A man battered his doctor to death after being sectioned following a road accident, leading to him being detained indefinitely.
On the 17th March 1945 James Rogers, who resided with his mother Mary at Hawthorne Road in Bootle, told her to accompany him to Dr Alfred Stewart. After initially refusing, Rogers grabbed her by the neck and she agreed to do so, her son saying he wanted answers as to why he had been sent to a lunatic asylum by Dr Stewart.
Back in 1932, Rogers had been involved in a car accident and spent a month unconscious in hospital. He was later admitted to mental health wards at Sefton General Hospital, from where he wrote threatening letters to Dr Stewart. In November 1944 he had written one which said 'You packed me off just as if I was a spare lunatic floating around. I had to suffer constant indignity, you will pay me £250. Failing an agreeable reply I will commence total operation to bring to an end the pompous parade of Dr Stewart in Crosby to an end.'
When they got to the surgery at Crown Buildings in Crosby just as it was closing, Rogers twice punched Dr Stewart with considerable force, then repeatedly hit him on the head with a telephone as his mother pleaded for him to stop. As the doctor's wife and daughter ran in the room and found him unconscious, Rogers left the scene and calmly walked into a police station and told officers 'I have come to you before you come looking for me, I have killed a man'. Dr Stewart, a veteran of the Boer War and World War one, died from his injuries two days later.
When Rogers appeared at the assizes on 16th April the prosecution described the attack as frenzied. Mary was in the horrible position of having to give evidence in the trial and told the court that her son had suffered severe headaches ever since the accident. She said he was now violent towards anybody who disagreed with him and had attacked the doctor 'like an absolute madman.'
Dr Murdock from Walton gaol said he had examined Rogers and found him to be suffering from insane delusions due to suffering a split mind. The jury found him guilty but insane and the judge ordered that he be detained as a criminal lunatic at His Majesty's pleasure.