Mexborough & Swinton Times, January 1918
Cruelty at Conisborough
Man and Woman sent to Prison
At the Doncaster West Riding Police Court on Wednesday, Robert Thompson, a cowman, and Elizabeth Allen, a married woman separated from her husband, and cohabiting with the male prisoner, were charged with cruelty to two children, George (7), the illegitimate child of the woman, and Edith (2 ½), her legitimate child. They pleaded not guilty, and Mr.Baddiley, who prosecuted on behalf of the N.S.P.C.C., said the couple had been living at Conisborough for 12 months, previous to which they lived in York. It was a gross case of cruelty.
Inspector Lloyd said in company with Sgt. Lewendon and Dr. Huey he saw the boy at the school at Conisbrough, while he was insufficiently clad for the time of year. He was also bruised, while his feet were sore, his boots fitting badly, and in poor condition. He had difficulty in walking. Later they saw the baby, who was in the same condition. Both feet were bandaged, and it was found she had been burned, also on her chin.
When he asked the woman to account for the child´s condition, Thompson, who came in, said the child burned its feet by treading on a hot cinder. The sore on the face was said to be due to Thompson sticking a hot cigarette on it. As to the house, it was filthy.
The female defendant admitted that before coming into the district she had been warned at York and Scarborough regarding the treatment of the eldest child. The children were very nervous.
Sergt. Lewendon, who corroborated, said they did not see and food in the house, and there was hardly any furniture.
P.C. Vay said he visited the house in the morning, hearing a child crying upstairs. There was no one else in the house. She was upstairs and very cold. He took her downstairs and warmed her, got some covering and put her to bed.
Mrs Bertha Daniels, a neighbour, spoke to cruel conduct on the part of both defendants. Dr J.J. Huey said the bed the boy slept in was not fit for an animal.
The boy said Thompson had hit him with his belt and had struck the baby too.
Both defendants were called and blamed each other for the condition of affairs. Thompson said he had told Mrs Allen again and again to get the house clean. He had chastised the boy when he needed it. Regarding the baby, he put her down to try and walk, and accidently put her foot on a cinder. As to the burn on her face, he let her have a `draw´ from his cigarette, and it dropped on her face.
The woman said the man had been very cruel to the children, and had also struck her. She alleged that he had put the little girl´s feet in the fire.
The Chairman (Mr E Walker Jackson) said it was a very shocking case, and they would each have to go to prison for six months with hard labour.