- Transcribed by unknown author unknown author
- Edition: Sat 7th Aug 1897 Sat 7th Aug 1897
On Wednesday afternoon somewhat of a sensation was caused by the
announcement that a little girl had been picked up dying or dead on the
Borrowdale-road. The body was brought in a trap by Mr W Messenger of
Aspatria who turned back while on a journey round the lake. The body was
carried into the Pack Horse Inn where Dr Crawford tried all means to restore
animation but without avail.
The child was identified about 3-Oopm as Annie Mary Pickering, daughter of
Thomas Pickering, labourer, Back Lane.
An inquest was held at the Cour tBuildings on Thursday morning by Mr E
Atter, deputy coroner for the division.The jury was composed as follows
:Messrs J F Hope (foreman),J Adamson, J Aitchison,J S Allinson,G Bell,T H
R Birkett,T Brown,I Cartmell,D Melvin,J Robinson and J Young.
Mrs Pickering, wife of Thomas Pickering, deposed that the body which the
jury had viewed was that of her daughter Annie Mary who had turned 9 years
of age. She last saw the child alive at 11 o,clock on Wednesday morning when
she was going out to sell lemonade on Borrowdale Road. She was accompanied
by her brother 7 years of age and they had half a dozen bottles between
them. The deceased had a fit about 13 months ago and was then attended by Dr
Russell but she had not ailed anything since beyond sick headache and she
had not complained during the present year. The child had sold lemonade
previously on trip days but she was not out on Tuesday. Witness was not
aware that the deceased had taken any sewing with her; she worked with a
needle only at school. The children took some bread and butter and fruit
cake with them. The little boy came home and asked for three more bottles of
lemonade but witness sent him back without to tell his sister to come home
and she was expecting them when the Police Sergeant came to the house for
her. By the Foreman :Witness did not know that the deceased had a needle
William John Eades, schoolmaster 4 Osbourne Terrace, Westoe, South Shields
deposed that he came to Keswick by an excursion train from Sunderland on
He was by himself reading in Castlehead wood about 2-3Opm when the driver of
a three horse conveyance shouted to him. He ran down the green jumped the
wall and found a little girl lying on the road her face partly in the soil.
A gentleman came up and they carried her to a seat in the wall. There they
laid her on her back wiped the dust from her face and fanned her. She was
breathing very heavily and was unconcious. A spring cart came up and as they
thought it best to get the child to the town they stopped the cart and
lifted her in. The gentleman who had helped then went on his way Witness
came back with the cart to the town. Meeting the Police-Sergeant witness
asked him directions for a doctor , .Dr Crawford happened to be near and
when he came up witness to the best of his best belief thought the doctor
pronounced her to be dead. The 'girl was lying on the road as if she had
fainted. She had in her hand some coppers and a sixpence and two or three
small berries which led him to surmise she had been gathering bleaberries.
He did not examine the berries. The sun was very hot If the driver of the
carriage had not pulled up he would have run over her for she was lying in
the middle of the road. By the foreman: Witness did not see any other
children about. He had been sitting in the wood for about an hour and a
quarter and he had not previously noticed the child. The money was gripped
in her hand.
Inspector Logan deposed that about 2-45pm on Wednesday a messenger came to
the police station with information that a girl had been found dead in
Borrowdale road. He at once went up the street and found that the deceased
had been brought to the Pack Horse .Dr Crawford was there and assisted Mr
Eades and himself to carry the child indoors. They laid her on a table and
for a considerable time the Doctor tried to restore animation. The deceased
was afterwards carried upstairs where a thorough external examination was
made. Witness did not observe the least mark of violence on the body, nor
did he see any blood. While Dr Crawford was examining the body he found a
piece of needle which he handed to witness
.It was taken out of her clothing by the Doctor. Witness produced the
portion of a needle and it was passed round to the jury for examination.
There was a good deal of dust about the deceased,s mouth and nostrils. The
money she had amounted to 1s 3d 1/2d. (Mrs Pickering in reply to the
Deputy-Coroner said the child should have had a shilling) .The Inspector
also produced a bottle opener and a small combe which was found in the
Dr Crawford stated that he had early on Thursday morning made a post mortem
examination of the body which was well nourished - On the right breast 3
inches to the inner side of the nipple line and 1 and 3/4 inches below the
nipple he found a minute puncture capable of admitting the point of a
needle. On removing soft parts from the chest a small puncture was found
corresponding in position to the one in the skin and proceeding further the
pericardium when opened was found to contain a quantity of clotted blood.
The pericardium had also been punctured in a line with the opening in the
chest wall. On the surface of the right ventricle there was a lacerated
wound fully quarter-of-an-inch in length and the heart wall had been
perforated. On examining the pleural spaces the pointed half of a needle an
inch long was found in the right pleural space. The stomach contained 6 and
1/2oz of semisolid food largely composed of undigested meat. There were also
several berries half digested - in all probability from their appearance
bilberries. All the other organs were examined and found to be more or less
congestéd .Death was due to hemorrhage in to the pericardium causing
syncope. In reply to the Deputy Coroner, Dr Crawford said the puncture was
sufficient to cause death. There were no marks of violence on the body.
The Deputy-Coroner said the evidence of Dr Crawford would assist the jury to
come to a conclusion. Without that evidence a variety of reasons might have
been surmised; but now the cause of death had been most amply shown and it
has been shown too how from simple causes fatal results might ensue for he
believed it was a very common practice to put needles and pins in the dress
The jury found that the deceased had been "pierced in the heart by a piece
of sewing needle which caused her death,"
At the request of the foreman, and on behalf of the jury ,Mr Atter
acknowledged the service which had been rendered by Mr Eades with the view
to save the child,s life. They regretted the inconvenience to which he had
been put in having been prevented from returning home the previous night and
they thanked him for the manner in which he had given his evidence. Mr
Eades briefly thanked the court.
The jury gave their fees to the parents of the deceased .