Friday, 9 November 2018

Killed Over a Cigarette

A man in a hostel was killed after he had denied a cigarette to another resident. 
At around 3am on Saturday 28th September 1957 Joseph Flynn, a frail 78 year old, was asleep in his dormitory bed at the Westminster House hostel in Kirkdale. This was a local authority run home situated in the former Kirkdale Industrial School building. He was woken by Patrick Hyland, who slept in the next bed, rummaging through his belongings. 
When Flynn remonstrated with 66 year old Hyland, he was met with a series of blows about the head. Hyland then went to the hostel office and said that a man was injured in the dormitory. Staff then  found Flynn to be conscious and even though he had blood coming from his nostrils, he refused medical attention.

Six hours later Flynn's condition was found to have deteriorated and he died at 930am. Detectives from Westminster Road police station attended and told Hyland that he would be detained on suspicion of causing the death. He responded that he had slapped Flynn, but only after being called a B*STARD.

A postmortem found that Flynn had a broken jaw and had died of cerebral haemorrhage due to multiple blows causing bruising to the brain. On being told of the postmortem results that evening. Hyland replied 'It was just a bout of fisticuffs'. After being charged with manslaughter, Hyland was remanded in custody at the Magistrates Court on the Monday morning. 

On 11th February 1958 Flynn admitted manslaughter, saying that he had been drinking ale, stout and surgical spirit and was looking for a cigarette. His defense counsel said 'If ever the expression demon drink had a meaning it was this case. For the rest of his life he will carry the burden of having killed a fellow creature for the price of a cigarette'. Hyland, described by the Liverpool Echo as a chronic drunkard, was jailed for fifteen months. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Murder at the Blind Home

A partially sighted man in his seventies who killed a fellow resident of the care home where he resided was detained at Her Majesty's pleasure. 

Balliol Road in 1970s ( 1pm on 1st December 1951 police were called to Connolly House in Balliol Road, a Bootle Corporation's home for the blind. On arrival they found 46 year old Margaret Hughes lying on a landing with a throat wound. She as taken to hospital but was dead on arrival.

Later that afternoon detectives took Frederick Wilson, a 76 year old partially sighted resident of the home, into custody.  Wilson admitted cutting Margaret's throat with a razor but when examined by Dr Brisley at Walton gaol, was found to be suffering from a progressive disease of the mind. At the Liverpool assizes on 14th February 1952, the judge accepted that he was unfit to plead and detained him at Her Majesty's pleasure. 

Connolly house later became a home for elder persons and was demolished in 2010 to make way for an extension to Hugh Baird College.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Uncle Strangles Baby Nephew

A man who killed his baby nephew because he was 'squawking' was declared unfit to plead when he appeared at court charged with the murder. 

At 920am on 6th November 1951 George Thomas McCready, a 35 year old seaman, walked into Rice Lane police station and said to the desk sergeant 'I have just strangled my nephew.' McCready was kept in custody while Superintendent Balmer of the murder squad went to his home at 30 Burleigh Road South, Everton. After seeing the body of 19 month old Thomas Boston, who was the son of McCready's sister, Balmer returned to Rice Lane and formally charged him with murder.

McCready was taken straight to Dale Street to appear before the Stipendiary Magistrate Arthur McFarland. Prosecutor Mr J. R. Bishop said that on being charged, McCready had replied 'I took the baby into the front bedroom and strangled him because he was squawking.' McCready remained silent throughout the hearing, during which he was granted legal aid and remanded.

The following February McCready appeared before Mr Justice Streatfield at the Liverpool Assizes. Evidence was heard from Dr Brisley, Chief Medical Officer of Walton Gaol, that he suffered epileptic insanity and suffered a number of fits while one remand. The judge accepted that McCready was unfit to plead and detained him at His Majesty's pleasure.