Age: 3 weeks
Date: 5 Dec 1903
The body of a male child was found in a parcel at Lime Street Station, Liverpool on 5 December 1903.
It was several weeks old and had been wrapped up in a brown paper parcel and consigned from Leeds to a fictitious address in Liverpool. The parcel had been dispatched from Leeds and bore the address: Mr Wilson, 19 Catherine Street, Liverpool.
A parcel clerk at the joint station at Leeds said that he had been on duty about 7.15pm on the evening of Wednesday 2 December 1903 when a young woman wearing a black jacket and well-dressed brought a brown paper parcel to the offices. He said that he called the woman's attention to the fact that there was no address on the parcel and said that she then asked for a label which he supplied her. He said that she then asked him to write the address on the label for her.
After the parcel was found at Lime Street Station a detective brought the label to Leeds where the parcel clerk identified the writing on it as being his. After hearing about the finding of the body in the parcel, the parcel clerk said that there was nothing about the appearance of the woman who deposited the parcel or about the parcel itself to indicate that anything was wrong.
He went on to say that he did not think that he could identify the woman again, adding that he didn't take much notice of her and that there was nothing about her manner to attract his attention.
However, a parcel porter at Leeds said that he recalled seeing the woman deposit the parcel in question and described her as:
However, he similarly stated that he did not think that he would recognise the woman again.
A parcel van driver in the employment of the London and North-Western Railway Company said that he delivered the parcel to the address given but was told that there was no one of that name living there and so he took the parcel back to the parcel office at Lime Street Station.
At the inquest a detective in the service of the London and North-Western Railway Company and a detective inspector with the Liverpool City Police both gave evidence stating that inquiries had been made in both Leeds and Liverpool but that up to the present time nothing had been discovered that threw any light on the affair.
A doctor said that on 8 December 1903 he carried out a post-mortem examination on the body which he said was that of a well-nourished male child apparently about three weeks old. He said that the child had the appearance of having been dead for about ten days.
He said that there was an extensive fracture of the skull which had caused death and that he thought that the fracture must have been caused by very severe violence. He said that he didn't think that it was possible that the fracture could have been caused by the parcel being roughly handled in transit or the result of a fall and that he believed that it had been caused by a direct blow from some heavy instrument.
When the Coroner summed up he said that there was no doubt from the medical evidence that the death of the child had been brought about by violence and that somebody was responsible for it and that all the circumstances seemed to point to a criminal act.
However, the jury then returned an open verdict, finding that the child had died from a fracture of the skull, but that as to how it came by the injuries there was not sufficient evidence to show.
see Western Daily Press - Tuesday 15 December 1903
see Yorkshire Evening Post - Wednesday 06 January 1904