Unsolved Murders


Age: 0

Sex: female

Date: 8 May 1930

Place: Chequers Bridge, Derby, Derbyshire

The body of a newly-born female child was found in a mat bag in the canal at Derby near Chequers' Bridge on 8 May 1930.

Death was due to inattention at birth and asphyxia.

There was a mark around its neck that was possibly caused by the cord round the bag.

The body was found by a man as he was walking past Chequers' Bridge coming from Spondon. He said that he saw the bag in about one foot of water and poked it with his stick saying that he was startled when he saw a baby's foot protruding. He said that he then drew the bag to the side and found the baby inside along with a piece of concrete.

A police constable that examined the sack said that he found that it contained a large piece of concrete along with the baby's body which was wrapped up in a newspaper that was dated 23 April 1930.

The police surgeon that carried out the post-mortem said that the child had had a separate existence but that there were no marks of actual violence and that death was due to inattention at birth and that asphyxia had followed.

When the Coroner summed up he said that there was no doubt that the child had drowned while alive.

The Derby Canal was closed in 1964 and whilst some attempt has been made to restore some parts of the canal that remain, the section at Chequers Bridge, which crossed Chequers Lane, has been abandoned and is unrecoverable do to land development since. It ran just south of Nottingham Road where it crossed Chequers Lane before then following the current course of Chequers Lane after which it followed the route of the A52 southeast.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - Friday 09 May 1930

see Derby Daily Telegraph - Wednesday 07 May 1930