Monday, 27 April 2015

Mother Who Malnourished Baby Not Charged

A Victorian woman whose baby died of malnourishment avoided any charges even though she was seen to mistreat it on the night of the death.
After the death of her husband, middle aged Catherine Warren lived with a dock porter named Canberry in Kew Street, off Scotland Road. In April 1868 she gave birth to a baby boy, which she named George.  

On 20th June Catherine took the baby to a doctor due to a bowel complaint, then was later seen in an intoxicated state in Scotland Road. When some passers by remonstrated with the way she was carrying George by holding his head under her arm and leaving the body and legs dangling, she said it was nothing to do with them. She then punched one of the concerned members of the public whilst tightly squeezing George's head under her arm, causing him to scream.
A police officer was notified and he took Catherine to the Athol Street bridewell. Baby George was given to Dr Sheldon who took him to the Liverpool Workhouse, but he was dead on arrival. A post mortem found that there had been no violence but the child was very under-nourished and the rough treatment may have accelerated death.

At the coroner's court on 22nd June an open verdict was returned, with Catherine being severely censured for her neglect and ill treatment. Catherine, who had been remanded in custody since the death, was then released.

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