nothing, to do with the subsequent pro- ceedings in this case—but, perhaps, the pro^s may mention it. In coses of this sort people's sympathies always are with the mother. The coroner then issued his commitment ngajnst the accused on the capital charge. She was afterwards conveyed to Merthyr Police- station by train.