The Pathhead Post Office Irregularities continue….

The Birth in Dundee Prison
Mr Agnew, the procurator fiscal at Dundee, has now forwarded to Edinburgh the report prepared by Drs J.W. Miller, Templeman, and Stalker regarding the post mortem examination on the body of the female child born in Dundee prison on Saturday evening. It has been ascertained that the report supports the belief that the infant was fully developed, and it is likely that the mother will be charged with concealment of pregnancy.
The prisoner is improving, and it is not at all unlikely that she may be brought before the forthcoming Circuit Court at Dundee, which is expected to take place about the end of June.
Her original sentence for embezzlement at the Pathhead Post Office, Fife, expires in the ordinary course at the commencement of June.
Before that time, however, a further inquiry will take place regarding the circumstances attending the birth.
(Dundee Courier & Argus [Dundee, Scotland] 13 May 1895)

Strange Affair in Dundee Prison
Yesterday the Dundee police authorities were busily engaged making inquiries into the circumstances attending the birth of a child in Dundee Prison.
The policy in connection with such establishments is to keep everything strictly private, but, so far as can be ascertained, it would appear that on Saturday a young woman gave birth to a child in one of the cells.
The officials, it is stated, were not cognisant of her condition, otherwise the mother would have been admitted to the hospital, and when the discovery was made it was found that the child was dead.
The authorities were notified of the occurrence, and Dr J.W. Miller, prison surgeon, was at once communicated with.
The prisoner is understood to be Grace Craig, a young woman twenty-three years of age, who for some time was a sub post mistress at Pathhead, Kirkcaldy, and who on 18th October last was tried before the Sheriff at Dundee for forgery and embezzlement, and sentenced to nine months imprisonment.
With the object of conducting a post mortem examination the original intention was to remove the infant’s remains to the mortuary in Constitution Road.
This arrangement was, however, departed from, and the necessary examination was made within the Prison last night.
It may be added that Mr W. Geddes. The Prison governor, is not at home, having some time ago obtained leave of absence on account of illness.
(The Dundee Courier & Argus (Dundee, Scotland), Wednesday, May 15, 1895)

 The Birth in Dundee Prison
The young woman named Grace Craig who gave birth to a child in Dundee Prison lately is to be tried before the forthcoming Circuit Court at Dundee in June on the alternative charges of culpable homicide or concealment of pregnancy.
The accused is at present undergoing sentence of nine months imprisonment for fraud.
(Dundee Courier & Argus [Dundee, Scotland] 24 May 1895)

The Birth in Dundee Prison
The young woman Grace Craig, who is at present undergoing sentence of nine months’ imprisonment for fraud committed in the Pathhead Post Office, Kirkcaldy, was brought before Sheriff Campbell Smith in Dundee Sheriff Court yesterday on a charge of concealment of pregnancy.
She denied the charge, and the case was continued till 17th inst. For trial.
(The Dundee Courier & Argus (Dundee, Scotland), Saturday, June 08, 1895)


The Birth in Dundee Prison
Trial of Grace Craig

At a Sheriff and Jury Court in Dundee yesterday – Sheriff Campbell Smith on the bench – Grace Craig, a young woman, was brought up on a charge of concealment of pregnancy when in Dundee Prison, where she was delivered of a female child, now dead.
The prisoner pleaded not guilty, and she was defended by Mr W. Keay, solicitor.
Mary Isabella Spence Allardice Craig or Stenhouse stated that accused assisted her in the Post Office at Pathhead, Kirkcaldy. About the beginning of September last she was taken to Dundee on a charge of embezzlement, and sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment.
Accused had never said to the witness that there was anything the matter with her. Image3A short time before accused was apprehended she was out the whole night, and had given as the reason that she had taken ill in a gentleman’s office, and had remained there.
From the beginning of January last, witness heard rumours that there was something the matter with her adopted daughter, and at the end of April last she wrote the Governor of the prison on the subject, and, in reply, received from George Fernie, the officer in charge of the person, a reply stating that the prisoner, so far as the authorities knew, she was innocent of the charge mentioned.
Witness afterwards received a letter from accused, and wrote a long letter in reply, but no mention was made in either case of anything relating to the charge.
In the course of cross examination, witness said she had ADOPTED ACCUSED twenty years ago, and that she was then said to be three years old.
George Fernie, first-class warder, stated that for some time he had been officer in charge of Dundee Prison, in consequence of the illness of Mr Geddes, the governor.
Every week witness visited Grace Craig and put the usual question to her as to whether all was right, and he always received the answer “Yes.”
There were no visitors to accused when in prison, and when he said his usual visit four days previous to the birth he saw nothing to lead him to suspect there was anything wrong with the accused.
Elizabeth Mackay, senior first class warder, stated that accused made no complaints about being unwell until Saturday morning, 11th May.
She was then in bed, and she stated she was suffering from a headache.
In the forenoon accused said she was feeling better, but witness suggested that she should keep her bed.
Cross examined, witness stated that she had watched accused minutely after the letter had been received, but saw nothing wrong with her condition.
Williamina MacKay, prison warder, in the course of her evidence, stated that four or five months ago she had remarked to accused that she was getting stout.
Grace answered – “Oh, no; I am not getting any heavier.” Prisoners were weighed on their admission to the prison, and any time thereafter that the Medical Officer might wish.
Accused was weighed every month, and there was a difference in her weight each time.
Mr Agnew – She was on the increasing scale.
Witness – Yes. The Sheriff – I suppose most: prisoners are that? (Laughter) Witness – Yes.
Proceeding, the witness stated that on the Saturday evening in question the accused asked a drink of water, which was given to her, and when witness went back to the cell four minutes later accused endeavoured to hide the child, which was wrapped in a sheet.
The prisoner was quite cool and collected, and when asked why she did not tell of her condition she replied that she DID NOT KNOW.
The child was dead when witness saw it, and it was growing cold.
Mary Cumming and Janet Ross, both warders in Dundee Prison, and Ann Turnbull or Robertson, midwife, 2 East Henderson’s Wynd, Dundee, bore corroborative evidence as to what took place in the cell when the child was first found.
Dr J.W. Miller, who was the next witness called, deponed that he had been medical officer of the Dundee Prison for twenty-four years.
He visited the prison at least once a week to inquire into the health of the inmates, but found no indication in the appearance of Grace Craig to lead him to think there was anything wrong with her.
Mr Fernie showed him Mrs Stenhouse’s letter, but in consequence of his regular visits to the prisoner and her answers to questions, he thought the statement in the communication was groundless.
On the Monday before the child was born he saw nothing strange in the prisoner’s appearance, but he thought it utterly impossible that a woman 23 years of age and of ordinary intelligence could have passed through this without knowing that there was something wrong in her condition.
Dr Templeman stated along with Dr Stalker he made a post mortem examination of the body of the child in the mortuary on Sunday, 12th May.
They found that the child weighed 5lbs 7 1/2oz, and in their opinion it was mature. Dr Stalker corroborated.
Mr Tulloch, who was called for the defence, thought it quite possible that prisoner did not know of her pregnancy.
He had no reason for doubting the prisoner’s story, except the unlikeliness of it.
He said of a case he had a few months ago he could very well believe the story that the prisoner did not know of her condition.
The Sheriff in address to the jury, said the whole case turned upon the XXXXX of whether the symptoms which must have been known to the accused were such as to have left any reasonable doubt in her mind that she was in a state of pregnancy, and was therefore BOUND TO COMMUNICATE her condition to Dr Miller or some of the other prison officials.
Although the prison officials were not bound to find out the state accused was in yet they were put upon their guard, and it was a circumstance for the jury’s consideration how, if accused managed to deceive a doctor and four other women, she might not also have deceived herself.
His Lordship referred to the occasion nine months ago when Grace Craig was first brought before him on a charge of embezzlement.
At that time he thought she was the victim of circumstances, as she had not received any benefit whatsoever from the money.
It seemed to him that in this case she might again have been a victim of misfortune; but that was no excuse for committing the crime.
The jury then retired and on returning in a few minutes the foreman intimated that they had unanimously found the prisoner not guilty.
The decision was received with applause in court.
His Lordship, in dismissing the accused from the bar, said he trusted she would be more fortunate in the future than she had been in the past.