A woman's decision to go out with her friend while her boyfriend worked a nightshift proved fatal when she was battered to death by him the following day.
In 1968 James Tierney, a 41 year old hotel porter who was separated from his wife, began cohabiting with twenty year old Joan Edwards at a flat in 22 Princes road, Toxteth.
On the evening of 22nd July that year Joan went out with another female who lived in the property, calling Tierney at his work to say that she would be out all night. The two women then met a couple of Arab sailors in a public house and went on to a club, before accompanying the two men their ship.
The following morning Joan went shopping and then to the cinema, too scared to go home to face Tierney. He located her in a pub that afternoon, dragging her into a van being driven by his friend and battering her. He continued the assault back at the flat, eventually inviting a friend to see what he'd done and calling an ambulance shortly after midnight.
Joan was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital, the cause of death being found to be cerebral hemorrhage due to repeated blows to the head. When interviewed by detectives, Tierney said he was very fond of Joan and hadn't meant to kill her, but admitted beating her with his fists and then a stick from a broken maiden. He went on to say 'I could not stop myself when I started, because I did not like the way she had carried on'.
At Liverpool Crown Court on 28th October Tierney was defended by leading Q.C Rose Heilbron, whose offer of a guilty plea to manslaughter was accepted by the prosecution. In mitigation, she told the court 'She had gone off and stayed away overnight and he had made a long search before he found her. None of this condones what he has done, but it is only fair to put forward the reason for the provocation that led to this assault. He had lost his self control and was in a frenzy because she had gone off with another man'
In his pre sentencing remarks the judge, Mr Justice Lyell, said 'This is as bad a case as I have ever known. This was not just one sudden blow, this was a long drawn out brutal attack'. He then imposed a sentence of twelve years imprisonment.