With her deaf husband John Hailstone, lived in quarters located above the Deaf and Dumb Institute on Dock Street, Hull, Yorkshire. He worked as a journeyman painter and she was housekeeper for the school, preparing meals for the pupils and keeping the place clean and neat. In November 1970, they took in as a temporary boarder a new teacher at the school, Charles Sleight (hearing, q.v.). At first polite and respectful, Sleight began to become more irregular in his behavior, attracted to the beautiful young Maria and giving her unwanted attention including kissing and fondling. One early morning, while John was away at work, Sleight entered the bedroom where Maria was still sleeping and attempted to seduce her. When she resisted, he tried to rape her, then in rage slashed her with a razor, nearly decapitating her and leaving her for dead. He then turned himself in to the police. John's employer, who knew sign language, interpreted for him at Sleight's trial for Maria's murder.
Deaf Target, p.3-18.
?-27 March 1871