Monday, 3 May 2021

Lovers Found Dead

A man shot his lover who was less than half his age before turning the gun on himself, after he found out she had started seeing someone else. 

On the morning of 29th July 1948 a farm labourer saw what he thought was a couple sleeping in a field off Stockbridge Lane, Huyton. He informed the police but when a constable went to investigate, he uncovered a tragic event. The man and young woman were both dead with gunshot wounds, and a revolver was still in the man's hand. 

The two people were identified as sixteen year old Margaret Whiteside, who lived with her family in nearby Winstone Road (pictured), and Stephen Coady, a thirty five year old man from Netley Street, Kirkdale. 

An inquest took place the following day overseen by Mr Bolton, the Coroner for South West Lancashire. Evidence was heard that Margaret and Stephen had been seeing each other for about a year. They had met at the home of Stephen's sister in Peasefield Road, a short distance from Margaret's home. 

In early June, Margaret had started seeing Bob Bamford, who was closer to her age. She decided to end the relationship with Stephen, who responded that he had nothing left to live for. On 28th July, she arranged to meet Stephen in Stockbridge Lane to hand some letters back to him, then failed to return to Bob at 10.30pm.

Letters which had been found in Stephen's pockets were read out by the Coroner. They were addressed to Margaret's parents, who had no idea about the relationship and said "I am sorry to this day that I was ever born to meet your daughter. I love her far too much to face life without her, you may curse me for the rest of your days but I only hope I roast in Hell for the injustice I have done to you."

The jury returned a verdict that Stephen had murdered Margaret and then committed suicide while the balance of mind was disturbed. 

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