Unsolved Murders

James Halstead

Age: 58

Sex: male

Date: 5 Dec 1929

Place: Leeds Road, Nelson

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

James Halstead was run over.

He was knocked down by a motor car on the Leeds Road at Nelson on 5 December 1929 and died after being taken to the hospital.

A night watchman who had been on duty in his cabin at the junction of the Leeds Road with Walton Lane said that on the night of 5 December 1929 he heard a thus and that when he went to look he saw James Halstead lying on the road and about 20 yards on he saw a motor car going at a good speed. He said that he then saw the motor car, which was a dark saloon, stop and that the lights were then extinguished. He said then that he saw the driver get out and go back in the direction that James Halstead was lying and turn around and hurry back to his car, get in and drive away at a fast speed down Bradely Hill Road with its lights still off.

It was noted that the road in the district where James Halstead was knocked down was very well lighted.

Another person that had seen a car stop said that he saw a man get out of his car and pick up a piece of metal and that as he got in his car again to drive off he heard someone say 'Take that man's number' but that he was not wearing his glasses and could not, however, he said that when he did see the car lights go on he saw that it had a diamond shaped red light.

The Coroner expressed a strong disapproval of the conduct of the motorist in not coming forward in response to an appeal to appear as a witness. The Coroner added that 'If this man is discovered it will be found that he is not an Englishman, because a more despicable, dastardly, cowardly and reprehensible action you could not imagine. He knocked this man down and, knowing that he had received severe injuries, he got away, leaving the man to his death, and then he preserves absolute silence'.

The Coroner also noted that it was rare in this country for a man to knock an old man down, get out and have a look and after apparently seeing a person in the road, and not seeing any witnesses, pick something from the road up and drive off.

James Halstead's daughter said that when James Halstead was knocked down he was on his way to purchase a floral tribute for a brother-in-law who was to be buried the following day.

He was a retired weaver.

An open verdict was returned.


see Burnley News - Saturday 21 December 1929

see Lancashire Evening Post - Thursday 19 December 1929