Unsolved Murders

Jeanette Patricia Beard

Age: 15

Sex: female

Date: 9 Aug 1950

Place: Allardyce Street, Brixton

Source: discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Jeanette Patricia Beard was found with her throat cut in Allardyce Street, Brixton on Tuesday 9 August 1950 after having gone out to get some fish and chips.

A 53-year-old tattooed stoker who was her neighbour, was charged with her murder and tried but acquitted on 26 October 1950 at the Old Bailey

It was said that he had murdered her because she had 'shopped' him to the police concerning supposed offences.

Jeanette Beard was 15-years-old but it was said that she looked older. It was thought that when she had gone out to get the fish and chips that she had had an appointment.

Her inquest on 8 November 1950 following the trial stated that Jeanette Beard had died from shock and haemorrhage from wounds in the neck and added that a person was charged with the offence and acquitted.

Jeanette Beard was last seen when she had left her home at 18 Medwin Street to go and get some fish and chips at approximately 9.20pm. She was then seen by a woman at 2 Dolman Street from her window at about the same time going down Ferndale Road towards Allardyce Street. Then, shortly after, at 9.25pm, the woman said that she saw Jeanette Beard staggering back like a drunken woman and moaning something like 'Police'. She said that she then saw her lying in the roadway.

At about 9.35pm a policeman attended her at the end of Medwin Street and picked up a handkerchief and a half-crown and called an ambulance and then accompanied Jeanette Beard to the hospital.

A doctor saw Jeanette Beard at about the same time, 9.35pm, as he was leaving a patient in Allardyce Street. He saw her with the light from his car headlights and said that when he got out to look and examined Jeanette Beard, that he was of the opinion that she was beyond hope. He added that he accompanied a policeman in following the trail of blood back to 1 Allardyce Street.

The ambulance driver who arrived at 9.37pm said that he had received the call to attend Ferndale Road and that he then arrived at Medwin Street and then took Jeanette Beard to King's College Hospital.

It was determined that the stoker was seen leaving his street door at 22 Medwin Street by the person that had seen Jeanette Beard leave her house, almost immediately after he had seen Jeanette Beard leave her house at 18 Medwin Street. The man said that he looked at the stoker for a few seconds and noted that he was wearing a brown sports coat and grey flannels.

Shortly after Jeanette Beard's murder, the police went to 22 Medwin Street where the stoker lived, arriving at 10.30pm where they found a threatening letter and a razor case.

It was found that the stoker had borrowed a razor earlier that day from a barber's shop, and that the case for it was the case that the police found in his room.

It was said that the stoker had gone into the Angel public house in Coldharbour Lane at about 9.40pm where he spoke to his landlady. His landlady said that he came in and said to her, 'I've just done Pat in'. His landlady said that she then asked him 'Which Pat?' and that the stoker had replied, 'Young Pat Beard'. She said that when she then asked him where he told her, 'Outside the Church in Allardyce Street. You know, where they have the whist drives'. His landlady said that she then asked him how he had done it and said that the stoker produced a cut-throat razor and said, 'With this'. She said that when he did so that she saw blood on his hand. She said that when it was suggested that perhaps he hadn't really killed Jeanette Beard the stoker said, 'Yes I have. I've killed her all right. I hoped I killed her. I meant to kill her'. He was then later said to have added, 'They're looking for me now and I'm on the run'.

However, the stoker denied murdering Jeanette Beard and said that his landlady had lied.

He was also said to have confessed to several men in London.

It was heard that earlier on 9 August 1950 that a detective had been to see the stoker at his house at 22 Medwin Street at about 3.30pm and told him that there had been a complaint against him, stating that when he left him he had told him that the facts would be reported. He said that when he detailed the complaints made against him that he told him the names of two little girls and said that the stoker didn't deny the claims and that the verbal statement that the stoker made to him amounted to an admission. He said that that stoker did not ask him to produce the children's father or mother and that he didn't charge him. He noted that he did caution him but said that he did not have the power to arrest him without a warrant notwithstanding his apparent admission. However, he added that he told the stoker that the facts would be reported to be considered as to his prosecution, noting that that did not necessarily mean an arrest at some time.

The detective noted that neither of the two girls that had made claims and whose names he had given the stoker were Jeanette Beard.

At the trial it was claimed that the stoker had murdered Jeanette Beard because of the claims against him and in thinking that she was behind them.

The stoker later gave himself up to the police on Monday 14 August 1950, denying the murder, and said that he wanted a square deal. It was said that he had been planning to flee the country. When he was asked why he had been planning to flee the country he had said that he had been frightened.

In his evidence he said that he had associated with Jeanette Beard but that his landlady had not liked it, noting that he did not love her but had been fond of her.

The search for the stoker began after the murder and the police said that they were keeping a watch over docks as they thought that he might attempt to smuggle himself aboard a ship. On 12 August 1950 the police said that they were keeping watch on coffee stalls and cheap eating places for him and closely searching bombed buildings where he might have been sleeping.

An 11-year-old schoolgirl who lived in Medwin Street, who was one of the girls that the stoker was alleged to have indecently assaulted, said that she knew Jeanette Beard who lived next door to her and that she was very friendly with her and that she knew the stoker who lived in the house next to Jeanette Beard's.

She said that the last time that she saw the stoker was in the afternoon, although she could not remember the day, noting that it was before tea. She said that he was in the kitchen at 22 Medwin Street and that she was there with him. She said that later on the same day that she walked down Medwin Street with Jeanette Beard at about 5pm and saw the stoker look out of his house at 22 Medwin Street and say to Jeanette Beard, 'I've got a present for you as I'm going tomorrow'.  She said that she thought that it was a Tuesday but said that she couldn't think of anything else that had happened that day.

A housewife who lived in Lander Road said that she knew Concannon Road and walked along it at about 5.15pm on 9 August 1950 towards Santley Street when she saw a young girl and a gentleman talking, saying that they were standing just round the corner in Concannon Road. She said that the girl had her back to the wall and that the man was facing her and that he heard the man say, 'Nine o'clock'. She said that she knew the girl by sight and knew that she lived in Medwin Street and knew which house but didn't know its number. She added that when she saw a photograph of Jeanette Beard in the Daily Mirror the next morning that she recognised her and that on 13 August 1950 that she went to Brixton Police Station where she attended an identification parade and picked out the stoker as the man that she had seen talking to Jeanette Beard in Concannon Street. She noted that she could not say how the stoker had been dressed when she had seen him saying that she was concentrating more on Jeanette Beard's face as she looked ill.

A hairdresser whose shop was at 159 Ferndale Road in Brixton said that he knew the stoker said that he had been a customer of his for some months and that he had come into his shop on the morning of 9 August 1950 to have his hair cut in the morning and then again between 5.30pm and 5.45pm and said to him, 'Will you do me a favour?' and that he asked the stoker what it was and said that the stoker told him that he had just received a telegram from the leading man in Oklahoma, mentioning some name, and that in the telegram the man had asked him for the loan of an open cut throat razor, adding that he had safety razors, but no open razors and asked if he could let him have one if he left a deposit. The barber said that he told the stoker that the deposit was not necessary and asked him what kind he wanted and said that the stoker replied, 'I don't know just an open razor'. The barber said that he then got one out of the rack, stropped it up and put it in a razor case and gave it to him. He said that the stoker told him that he would return it the next morning, but the barber said that he told him that that could be no good as they were closed on Thursdays. The barber said that he never got the razor back and later identified the case found in the stoker's room as the one that he had given him that afternoon with the razor.

A newsagent at 157 Ferndale Road said that he knew the stoker and said that he came in to see him on Wednesday 9 August 1959 at about 6pm, and said, 'You know that the wife and I have got a joint account. She is not at home. Could you lend me three pounds?', and said that he replied, 'I would not lend money to my own brother I have finished with that kind of thing'. He said that the stoker then replied, 'That's quite all right boy. No offence. I know where I can get it'. The newsagent added that the stoker appeared to be his usual friendly self and had come in in his normal way, noting that there was nothing furtive about him.

The licensee of the Duke of Edinburgh public house at 204 Ferndale Road said that he knew the stoker and said that he had been a customer of his for about 18 months. He said that he came into the lounge of his public house between 6.30pm and 6.45pm on Wednesday 9 August 1950 and asked him if he could borrow £5, saying that he had somebody waiting for £5. The licensee said that the stoker then went on about a joint account and two signatures that he did not listen to very carefully but said that he refused to lend him the money. He said that the stoker stayed in the public house for about ten minutes.

His landlady said that she was a clerk and had been on the stage and had known the stoker for about two years and that he had been living in her house as a lodger for about twelve months. She said that the stoker was an engineer at St Pancras station and that she had recently thought that he had financial difficulties and had seemed to be drinking a lot recently which she said had caused unpleasantness between them.

She said that on 9 August 1950 that the stoker was due to go on night work and that she had been to work in the daytime. She said that she got home on 9 August 1950 between 6.15pm and 6.30pm and that he was in when he had got home and thought that he had been rather drunk. She said that he had been in the kitchen and that they had had a bit of a row about his drinking and that she remonstrated with him, noting that she was very annoyed with him for getting drunk, knowing that he had to go on night work.

She said that she asked him if he wanted anything to eat and said that he said 'No', and then asked him whether he would like some fish which he said he would and the he then went and got some fish but only messed about with it, but didn't seem to eat it. She said that they were still arguing about his going to work and that she said that she told him that she didn't think that he should go but said that he told her that he would have to go.

His landlady said that the stoker told her that he would have to go early as he had got a union meeting and left the house between 7pm and 7.15pm telling her that he was going to telephone a gentleman to say that he could not get to the meeting. She said that he was away for about five or six minutes and that he then went out again at about 7.45pm saying that he was going to telephone again as he had not got through the first time and was out on that occasion for about 20 minutes, adding that when he came back he told her that he need not go to the union meeting.

She said that she told him that she didn't think that he ought to go to work because she still thought that he was too drunk and incapable of doing his work and then got ready to go out herself and then told him that she was going down the road for a drink and asked him if he would like to have a walk down with her. However, she said that he declined, saying, 'No, I'll have a rest'. She said that he was sitting on the bed in a reclining position with his eyes closed and asked her to set the alarm clock for 10pm, which she did. She said that when she got to the door she called out, 'You won't come out?' and that he replied, 'No'. She said then that as she went down the stairs that she called out 'Cheerio', but said that he did not answer and that she thought that he must have been asleep, noting that it was at that time about 8.55pm.

His landlady said that before she went out that he told her that he had had a visit that afternoon from the police, saying that he had been accused of interfering with children. She said that he told her however that it wasn't him and that he wanted her to believe that it wasn't him. His landlady said that she formed the opinion that he was still drunk and that what he said didn't make sense.

His landlady said that when she went out, she went through Cancannon Road into Acre Lane and that as she walked down Acre Lane that she remembered the clock of the Town Hall striking nine. She said that she then went to the Prince Albert public house in Coldharbour Lane by which time it was just after 9pm and that she was in there for about ten minutes and then went to the Angel public house which was another five minutes’ walk further on in Coldharbour Lane, and got there at about 9.20pm or 9.30pm or about that time. She said that after she had been there for about twenty minutes that the stoker came in, it being between 9.40pm and 9.50pm whilst she was standing at the bar and touched her on the arm. She said that she was very surprised to see him as she thought that he had gone to work and said, 'Good gracious. What are you doing here, I thought you had gone to work'. She said that he smiled and asked her if she wanted a drink and that he then bought drinks and asked her to sit down as he wanted to talk to her and that they then went and sat down at a table just inside the door.

She said that the stoker then sat on her right and said, 'Keep calm hold on to yourself, don't make a scene. I want to tell you something. I've just done Pat in'. She said that she then asked, 'What do you mean. Who?' and said that he said, 'Pat', and that she then asked, 'Which Pat?' and that the stoker replied, 'Young Pat Beard'. The landlady said that she then said, 'No' a lot times and that she could not believe it but said that he got hold of her wrist and she then said to him, You couldn't have done. Where?' and that he said, 'Outside the Church'. She said that she then asked him which church and that he said, 'Outside the Church in Allardyce Street'. She said that she must have looked stupid and that he then said, 'You know where they have whist drives'. The landlady said that he then said, 'Have a drink. Don't make a scene, sit still', noting that he still had hold of her wrist and that she then asked, 'Why did you do it. How did you do it?', noting that she still couldn't believe it and said that he then put his right hand in his pocket and said, 'With this', and then took out a cut throat razor. She said that she looked at it and saw that it had a white handle and had something on the blade, saying that it could have been stains on the blade and added that she saw blood on his hand. She noted that she wasn't sure about the stains on the razor and said that he then put it back into his pocket. She said that she didn't remember the stoker answering her question as to why he had done it but said that he told her that Jeanette Beard had said to him, 'Don't. I won't say anything'. She said that she then said to him, 'Perhaps you haven't really killed her. Perhaps you have only injured her', and said that he replied, 'Yes I have. I've killed her all right. I hope I killed her. I meant to kill her'.

His landlady said that she didn't know what the stoker said after that and said that she wanted to get away and said that she told him that she would go to her sister's who lived in Victoria and that he said, 'All right. I'll come too'. She added that he also mentioned the police in the public house and said, 'They're looking for me now and I'm on the run'.

She said that they then both left the public house and that they caught a taxi to Victoria and that on the way in the taxi that he had hold of her wrist with his left hand and that his right hand was in his right pocket, noting that she knew that the razor was in that pocket and that she was petrified.

She said that when they got to her sister's house she was out and so they went to the High Admiral public house in Vauxhall Bridge Road, getting there just before 11pm. She said that the stoker then threatened her, saying that she was to say nothing and implied that if she didn't that her life and her daughter's life would be in danger.

She said that they then went back to her sister's house and that by that time she was in. She said that they both went up to the house and that when her sister opened the door that she ran in but said that she didn't know what happened to the stoker.

She said that she stayed with her sister a little while and then went home, getting in at about 11.55pm.

She said that she later looked at two letters that she said were both in the stoker's handwriting, noting that one of them was opened in her presence by a police officer.

When she was cross examined, she said that she thought that the stoker trusted her absolutely, but said that she was fed up with him because of his drinking and wanted him out of her house. She added that she did not think that the stoker was fond of Jeanette Beard and said that she didn't know that he knew her in an intimate way. She said that she knew that he was acquainted with her like any other child in the street and added that she was not a jealous woman.

A housewife who knew both Jeanette Beard and the stoker said that on 9 August 1950 that she had left her shop in Santley Street just before 8.40pm and had gone straight up Concannon Road to Acre Lane and that whilst walking along Concannon Road she saw Jeanette Beard and the stoker standing outside 42 Concannon Road, that being the first house on the left hand side of the road walking away from Santley Street. She said that the stoker was standing with his back to the fence and that Jeanette Beard was facing the fence and that they didn't appear to be talking to one another. She said that the stoker said 'Good evening' and that she said 'Good evening' and that when she got up to Acre Lane that she looked at the Town Hall clock and saw that it was 8.45pm.

An ambulance man said that they got a call at 9.37pm to go to Ferndale Road in Brixton and arrived at 9.43pm and then found Jeanette Beard lying across the entrance to Medwin Street. He said that she was smothered in blood from head to foot. He noted that he could not say whether she was alive or dead when he arrived, but said that he took her to Kings College Hospital and that he was present when the doctor there certified her as dead.

When Jeanette Beard was brought into Kings College Hospital in Denmark Hill at 10pm on 9 August 1950 a senior casualty officer said that he looked at her and saw that she was dead. He said that she died of haemorrhage from one main wound in her neck, noting that there were also other wounds in her neck. He also noted that she had died recently.

A policeman with Southport County Borough Police said that at about 11.55pm on Friday 11 August 1950 that he was in Southport Police Station when there was a telephone call and that as a result a patrol car was despatched to a certain spot in Southport and that at 12.08am on 12 August 1950 the patrol car returned with the stoker.

He said that he then interviewed the stoker saying that he had a current copy of the Daily Mirror and pointed out a paragraph and said, 'There is no doubt about it I am the man they are looking for. I know nothing about the murder. It's all hooey about a girl seeing a man running down the street dripping with blood'. The policeman said that he then immediately cautioned the stoker and asked him whether he wanted to make a statement but said that the stoker told him that he didn't and added that he wanted a parson to make sure that he got a square deal.

The Dailey Mirror dated Friday 11 August 1950 had an account of the murder on the back page, page 12, detailing a statement by a 12-year-old friend of Jeanette Beard who said, 'I know what happened'. It was reported that she had lived a few doors down from Jeanette Beard in Medwin Street and that her mother had said, 'She went out last evening to get some fish and chips from a shop at the top of the road. She came home and went to bed and it was not till today we told her about Patricia'. She said that when she did, her daughter said, 'I know what happened, I saw everything. When I came out of the fish shop, I saw Patricia, and a man was running after her along Santley Road. They ran into another turning and I lost sight of them. A few minutes later I saw the man run back along Santley Road and there was blood on his foot'. It was said then that the girl gave a description of the stoker as the man that she had seen.

The policeman that went to pick the stoker up in the patrol car said that he picked him up at the junction of Duke Street and Lord Street in Southport at about 11.55pm on 11 August 1950. He said that when he picked him up the stoker said, 'I am the chap they are looking for in London. That girl who has been murdered I know her very well. I am the chap who has just phoned you up'. The policeman said that he was then placed in the police car and that he then went on to give an account of his movements for that afternoon, saying, 'At about 4pm I was sat on a seat in the gardens when I picked up a newspaper. I saw a photograph in the newspaper, and this was of a girl I know very well. I asked another person who was sitting close by to read over to me the article printed beneath the photograph. In the article was the description of a man it was wished to trace in connection with the death of this girl. I realised that this description fitted me, and I walked around for a bit thinking it over. I eventually phoned the police'.

At the time the policeman said that the stoker had been wearing a jacket and trousers, brown in colour with a white chalk stripe, a white silk sports shirt, white cotton underpants, dark blue socks and black leather shoes. He had also been wearing a fawn coloured mackintosh. When he was asked whether the clothes that he was wearing were the clothes that he had been wearing on the night of 9 August 1950 he said, 'No, I was wearing grey flannel trousers and a sports jacket. I swapped them for this old suit in Soho'. However, he was unable to give a name or address for the person that he had swapped them with.

The policeman noted that throughout the time that the stoker was in his company he had stoutly maintained his innocence.

A labourer that lived at 9 Medwin Street said that at about 9.20pm on 9 August 1950 that he was sitting outside the front door of his house when he saw Jeanette Beard come out of 18 Medwin Street which was almost opposite his house and said that she turned right and went up towards the fish shop and then turned right again into Santley Street and disappeared from view. He said then, that about two or three minutes after he saw Jeanette Beard that he saw a man come out of his house at 22 Medwin Street. He said that he didn't know him by name but had seen him once or twice going in there but said that he didn't know if he lived there. He said that when the man came out, he came down the steps and looked at him for a few seconds and then went off in the direction that Jeanette Beard had gone. He said that he saw him as far as the fish shop at the end of Medwin Street, noting that he had been wearing a brown sports coat and grey flannels.

He said that on 13 August 1950 that he attended an identification parade at Brixton Police Station where he was asked to pick the man that he had seen come out of 22 Medwin Street from about twelve men. He said that there were to that resembled the man that he had seen and he picked the one that most resembled him, noting that one man had a blue pin stripe suit and the other had a brown sports coat and grey flannel trousers and that as they were the clothes that were most similar to those that he had seen the man wearing that he chose that man as the one that he had seen come out of 22 Medwin Street.

Jeanette Beard was also seen by a shopfitter walking along Ducie Street between 9.15pm and 9.30pm. He said that she came down Ducie Street from the direction in which she lived and went down towards Ferndale Road. He said that she was by herself. He said he next saw her at about 9.40pm lying on the ground near to Medwin Street. He said that he didn't notice her carrying anything.

Jeanette Beard was also seen by a woman that lived in Dolamn Street. She said that she had been sitting looking out of her window at around 9pm on 9 August 1950 when soon after she saw Jeanette Beard, who she had seen about before, go down Ferndale Road towards Allardyce Street at about 9.20pm. She said that she was walking quickly. She said that she then went into her kitchen and returned to the window and that about five minutes later she saw Jeanette Beard staggering back like a drunken woman. She said that she was moaning and that she thought that she was saying something about 'Police'. she said that there was then a commotion in the street and that she then saw Jeanette Beard lying in the road covered in blood and that the police then arrived.

A schoolgirl who lived at 18 Medwin Street said that she knew Jeanette Beard very well and also knew the stoker who lived at 22 Medwin Street although she said that she didn't know him very well. She said that on 9 August 1950 that she went to the fish shop to buy some chips, arriving at about 9.10pm. She said that she had to wait for the chips to be fried and that while she was waiting that she looked out of the window of the shop and saw the stoker come walking down from Santley Street. She said that she then saw him stand on the corner for a while outside the fish shop window in Medwin Street and that he then walked round towards Allardyce Street at about 9.15pm. She said that she didn't notice his coat. She said that the first that she knew of the accident to Jeanette Beard was when she got home and that she then saw it herself at the bottom of the road where there were by then a crowd of people.

The doctor that saw Jeanette Beard soon after she was attacked said that he had just made a call at 2 Allardyce Street at about 9.20pm, having left his car outside 3 Allardyce Street, noting that there was nobody in the street at the time and that it was deserted. He said that he left his patient at 9.30pm and that as he drove his car towards Santley Street he turned right and then right again into Medwin Street and that at the end of Medwin Street he saw some people in the middle of the road and he switched on his headlights and saw between the people the body of Jeanette Beard. He said that he then stopped and got out to look, leaving his headlights on and then saw that the police constable was there and then examined Jeanette Beard and said that he then realised that she was passed all medical attention and that she was at that time to all intents and purposes dead, and that there was nothing that anybody could do. He noted that at the spot where she was lying there was a lot of blood and that the blood had trickled down to the gutter from the middle of the road. He said that he then went off with the inspector and followed the trail of blood which led to the wall in Allardyce Street near 1 Allardyce Street, noting that it was fresh blood and was easily distinguishable.

Jeanette Beard's mother said that Jeanette Beard was 15 on 26 April 1950 and that she knew the stoker, saying that he would sometimes say hello to Jeanette Beard when he passed her door, and sometimes wouldn't.

She said that on 9 August 1950 that Jeanette Beard was in the house just before 8.30pm and then went out to see a girlfriend in Concannon Road about a bicycle, saying that she came back at about 8.50pm. She said that she made her a cup of tea because her voice was queer and she had a cold and that she then went out again at 9.10pm to get some chips for her supper, noting that she took half a crown out of her bag to buy the chips and that she didn't see her again.

She said that Jeanette Beard's behaviour was the same as on any other night and that Jeanette Beard didn't know a number of young men and had no boys whatever and was never out with boys. She added that Jeanette Beard didn't go to the pictures with any young men that she knew of, but said that she did go dancing.

The pathologist that carried out the post mortem on Jeanette Beard said that she was a well-nourished girl. 5ft 5in tall and between seven and eight stone in weight. He said that there was dried blood on her face, neck, forearms, trunk and both legs.

He said that he found the following injuries, a cut just below the jaw on the left side slightly curved and superficial. About one and a half inches behind that towards the ear side stating on the cheek a further cut a quarter of an inch in length and then at a short interval and a continuation deepening int an irregular wound running on to the neck to about two inches in front of the lobe of the left ear and undercut in a forward direction. That joined a deep cut five inches in length running  from the left side of her adams apple to the left side of the back of the head, undercut slightly forwards and then went as deep as the neck bones cutting through the muscle and completely severing the jugular vein.

He noted that he could not say in what order the wounds were inflicted but said that the fatal wound was undoubtedly the third one that had cut the jugular vein and that that would have proved fatal through shock and haemorrhage and possibly in a matter of minutes.

He noted that there were other injuries on her hands, stating that she had deep cuts between her thumb and forefinger on the right hand, middle and ring finger of the left hand and thumb and forefinger of the left hand, which he described as typical defence wounds.

He said that he thought that the wounds were inflicted with a very sharp instrument and noted that on the front edge of the main wound he found a small fragment of what appeared to be metal which he preserved and handed to the police which he said was in keeping with a fragment from the edge of a razor.

He added that she also had superficial abrasions on her elbows due to falling down and that they had gravel in them.

He said that her stomach contained a large quantity of undigested food.

He also said that her hymen had been ruptured in the past and that the opening would admit two fingers with ease. He said that she was not virgo intact but that there were no signs of any recent interference and that there was no direct evidence that she had had intercourse at all. He added that there were indications in keeping with intercourse, but that that could have also been due to chronic masturbation or finger dilations.

He noted that from the undercutting of her wounds and they all appeared to be from the same direction and added that he thought that Jeanette Beard had put up a considerable defence.

He added that he thought that her assailant would have been splashed with a considerable amount of blood noting that the blood would have surged out of her jugular vein when it was severed and that there would have been a considerable flow of blood from it.

He added that he thought that a girl suffering from such injuries could have gone quite a distance, noting that she might have run with her hand over the wound meaning that she would have been able to go further before she collapsed. He added that he thought that she would have been able to run but that there would have been a time when she would have collapsed.

He noted that she was physically a very well-developed girl.

The landlady’s daughter who at the time was living with the landladies sister in Victoria said that up until May 1950 she had lived with her mother at 22 Medwin Street and that at that time the stoker was also living there. She said that she knew Jeanette Beard but that up until May 1950 she was infrequently in their house but said that after that she was frequently in the house and said that she thought that she knew the stoker, but noted that she would have done as she was frequently in the house.

The landlady’s sister who lived in Victoria said that on the night of 9 August 1950 that the landlady came to see her between 11.15pm and 11.30pm accompanied by the stoker. She said that the landlady was very upset when they arrived and that she seemed very frightened and that when she opened the door the landlady had rushed up the stairs, followed by the stoker. She said that her sister then wandered from room to room and that whilst she did so that she spoke to the stoker who she said said to her, 'This is goodbye' and told her that somebody had 'shopped' him and that he was going to Ireland. She said that he also mentioned that she was only a baby and that he was going to take her with him. The sister said that she then went to see the landlady and that after that asked the stoker to leave, which she said he did at 11.30pm, wishing her good-bye. She said that at the time she didn't really attach any importance to what he said and noted that he had been dressed in a brown sports coat and grey flannels and black shoes.

A coffee stall owner said that he had been looking after a coffee stall on the Embankment at Charing Cross on 10 August 1950 at 12.30am  when he saw the stoker who he had known for four years. He said that when he saw him, he said, 'What. You are a stranger', and that the stoker replied, 'Yes. Seen anything of my old flame' and that he asked him which one he meant and when the stoker told him she told the stoker that she might be in Blackfriars. He said that the stoker then said to him ''I am well in trouble', and said that when he asked him what he meant he said, 'I have just done a murder'. The coffee stall owner said that he said, 'Go away you are potty', and hat the stoker replied, 'Wait till you get the paper in the morning. You'll see'. The coffee stall owner said that the stoker then picked up his cup of tea and called one of the boys, a lorry driver, away from the stall. He said that that was between 12 midnight and 12.30am and that at about 2pm the stoker and another man walked past his stall towards Blackfriars. He said that he later picked the stoker out at an identification parade on 13 August 1950. He noted that he didn't believe the stoker when he said that he had murdered someone, saying that people said all sorts of things to him and that he thought that it was a wild exaggerated statement.

The lorry driver that the stoker called away at the coffee stall said that he had known the stoker for about eighteen months to a year and said that when they met at the coffee stall the stoker told him that he was in trouble and then told him that he had slashed a girl at Brixton and told him that he didn't know whether she was alive or dead. He said that the stoker told him that he had slashed her two inches across the jugular and that he then put his hand in his right hand pocket and that he saw a flash of steel but didn't know whether it was a knife or a razor and that he then told him that he had been with a fifteen year old girl and that she had shopped him to the police for interfering with her and that the police had called round to his house. He said that he told him that his legal wife was playing in a Willesden cabaret and that the girl had waited until she had gone and had then called on him about 9.15pm or 9.30pm. However, he said that he told the stoker that he didn't believe him. He said that the stoker then told him that he was going to get a taxi to Fleet Street. The lorry driver said that he later picked the stoker out at an identification parade, identifying him from the back noting that he would be able to identify him any time after knowing him for 18 months. He said that when he saw him, he had been wearing a brown sports jacket, gey flannel trousers and an open neck shirt.

When he was cross examined, he said that the stoker had told him that the girl had waited until his legal wife had gone out and that she had then gone into his house and that it was there that he had slashed her.

It was noted that both the coffee stall owner and the lorry driver had both given their statements in the early morning of 10 August 1950.

When the stoker was interviewed on 12 August 1950 by the police, he said, 'I went to bed about 8 o'clock and asked my landlady to set the alarm for me for ten o'clock as I wanted to go to work. When the alarm went off I got up and went round to the Angel public house in Coldharbour Lane. You can check that because I spoke to the licensee and the landlady will prove it. When we left the pub, I said 'Good-night' to the landlady and made out I was going to work. I didn't go to work. I knew you were after me because of the complaints of these children. I went straight by train to High Barnet and thumbed a lift to Newhaven. Then I went to Liverpool and then Southport. I know Southport well. When I saw a photograph of Pat in the paper, the Daily Mirror, I got a chap to read what it said, and then I realised the description fitted me and I made the Southport police come and pick me up'.

When the stoker was shown the letter that had been found in his room he said, 'Oh. You've got it. I wrote that and left it for the landlady'.

He was then asked if he wanted to write his own statement out but said that he didn't want to.

He was then asked, 'Are you certain that on the night of 9 August, Wednesday, you did not go to Charing Cross or the West End of London', he said 'I didn't go anywhere near the West End. I got a train to High Barnet'.

After the stoker was picked out by three of the four witnesses on identification parades, the fourth person not picking him out as he was wearing a blue suit, he was charged with Jeanette Beard's murder.

When the police searched the stokers house, they found no traces of blood, including in the bathroom and kitchen and when the stoker’s shoes were examined no traces of blood were found on them. Nail scrapings were also taken from him and were also found to be negative for blood.

A lorry driver who lived in Liverpool and who worked for British Road Services at their depot in Sherdley Road in St Helens said that he had left St Helens at about 7.30pm on Wednesday 9 August 1950 and travelled to Finchley in London, arriving at about 7am on 10 August 1950. He said that he left his wagon in the main road and that after reporting to the foreman he went to the Victory Cafe in the main road and rested there during the day and then reported back to the main road where he had left his wagon at about 7pm on 19 August 1950 . He said that he had a friend with him who he had given a lift from Liverpool and that as he was leaving he saw a negro asking a number of lorry drivers for a lift and said that he felt sorry for him because he could see that he was being refused because he was coloured and so asked him if he wanted a lift to Liverpool and that he then got in the back of his waggon. He said that as he did that, that another man then came along and asked for a lift, but that he refused first but then agreed. He described the man as being similar to the stoker and said that he had been wearing a brown suit with wide stripes, the colour of which he could not remember. He said that they didn't say much on the journey and that he left the two hitchhikers on the main road between St Helens and Prescot at about 5.30am on Friday 11 August 1950.

A building contractor said that he had known the stoker for about twelve months and had visited him at his address on the first floor at 22 Medwin Street and also knew the landlady that he lived with and her daughter who was 20 noting that she had appeared in the same show as his wife.  He said that about two months before the murder that he had met the stoker in the Prince of Wales public house in Brixton Road and that in conversation with him he had told him that he was having an affair with a little girl that lived near him saying that she was about fifteen years old. He said that the stoker had wanted him to meet the girl and told him that she was a 'cracker'. He said that the stoker didn't mention the girls name and said that he had never seen her.

The building contractor said that he met the stoker again on 9 August at about 2pm in the Prince of Wales public house in Brixton Road and said that he mentioned to him that he had been interrogated by the police in respect to indecently assaulting a young girl aged eleven where he worked and said that he thought that it was the 15-year-old girl that had told the police about the other affair and that he was going to slap her. He said that he left the stoker at the pub between 2.30pm and 2.45pm at which time he said he was perfectly sober. He said that when he did he was dressed in flannel trousers, no hat and had been wearing a blue and white ribbed shirt with short sleeves.

When a motor railway driver at St Pancras was questioned he said that he was the Branch Secretary of the Kentish Town No.1 Branch of the National Union of Railwaymen and that the stoker was a member of his Union and said that they certainly never had any meeting on 9 August 1950. He said that he had been in his office all day on 9 August 1950 up until the time he went to bed at about 11pm and that he received no calls from the stoker that day.

At his trial the stoker denied murdering Jeanette Beard.

It was heard at the trial that the stoker was told at some time that the landlady’s daughter had been fond of him, but he said that he was flattered by that but said that she was only a friend.

It was also noted that the landlady didn't like the stoker's association with Jeanette Beard and had ordered her out of the house.

It was also heard that when the stoker had failed to get to Ireland from Liverpool that he had written to his landlady about it and when he was questioned in that regard at the trial he had said, 'Owing to the fact that my razor was missing, and she having the razor, I did not know what to think. I thought she might know something about it'.

He said that he had met Jeanette Beard at 5.15pm and had then arranged to meet her at 9.30pm. However, he said that she was not there but said that he did notice a large pool of blood. He said that when she didn't show up he thought he would go back to Medwin Street to meet her there and said that when he got there he saw a big group of people and was told that Jeanette Beard had been murdered. He said that when he realised that he would be a suspect that he went back to his home and then wrote a letter to the landlady and that when he went to get the razor that he had borrowed that it was not in its case.

He said that he then went to meet the landlady and said that when he met her, he told her that Jeanette Beard had been murdered and asked her where his razor was. He said that at first she said that she didn't know but then later showed him that it was in her handbag and told him that she had seen some of the Brixton mob and that they knew that he was going to meet Jeanette Beard by the church in Allardyce Street.

It was also heard that five razors were found during the investigation, one of which had blood on it and had nothing to do with the stoker or the one that he had borrowed. The defence noted, 'It is a coincidence, is it not, that there should be found round the place where this crime was committed, a blood stained razor', which it was noted was a razor that the police knew that the stoker had nothing to do with.

When the stoker gave evidence at the trial, he turned to the jury and said, 'Please don't think that I think that the landlady has done this thing'.

When the defence summed up they said, 'Might not somebody else have had some motive out of jealousy or spite, who might have heard that the stoker was thinking of taking her (Pat) to Ireland, or that Pat Beard herself might have said to somebody that he was asking to take her away to Ireland?'. The defence also noted that the stoker had given himself up to the police because he had wanted a square deal' and that he had stoutly protested his innocence throughout.

When the prosecution presented their case, they said ‘The case for the crown in a word is this, that this man lived next door but one to the girl. He knew her well. Someone complained to the police of his conduct in relation to other small girls. He thought it was Pat, as this girl was known. He decided to have his revenge on her for what he believed she had done. He borrowed a cutthroat razor, made a rendezvous with the girl and was seen with her a few minutes before she was murdered. Soon after the murder he confessed to it in detail in a public house. Soon after midnight he confessed again to two acquaintances at a coffee stall on the embankment. After going to Liverpool, where he wrote to his landlady a letter which tended to show that he tried to get away from the docks but failed, he gave himself up to the police'.

After the stoker was acquitted, he said, 'I intend to ask British Railways if they will give me back my old job. But first I must get away to the country for a few days and relax'.

The stoker was later tried for the two alleged indecent assaults, one against a 7 year old girl and the other against an 11 year old girl three weeks after his acquittal on the murder charge he was acquitted on both charges.

He later died in 1994. He was an ex-boxer.


*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.


see National Archives - CRIM 1/2098, MEPO 2/8778, DPP 2/2003

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Wednesday 25 October 1950

see Portsmouth Evening News - Monday 14 August 1950

see Birmingham Daily Gazette - Tuesday 15 August 1950

see Coventry Evening Telegraph - Monday 23 October 1950

see Western Morning News - Thursday 26 October 1950

see Liverpool Echo - Thursday 26 October 1950

see Belfast News-Letter - Wednesday 25 October 1950

see Daily Mirror - Friday 11 August 1950

see Dundee Courier - Thursday 26 October 1950

see Western Daily Press - Wednesday 08 November 1950

see Dundee Courier - Saturday 12 August 1950

see Western Daily Press - Friday 15 September 1950

see Birmingham Daily Gazette - Friday 11 August 1950

see Sceptic Pig