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Cross, Emma Isabella (1869–1880)

The report of an inquest held at Inverell reveals a case so far of systematic cruelty to a girl 13 years old, which resulted in her death. We take the following summary of the inquest and comments thereon from the Inverell Herald of 1st instant:-"The deceased, Emma Cross, was 13 years old, and the niece of the wife of Joseph Preston, farmer. The girl, who was an orphan, appears to have lived with Preston about two years, and during at least part of that time, if we are to believe the evidence adduced at the inquest, she led the life of a dog. Mrs. Preston herself admits that the sores on deceased had been coming upon her for three months previous to her death. Her husband and herself admit that they frequently chastised the deceased with a saddle strap or switch; and, although they saw the girl dying by inches, no attempt was made to call in medical aid, and have her dreadful condition attended to, until it was too late. Not until a few hours previous to her death was a doctor summoned, and then he pronounced the unfortunate girl in a dying condition, and too terribly emaciated to have any chance of recovery. It was brought out in evidence that deceased had been trampled upon by a cow a few days previous to her death; but the medical testimony distinctly proved that the bruises were so numerous that they could not have happened accidentally or at the same time. The jury at the inquest returned an open verdict."

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Citation details

'Cross, Emma Isabella (1869–1880)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/cross-emma-isabella-24890/text33449, accessed 22 May 2019.

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