ON THIS DAY – June 29, 1951

A doctor told a Criminal Court jury today that a young doctor’s widow, charged with the murder of her five months old blind daughter, had said she had been extremely unhappy in her married life, and did not want any association in her home with the baby. The widow, Joan Isobel Gorr, 27, of Gore Street, Fitzroy, has pleaded not guilty to having murdered her baby daughter in Melbourne on June 30. Yesterday, the Crown Prosecutor (Mr. P. R. Nelson) told the jury that Mrs. Gorr had admitted to police she had suffocated her child because she did not want it to go through life blind. A post-mortem revealed that the baby had been asphyxiated. Sister Evelyn Constance Ross, Matron of Tweedle Hospital, Footscray, said today that on June 29, Mrs. Gorr told her she was very pleased that she was able to take he baby away from the hospital. Mrs. Gorr arrived next day to take the child away, but fainted as she was carrying it away. Both Mrs. Gorr and the child were kept at the hospital for a couple of hours. Sister Ross said she believed Mrs. Gorr had had a curette operation a day or two before June 30. Mrs. Gorr had made no comment about the child looking ill when she again left with it later in the day. Stannus Hedger, of the Royal Institute for the Blind, and Dr. C. W. Bennett, the institute’s hon. doctor today gave evidence of a conference with Mrs. Gorr at which it was suggested that the child should be taken permanently into the institute. Dr. Bennett said Mrs. Gorr had told him she could not bear to look at the blind child, but the reason she gave him why she did not want it was that she had been extremely unhappy in her married life, and did not want any association in her home with the baby. He said Mrs. Gorr seemed to discuss matters calmly, but he did not think she was in a frame of mind fit to make any decision about the future of the child.