Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Thursday 15 May 1919
Aunt sent for Trial
Alice Sagar (24), of Mexborough, was brought up on remand at the Doncaster, West Riding Court, today, charged with having attempted murder her niece, Alex Bayes, aged seven, St. Catherine’s Avenue, Balby, by attempt to do to drown her in the River Dearne at Mexborough.
The prisoner had been remanded for a fortnight in order that her mental condition might be enquired into.
The evidence of Alice Bayes, the child, who was accompanied her mother, was taken. She is bright little child, and told the magistrates that she remembered going to school at Balby one day last month, and whilst out walking with teacher she was told that her auntie wanted to see her. She went back to the school and there saw her auntie. Her auntie said. ‘Come with me to Denaby.” She asked her if her mamma knew, and her auntie said “Yes
She went with her to Denaby, and had tea at her uncle’s at Denaby. After having tea she went with her auntie for a walk and they came to some water. On coming to the water her auntie sat her on the wall by the water, and said. Look at that water bubbling,” and whilst she was looking at the water she pushed her in and she did not remember anything more until she found herself in a house Mexborough.
Annie Bayes, wife of Arthur Bayes, of mother of the little girl, and sister of the prisoner, said that prisoner had no fixed address. In consequence of a communication received from the Wakefield Asylum authorities in November last, she fetched her sister out the asylum on March 19. Witness’s intention was to send her to her mother in America. She stayed with her on and off until April 30, and spent her time in visiting her relatives in Barnsley and Doncaster
Prisoner returned to her house on Tuesday. April 29. She had a portmanteau with her, and witness asked her to account for it. She said haven’t pinched it.” And, getting hold of it, said, “ l am going to take it to the station.” She went away, and was brought back by the police three o’clock in the morning of the 30th. During the morning, whilst witness was in the back yard, the prisoner left the house.
Witness did not see her leave, and went upstairs to see where she was and found that she had disappeared. Her conduct had been good except the day when witness fetched her from the asylum. On that day she said she would to give herself up to the police. She would sometimes sit for hours without speaking.
Eldred Hubbard, who was temporarily employed at Milton Park said on April 30 he was near the Dearne, when saw the prisoner dancing up and down the road, and on looking, into the water saw the child’s face underneath the water. She was under the arch of the bridge. She got along the parapet of the bridge, and found the child was holding herself up by some branches.
Noticing that the prisoner was wearing red scarf, he called out to her to hand it to him, and she did so. He then passed one end the child, and told her to seize it, which she did, and held the other end and was in the act of lifting her out when two men came to his assistance and the child was recovered.
She appeared to fairly exhausted. She was put in trap and taken to a house in New Street. On getting on to the road he asked her whose child was, and she replied “My sister’s.” He asked where she lived and she said “Doncaster.” said, “How did she get into the water?” Prisoner replied. She climbed over the wall and fell in.” The wall was about 4 feet high.
Dr. Huey proved that on Wednesday. April, he was called to a house in New Street, Mexborough and found the child Alice Bayes. She was cold and shivering and suffering from exhaustion and shock. He attended to her, and said her life was in danger but for the prompt attention given to her.
George Shaw, miner, 14. New Street, Mexbro’, stated that he was driving in a trap and when turning the corner near the Dearne Bridge he saw the prisoner looking over the bridge. He drove past for about 16 yards and becoming suspicious looked round, saw Hubbard in the act of pulling the child out of the water.
Prisoner: Or putting her in—which?
Witness said he stopped the trap and went to the water and leaning over the wall reached the child out of Hubbard a hands. He said to prisoner “Are you with that gentleman?” (meaning Hubbard). She replied No.” He next asked whose child it was in the water and she said “It is sister’s.” He said “How did the child get into the water.” Prisoner said “She was the same the rest of the children, she wanted lifting on the wall.”
Prisoner; She was lifted up. Witness next asked why she did not keep hold of the child when she was on the wall and she made no reply. He took the child to his home. The child was in a very exhausted condition. He and his wife rubbed her and sent for the doctor.