NOBODY’S CHILD

"Nobody's Child" Cassie is an eleven year old girl who has been in a children's home since she was four years old. Very bright, Cassie excels in most subjects and can play Brahms and Mozart on the piano at the age of only six. Because of her age nobody wants to adopt her. Mrs Cummings the manager of Auton House is a wicked woman who treats Cassie and the rest in her charge badly and beats her with regularity. One day she is sent to clean out the toilet and bathroom and Mrs Cummings comes along to inspect them. Running a white glove over everything and looking for dirt. When she doesn't find any she then reaches up on the door - Cassie is only three feet six inches tall and was unable to reach up to the top of the door and Mrs Cummings sets about her with a cane. She beats her so badly that Cassie runs at her forcing her back where she hits her head on a wash basin. Cassie in her panic rushes out and runs away.- It is there that she meets Don a ex docker who takes pity on the girl - rea

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“Yes I’m fine.

 

 

 

 

On September the 28th 1970 at Newcastle Crown Court Martha Anne Cummings stood in the dock accused of gross child abuse and fraud. She pleaded “Not guilty when asked by Mr George Gapple QC a highly respected prosecutor.

Mr Neville Hewison was presiding and brought the trial to order. Martha’s defence attorney was Judd Priestly who had little experience in these matters in fact it was his first case of this kind.’ Had Martha Cummings had access to her money she could have afforded the best barrister in the country Mr John Starkey QC. But all of her assets had been frozen until after the trial.

For almost two weeks Martha Cummings lied under oath when questioned as witness after witness gave evidence against her. They included former children of the home and ex staff members who had discovered what was going on in the House. They had all been offered bribes of extra cash to keep quiet but refused and then left.

The biggest blow of all came when Mrs Edith Brewis handed over the ledgers she was asked to burn when her deception was brought to question by the two detectives. “I burnt an old coat that night and Mrs Cummings came into my quarters and thought it was the ledgers but I kept them.’

In them it was proven that Cummings had embezzled over one hundred and fifty thousand pounds from benefactors who had bequeathed money to the children’ home in their wills.

The Jury was sent out and it only took them less than two hours to bring in a guilty verdict.

Judge Neville Hewison in his summing up of the case said that Mrs Cummings had used her status as a house manager to embezzled funds meant for the children in her care at Auton House. She had also meted out daily punishments to those children in her care for over a twenty year period. “You are an evil calculated woman; who thought nothing of these poor unfortunate children.’ “I wish I could Impose a longer sentence than the one I am about to give you.’ However I will make this recommendation and that is you will serve ten years imprisonment with no hope what so ever of an early release.’ “Furthermore you will never be allowed to work in any capacity with children again.’ “The weak and the venerable in this country must be protected from the likes of you. “ Take her down.”

A huge cheer went up from the gallery and the judge brought down his gavel and called for order.

 

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