25th October 1886
Reference Numbert18861025-1081
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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1081. EMILY PARRY (18) , Feloniously administering to Rose Darling a large quantity of laudanum, with intent thereby to endanger her life.


HARRY LUSH (Police Inspector V). On Saturday evening, 21st August, I was at the Battersea Police-station—the prisoner came there and said she wanted to tell me something about the poisoning case—she said "I did it," adding "I put the poison into the teapot"—I pointed out to her the serious statement she was about to make, and how it affected herself, and I asked if it was true that she still desired to make the statement—she then made this statement—I took it down in writing as she made it—I read it over to her, and she signed it, and I witnessed it. (Read: "21st August, 1886. I, Emily Parry, formerly Vass, understanding the probable serious consequences of what I am about to do, desire to make the following statement:—On 26th February last I was in service at Dr. Bayfield's, Soames Villa, Lavender Hill. My fellow-servant, Alice Tharby, and I quarrelled on that day. The same afternoon Alice made some tea for Mrs. Darling, Mrs. Bayfield's mother, who was staying in the house, which she placed on the dining-room table. She then went upstairs. I was in the scullery at that time, and wishing to spite Alice I determined to put some poison into the teapot, thinking that blame would fall on her. I did not think of what might happen to other persons. I ran from the scullery and took the teapot off the dining-room table out to the surgery. I poured something from several bottles into it, one of which was labelled 'laudanum, poison,' and then put the teapot back on the table in the dining-room. I went

to the pantry, took the jug of milk into the surgery and put some chloroform into it, and replaced it in the pantry. It only took me about five minutes to do all this. I had no thought or intention of poisoning any one; my only idea was to get Alice into a row. When Alice was locked up I was afraid to tell the truth. I have often since half made up my mind to make this statement, but could not find courage to do it until to-day. I make this statement to clear all blame from Alice Tharby and to ease my own mind.") She was half crying at this time, rather agitated, but she knew what she was telling me, I think—I subsequently received two bottles from Sergeant Drew; that was in Tharby's case—I handed them to Dr. Dupre.

ROSE DARLING . I am a widow—in February this year I was staying with my daughter, Mrs. Bayfield, at Lavender Hill—on the afternoon of 26th February I took some tea to Alice, and gave her directions to make me some tea—I was afterwards in the dining-room, and I there found the cup, teapot, and milk—I drank some of the tea; it tasted bitter and very nasty—I called Alice to speak to her about it; she did not come; the prisoner came—she said Alice had gone upstairs to dress—she tasted some of the tea, and said it was very nasty; she did not take a mouthful—I tasted some of the tea without the milk and sugar, and found it was worse—I was exceedingly ill for about six hours, and Dr. Jones attended to me—no serious consequences resulted.

ALICE THARBY . I was fellow-servant with the prisoner at Mrs. Bayfield's—on the afternoon of 26th February I made the tea—I put nothing in it; I put the water to it—I thought it was all right—before I made it the prisoner asked me two or three times how long I should be up-stairs—I afterwards went up, and she came up and told me that Mrs. Darling wanted me to say that there was something in the tea—I said I had left it all right—I came downstairs and found Mrs. Darling there—I tasted the tea and found it was very bitter—I also tasted the milk, and I was a little sick in the evening—I was charged with this matter and was sent for trial; the Grand Jury threw out the bill—I have been living with my mother ever since—the prisoner gave evidence against me.

GRORGE JONES , L.E.C.P. On 26th February I saw Mrs. Darling and examined her, she was suffering from the effects of a narcotic poison, such as would be produced by the taking of laudanum or any preparation of morphia—the pupils of the eyes were contracted; the skin in a state of clammy perspiration, the pulse feeble and intermittent, and she was suffering from nausea, all indicative of narcotic poison.

HORACE BAYFIELD . I am a surgeon; my surgery is on the same floor as the kitchen—the door was always unlocked—I saw this tea—I put some of it into one bottle and some of the milk into another—they were taken charge of by Sergeant Drew—I missed between six and eight ounces of laudanum, and six ounces of chloroform from another bottle.

HENRY DREW (Police Sergeant V 18). I received two bottles from Mr. Bayfield—I took them to Inspector Lush and he gave them to Dr. Dupre.

AUGUSTE DUPRE . I am lecturer on, chemistry at Westminster Hospital—on 1st March I received from Lush two bottles—I analysed the contents, one contained ten ounces of infusion of tea, with a little sugar and milk, and one grain of morphia, that is the chief active principle of opium; besides the morphia I found a trace of neconic acid, and 5 per cent

of proof spirit, that came either from the laudanum or tincture of morphia—the second bottle contained milk that contained one and one-fifth of an ounce of chloroform.

Prisoner's Defence. I have nothing to say.

GUILTY of the attempt. Three Months' Hard Labour.

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