No corrections yet
DEATH UNDER SUSPICIOUS CIR-
The inquest commenced by Dr. Youl on Monday, at the James Watt Hotel, Spencer street, on the body of Elizabeth Hunt, who was found dead the previous Sunday morning under circumstances, as reported by the police, of a very enspiclouB nature, was completed yesterday. Three witnesses were examined on Monday, and the evidence of the fourth, Tboe. Clayton Mourlyan,. the medical at- tendant, and on behalf of whom Mr. J. Ed- wards, jon., appeared to watch the case, was taken yesterday. The following is a con- densation of the whole of the evidence :
John Hunt, a builder, residing at West Melbourne, deposed that tho deceased was his sister-in-law. She was twenty-Beven years old, and had two children. Her husband had been away from her about eight months, and was now in California. The deceased had been making a living as a governess, and witness lived in the same house with her. Five weeks ago she took a week's holiday, saying she was going ta a house where sha had been teaching. She was not away more than a few days. On her return, she re- mained indoors, complaining of being un- well, and ßbe waa visited by a doctor, whom witness believed she had met the week before. About three weeks ago this doctor-Mourlyan by name-called and saw her in bed two or three times. Deceased got better and resumed her duties downstairs. Mourlyan saw her last about ten days ago. Deceased went out on Monday, and seemed to be suffering from nothing but weakness. She was also out last Thursday, and did not get home until about ten o'clock, in conse- quence of being unable to find a cab. She complained of feeling ill, and went to bed. On the Saturday sho had a shivering fit, which lasted half an hour. She went to bed at half past ten o'clock on Saturday night, and on the following morning the servant found her dead in bed. Deceased did not tell witness that she was in the family-way, and he never-suspected it. He had no knowledge of Mourlyan.
Julia M'Mahon, servant to the deceased, gave evidence of the condition of the latter's linen and bed clothoa during her illness. She Enid the deceased told her Bhe had been ex- pecting to be unwell for some timo, and that it had been necessary for her to take medi- cine. The doctor carno to seo her threo times. Witness thought, from what she Baw, that deceased bad had a miscarriage ; but she did not pretend to know anything of such matters, and deceased treated it as nothing out of the common.
Dr. E. J. Neild stated that he had examined the body of the deceased, which was that of a woman about thirty years of age, and in tolerably good condition. Decomposition had commenced. The breasts contained milk, they were very prominent, and there was a marked aroola round the nipples. The brain and arachnoid were slightly congested. There was about half an ounce of serum at
the baso of the brain, and a little in the ven- tricles. The lungs were much congested throughout. There was about three-quarters of a pint of bloody serum In the pleural cavity, and the pericardium con- tained about three ounces of it. The uterus was double the size of that organ when nnimpregnated, and there was an opening at the mooth of about the sizo of a shilling. On the upper internal portion there was a dark rough spot, the size of half-a-crown. The cause of death was effusion into the pericar- dium and pleura. The deceased had recently been delivered of a child, at about the fourth month. Witness did not discover any indi- cation of abortion having been intentionally produced. It was possible that the abortion Indirectly accelerated death, but it was not the direct cause. There was a very distinct corpus luteum in the left ovary, and the re- mains ol one in the right ovary, apparently more recent than the birth of deceaseds youngest child. -
Thos. Clayton Mourlyan said he was a medical practitioner, but not regiutored in the colony. He once gaye evidence at an inquest before Dr. Youl under the name of JOB. Mason. The name was assumed for the occasion because ho had run away from a ship, and did not wish to be discovered. Ho retained the name of Mason for two or three years, and insured his life under it. He said he waB not qualified at the former inquest, and his diploma had since been accidentally
burnt in Mr. L. L. Smith's house. About five or six weeks ago tho deceased came out to witness's house in Bichmond and rented two of the rooms. She Bald she hod been recommended by a doctor to go there for a change. She remainod ten or twelve days. She usually went into town every other day. Upon her complaining to witness of disease of the heart, he exa- mined her, and thought she was Buffer- ing from congestion of that orgau. He prescribed a little digitalis and opium, and that was the only medicine he gave her in the house. She came to him under the name of Mrs. Wileon. About a fortnight ago she wrote a note to him, asking bim to como te Bee her. He saw her in her bedroom at West Melbourne, and she complained of men' Btruation to an unusual extent having taken place. He ordered her u tonic, anc afterwards some citrate of iron and qui nine. (Prescription produced.} He did no1 see her for ten days before her death She never tola him Bhe was in the family way, and he never thought she was. Ot being told that the womun was dead, he certi fled that Bhe died from congestion of the heart, and he believed that that was the causi of death, accelerated by oold. Witness wai always away from his house from eight o'clock in the morning until ten o'clock at night. A cousin of his, Edward Mourlyan - was at one time assistant to Mr. L. L. Smith
but ho went home, and died there some tirai ago. When deceased came to his house sh< had a bottle with bor.
The Coroner said there was no doubt thal influenza WOB the direct cause of death, bul the deceased would probably have lived had she not been reduced to a very weak state bj her miscarriage. It was reasonable to info: that tho deceased left her house for the pur poEe of having abortion procurod. Whothet her object was obtained by the use o medicines or by physical violence, woulc perhaps always îemaln a socrot, He would remark that in the present state of out criminal law, which protected suspected persons in so many ways, no person could ever be convicted of procuring abortion, This was much to be rcgrettod, for th< offence waB known to bo of very commor occurrence. The samo remark applied tr cases of child-murder. He was continuait) being called upon to bold inquests upor children killed at their hirth, and mum cases had como under his notice in whicl women made no Beeret of the fact that abor tion had been procured for them. But it wai uselcsB to hope for convictions with thi criminal law in its present state. The pre Ecriptions which appeared to havo been glvei by Mourlyan wero harmless enough, but tha was not a point of much consequence. It wa lather singular, however, thut Monrlyai sbould give a certificate of the cause of deatl of a person whom ho had not seen for tei days, and that, too, without absolutely know lue that death had taken place.
The jury found thot " the deceased died a West Melbourne, on the 16th inst., from in fluenza and eiliiBion of fluid into tbe peri cardium and pleura."