A woman whose stepdaughter died after she had hit her over the head with a poker following a row was sentenced to just eighteen months imprisonment.
On the evening of 24th January 1880 David Edwards and his wife Margaret returned to their home at 29 Major Street, Kirkdale, after a visit to the market. Soon after Margaret's stepmother Catherine Clements, with whom they lodged, came in and began arguing with them. David pushed Clements into her room but she came back out and resumed the argument.
Margaret went out to try and find a policeman but wasn't able to and when she returned, Clements was stood on the step with a poker. She struck Margaret three times with it before David managed to get it from her. The injured woman went to the Stanley Hospital for treatment and arrived back home after midnight, when she was punched twice in the face by Clements, who then threatened to smash a jug over her head.
About a month later erysipelas set in and Margaret was taken to the Stanley Hospital and then the Walton Workhouse. Whilst there she entered a state of delirium, leading to her transfer to the Rainhill asylum. On 4th April Margaret died and Clements was arrested and held on remand for a week whilst medical opinions were sought. It was determined that Margaret's death was as a result of blood poisoning and Clements was committed for trial at the next assizes on a charge of manslaughter.
On 21st April Clements, who was 44 years old, appeared before Mr Justice Denman. After she was found guilty he sentenced her to eighteen months imprisonment with hard labour.