Wednesday, 9 March 2016
Mother Gasses Son
A woman who walked into a police station after gassing her son to death was found to be insane.
On 8th June 1940 at 8.25am a lady walked into Walton bridewell and told the constable on the front desk that she had just gassed her baby. An officer then went round to the house in Hanford Avenue and found the body of sixteen month old Edward Evans in the back kitchen and a strong smell of gas. Edward was wearing a gas mask which was connected by a pipe to the cooker.
After being charged with wilful murder the boy's mother, thirty three year old Anne Evans, said that Edward only ever reacted by shaking his head when spoken to and she feared he would grow up as mad.That morning, she had took him downstairs and laid him on the floor, then connected the gas hose to the cooker ring and waited until he was dead.
Evans was remanded in custody and at a committal hearing on 21st June her husband Peter said his wife had been ill for some time, worrying about Edward's health. She was committed for trial at the Manchester assizes, where she appeared before Mr Justice Oliver on 12th July. Evidence was heard that she was cheerful before Edward was born but subsequently suffered delusions. This led to the jury returning a verdict of guilty but insane and Evans was detained 'until the King's pleasure be known.'