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Attempt To Strangle An Infant

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Attempt To Strangle An Infant

Post by Karen on Sat 21 May 2011 - 23:05

Harriet Lilley was the witness who testified at the inquest on Mary Ann Nichols. She stated that on the night of Mary Ann's murder, she was sleeping in the bedroom situated in the front room of the house. During the night she testified that she had heard a painful moan and a couple of faint gasps outside her window. I certainly hope this is not her:


At the Thames Police-court, on Wednesday, Harriet Lilley was charged with attempting to murder her infant daughter, aged three months, by strangling it. Robert Humms, a lodger in the prisoner's house, 163, Devonshire-road, Bromley, said that at 10 o'clock on Tuesday night he went to bed, and was awakened at one o'clock in the morning by cries of "Police" and "Murder." He got up and entered the prisoner's room, and saw her husband and eldest son holding her down. She was screaming violently. He shortly afterwards met two constables outside, but they said they could not interfere unless he had a doctor's certificate that the prisoner was not in her right senses. She insisted on going downstairs with her baby, which was injured, and he and her son followed her into the street. He asked a constable to take her into custody, as he did not consider her accountable for her actions, but he declined to do so. He again went home to bed, but soon afterwards heard a cry of "You have killed the baby!" He entered the prisoner's room, and saw her eldest son holding her infant son in his arms. A doctor was sent for, and on his arrival he said that an attempt had been made on the child's life. The prisoner was a good mother when sober, but had been drinking heavily of late. Mr. Heath, a surgeon, of Kent-house, Bow-road, said the child had a mark round its neck, apparently the result of violence. Charles Freeman, 437 K, said that he apprehended the prisoner, who said, "I should not have done it, only I thought the world was coming to an end." Her husband handed him a towel with which, he said, his wife had attempted to strangle the child. The magistrate remanded the prisoner.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, July 29, 1877, Page 12

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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