On Friday, at Durham Assizes, Jane BARRON, aged 27, was arraigned before Mr.
Justice STEPHEN, for the willful murder of Robert SNOWBALL, farmer, Belmont,
near Haltwhistle, on New Year’s Day. Mr. EDGE was for the prosecution, and
Mr. E. RIDLEY, M. P., defended the prisoner, who it will be remembered, was
housekeeper for the deceased.
Mr. SNOWBALL was found dead in an out loft, with his head broken in. A short
time before he went out, he was chaffing the prisoner about a sweetheart,
and she did not appear pleased. She followed him out, and shortly afterwards his
father heard a thud or a fall. When she returned she seemed greatly
She was the first to discover the body, and there was blood upon her dress.
The judge said he never remembered a case of the kind in which there was such
an entire absence of assignable motive; there could be no imputation of
robbery, and it was clear the two were on good terms.
The pinch of the case against the prisoner was the statement of old Mr.
SNOWBALL about her going out soon after the deceased and then hearing the noise;
and, therefore, it was of vital importance whether they believed old Mr.
SNOWBALL or not.
The jury retired to consider their verdict, and after an absence of seven or
eight minutes, returned into Court with a verdict of not guilty. The prisoner
was then discharged.