1 November 1889
At MARYLEBONE, MARY EDITH FARNELL, 30, 143, High-road, Kilburn, married, was charged before Mr. Cooke with attempting to murder her two children, Mary Eleanor Farnell, aged three years and eleven months, and Beatrice Isabella Farnell, aged seven months, by strangling them. Mr. Bowker, solicitor, defended the prisoner. Police-constable James, 78X, described how he and two other constables were called to the house and forced the door of the prisoner's room open. On entering the room he saw the two children on the floor, with string tied tightly round their necks and blood running from the elder child's mouth. While the string was being cut the prisoner looked at the children and said, "For God's sake don't cut the string; let them die; they will then be happy." Dr. John Charles Smith, of 2, Gascony-avenue, stated that after artificial respiration had been continued for about a quarter of an hour the older child breathed freely. There was an abrasion round the neck of both children as if something had been tied tightly. The police must have given great aid by the artificial respiration employed, for the witness was not on the spot until ten minutes after the police arrived, and but for what they did the children would most probably have died. Inspector Cooper, X Division, said that when he was called to the house prisoner said that she was out of her mind when she committed the deed and did not know what she was doing. She was very talkative and excited, and added that she would like the children to die with her, as they were girls and might fall into the hands of "Jack the Ripper." That name she repeated many times. Henry Arthur Sansom, a surgeon, of Eresby-road, said that he was called to the house. He asked the prisoner why she had done it, and she answered that she felt she was dying and could not leave the children alone in the world. She was much excited and repeated the name of "Jack the Ripper" many times. From her condition he thought that she had previously been subject to melancholia. The prisoner, acting under the advice of her solicitor, pleaded "Not guilty" and said that she would reserve her defence. Mr. Cooke committed her for trial at the Central Criminal Court, and directed that she should at once be conveyed to the prison in a cab.