Thursday, December 31, 2015

Beatrice Farmer, 13-Year-Old Would-Be Murderess – 1901, Australia

FULL TEXT: Beatrice Farmer, 13 years of age, was called upon at the Melbourne General Sessions on Tuesday to answer a charge of an unusual nature. The charge was that she did cause Henry Stanton Babbage to take cortain poison, with intent to injure and annoy the said Henry Stanton Babbage.

Accused who was on bail, entered the dock with her face buried in a handkerchief and weeping bitterly. When asked to plead she made no audible reply. A warder spoke to her, and informed Judge Chomley that she pleaded guilty.

Evidence was given on the girl’s behalf by two witnesses, who stated that she was quick tempered and self-willed.

Judge Chomley ordered that the girl be sent to the Reformatory Schools.

The depositions ot the evidence taken in the police court show that tho girl was in the employ of Mrs. Tuckwell, at Surrey Hills. The son of Mrs Tuckwell by a former marriage. On June 19 Mrs. Tuckwell told the girl to prepare some bread and milk for her son’s breakfast. When the milk was placed on the table peculiar smell was noticeable, and Mr. and Mrs. Tuckwell did not take any of it. The boy Babbage, however, had some of the bread and milk, and after eating a mouthful of it he remarked, “I can’t eat this, as it has a nasty taste, and burns my tongue.” Mrs. Tuckwell gave the accused a cup of tea with some of the milk in it, and then left the room. When she returned she noticed that accused had thrown the tea into a slop-basin. Subsequently she admitted that she put three-quarters of a teaspoonful of carbolic acid in the milk. Mr. C. R. Blackett analysed some of the milk, and found carbolic acid in it.

[“Remarkable Poisoning. - A Young Borgia Or Brinvilliers.” The Bendigo Independent (Victoria, Australia), Jul. 5, 1901, p. 4]


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