Cox, infant

Cox, infant         1889 May 4th         Swindon


Verdict of Wilful Murder

On Saturday morning, Coroner W E N Browne (Wilts), held an inquiry at the Clifton Hotel, New Swindon, into the circumstances attending the death of an infant, which was found buried in a garden at the rear of No 28, Rolleston Street, New Swindon, on Friday. Mr George Wiltshire was chosen foreman of the jury.

Police-Inspector Cruse stated that in consequence of the information he had received he went to the house of Richard Cox on the previous day and searched the premises, when he found buried in the garden at the rear of the house, about three inches below the surface, the body of a new-born male child. He took the body to the mortuary. It was naked but wrapped in paper, and a piece of white tape was tied tightly twice round the neck. The mother of the child was a young woman named Sarah Cox, who has been living at Mr W H Stainer’s house on the Sands, Swindon, as a domestic servant, and, unknown to her employers, was delivered of the child on the previous Wednesday night. On Thursday she was sent to her brother’s house, where the body was found, and appears to have carried the child in her box.

Richard Cox (brother) and his wife were called and said she refused to go to bed on Thursday night, and said she would sleep downstairs on the sofa. During the night she carried the body out into the garden and buried it.

A woman named Mary Ann Heath, living in the Swindon Quarries, who was employed at Stainer’s house as a washer-woman, also gave evidence.

Drs Arnold and Streeton said they had made a post mortem examination, and found that death resulted from strangulation, and after a lengthy deliberation the jury brought in a verdict of “Wilful Murder” against Sarah Cox,the mother of the child.

Assizes Trial 1889 July 6th Salisbury

In the case of Sarah Cox, 27, servant, indicted for the wilful murder of her child at Swindon, the Grand Jury threw out the bill for wilful murder, returning a true bill on the second indictment of concealing the birth of her child at Lyneham. Prisoner pleaded guilty to the lesser count, and she was let out on her own recognisances and those of her brother to come up for judgment when called upon.


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