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TRAGIC DEATH OF A SERVANT GIRL. SUICIDE FOLLOWS CONFESSION OF PETITY THEFTS. INQUEST AND VERDICT. A most tragic story was told at an in- quest held on Saturday by Mr Pentir Wil- liams, coroner for North Carnarvonshire, and a jury of which Mr Reeves Hughes was elected foreman, into the eirQum- stances attending the death of Isabel Steadman in Llandudno Cottage Hos- i pital, the previous day. The only relief to the sad story was the knowledge that the principal witness, Samuel Ellis, an en- gineer in the employ of the Great Orme Tramway, had acted in such a manner as to merit, the unstinted commendation of the Coroner and jury. Air E. E. Bone was present, at the enquiry on behalf of Mr and Mrs W. A. Powell, in whose employ the gJÏrl was when she committed the rash act of setting her clothing on fire, fol- lowed upon a confession of a series of petty thefts. THE! EVIDENCE. William Alfred Powell, the first witr ness, said he was a solicitor's clerk, and resided at Plas Gwyn, West Shore, Llan- dudno. Isabel Steadman was in his ser- vice as nurse-housemaid, and it was her body the jury had just viewed. She wa,s 21 years of age, and had been in his em- ployment for several months. One of her duties was to take his child at least once every day to Lansdowne House, School. On Thursday, afternoon the Principal of school, Miss Raw, came) to his house with a list of articles missing from the hall of the school, and said the maid had been watched that morning and seen to take something from the coats in the hall. The girl was called, and Mjiss Raw accused her of taking the articles, which included hat- pins, gloves, and boots. She denied the accusation, and said she could take them to the shops where she had bought certain articles in her possession corresponding to the description of missing articles from the school. The interview took place about seven o'clock, and during it he told the girl that if she had taken the things it would save a lots of trouble if she confessed, and that if she denied it he would have to get, some one down there. If she had owned up noth- ing more would have been said as far as he was concerned, but he did not know what Miss Raw's intentions were. When Miss Raw had gone the girl admitted the thefts, saying: "Yes, I did take them," meaning the articles mentioned, and adding that she, took them from the lobby. While she was in his service the girl was a thoroughly good girl, and was looking for- ward to going home for a holiday to her parents at Whittington. He had occasion to leave the house shortly after, and when he returned about ten minutes later the affair had happened. Witness then described the, carrying of the girl to the house, the calling of Dr. Bold Williams, and the journey to the hospital, where they arrived between nine and ten o'clock. The girl was conscious almost the whole time, but said nothing to him beyond, "You'll forgive me, master. If I get well will you promise not to tell my pa." She was not in a condition to ask any ques- tions as to' how she got on fire. A CONFESSION Miss Wright-, matron at the Cottage Hospital, was called, and said that Isabel Steadman was admitted on Thursday night suffering from severe .burns and shock. The face had not been touched, but, with that exception and the feet the whole body had suffered. She considered the case hopeless from the first owing to the shock to the system. She rallied a little dur- ing the night, but died on Friday after- noon. "Did she tell you anything about the burning," asked the Coroner? "Yes, she said she did it herself," re- plied witness, "because she was ashamed. I asked her what she was ashamed of, and she replied she had taken some hat pins." Mrs Powell, wife of the first witness, also gave evidence, and said that when Mr Powell left the house she was in the dining room, and a minute or two later thought she smelt something burning, and rushed to the kitchen and through the window saw a blaze in the garden. She realised that it was the g,3arl girl, and that all her clothing was ablaze, and ran to call assistance from next door, and the, next thing she saw was the girl running: up the road and a man after her. She saw no more, because being in 'a, very weak i state of health she was carried back to the | house. J Samuel Ellis, Tygwyn Road, engineer in the employ of the Great Orme Tramway Company, said that between seven and eight o'clock on Thursday night when walking at the back of Great Orme's Road he saw flames in the back yard of what proved to be Mr Powell's house, but thought, someone was burning something there, and did not suspect anything; else until he looked again, and sow someone run through the kitchen of the house in a mass of flame. He saw the person through the window, the blinds of which were not drawn, run towards the front door and he dashed to the passage which ran alongside the house. By the tame he got to the front road, the girl, however,* was quite fifty yards away, running' as f hard as she could in a mass of flame. He I followed at full speed, but she had gone another fifty yards before he caught her. While running he had taken off hisovercoat and when he got up to her wrapped it round her head. Her arms were up, but he pulled them down and got her on the ground. Then he wrapped the overcoat tightly round her and rolled her over on the ground until the flames were extin- guished. It did not, take long to get the flames out, especially when another came and helped, but she smouldered for some time until Mr Powell came and covered her with his overcoat. All the loose I clothing was burnt, but witness ton1 -her collar off and threw it on the road. The only thing she said before help came was "God forgive me, I was ashamed," which she repeated in an attitude of prayer three times. Ellis then described how she was car- ried home and how he with flour attempt- ed to ease her pain until the doctor arrived, and he went home. This was all the evidence called, and the Coroner in summing up, said it was very plain that, Ellis had acted all through very sensibly, and had done the right thing at exactly the right, moment-, and in that way would have done what he could to save her life had that, been pos- sible. Inspector Owen: He is an ambulance man, sir. The Coroner I gathered that from his evidence. The jury, after a short, consultation in camera, returned a verdict of death from burns, and that there was no evi- dence to. show the state of her mind. They also added a rider statiing that Eillis was entitled to great praise for the way he had acted. Ellis was then called into the room, and the Coroner conveyed to him the jury's praise in suitable terms. When the jurymen were signing; their names a question by the Coroner neces- sitated the jury re-consideringi their ver- dict, and eventually the, words "Self- inflicted" were added to the verdict. It was stated after the inquest that, the mother of the deceased girl had at one time being in an asylum.








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