FULL TEXT: A dreadful story of the cruelty of a woman towards the little mite of a baby girl that she had adopted was related to a bushed court in Launceston the other day.
The woman, who should have been expected to love and cherish the little mite, was sentenced to three month’s imprisonment for a cruel beating which she gave the little toddler — in the circumstances a remarkably lenient sentence.
Pathetic figure in the court was the a sweet little girl baby — not yet recovered from the fear of her awful experience, at this picture shows. She clung to the kindly policeman who handed her about the court, however, probably realising for the first time in her tiny life that there is greatness and gentleness in the human heart.
It was revealed that the infant — aged two years ind seven months — was covered with severe bruise from eyes to ankles. Little shoulders, arms, body, face, neck, thighs and leg all bore marks of the dreadful weals of the strap.
It was altogether a distressing spectacle, and there was a murmur of revulsion when the little one was seen in court, or, though fully clothed, the exposed portion of her face and limbs were sufficient indication of her general condition.
“I have never seen a child in such a dreadful condition,” declared Inspector Beresford, who prosecuted. He said that the woman charged, Beatrice Horney, aged 35, had adopted the child when it was five weeks old.
Concerning the bruising of the child, she had stated that one day the previous week it had been unclean in its habits and caused her much inconvenience. She had thereupon given it a beating with a small strap, without a buckle, which the later burnt.
She admitted that she was in a bad temper at the time. Concerning the bruises on her head, however, the said the child had received then when she had fallen out of her cot one day.
Horney, who pleaded guilty, declined to make any statement in explanation of her actions when invited to do so by the Bench.
Mr. E. L.Hall, in announcing the Bench’s sentence, said that Horney had pleaded guilty and offered no ex cuse for her actiona. “You say that the child did something that caused you annoyance,” the P.M. remarked, but the child’s act obviously did not justify such cruelty. Being a woman, and after having had the child in your custody for a time, one would think that you. would have cared for the child a little more.
“It is a wicked thing for any woman to do to a child,” added the magistrate.
Mr. Hall then gave instructions that the infant be handed over to the care of the Children of the State Department, and that efforts be made to have an order to this effect put into execution.
[“Woman’s Appalling Cruelty - To Little Child,” Truth (Sydney, Australia), May 15, 1932, p. 13]
For more cases, see: Women Who Like to Torture