SHOCKING NEGLECT OF CHILDREN.
At the Whitehaven Police-court, on Thursday, WILFRID BELL, residing at the
old workhouse, Ginns, was summoned for neglecting his children, JAMES (aged
9), WILLIAM (aged 7), ANDREW (3 years and 9 months), and ANNIE (9
P.C. BATEMAN said he visited the defendant's house with another constable,
and found the house in a filthy condition. ANNIE, the baby, had a bad sore
on the left side of its head, from which matter was oozing out; the child's
hair was matted, and pressing in the wound. It was very dirty, and the
child was suffering pain; it was lying on a pillow, on which there was a
quantity of blood and matter.
JAMES BELL's head was a mass of corruption, and he was almost alive with
vermin. He examined the rooms upstairs; they appeared not to have been
slept in for some time. There were only two penny loaves in the house and a
small piece of fruit cake.
Defendant was a widower, his wife having died in February. There was no
housekeeper, and the little boy had to take charge of the house. MRS.
LEWTHWAITE, a neighbour, had, at witness's request, taken the baby in hand
and attended to it.
INSPECTOR SANDERSON described his visit to the place, his evidence being
similar to that of the previous witness. He visited the defendant at
Greenbank, and asked him if he could not keep his house and children cleaner
than they were. He replied, "I do my best." Defendant, in reply to
questions, then said the boys had had new shirts when their mother died in
February; defendant had also bought two new sheets for the bed, and
acknowledged that neither the shirts nor the sheets had been washed since
Witness also visited the house on Wednesday; the appearance of the kitchen
had been improved, but there was still no coal; the boys' clothes were
still in the same condition.
DR. J. DICKSON said he had visited the house at the request of the police,
and described the house similarly to the previous witnesses. The children
were not at all badly developed, but there had been serious neglect. He had
noticed the sore on the child's head when attending the child's mother some
time ago; from his personal knowledge it had not been caused by any
ill-treatment, but was the result of a "nevus" that had broken and been
neglected; the child was also suffering from bronchitis. The food on the
table in the house was covered with filth.
Defendant said he was sorry that the case should have taken place, but
promised to get some one in the house to look after the children. He had
only been earning 2s a day recently.
The Bench adjourned the case for a month to give defendant a chance to get
some one in to look after the home and the children, SUPT. KELLY being
instructed to look into the matter.