WEEKEND WEB: Schoolteacher accused of killing her child

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We look back to the Lincs Free Press 100 years ago this week.

The Gedney Hill baby tragedy advanced when the grave charge of murder was dropped and the prosecution preferred the charge of “unlawfully by secret disposition of the dead body” – attempting to conceal the body.

The accused was Carrie Elizabeth Seaton (27), a single school teacher at the Gedney Hill Day School, who resided with her parents at Gedney Hill.

Three Gedney Hill residents were the only ones present at Spalding Sessions House other than those connected directly with the proceedings.

The accused, a well-built young woman of attractive appearance, was dressed in a simple cream blouse and blue skirt and thoughout the procedings, she took keen interest in the case.

Robert Jones, a smallholder and neighbour of the accused’s family, said he saw the accused walk across her father’s field towards a hedge and apparently push something through.

She looked around as though to see if anyone had noticed her action. On the other side of the hedge was a ditch.

PC Weatherhogg, stationed at Whaplode Drove, said he went to Gedney Dyke to make enquiries about the story he had been told that Carrie Seaton had had a child, of which there was no sign.

He searched the dyke running by Mr Seaton’s field and recovered the body of a newly-born female child wrapped in sacking and tied with string.

The accused denied having a child, but agreed to be examined by a doctor, who said that she had recently given birth.

Miss Seaton told the court “I did not kill it. It didn’t move”.

She was formally charged and committed for trial at the Lincoln Assizes, bail being allowed in a personal surety of £50 and a further surety of £100 by her father.

PHOTO: Sgt Charles Garner AVC, of Sutton Bridge, was accidentally killed while on active service on the Western Front.