Date: 10 Nov 1940
Place: Cockfield Lane, Aylesbury
The body of a newly-born child was found in a lane.
The body was found in a nude state in two brown-paper shopping carriers at about 12.25pm under a garden wall in Cockfield Lane which ran from New street to Buckingham Road.
The inner carrier bag bore the name 'Fuller' on the outside, in handwriting that had been crossed out with blue ink.
A doctor that examined the child at about 1.15pm on 10 November 1940 said that it weighed about seven pounds and that it was quite cold, and that rigor mortis had set in. He said that he formed the opinion that it had been certainly dead for 12 hours, but not more than five days.
He said that the umbilical cord was still attached to the child, but that it was only about a foot long and appeared to have been torn across, noting that he was confident that it had not been cut.
He said that he found no signs of any external injury or marks of ligatures around its neck and said that its body appeared to have been washed.
In conclusion the doctor said that he thought that the child's cause of death was neglect. He said that he thought that the child had been dead before it was put into the bag and that he saw no signs of suffocation.
Another pathologist agreed that the child had had a separate existence, noting that the child had not been fed and agreed that its death was due to neglect after birth. When the coroner asked him whether he thought that the child’s life might have been preserved if a doctor or a nurse had been in attendance at birth, the pathologist said that it was a difficult question as it was clear that the body had been washed, suggesting that somebody was aware that the child had been alive.
When the coroner summed up, he said that he was satisfied that the child had had a separate existence and was not still-born and that it had died from neglect, but that there was no evidence to show how it came to be in the position that it was found and an open verdict was returned.
see Bucks Herald - Friday 15 November 1940, p1