A woman who killed her three month baby after scalding him with boiling water was given a lenient sentence after her defence said she was not responsible for her actions due to drink.
On the 29th May 1900 Mary Doyle, a 38 year old mother of two whose husband was away at sea asked her son John to take his six month old baby brother Christopher for a walk in the pram. He did so but on returning to their Robsart Street home Mary took the baby and threw him on the floor.
The older boy became alarmed and went to fetch his aunt who lived nearby but by the time she arrived it was too late. Mary had took some boiling water from the fire and drank some herself, before squirting the rest over Christopher and collapsing.
Mary said to the others that she had done what she did as God had told her to do so. Christopher was taken to the Dispensary from where he was then removed to the workhouse hospital. The following day he died from shock and exhaustion caused from the burns.
Mary was an alcoholic who had twice been hospitalised due to insanity and when she appeared at the assizes on 30th July her counsel said she could not be held responsible for her actions and had no premeditation or motive. After accepting she was suffering from delirium tremens following heavy drinking the jury found her guilty of manslaughter and she was sentence to three months imprisonment with hard labour.