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Catalogue ref. Date Description
HO 144/3169
PCOM 8/7
PCOM 8/232



1913-14 Mary Elizabeth Bentley

Mary Bentley was convicted at Leeds on 16 July 1913 for murder and sentenced to death (commuted) for killing a five-year-old child whilst intoxicated

HO 144/19885
PCOM 9/335




1934-35 May Brownhill

Mrs Brownhill needed an operation to save her life but because there was nobody to look after her adult "imbecile" son whilst she should have been receiving medical care, she gave him drugs and gassed him. She was convicted at Leeds on 1 December 1934 for murder and sentenced to death (commuted)

HO 144/22142
PCOM 9/1500




1938-51 Marguriter Eastwood

The victim was the four-week-old child of Mrs Eastwood's husband from a previous relationship. She alleged that she had left him in a convent but instead dropped him from a moving train. She was convicted at the Central Criminal Court (the Old Bailey) on 24 June 1938 for murder and sentenced to death (commuted)

HO 144/16260
PCOM 9/285




1930-32 Lily Feely

Strangled her child after the father, a married man, deserted her. She was convicted at Kingston-on-Thames on 2 July 1930 for murder and sentenced to death (commuted). Although she escaped the death penalty, she died a year later from injuries incurred in a fire at Aylesbury Prison

HO 144/20214 1936 Ellen Harding

 

 

Convicted of drowning her son, after an attempt to have him adopted, Harding maintained that she fainted whilst on a canal bank. She was convicted at Lewes on 11 March 1936 for murder and sentenced to death. The prison governor (who was also the medical officer) in the prison where she awaited execution, presented evidence not produced at the trial, and the conviction was quashed by the Court of Criminal Appeal

HO 144/2379
PCOM 8/77
PCOM 8/265



1920-23 Alice Howe

Drowned her seven-month-old child after the father, a soldier, deserted them. She was convicted at Durham on 7 July 1920 for murder and sentenced to death (commuted). Medical reports show that she suffered severe pre- and post-natal depression

HO 144/3598
PCOM 8/84




1921-24 Ellen Jones

Jones, who was described as "a bit slow", stated that she did not know why she had drowned her seven-month-old child. She was convicted at Mold, Flintshire on 31st January 1921 for murder and sentenced to death (commuted)

HO 144/21631
PCOM 9/875




1940-42 Ruth Jones

Killed her illegitimate son because she was receiving no financial support from the father who was, however, supporting a child from another liaison. She was convicted at Liverpool on 10 June 1940 for murder and sentenced to death (commuted)

HO 144/4414
PCOM 8/104




1915-25 Margaret Neale

In 1914 Margaret Neale killed and decapitated her child, hiding the head under her bed. She served nine years and was released on licence. She was convicted at Maidstone on 15 June 1915 for murder and sentenced to death (commuted)

HO 144/10346
PCOM 8/360




1918-29 Ann Neath

Killed, with a pair of scissors, the child she had just delivered. There is reference to a previous manslaughter conviction in 1918. Neath was convicted at Leeds on 5 March 1921 for murder and sentenced to death (commuted). She contracted tuberculosis in prison and died three years after her release in 1929

HO 45/23557 1920-49 Mary O'Gara

Drowned her eight-month-old child and served four years. Released on licence but subsequently broke the law. Guilty of theft, disturbing the peace and brawling on many occasions, her licence was revoked only once. Serious doubts as to her sanity appear in the papers

HO 144/17540
PCOM 8/347




1918-33 Edith Proctor

Killed the daughter of Walter Gibbins, by starving her over a prolonged period. He was aware of the situation but was terrified of his partner. He later committed suicide. There is some suggestion that another child was also killed in the same way. Proctor was convicted at Leeds on 11 March 1918 for murder and sentenced to death (commuted)

HO 144/21405
PCOM 9/775




1933-40 Elizabeth Agnes Rhodes

A brutal murder whereby Mrs Rhodes killed her husband with a large hammer and tried to burn him. Although she claimed self-defence, there was some suggestion of premeditation She was convicted at Leeds on 25 July 1933 for murder and sentenced to death (commuted)

HO 144/21194
PCOM 8/389




1924-39 Dora Sadler

A children's nurse who killed the child she was hired to look after because she felt she could take better care of her than her mother and did not want to leave her after the mother sacked her. She also killed the younger sister because she did not wish to "leave her in the hall". Sadler, who was convicted at the Central Criminal Court on 8 January 1924 for murder and sentenced to death (commuted), tried to commit suicide. Her papers are full of medical opinion as to whether she was insane

HO 144/19802
PCOM 8/387




1923-35 Alice Turney

Alice Turney killed her four-month-old baby. Although adult, she had the mental age of an eleven year old. Turney was convicted at the Central Criminal Court on 4 December 1923 for murder and sentenced to death (commuted). She served three years and, after release, married and had a child

HO 144/20185
PCOM 9/797




1936 Dorothea Waddingham

Convicted at Nottingham on 27 February 1936 for murder and sentenced to death, Dorothea Waddingham was hanged the same year. She had murdered an 87-year-old widow and her daughter, in a nursing home she ran with Ronald Sullivan, who although accused was found innocent. Waddingham had previously encouraged the widow to change her will, leaving all she possessed to pay for her upkeep in the nursing home

HO 144/19785
PCOM 8/337




1913-35 Ada Annie Williams

Williams killed her 4½-year-old son so that her husband would return to her. She was convicted at the Central Criminal Court on 9 December 1913 for murder and sentenced to death (commuted). After release from prison she was declared temporarily insane, but later worked as a mental nurse