Thursday, 14 May 2015

Self Defence Plea Accepted for Aigburth Wife

A 34 year old woman who was charged with murder after her husband was stabbed in a struggle was found not guilty after the jury heard she had only intended to frighten him when she picked up a knife.

In the early hours of 5th August 1952 Percy and Mary Standish returned to their home in St Michael's Road, Aigburth. An argument broke out between them, leading to 26 year old Percy saying he would be going to stay with his father. This was witnessed by Mary's daughter from her first marriage, who was also called Mary and 15 years old.


As her daughter was gathering some clothes for Percy he went towards her, causing Mary to be alarmed. Grabbing a carving knife she said 'If you touch her that's the last thing you'll do.' Percy went up to his wife and they grappled, ending up with him having a stab wound in his chest. he was taken to hospital but pronounced dead on arrival.

When Mary was arrested she said 'I did not do it intentionally but he went for Mary, I only did it to frighten him.' When morning came she was taken to the Magistrates' Court still in a dazed state and had to be helped up the steps by two warders. She was remanded in custody pending committal to the assizes for trial on a murder charge.

On 5th November Mary appeared before Mr Justice Oliver, where evidence was given that she picked up the knife as she feared for her daughter's safety. She said Percy had knocked her down and at no time did she actually thrust or plunge with the knife.

The judge's summing up was held over to the next day but when the jury retired, they took only fifteen minutes to consider their verdict. After they found her not guilty of both murder and the lesser charge of manslaughter Mary cried out 'Oh' and after being told she was free to go, had to be helped out by two wardresses.

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