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Mysterious Death of Blanche…

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Mysterious Death of Blanche Rogers. Ferndale Sensation. Liars of the Worst Description." Severe Strictures by the Coroner The final stages in the enquiry into the circumstances attending the death of Blanche Rogers, faff Street, Ferndale, were reached on Thursday last, when expert evidence was given by Dr. Wil- cox, a Government analyst. Mr. Clement Cadle, Cardiff, was present on behalf of the parents; and Mr. E. Bevan Thomas, Ferndale, represented Dr. Datta. It will be remembered that Miss Rogers died under singular circumstances on Sun- day morning, eebruary 14th last. At the previous hearing, evidence was given that deceased was taken suddenly ill at her parents' house early on the Sunday morn- ing, and died shortly after the arrival of Dr. Datta and his assistant. Dr. Datta subsequently gave a certificate that, in his opinion, Miss Rogers had died of heart disease. Subsequently the Coroner ordered a post-mortem, which disclosed the fact that deceased had been delivered of a child. Portions of the body were sent to Dr. Wilcox, analyst to the Home Office, for examination, and evidence was now given by him to the effect that he had examined the contents of the three jars containing certain organs of the body. He expressed the opinion that there could not be any doubt that death was due to hemorrhage, as the result of a premature birth. There was no trace of blood poisoning, and. in his opinion, death occurred after the child was delivered. There was no trace of any instrument having been used, but in the liaiidsi of a skilled person an instrument might be used without leaving any trace of a wound. Replying to the Coroner, witness said there was no sign of any noxious drug having been administered. The Coroner: If a qualified man had been called in at 3 o'clock in the morning, would it have been obvious to him what had occurred?—Yes, if he had made a complete and proper examination. Proceeding, Dr. Wilcox said there must have been some evidence of a miscarriage having taken place. Replying to Mr. Thomas, witness agreed that if the deceased had suffered from heart disease death would have been accelerated. Mr. Thomas: Would it have been pos- sible to remove all trace of what had taken place from the eye of a medical man?—He might have seen stains had he made an examination. The Coroner remarked that Dr. Datta did not examine the body. It was examined by Dr. Huebeck, of Cwmaman. CORONER'S STRICTURES. The Coroner, in summing-up, remarked that Dr. Wilcox, the Home Office expert, after an examination of certain organs, was of the opinion that the girl had been delivered of a child 28 to 32 weeks old within a few boursi of her death. This put a very different complexion on the case from that formed when they finst investigated it. Then it was thought that the miscarriage took place a few days before she died. They had had so many falsehoods! told in the case that he was loth to believe anything said by the Rogers family. According to the family, deceased went to bed with her sister, and the mother said she heard a peculiar noise at half-past 3. Mrs Rogers feaid she went to the room, and finding her daughter in a state of collapse she sent for Dr. Datta, and he waited to get his assistant, an unqualified man, who was going to be a doctor some day, to accompany him. One would have thought that Dr. Datta would have gone away straight and attended to the patient, but in this case he got an assistant to a case which was thought to be disease of the hejart, and no examina- tion of the girl had taken place. Medical men had their duty to perform, and if they did it in this way. what security for life was there? Any amount of coin- plications might arise if medical certifi- cates were given in this way. The case was a serious one, as miscarriage if pro- cured was a felony, and if anyone gave a noxious drug or used an instrument with intent to procure this was a felony, and the person could be sent to penal servi- tude, and if it resulted in death it was wilful murder. Dr. Wilcox had stated that there was no evidence of any noxious drug having been administered, but with regard to the instrument the case was not so clear. This girl had been a nurse in Dr. Datta's service some years ago, and she left him because the work was too hard. Then she went off from place to place. One thing was certain; she had been in Ferndale very much more often than her parents had told them she had been since Christmas according to the testimony of witnesses who had seen her at Ferndale. Deceased was no ordinary patient of Dr. Datta's, as she was receiv- ing medicine under the fancy name of Cherub." The question was whether the case was one of abortion. It was a case of grave suspicion. In this country the strictest proof was necessary before they could say people were guilty. The jury, after retiring for over half an hour and calling in Mr. and Mrs. Rogers and their daughter to he further ques- tioned, returned with a verdict ill accord- aiiee with the medical evidence. ¥' V$$E>ICJT. The foreman intimated that the jury had come to the conclusion that the evidence of the family was conflicting, and they did not believe anything they had said. Further, they believed that tlie concealment qf Virtli tools, place in {lie house of the family, an (I that they were) responsible for the whole of the proceedings. The jury did not go so far as to say that the miscarriage was brought about by unlawful means. Addressing the Rogers family, the Coroner observed that they stood in the eyas of the jury a? liars of the worst Ascription, and in that opinion he thoroughly agreed. It was absolutely pbviousl that the girl's condition was known to them and that it could not have been concealed, More than that, Mrs. Rogers knew all about it, and she had deliberately kept from them the facts, and she had been backed up by, her husband and daughter. It was possible that not only had there been a miscarriage of a baby, but also a miscamaige of justice. Of course, it would not do to convict people upon evidence absolutely false, and if people came into a coroner's court or any other court with the intention of telling lies, it was impossible to have justice done. Calling Dr. Datta before him, the Coroner severely admonished him for not having made a proper examination and finding out whether there had been a mis- carriage, which he had every opportunity of doing. He (the Coroner) did not know whether Dr. Datta was there when the miscarriage occurred. It was possible that lie was, but whether lie was or not, if he had done his work in a proper way lie would have been aware of it. A most cursory examination would have enabled him to know that something had hap- pened. Dr. Datta's certificate was abso- lutely false, and he warned him that he bad better he very careful in the future. I;

Rhondda Education Committee.

Mid-Glamorgan District of…

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