Unsolved Murders

Lily Ayston Timms

Age: 27

Sex: female

Date: 21 Oct 1921

Place: Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Lily Ayston Timms died from poison.

Her husband was tried for her murder but acquitted. It was said that he had purchased poison for her procure an abortion.

Lily Timms and her husband had a 4 year old child but had separated under a magistrates order and Lily Timms had gone back to live with her mother. However, whilst separated they became friendly again and frequently met and at one point went off together for a holiday in Oxford.

In May 1921 Lily Timms became pregnant and had an abortion. Then after the holiday in Oxford she became pregnant again and then died from septicaemia set up by some infection and had a miscarriage. However, the prosecution at the trial was unable to legally connect the blood poisoning to the actual miscarriage.

At the husbands trial the court heard that the husband, who was a night porter at the King's Head Hotel in Coventry had met a laundryman who had told him that he had a prescription that could produce a certain result and get a woman out of trouble. The court heard that the laundryman sent the husband a note saying 'Am forwarding the thing you want hoping it will be alright . . . .'. the laundryman denied that he had been paid 10s for the prescription.

The prescription was said to not be so poisonous that a chemist would not make them up and noted that poisons like arsenic were frequently given out in proper quantities for use. However, the prescription was said then to have been taken by Lily Timms three times a day after her meals.

Medical statements stated that although the ingredients could be considered a tonic if taken in slight quantities, they could prove noxious to a pregnant woman when taken in frequent doses and an abortion would result.

Lily Timms's mother said that when Lily Timms became ill she thought that she just had a bad cold and Lily Timms was treated for such and added that she was not told that her daughter had had a miscarriage. The mother also confirmed that Lily Timms smoked heavily but said that she was not aware that she took doses of gin.

The doctors that carried out the post-mortem on Lily Timms stated that the pills were quite unsuitable for a pregnant woman.

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

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Friday 10 March 1922

see Leamington Spa Courier - Friday 10 March 1922

see Leamington Spa Courier - Friday 17 March 1922

see Banbury Guardian - Thursday 16 March 1922

see National Archives - ASSI 13/52