1909 02 12

1909 February 12th    Cranborne

Parents Neglect Their Children

At the Petty Sessions on Thursday last week, Edward Applin, a labourer, of Dean, near Handley, and Fanny Applin, his wife (both of whom formerly lived in Salisbury), were brought up on a warrant and charged with wilfully neglecting their four children, Louisa aged 12 years, Rose 5, Lily 3½ , and Bertram 1½.

Inspector Lawlor, who is acting in the district during Inspector Robb’s illness, stated that he called at defendant’s cottage on December 18th and saw the little boy standing on the floor with bare feet, and he had broken and festering chilblains; the baby had a large abscess behind it’s ear. The children were dirty, as well as the house and bedding. The mother told him the boy would not keep his boots on, and she intended to get an order from the relieving officer for the doctor to see the baby. She added that Louisa was out stone-picking with her father.

Witness called in a doctor, who examined the children. Subsequently the father arrived with the eldest child, who, he said, had been working with him from 9am to 4.30pm. Having warned both parents witness left. He called the following evening and found both parents out, and no fire in the grate. The eldest girl had the baby, and the abscess did not appear to have been touched. The boy was sitting on the hob trying to get warm, with his feet still bare. Learning that the parents had gone to Handley he made enquiries, but could not find them.

Returning later, he saw the parents, and in reply to his question, the man said he could not let his wife go alone as she was subject to fits. She had got some lotion for the baby from the doctor, and promised to look after the children. When he called the following morning he found the baby had not been attended to. It was in bed, and the abscess had broken, blood flowing from it onto it’s nightgown, which was in a filthy condition. The doctor ordered the children’s removal to the Workhouse, the parents reluctantly giving their consent. As the baby was going, Mrs Applin said, “I could do anything for the dear little soul now. I know I have not done so in the past, and I am sorry.” It was further stated that a nurse who was asked to come in when Mrs Applin was confined, said that in reply to her question as to whether the child was alive, Applin said it was when he left, but he hoped it would be dead when he got back.

Dr Clapham, of Handley, corroborated the Inspector’s evidence as to the children’s condition.

Defendants were each sent to prison for two months’ hard labour.

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