Date: 27 Apr 1905
Place: Homefield Park, Worthing
The body of a newly born child was found in the lake at Homefield Park.
It was found by a Corporation worker, a gardener, on the afternoon of Thursday 27 April 1905.
The child was nude, but its face was covered with a brown paper bag that had been tied up with string although there were no marks on the paper to aid identification in any way.
The gardener said that he found the child's body lying face down in the lake and it was taken out of the water by another gardener whilst he went off for the police. The second gardener said that he had previously passed the lake but had seen nothing.
The police reiterated that the child's face was covered with brown paper and tied with string and suggested that owing to the presence of the string around the child's neck that the child might have been strangled.
However, the doctor that carried out the child's post-mortem said that there were no marks of violence on the body and that he didn't consider that the presence of the string around the child's neck pointed to it having been strangled. He said that the child had probably breathed for a short time after its birth but noted that he didn't mean that in the legal sense that it had had a separate existence and said that if proper attention had been given to the child at birth that it might have lived.
He said that he was of the opinion that the child had been dead for between two and four weeks and that it had been in the water for about a week.
The inquest was held on the Saturday afternoon, 29 April 1905, in the recreation room of the Central Fire station in High Street, Worthing.
An open verdict was returned.
see Worthing Gazette - Wednesday 03 May 1905