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Unsolved Murders

Richard Septimus Batterbury

Age: 55

Sex: male

Date: 25 May 1925

Place: River Alt, Aintree

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Richard Septimus Batterbury died from the effects of salts of lemon poisoning.

He was found on the banks of the River Alt in Aintree, taken to a police station and later sent home where he died.

His daughter said that he had gone out for a walk in the afternoon in good health and spirits and then later in the evening a motor-cyclist with a woman in his sidecar called to say that her father had been found in a field near the canal bank at Aintree suffering from poison.

The motor-cyclist had taken Richard Batterbury to Aintree Police Station where he was entered into the books as being drunk and incapable. One of the police officers said that he had smelt strongly of beer.

A doctor said that he saw Richard Batterbury and said that he found that he was suffering from the effects of whisky although Richard Batterbury had told him that he had had nothing to drink since two o'clock which was seven hours earlier. Richard Batterbury was then permitted to be removed by taxi to his home where he died in the early morning.

A motor-cyclist who was in the road at the time said that he knew where Richard Batterbury lived and would inform his relatives. Later Richard Batterbury's daughter-in-law said that the motor-cyclist, who she didn't know, told her that her father-in-law had taken lemon of salts. She said that she didn't know the motor-cyclist and that he didn't leave his name. An appeal was made for him to come forward and give evidence but there was no response.

The Coroner said that he was not satisfied with the evidence of the county police and returned a verdict of death from salts of lemon poisoning.

He asked how was it that the motor-cyclist had know that Richard Batterbury was suffering from salts of lemon poisoning but that the police didn't. He said 'I cannot believe that the motor-cyclist invented the story with regards to salts of lemon'.

Richard Batterbury had been a baker and had lived on wood House Street in Walton.


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


see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Monday 25 May 1925

see Shepton Mallet Journal - Friday 29 May 1925

see Sunday Post - Sunday 24 May 1925