Jane Tinkler (24) was indicted for the murder of her child. She had tied an apron string tightly round its neck and thrown it into the river. Counsel for the prosecution, in opening the case, said that the Treasury had instructed Dr. Smith, of Sedgefield Asylum, to carefully watch and examine the state of mind of the prisoner, and he was of opinion that she was not able to plead or to understand the plea. Another doctor had also examined her, and said she had sufficient intelligence to understand the trial. He proposed to put both doctors into the box. His lordship said that if one doctor said one thing and one another he could have no hesitation in saying that the prisoner could and would have to plead. The plea having been taken, counsel for the Crown (Mr. Hans Hamilton) detailed the facts, and told the jury that he thought that their verdict would be that when she caused the death of her child she was of unsound mind.
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