Friday, 8 March 2013

No Reprieve For Man Who Stabbed Partner

In April 1894 a Kirkdale man stabbed his partner to death after accusing her of infidelity and failed in his appeal to have his death sentence commuted to life imprisonment.

John Langford, a 40 year old confectioner who was originally from Shropshire, separated from his wife and began co-habiting with a woman named Elizabeth Stephen and her three children in Cockerell Street off Walton Road.

Both were prone to drunkenness and Elizabeth spent Easter Monday, 2nd April drinking most of the day, with Langford  believing she was out with another man. He went out to work a nightshift, leaving her lying intoxicated on a rug in front of the fire. The next morning he came home to find Elizabeth had gone out, and found her drinking with two women in a pub on the corner of Florence Street and Walton Road.

After Langford struck her Elizabeth ran off but he caught up with her in the entry behind Cockerell Street and plunged a knife into her chest. He then tried to slit his own throat and both were taken to the Stanley Hospital in Stanley Road. Elizabeth died that day but did manage to tell police that she had brought the trouble on to herself due to her conduct. Langford survived and police stood guard by his bed, with him eventually being fit enough to appear before magistrates on 17th April on a murder charge.

On 3rd May Langford stood trial at the Liverpool Assizes and was found guilty, but with a recommendation for mercy. He was sentenced to death by Justice Day and the expected commutation to life imprisonment never came. Langford was hanged at Walton by James Billington on 22nd May. He went to the gallows with a resigned acceptance in an execution which members of the press were allowed to witness for the first time in many years.

No comments:

Post a Comment