Mexborough & Swinton Times, November 25, 1939
Conisboro´ Man Sent To Prison
Sequel to Barmaid´s Fatal Collapse
Twelve Months Sentence
A Conisborough painter, Albert Oliver Tuffrey (31), of Daylands Avenue, was at Leeds Assizes on Wednesday sentenced to twelve months imprisonment, having pleaded “Guilty”, to unlawfully using an instrument with intent to procure a miscarriage of Edna Brown (31), a single woman of Balby.
Mr Justice Oliver, who described the sentence as a lenient one said:
“It cannot be too clearly understood that people such as yourself, who are ignorant and know nothing about what they are doing, are taking enormous risks when they embark on a thing of this sort. Nothing of this sort can be done upon a woman without risking her life. This will be a matter of shame and remorse to you for the rest of your life”
Tuffrey pleaded “Not Guilty” to a charge of manslaughter on the woman and the Judge ordered that no proceedings should be taken on the count of manslaughter.
Of Good Character
Mr. Geoffrey Veale, prosecuting said there was not the slightest suggestion that Tuffrey, who was a man of good character and had nothing against him, was a professional abortionist in any way. Mr. Veale said that Edna Brown was employed earlier this year as a barmaid at the Danum Hotel, Doncaster, and in April she and Tuffrey began to live together as man and wife in Doncaster. In July she was three or four months pregnant.
On the evening of July 2 nd they were both seen alive and apparently had a meal together, and then prepared to commit the offence to which Tuffrey had pleaded guilty. It was a matter which had been discussed between them before. The cause of death, added Mr. Veale, was heart failure, caused by shock, by the application of an irritant to the woman. There was no damage to the woman done by the instrument.
Mr. Veale said that the woman collapsed soon after and Tuffrey was very upset and went for a doctor. The doctor told him the girl was dead and Tuffrey said at once that he had better tell the truth. The doctor took him to a police station where Tuffrey made a statement
Detective-Sergeant William Towers (Doncaster), gave Tuffrey a good character and said that for seven years he had been working for a firm of painters and decorators in Doncaster.
Forgiven by Wife
Mr. Arthur Morley, K.C., defending, said that Tuffrey was married and had three children, aged 12, nine and six years.
“He is now living with his wife and children. She has forgiven everything and he is behaving to her now in the way that a husband ought to behave to his wife and children. During the few months that this man did go astray with this woman he contributed regularly to the upkeep of his wife”.
Mr. Morely said that Tuffrey was anxious to join the Army as soon as possible. Counsel added that he had not a single word to say against the dead woman, but there were still living two illegitimate children of hers, aged six and two, with whose birth Tuffrey had nothing at all to do.
Tuffrey was very reluctant to have anything to do the offence. When they went home that evening he had not the slightest intention of committing an offence. His part was really a very minor one. He was completely ignorant of that sort of thing, and was reluctant that anything of the kind should be done.
When the woman collapsed he was almost frantic and he tried three other doctors before he got one. He spent about two hours chasing round to find a doctor.
The Judge said he was prepared to accept that Tuffrey was a man of good character and that he had not instigated the offence.