Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Tin Bath Battering

A man battered his girlfriend's brother in law to death in Kirkdale following a seizure but was unable to recall the killing.

On the morning of 19th June 1956, 22 year old William Apter had spent the night at the home of Matilda Garner, sister of his girlfriend, Teresa Jones, in Harebell Street, Kirkdale. 15 year old Teresa was woken by Matilda's husband Norman, advising her that William, who had slept on the sofa was suffering a fit. Teresa went down and comforted him and he apparently recovered and fell back asleep. Moments later however, Apter sat upright with his eyes bulging, before jumping up and following Norman Garner who had gone outside to use the toilet Apter then knocked him to the ground and repeatedly punching him. He then continued the onslaught using a tin bath.

When confronted by a neighbour, Apter took a bicycle and later in the day was observed riding unsteadily on the floating roadway which connected the Pier Head to an overhead railway station. Apter was possibly on his way to his mothers house in Bebington, Wirral, but on falling from the bike was taken to hospital suffering from concussion.

On waking up in hospital, Apter was met by CID officers who wanted to question about the attack on Norman Garner, who was now critically ill in hospital. Apter was stunned by this, saying he could remember nothing since seeing Norman getting ready for work that morning.

Garner died six days later and Apter was tried for murder. His girlfriend Teresa told the court she had never seen Apter in a temper before. Dr Brisby from Walton gaol believed that he was suffering from a 'defect of reason' as a result of the fit. He was found 'guilty but insane' and ordered by Mr Justice Oliver to be detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure.

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