The driver of a car that killed a seven year old boy was jailed for a year after being cleared of manslaughter but convicted of dangerous driving.
On 4th June 1945, three young boys were playing at the corner of Dingle Lane and Dingle Mount when a car came careering out of control towards them. Rather than turn the corner into Dingle Lane, it carried on straight and collided with a pillar box, trapping seven year old Leslie Stockton.
The driver of the car was 31 year old Sidney Davies, an insurance agent who lived at 18 Corinthian Avenue, Stoneycroft. On getting out of the car he immediately fell to the pavement and said to a police officer who attended "I am sorry old man, I have had a good night." Leslie, who lived in Dingle Mount with his parents, was taken to hospital but died from his injuries. Sidney was charged with manslaughter and dangerous driving and committed for trial.
The following month at Manchester Assizes the prosecuting counsel was Rose Heilbron, who went on to have a number of legal firsts for a woman. She told the court that he drove the car recklessly and under the influence of drink, but acknowledged his staggering may have been made worse by having a wooden leg. Sidney's defence was that his wooden leg had slipped from the brake onto the accelerator and that if he appeared drunk, it was due to the shock of the accident.
The jury found Sidney guilty of dangerous driving but cleared him on the manslaughter charge. He was then jailed for one year and banned from driving for ten years.