Date: 28 Feb 1961
Carol Ann Lowman died from head injuries but the cause of them was unexplained.
She had suffered a head injury and burns.
She was one of a family of eight and had lived with her family in Kensal House in Ladbroke Grove, London.
She was taken to St Charles Hospital in North Kensington at 7.30am on 28 February 1961 but was found to be dead on arrival.
The pathologist said that she died from inhalation of vomit due to a haemorrhage of the brain. He noted that she also had burns on her nose, left cheek and eye as well as on her legs. Bruises were also found on her legs, arms and forehead.
He said, 'These bruises could have been the result of the child being knocked flying by other children or being pitched out of a pram'. He added that she could have received the burns just by sitting in front of the fire and might have fallen forward and hit her head on the fire grate.
Carol Lowman's mother said that on 27 February 1961 she had gone to see her husband in St Charles' Hospital at about 2pm, leaving her 9-year-old daughter looking after the four younger children and Carol Lowman sitting in front of the fire. She said that when she returned at 3.30pm that she found Carol Lowman still in front of the fire but with burns on her face which she then treated with ointment.
She said that after that Carol Lowman was allowed to run around playing with the other children in the normal way. She said that she later wrapped her up and left her on the settee.
She then said, 'At about 8.45pm she seemed unusually quiet. I picked her up and she felt cold so I wrapped her up more. I couldn't hear her breathing so I started artificial respiration and my eldest son and daughter, aged 12 and 14, also helped me in this for quite a long time. I held her in my arms all night'.
Carol Lowman was taken to the hospital the following morning at 7.30am.
At the inquest Carol Lowman's mother said that none of her other children that had been left in the house had any idea of what had happened and that the daughter that she had asked to put the fireguard on the fire had forgotten to do so.
When the Coroner asked Carol Lowman's mother why she didn't take Carol Lowman to her doctor or the hospital in the first place, she said, 'I didn't know the doctor's private address and I didn't go to the hospital because I didn't want to leave the children again. I was in a complete whirl and I didn't know what to do'.
The police said that when they interviewed the 9-year-old daughter on 28 February 1961 that she told them that she had been left to care for four children and that she had forgotten to put the fire guard round the fire. She also said that she had taken three of the children into a bedroom to play and had left Carol Lowman sitting in front of the fire and that half-an-hour later when she went back to see Carol Lowman that she didn't notice any marks on her face or hear her crying out.
An open verdict was returned at the inquest, the Coroner noting that there was insufficient evidence to show how the injury and burns had been sustained.
see Kensington Post - Friday 17 March 1961