Two tramway workers who also shared lodgings then fell for the same girl, leading to one of them killing the other and being detained at His Majesty's pleasure.
In 1902 two friends, James Deeney and Thomas Sharkey, both aged 27, worked together on the Liverpool Corporation tramway. Deeney was a guard and Sharkey a timekeeper and both lodged in Beatrice Street in Bootle, sharing a room.
In the early hours of 2nd April that year scuffling was heard from the room where the two men lodged and Sharkey was heard to shout 'Oh Deeney Deeney.' It then went quiet and the police were called. On entering the room, Deeney was found to be stood with a fender in his hand standing over Sharkey, who lay in a pool of blood and whose head had been battered in. Deeney admitted hitting him with the fender and was taken into custody, while Sharkey died in hospital shortly afterwards.
At Walton gaol solicitor William Quilliam went to visit Deeney but he was in an agitated state and it had to be postponed. Enquiries into his background had established his parents had both been dead for some time. Deeney had managed to say that he and Sharkey remained on good terms right until the fatal incident.
An inquest took place on 9th April, when it emerged that both men had been courting their landlady's daughter and the row erupted after she expressed a preference for Sharkey. A verdict of wilful murder was returned.
When Deeney appeared at the assizes on 6th May he was found 'guilty but not responsible' after medical evidence was heard which included the fact that both his parents had been insane. The judge, Mr Justice Walton, then ordered him to be detained indefinitely.