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4 corrections, most recently by doug.butler - Show corrections

COfiONERS1 ISQUE3T3.

CONCEAIiMEST OP BlRTH.

An inquest was held by Dr. T. Ward, J.P., at the Hospital on Thursday. June 6th. on the Jo.iv dav Mleih'»' uhowas I0Vnd llead the previous day Mr. A. U. Heyer was chosen Foreman of tho

nas^fft ^' ,Sl\llivan v^ed that at 20 minutes past 10 odock on Wednesday morning he re Brown.inwhonati0n tha-1 a woman »^ied Margara & y™\, 18 rtnppiiw at the house -f Jane Rniai sue deposited m a privy. Proceeded to rthe°kT,-hend .I,* U W'°(nUU V«*n« ™ the So -°r tue floor but nothing but *oi in il ° ; wi moderately soft Keitm.id to the 1 oust and arresttd the prisoner Maigvet Bn.wn for ? co cealnunt 1,1 hirtli of a child, and cauti..n-'d lu'r In answer to his question, niie said stiewisn.n' lined in the ptivy. and had' deposed fe 'j the large ho e of it. \\ ent again to the privy and saw an appearance of something hawn/'bvn dropped in the lar^e hole. 1 rUoner said she d d not know whether the child was dead or alive when it wa^ bom. Having to attend the Polhe Court he It- it prisoner in charge of a constalile. The Coroner here remarked that he should have been glad if the prisoner could have been present ? put the Jury must be aware thatawoman that na .' wen coiitiuid the previous day was not in a con dition to attend. He had oent a constable to tell her that if she wished she could employ counsel t-- question the witness, but she had sa'id that she had no m-'Uey to do so. in answer io other questions, Corporal Sullivan said he had heard that the prisoner was not a married woman. He had had no time to take lha child from the snl, as he was compelled to «o on duty to the Police Court. Jane Hughes stated that Margaret Brown had Men living with her for lour weeks last Tuesday Hail not noticed that she was in the family wa-, but hud been told by neighbours that she was. Had asked her it she was, and she said 'Time would tell, she had l-een bit once, but would not be nit again.' On Wednesday morning at break fast, at about half-past 8, noticed that she did net take any. Afterwards went out into the yard, aid as she came in the prisoner went into the privy, where she remained about 20 minutes. When tie came back to the room door she was covered with blood. Asked her wh.it she had done, and she did not answer until she (witness) had asked her the third tune, and then she said she had had a miscarriage. Asked h r where it was, and she said it was down the closet. Went and looked, but could not see it. Told the prUouur she should have to fetch a policeman, but she made no reply, retched C -rpoial Sullivan, and after that asked her for the truth, and she said she had put the baby dowu the cioset. Prisoner was a single woman she ha.i been a servant at the Ulolns Hotel, Gawler, and had had a child before this that was alive now. ... sergeant Everdell said at a qu rter to 11 o'clock on Wednesday morning from inforina:ion he re ceived, he and Constable; Marron went to Chatham street to the houe occupied by the last witness. 8a.v thelprisonerthere^audtold Constable Marrontotake charge of her. Went for the nightman, Francis IjOU, who returned with him and assisted him w.get-?lIti.t^? chlld-J Took *' to the Hospital, ihe child the Juiy had viewed waajhe one he had discovered. Corporal Sullivan, recalled, said he had put a stick in tbe soil of the privy corresponding with' this one the previous witness had seen, Francis Lott corroborated the evidence Riven by Sergeant Everdell as to the finding of the body. He thought the child had been put down the hole of the closet and pushed underneath the floor. I lie so' I there was soft enough to smother it. Dr. Corbin. As6istant Colonial Surgeon, deposed that he had made a post mortem examination of the male child that had been sent to the Hospital the previous morning. Found that it had breathed ; but the lungs were not fully inflated. Was quite sure the child had breathed, hemorrhage Irom tne navel-string might have produced death. From me paleness of the body that was the conclusion he had come to. Should say the child had been born at full time. The Coroner then read the evidence to the Jury, and commented upon it, pointing out the different statements which according to the depositions the prisoner had made regarding the birth of the child, and its being found in the closet He read extracts from the laws on murder and man slaughter, stating that he thought they must bring in a verdict of one or the other. It they found that the prisoner had pretnedita ed destroying tbe child before it was born it would be murder, bu^if they tmlieved she had not, it would be man slaughter ; or 1 hat she had accidentally dropped tha child, the offence would be concealment ot birth. He, however, was of opinion that there was quite sufficient evidence to justify them in bringing in a venuct of manslaughter. The Jury, after a »hort deliberation, returned a verdict of manslaughter against Margaret Brown. The Coroner then, as the prisoner was not pre seHt, issued a variant for herappreh-usion, that she might be brought before the Police Magistrate when tlic Colonial Surgeon certifies that she is in a fit btate to appear.

DROWNING AT KAPUNDA. An inquest was held at Crase's Hotel, Kapunda, on Wednesday (5th). before W. Oldham. J.P., and a Jury of 13, of whom Mr. K. Cameron was chosen foreman, to enquire into the death of Mr. J. M. Richards, late correspondent to the Advertiser and Chronicle. After viewing the body, which was re- moved for convenience to Crase's Hotel Corporal O'Brien, mounted police, was sworn, and deposed as follows :— Yesterday evening, between 7 and 8 o'clock, I was told a hat had been found in the dam on Monday morning. Ascer tained the name of the boy who had found it, and got possession of it. I recognised it as one worn by the deceased. In consequence of this informa- tion I, in company with two other troopers, got a grapnel and ropes, and commenced to drag for the body. In crossing the dam the second time I hooked the body and drew it to shore. It lay on the bottom, about six yards from the embankment, recognised it at once as the body of Mr. Richards. I searched the body aud found thereon in the coat side pocket a bottle of colonial wine, and also some papers and photographs in the breast pocket I found nothing whatever to throw any light on the supposi- tion of his having committed suicide. One of his daughters came to the Police Station on Monday to give information of his being missing, and also on Tuesday to say nothing had then been heard of him. By a Juror— The body was in about 10   feet water at the bottom of the slope of the embankment.                 William Tremain, sworn, said— Have seen the body of .the deceased, and recognise it as that of J. M. Richards. He came to my place on Satur- day last, and said unless he did some business for me (which I wanted) on Sunday he would be unable to do so at all, as he had to go to Riverton on Monday to report a meeting. Saw him on Sunday about 9 o'clock at my place, till about 4 or 5 in the afternoon. He asked me for a bottle of wine, which I gave him when he went home. His son was with him all the time.. The bottle produced was like the one he had from me. He said, when leaving-' Now, Billy, your property is for sale, and I am sorry for it. You are the best friend I have; you and I are old mates.' Neither of us had been drinking much. We had two glasses of wine each. We did not empty a bottle between us. We had not been to a public-house, nor did we send to one for any drink. Believe he was sober when he left my house. By a Juror— Did not make use of any threat about committing suicide. By the Foreman-Drank the wine when he was writing some papers for me. I did not leave the house with him; his son went with him.   Tobias John M. Richards, son of deceased, said he understood the nature of an oath. Was 18 years old. Sworn, said— Am the son of deceased.   Saw my father last alive on Sunday about about 7 o'clock, aud was at home at the time. ' Had been with him part of the afternoon at Tremain's. Left   there at about 6 o'clock, or a little before. My father was not sober then. Went direct home from Tremain's. My father was not sober when he left Tremain's. He was able to walk home. He stayed at home till about half-past 7. Left at that time. I did not see him leave. He was kicking up a row when at home with my mother and sis- ters. Did not hear him make use of any threat before leaving. He did not return again after leaving at that time, I did not go with him to Tremain's in the morning. Both him and Tre- main were drinking wine when I was there. Do not know how much. Do not know what the quarrel at home was about, as I was not inside when it commenced. By a Juror- I went out on Sunday morning and brought in his horse, as he said he wanted it to go to Riverton on Monday. By another Juror— Took the horse to Tremain's stable, and then went inside to look for my father, and stayed with him during the rest of the day. Mrs. Richards, widow of deceased, sworn, said Saw my husband last alive on Sunday last, about half-past 7 o'clock. He was at home about an hour and a half. He was quite intoxicated when he came home. He had nothing to drink at home. He brought a bottle of wine home with him. The children took it away from him, and hid it. I asked him to have some tea, when he appeared, to bo pleased and cross by turns. He was strange in his conduct. He asked me if I was going to an entertainment I said, 'No; it   is the Sabbath,' and he then got quite cross. Tried to persuade him to have something to eat and then he would be better. He threw the tea things about as if he did not know what he was about. I got frightened, so put out the light, and myself and daughters then went outside.' Could hear him talking inside. Did not know what he said more than he would go outside and watch them. Saw him go out, but did not see which way he went as it was then dark. No one went with   him. The bottle taken from him is at home still.   He did not get that again. Do not know if he had   a second one with him when he came home By Foreman— Thought he returned to Tremain's. Her daughter had been told by Mrs Tremain that he had been there when she (Mrs. 'Tremain) was at chapel. By a Juror Did not know he had

the photographs (produced) with him. He was not ihabit of carrying them about with him.     He must have taken them in the dark and put them in his pocket. He left his watch (which he had got at Tremain's) at home. It had been left at   Tremain's as security for debt. He said Tremain was to give him a pound next morning.' Did not hear him make use of any threat. He shook hands with one of his children, and he said she would never see him again. He had said so many times before so I took no notice of it He could swim. He had not been drinking before he went out to go to Tremain's, and on going out he pro- mised me he would not taste. Had before made threats of making away with himself. He has frequently told me tha' lie has lost his way at night when returning from meetings. He has a sister living across the creek in the direction of the dam. Thomas Hoare, sworn, said-Have seen the body, and know it as that of J. M. Richards. Saw   him last alive between 8 and 9 o'clock on Sunday night last near Tremain's house. He was near the fence. Spoke to him. He was not sober. Appeared as though he had just come out of the house; Am sure it was him, as he spoke to me He said, 'Is that you, Thomas?' I sail, 'Yes Is that you Mr. Richards!' He said, 'Yes,'' I passed on, and he remained. I saw no more of him after that. Miss E. J. Richards, daughter of the deceased, examined, said— On Monday morning went to Tremaine's to ask after my father. 'They said he   had been there on Sunday. and left at 6 o'clock. I went again same evening, when Mrs. Tremain said he had been there when she was at chapel in the evening. Mrs Tremain told me my father was in drink, and she had given him no money but some wine. By a Juror-We thought that my father had walked to Riverton, so we did not feel very anxious abont him. The fact of his being in drink led us to think so. John Bevan, shepherd boy, not sworn, said he found a hat in the dam on Monday morning about 8 o'clock. That produced is the one. It was   floating about in the water. ' William Tremain, re-examined, said - Richards left my place before dark. I did not see him again. My wife did not tell me he came back again. My

children were at home with me when my wife was   at chapel. I did not give him a second bottle of wine. I did not see him between 7 and 8 o'ciock. I was not out in the evening. I was at home all the time. I was as sober then as I am now. I gave him a watch and £1 in silver. I had had the watch in my possession about eight years. I ad vised him to give it to his son. The watch was left with me by deceased as security for a debt. I did not say Richards was in drink, or that I did not give him money. I was quite sober on Mon- day and at work. I was also sober on Tuesday, but was not at work on that day. It was about 3 0'clock when I gave him the money. His son was   present. Gave him the watch at the same time. Corporal O'Brien here stated there was no money on the person of deceased when his body was searched. T. J. Richards, re-examined -I saw no money given to my father by Tremain. Saw Tremain give a watch. Am positive he got no money at the time. Was close by all the time. Tremain was very drunk. He could not stand. He fell down by the side of the fireplace. By a Juror -Don't think any money could have passed from Tremain to my father wuhout my seeing it. My father told me Tremain had to give him some money:   When Tremain gave my father the watch he said.   "Here, Richards, here's the watch." He said nothing of any money. Dr. Blood, legallyt qualified medical practitioner, said he had examined the body. Knew it to be that of Mr. J. M. Richards. Can find no mark of violence on the body. Death was caused by drown- ing. Had known Richards a long time. When intoxicated he was in the habit of walking very rapidly, and in a most careless manner. Think it very probabable that he had walked accidentally into the dam. Knew the place; there is nothing what- ever to prevent anyone walking into the water-no fence. By a Juror-Had there been a fence it is probable it would have stopped the deceased. Have myself frequently in dark nights had a difficulty in finding the proper crossing-place. A drunken man would not be sobered by being immersed in water. The corpse does not present any appearance of the   least struggle whatever having occurred. . Mr. Elliott here stated that the deceased had fre quently told him that in passing near the dam on dark nights he was afraid of falling iute it. as the place was so dangerous. Corporal O'Brien said he had made enquiries throughout the town, but could not hear of the deceased having been in any public-house on the Sunday. Mrs. Tremain examined-Was at home on Sun- day last. Went to chapel in the mornibg, and also in the evening. My husband was at home when I returned from chapel in the morning, and also Mr. Richards. They were in the little   room. Mr. Richards was writing. He went out, and said he was going to dinner. He returned again. Do not know how long he was away. My husband and he were again engaged with business. I went to a neighbour's to tea, and left them and also Richards's son. I came home again before chapel time. Richards had then gone. Both he and my husbind had been drink- ing wine. Do not know how much. Do not know if they were drunk. Tremain was asleep when I came in. I went to chapel. I did not see Richards again. My daughter told me after I came back that Richards had returned in my absence. Do not know if my husband gave him any money. I did not see the watch given by my husband to   Richards. My husband could not have given money without my knowing it. I usually keep the cash. There was no silver lying about the house.   My husband said be would give money to Richards- £1. My daughter told me when I re- turned from chapel that when Richards came in my absence he took a bottle of wine off the table. I also know that Richards had another bottle of wine from my husband before. The Coroner summed up, and the Jury returned a verdict of found drowned, adding as a rider— ' That it is the opinion of the Jury that the dam in its present condition is dangerous to human life,' with a request to the Coroner that he communicate with the Municipal Council as to the dangerous state of the dam and other unguarded places in the town.

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