Bailey infant

Bailey infant         1917 March 9th       Teffont Evias

Baby Under Heap of Stones

Young Girl’s Pitiful Story

Mr F H Trethowan, the Coroner for South Wilts, held an inquest on Wednesday at the School House, Teffont Evias, touching the death of a baby whose body was found under some stones in a field by Major Geddes, of Greystone House, on Saturday. The Major said he went to get the stones to repair a fence and found the body there.

The Major’s wife deposed to engaging a servant eighteen months ago. Her age was sixteen years, and latterly she had complained of being unwell since she had fallen into a pond, but she denied that she had done anything wrong. On January 27th, on finding the girl was ill, she told her to stay in bed, but in the afternoon she came down and had since been at work as usual. When her husband told her of his discovery she went to the girl, who admitted that she had put the baby where it was found, on January 27th, the day she was ill.

Dr Richard Challoner Clay, of Fovant, deposed to the condition of the child. It had evidently died shortly after birth. Exposure to cold would be enough to kill it.

Ethel Mary Bailey, the girl referred to, said she went to the paddock at about 7 o’clock. She did not feel well, but was not expecting what happened. After the child was born she felt giddy. In a few minutes she took it and placed it in a corner, and put one or two stones gently over it. It did not seem to be breathing, and she was sure it was dead when she placed it in the corner. If it had moved she would have taken it to the house.

The Coroner told the jury that if they found that the child died shortly after birth and before it was hidden they should not find a verdict of murder, or manslaughter, because there were no marks of violence, but if they found that the child was alive when it was hidden it would be their duty to return a verdict recording that view.

The foreman said they were unanimously of opinion that the child died shortly after birth, and before it was hidden, and they therefore returned a verdict of death from exposure.


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