Palmer, Pauline May

Birth ABT 1906--
Residence 1925-- Ferndale Avenue, Plymouth


Ferndale Avenue, Plymouth


Plymouth Charge of Infanticide, Girl Commited to the Assizes

Western Morning News - Friday 03 July 1925

Pauline May Palmer, age 19, Ferndale Avenue, Camel’s Head, described as laundry starcher, was charged at Plymouth yesterday with the murder of her male child at Plymouth on June 18, but the charge was reduced to one of infanticide, and accused was committed for trial at the next Assizes on s indictment.

Dr. J. S. AlePherson, of CoLlege-road, Plymouth, stated that on June 18 he examined the body of a newly-born male child, which was at the Royal Albert Hospital. He found certain superficial scratches on the wrist and forehead, and two slight abrasions under the chin on the neck. He also found the ligament on the under-part the tongue was injured and slightly torn. There was slight rattling in the throat on inspiration and expiration. In his opinion death was due to bronchial pneumonia, a contributory cause being malnutrition. Bronchial pneumonia could arise from exposure.

The Chairman (Mr. J. R. Lake): Have you any questions to ask this witness?
Prisoner: Yes. I did not kill the child.

Dr. Arthur Sheridan, house surgeon of the Royal Albert Hospital, said the child was admitted on June 16, about 6.30 a.m., and died at 2 a.m. June 18.

George Jeffery, agricultural labourer, Ferndale-avenue, Plymouth, said he found the child at the bottom of the railway embankment. There were stones lying around tee child, but he did not see any actually on it.

Asked if she had any the witness, accused, who was stressed and had to be given water to drink, replied, “I did not put any stones the baby”.


P.C. Walker stated that found the child wrapped a small piece of brown paper. There were stones on the child s head and Chest.

At the close of the constable’s statement the prisoner again said that she did not think she put any stones on the child.

Detective-Inspector Hutching., stated that when he saw the accused at the police station and charged her, she replied “I didn’t kill the baby, but when the people were shouting out about a newly-born baby being found the bank, I suddenly remembered it me. When spoke about the stones I was horified. I don t know anything about the stones.”

Plymouth Infanticide Case

Western Morning News - Saturday 31 October 1925

Pauline May Palmer, age 19, laundress was undefended a charge ot infanticide at Plymouth on June 18. She pleaded Guilty, and no evidence on the actual offence was offered.

Mr Stainton who prosecuted, said accused was backward in many respects and her mother was not at all highly intelligent. A sister of the Convent the Good shepherd whore accused had been since the remand, said she was childish in manner and very docile.

The Judge said accused did a very wicked thing. She put the child on the embankment, where it caught cold and died.

Whatever they called it, exposing a newly-born child death was shocking thing, and if done by anybody ‘but mother while still in a state distress from the birth’ would be capital offence.

Accused was discharged under probation, to go under supervision of the convent.