Date: 10 Jul 1939
Margaret Newton Jackson was murdered at her house.
Her husband was charged with her murder but the charge against him was later dismissed.
His wife was found dead by her husband at 1pm when he had returned from work.
It was thought that she had been killed between 8.20am when she had brought water out for a roadman that had called at her door, or 8.30am when her husband went off for work, and 9.55am or 11am, as when she was found she had been dead for some time and the milkman had called at 9.55am but got no response.
During the investigation a neighbour had said that he had not seen any washing hanging out in Margaret Jackson's garden which he said was unusual as Margaret Jackson had made Monday her washing day. As such, it was noted that the absence of any washing in the garden may have suggested that she had been killed before she had had an opportunity to wash any clothes and hang them on the line.
It was also later found that the milkman had called twice at the house, once shortly after 6am when he had left a bottle of milk and then again at 9.55am to collect money for the previous week's milk but could get no reply to his knocks.
The police saw Margaret Jackson dead at the property at 3pm on 10 July 1939 and arrested her husband the following day 11 August 1939 at 4.50pm at his place of work, Snowdown Colliery. When the police saw him at the colliery they said to him, 'You know who we are. At about 3pm on the 10th July, 1939, I saw the dead body of your wife Margaret Newton Jackson, lying on a bed at your house at 'Eastwood', London Road, Sholden. Enquiries have been made respecting her death and as a result of those enquiries I am going to take you into custody and charge you with the murder of your wife'. After the husband was cautioned he said, 'I have nothing to say'.
After he was conveyed to Sandwich Police Station where he was charged at 5.15pm with Margaret Jackson's murder, he said, ‘I think the charge is ridiculous. I realise the police have had many difficulties and I have kept away from them for that reason. I am not satisfied with what police have done to catch the man who committed the murder'.
Margaret Jackson had lived with her husband for the previous five years at Eastwood in London Road, having married at Clay Cross in Derbyshire on 15 August 1934. They had bought their house through the Abbey Road Building Society. They had no children from their marriage and the police report noted that from a box of contraceptives of various kinds found at their house, it appeared that they didn't want any.
It was found that since they had married, they had kept themselves to themselves and not made friends with any neighbours and had only visited relations at 10 Circular Road in Betteshanger, which was the home of the husband’s brother. They had also been members of The Peardon Sports Club that was attached to the Betteshanger Colliery where the husband was employed, and they played tennis together there, but it was noted that they had taken no part in any of the other social life of the club.
Margaret Jackson was noted as always being a woman who kept very much to herself, apart from passing the time of day with her neighbours, and it was found by enquiry that she had never discussed her private affairs with anyone. The police report stated that it appeared that Margaret Jackson's whole daily life appeared to be taken up with her housework, gardening, walking out with her dog and cycling. It was found that she was very attached to her dog which was of the brown Irish terrier type which she had had for a long time. It was said that when she went out on her cycle and left the dog at home that it would sit in the front room window downstairs and cry until she returned.
The husband had been employed as a clerk at the Bettesahnger Colliery in Betteshanger by Pearson & Dorman Long Ltd since November 1930 and was described by the chief clerk there as a very reliable man. He was described as a quiet and reserved man and as far as was known, had no close friendships with any of his colleagues.
The house at Eastwood stood in its own grounds and had a long garden at the rear and a small one to the front and was the last house in London Road, Sholden, on the left-hand side of the road going towards Sandwich from Deal. The house itself was hidden from view by a high privet and quick hedge with the main door at the side. The interior was comfortably furnished.
The murder was reported to the police at 1.05pm on 10 July 1939 by telephone by Margaret Jackson's neighbour at Ingleside after Margaret Jackson's husband went to her for assistance. It was heard that he had arrived home for dinner and had been surprised to find that it was not ready, and that Margaret Jackson could not be found in answer to his calls.
Margaret Jackson's husband said that when he found her lying on the bed in the front bedroom she had all her clothes ripped off and had terrible wounds to her head and said that he didn't know whether she was alive or dead and asked for his neighbour to call for the police and a doctor.
The neighbour said that after she called for the police she asked Margaret Jackson's husband who his doctor was and said that he told her that any doctor would do as Margaret Jackson had no doctor, but also then told her the name of his own doctor. Then, after the police and doctor had been called for Margaret Jackson's husband left the neighbour’s house and went back to Eastwood, followed soon after by the neighbour who said that when she then arrived at Eastwood she found Margaret Jackson's husband sat in a chair in the kitchen.
Shortly after that a detective arrived and was shewn to the bedroom by the neighbour whilst Margaret Jackson remained downstairs. The call to the police station had been received at 1.05pm, after which the detective had proceeded at once to Eastwood in a police car accompanied by a policeman, and arrived at 1.10pm, and were admitted by the neighbour.
When the detective went upstairs to the bedroom, he found Margaret Jackson lying on the double bed diagonally, with her head to the door at the foot of the bed, and her feet to the top left of it. Her body was face downwards and was nude except for a dark blue frock which was torn on the left-hand side and pulled up round the shoulders. Her face was in the eiderdown and there was blood on the eiderdown, pillow slips, bolster cover and counterpane. Her head was also bloodstained and there was a dark patch over her left ear. During their examination Margaret Jackson's husband remained downstairs.
When other policemen arrived, Margaret Jackson's husband gave a statement in which he averred that Margaret Jackson and he had risen at 7.50am on 10 July 1939 and followed their usual routine duties and that whilst he was shaving, at about 8.10am, a roadman came to the door and asked for some water. He said that shortly after they had breakfast together and that he then left for work at 8.33am, noting that he looked at the clock just prior to leaving and left whilst Margaret Jackson was feeding the dog which was in its basket just under the kitchen table.
He said that he then returned home for lunch at 1pm and was surprised to find that lunch was not laid or ready and that he couldn't find Margaret Jackson and concluded that she must have been in the front room with the dog because of the condition of the dog barking in the room. He said that he then went to the front room but couldn't find her there but found that the dog was. He said that he then went upstairs and found Margaret Jackson lying face downwards on the bed with her feet on the pillows and that after touching her and calling her he came to the conclusion that she was dead and immediately went to his neighbour’s house at Ingleside for assistance and then returned to his house to wait for them.
The detective said that when he carefully examined the bedroom and the rest of the house he found that the electric light was burning on the landing and also in the lavatory, the door of which was open. He said that he then went into the bedroom where he saw the body of Margaret Jackson face down lying diagonally across the bed, noting that there was a blood stain on the eiderdown about nine inches in diameter to the right, level with her head. He said that her hair was marked with what was apparently blood and that there was a dark patch over her left ear. He said that the front part of her hair appeared to be stuck to her face and noted that her right arm was folded under her body whilst hr left arm was by her side. He said that Margaret Jackson had a gold ring on her third finger of her left hand and that her legs were close together at the thighs. Her right knee was slightly bent, but her left leg was practically straight, with her toe against the bolster.
He said that there were no marks of violence or any blood stains on her back but that there was a slight discolouration on the upper part of both of her arms.
He said that near her left foot there was a carpet slipper under the bolster in the centre and the bed linen was in disorder but said that it had not been made from the previous night’s sleep.
He said that it didn't appear to him that a struggle had taken place on the bed. He said that there was a long bolster, the width of the bed, and a pillow on either side at the top which were disarranged as if they had been kicked up. On her right hand side, partly beneath her upper right arm there was a pair of undamaged pink corselettes, and at the head of the bed, on the right side of her body and close to the right foot of the bed there were a number of articles of underclothing, the top article being a woollen vest with the left side shoulder strap broken, which the detective said appeared to have been placed there, and not thrown.
He said that upon examination, the clothing found consisted of:
Then, slightly to the left of that clothing there was a man's blue striped pyjama jacket, which whilst still in its folds, was somewhat disarranged.
Then on the left of her body on the bed, and slightly under her body by the hips, was a green apron with the waist fastening broken and the shoulder straps torn, but not right through.
At the head of the bed on the left of her body there was a large white pocket handkerchief with the initial 'F' in blue cotton on the corner.
The room itself was furnished with the following:
There was a coloured carpet on the floor which covered the whole floor under the bed and on each side of the bed were small brown rugs. On the right hand side of the bed there was a carpet slipper for the right foot with the toe just under the rug and on the left hand foot of the bed there was a sixpenny piece on the carpet.
Outside of the bedroom door, resting against the posts of the bedroom doors there was a pair of steps.
When the doctor arrived, he pronounced Margaret Jackson dead and when her body was moved to the mortuary a leather belt was found beneath it.
When the police examined each of the other rooms they found no evidence of any struggle having taken place, and there was no disorder in any of the rooms or any visible sign of a forceable entry having been made to the house.
It was noted that the inner runner of the left hand curtains was off the rod and the second hook was off the runner.
The doctor said that when he arrived he found Margaret Jackson lying diagonally across the bed and said that she was naked except for a dress that partly covered her right shoulder. He said that she was lying prone with her face and mouth closely applied to the bed clothes and with her right arm flexed and beneath her body and her left arm extended on the bed. He said that when the quilt was removed by the police to facilitate his examination, he saw blood stains caused, it appeared, by blood that had issued from her mouth and found that life was extinct. He said that her hair on the left side of her head was matted with blood and that her hair was also adhering to her nose and that bleeding had entirely ceased. He added that both of her arms above the elbows shewed slight signs of Ecchymosis, (discolouration), over an area of about two and a half inches, which he said, indicated that, in his opinion, she had been tightly held.
He said that he felt the skin on her back and found that it was still warm but said that that did not indicate that he had died shortly before his arrival and said that in cases of violence it was known that heat was maintained for a longer time than normal compared to when death was by natural causes. He said that he then moved her left arm and found a little rigidity.
The doctor was later present when Margaret Jackson's post mortem at the Eastry Institution Mortuary was carried out on 11 July 1939 and said that he was particularly interested in Margaret Jackson's stomach which he said was very full with the last meal that Margaret Jackson had eaten, which consisted of fluid content. He said that her meal was traced down through the jejunum to well down the ileum and to within possibly 18 inches of the ileocecal valve, which he said was of great importance. He said that her stomach was very full and as the stomach could empty within one or two hours, that alone, in his opinion narrowed down the time of her death following her last meal. He said that a meal could reach the ileum in twenty to thirty minutes, and so it was possible that the stage of digestion reached would have occurred in under half an hour after the completion of her breakfast. He also stated that a further factor that should be regarded was the fact that states of anxiety and fear and the bodily condition produced by asphyxia could cause pathological 'hurrying' of the intestinal contents.
He also said that her urinary bladder was literally empty, which he said meant that it had been evacuated shortly before she died. He said that it was well known that the urinary secretion was speedier after ingestion of hot fluids, and that urine appeared in the bladder in less than five minutes and that the bladder was ordinarily more than half full in twenty minutes. He said that by taking those three things into account and coupled with the fact that the stomach contained a large fluid meal, it seemed reasonable to him to deduce that her death had taken place very soon, if not almost at once after the fluid consumed at breakfast.
When another detective arrived at Eastwood at 3pm he said that he made a thorough examination of the premises and said that he could find no trace of a struggle having taken place or of any unlawful entry having been made. He said that apart from that on the bed, there was no blood found that would indicate that Margaret Jackson had been struck prior to her being injured on the bed.
He said that there were several articles of crockery on the draining board at the side of the sink that had been washed and that on the table in the centre of the room there was a small milk jug that had apparently been wiped. He said that there was a tea cloth, used for drying the crockery resting on a table mangle at the side of the rear kitchen door and said that it appeared that Margaret Jackson's last act prior to being killed was to wipe the milk jug.
He said that a fire was burning in the grate and that there was a bucket of clean water on its hob. He added that although no preparations had been made, that there was little doubt that Margaret Jackson had intended to wash her dirty linen on the day of her death.
Another doctor that arrived at the house at 4.30om on 19 July 1939 said that when he took her rectal temperature it was 96.2 degrees, an later confirmed that his thermometer was correct and said that her body had reached a temperature compatible with the heat of the room. He said that rigor mortis was fully established throughout the body, including the neck and that post mortem lividity was present to a medium degree, stating that its distribution was over the front of the thighs, arms, abdomen and most deeply marked on the chest and over the breastbone. He said that her nose was flattened and her mouth shewed blood-stained fluid, as did her nostrils, and added that her face was congested.
He said that a tuft of hair from her head, on which he could detect no blood stains was lying by her waist on the left side. He said he found two small abrasions to the right of her throat about a quarter of an inch long and similar abrasions on the left side of her throat. He said that the distance between the abrasions on the right side and left side of her throat was exactly four inches. He said that there were no marks on her neck of any ligature or of impressions of thumbs or fingers found.
He said that there was a small abrasion two inches above her left knee and a similar one above her left ankle, but that an examination of the inner aspect of her thighs showed no abnormality. He also added that there was no abnormality found to the perineum and no lacerations or other signs of violence to her vaginal orifice.
He added that her hands were clenched.
He said that his examination of her nails was negative of foreign substance by lens examination and he concluded that her death was due to manual strangulation and that there was evidence of resistance. He also added that there was no evidence of carnal knowledge or any attempt at such.
He concluded by saying that based on the distribution of post mortem lividity and the degree of rigor mortis that he thought that she had been dead for between eight to ten hours before his examination which would have made the time of death at the latest 8.30am.
The doctor said that he had first seen Margaret Jackson when she had attended his surgery in February or March 1939 when she had complained of abdominal pains and he said that he concluded from his examination that she had been suffering from chronic appendicitis and recommended that it be removed. He said that he told her that it was not an urgent case and said that Margaret Jackson told him that she would think it over. He said that he saw her about four times in total and said that from his knowledge of her he would say that she was an extremely healthy and strong type of woman and of a cheerful disposition. He said that she was definitely not of a timid or nervous disposition and said that she was the sort of person who, given the opportunity, would have offered a strong resistance if attacked.
A post-mortem, which was carried out by a leading pathologist, identified several head injuries and concluded that Margaret Jackson would have been unconscious before she was strangled.
The cause of death was given as asphyxia due to strangulation by the hand.
The report stated that that conclusion was indicated by the injuries in the tissues of the neck and perhaps the bruises over the lower jaw, the tiny haemorrhages in the lining membrane of the larynx, on the deep surface of the scalp, and on the surfaces of the heart and lungs as well as by the haemorrhages in the tongue and the general congestion of the tissues of the head and the upper part of the neck, and by the congestion of the organs of the body in general.
The report stated that death would have occurred in about five minutes from the time when strangulation became effective.
It noted that the absence of injuries of the hyoid bone and of the cartilages of the larynx suggested that Margaret Jackson had lost consciousness before strangulation commenced. It also stated that her head injuries were produced before she was strangled.
The post-mortem stated that the large bruise on the front of her head could have been produced by a blow from a fist, and that the bruise on the back of her head by the consequent fall upon a hard-flat surface. The report noted that such a fall could have produced concussion and that there were indications of that condition in the haemorrhage found in the lateral ventricles of the brain.
The report went on to state that the two wounds on the left side of her head were produced by violent blows with a blunt object having a small striking surface such as a blunt edge. It stated that the smaller wound was produced by a blow delivered in a forward direction upon the side of the head and concluded the injuries would have also been likely to have rendered her unconscious.
The report noted that there was no indication of sexual violence, although noted that the bruises on the upper part of the thighs might have been produced during forcible attempts to separate her thighs.
The expert pathologist also stated that the stomach contents had a composition corresponding with the food that Margaret Jackson was stated to have eaten for breakfast on the day of her death, and added that the acid reaction of the contents and the partial digestion of the starch indicated that the food had been in her stomach for a short time before death, and noted that after death her digestive process would have ceased.
The pathologist then concluded that in his opinion Margaret Jackson had died about 15 to 20 minutes after the commencement of her breakfast.
The police report stated that Margaret Jackson's doctors conclusions were that Margaret Jackson died by strangulation and that injuries to her left lung indicated that she had been knocked down on her back on a hard surface and that the condition of her intestines shewed that her death had taken place about thirty minutes after the commencement of her meal, which they said was also later confirmed by the subsequent feeding and X-Ray examination of a subject, similar in all respects to Margaret Jackson. Further, the report stated that examination of a number of test meal Radiograms also supported that belief. The report added that the subject woman of the experiment was personally known by Margaret Jackson's doctor and was as nearly physically similar as possible.
After the post-mortem was carried out the police and the pathologist went back to the house and made a complete search of the premises but could find no blood to indicate that Margaret Jackson had been struck anywhere else other than the bed. Also, no implement was found in the house that could have been used as the murder weapon, with the only item in the room that could have been used to inflict the wounds to her head being a small metal pepper pot that had stood on the bedroom mantelpiece which the pathologist took away for examination.
When the alarm clock was examined, it was found to have been set for 7.21.
It was noted that there was no sign of a struggle having taken place and apart from the fact that the pillows and bolster on the bed were disarranged, the bedclothes had the appearance of having been thrown back by Margaret Jackson and her husband in the ordinary way when they arose.
The police report noted that a peculiar feature in the case was that although the loose undergarments were forcibly removed, by being pulled down from the shoulders, the corsets which, when being worn were secured by five hooks and eyes, were undamaged and her bloomers bore no sign of forcible removal. The dress, which was found on Margaret Jackson's body had been completely torn on the left hand side and roughly placed over her shoulders. As such, the report stated that it was difficult to conceive why, if Margaret Jackson was lying on the bed, that certain undergarments should be forcibly removed, whilst the corsets and bloomers were removed with some care.
It was noted that no signs of forced entry were found and when an examination for finger impressions was carried out the only prints found were of two police detectives, two police sergeants and the chief inspector and that all finger prints found were accounted for. However, it was further noted that in view of the fact that thirty one police officers and twelves civilians had entered the house following the discovery of Margaret Jackson, that it might be said that had an unauthorised person entered the house, his finger impressions might have been superimposed by the numerous other persons who entered later.
The police report then went on to deal with the statements dealt with by sequence of time, starting with when the assistant milkman called at 6.30am on 10 July 1939. It was noted that the assistant milkman that called normally assisted another milkman to deliver the milk for their employer, a dairyman of Finglesham near Deal, in and around Deal. They had left the farm together with a small Austin motor delivery van and the first call was Eastwood. They were a little later than usual in leaving the farm that morning and arrived at Eastwood at about 6.30am and the assistant milkman left a pint and a half pint bottle of milk at the side door of the house, but didn't hear any sound from within. From there, they then went on to Milestone Road in Deal which was some distance from Eastwood. Then, after concluding their first delivery of milk, they again passed Eastwood at about 9.20am and then arrived back at the farm at about 9.30am, stating that nothing unusual was noted by them on their return journey.
They then washed and refilled the milk bottles with their machinery and the main milkman then left the farm on his second delivery at about 9.45am without the assistant milkman, who stayed at the farm and cleaned up. However, it was noted that it was, up until about two months ago the practice of the assistant milkman to go on both rounds and it was always he who would call at Eastwood to collect the weekly cash on the second round. It was noted that sometimes he would call at about 10am on the inward journey to Deal and at other times on the return journey to the farm at about 2pm. However, he said that whenever it was that he went, Margaret Jackson's dog would always jump up into the front room window and bark as soon as he entered the gate at the roadside and that when Margaret Jackson came to the side door in response to his knock, the dog would come out and jump around him. The assistant milkman added that he had never seen Margaret Jackson shut the dog in any room when he had been at the door with her. The assistant milkman said that he could not say definitely whether he had collected an empty bottle when he had called at 6.30am on 10 July 1939, but the police report noted that in view of the fact that on 9 July 1939 he left a quart bottle and that no such bottle was found in the house on 10 July 1939, it could be assumed that it had been collected by him.
The next thing that happened was that the postman attached to the Deal post office delivered a circular letter to Eastwood at 7.10am on Monday 10 July 1939. He said that he placed the letter through the letter box of the side door, but didn't see Margaret Jackson or her husband, or hear a dog bark. He also said that he believed that there was milk on the doorstep, but could not be definite. He said that when he next passed the house at 9.30am after completing his delivery, he saw four men engaged in tarring the footpath directly in full view of the front of Eastwood, adding that he saw no other person in the vicinity.
A miner who was employed by the Betteshanger Colliery, and who resided at 225 Mill Road in Deal said that he didn't go into work on the early shift at the pit on the Monday 10 July 1939 by reason of the fact that he had overslept. However, he said that he instead decided to carry out some repairs at his home and went to London Road, Sholden, to obtain some sand, stating that he had previously seen a lump at the side of the road on his way to and from work, just beyond Eastwood in the direction of Sandwich.
He said that just as he passed Eastwood on his cycle, he heard a scream coming from the direction of the house and then a bang, similar to somebody falling against a door with all their weight, which he said would have been around 7.30am, noting that he had passed Sholden Church at 7.25am and had looked specially at the clock to note the time which he said was his usual habit when passing.
He said that when he heard the scream and bang he looked round as he thought there had been an accident behind him and that whilst doing that his front wheel caught the side of the road and he went over the handlebars and into the hedge at the side, a point about two yards past the 30-mile speed limit sign. He added that he was certain that when he looked around he saw nothing in the roadway or elsewhere. However, he said that he did, however, after picking himself and his cycle up from the hedge, notice two men working at a road dump at the bend in London Road going towards Sandwich. He added that he also saw smoke coming from the chimney of the pitch tub where the men were working.
The miner said that he did wonder what had caused the scream and bang but said that when he could see no visible reason for it he thought no more of it until he later heard of the murder at Eastwood.
The miner said that he then went along on his bicycle along London Road towards Sandwich and shortly after met another collier coming from the pit direction and said that they stopped and spoke and then rode back together towards Deal, noting that before they arrived at Eastwood the collier looked over the hedge and remarked about a fine grey horse that was working in the field and at the same time said that the colliers front wheel caught the bank and overbalanced him but that he saved himself by putting out his left foot. The miner said that he then said to the collier, 'That's funny, I fell off on the opposite side. I thought I had heard a smash up', and said that he explained that he had heard a scream and a bang that he thought was a smash up but that nothing more of it was said, saying that they then started to talk about sand as the miner said that the lump in London Road that he had thought was sand turned out to be a lump of gravel and said that the collier then advised him on where to get some sand and said that they then parted at Sholden Church.
The miner said that he was definite that he heard the scream and bang and stated that his sole reason in not going to the police as soon as he knew of the murder was that he didn't like to do so as he could not read or write, except his own name. However, he admitted that he was advised to do so by his mates at the colliery to whom he had spoken of the matter but said that he didn't want to. The miner said that he didn't go to work on the Tuesday either, 11 July 1939, as he went with his wife, children and relations to Ramsgate for the day, but said that when he went to the pit for the early shift on the Wednesday, 12 July 1936, that he mentioned it to the man that kept the cycle store there.
The police report noted that part of the miner's statement was corroborated by the collier who had lived at 396 St Richards Road in Mongeham, who said that he had met the miner who was cycling along London Road in the direction of Sandwich whilst he was cycling in the direction of Deal, having left the colliery sometime in the region of 7am. He said that when he met the miner he said to him, 'What the b----- hell are you doing here?', to which he said the miner told him that he had overslept and that he had come out to get some sand. The collier said that he told the miner that there was no sand about on London Road, but that there were lumps of gravel and said that he told him that if he came back with him he could show him where he could get some sand.
He said that they then cycled together toward Deal and that he saw a fine grey horse working in a field at the side of the road on the left-hand side and said that as he was looking his front wheel caught the bank at the side of the road and he overbalanced but saved himself from falling by putting out his left foot. However, he said that other than that conversation he could not recall the miner telling him about falling off his cycle or about the scream and bang, but qualified that by saying that he had a very bad memory and often forgot what he had been told.
The keeper of the cycle store at Betteshanger Colliery said that she well remembered the miner telling her about hearing a scream and a bang as he passed the house where Margaret Jackson was murdered on Monday morning 10 July 1939 when he went out to get some sand. She said that she knew that it was before he went down for an early shift at 6am but could not be definite as to the day of the conversation, although she said that she remembered it was his first day on early shift. She said that she kept no records of the date the cycles were left as a fixed weekly rental was charged, and not a daily one.
The miners wife said that her husband told her some days after the Monday that he told her about the scream and bang, saying that he said, 'I have been worried over the murder affair because I have been telling some of my mates at the pit about a scream and bump I heard near the house, where the woman was murdered and on looking round I thought it was an accident and fell off my bike in the hedge. My mates at the pit wanted me to go to the police about it and tell them all about what I heard, in fact some of them wanted to go with me, but I don't want to go and be dragged into it'. She added that her husband also told her that another miner had told him to wait and see what time it was thought the woman died before going to the police, and that he had told her that he had agreed to do that.
The police report stated that they thought that there was no doubt that the miner had heard something on the morning of 10 July 1939 in the vicinity of Eastwood, and noted that he had in fact told them that if his story was false then he hoped that the Lord would never allow him to come up the pit shaft again alive, which the police report noted was of course, without comment, a serious statement for a miner to make.
Another miner who was the charge hand on the face on which the miner worked at Betteshanger Colliery said that the miner came to work on the early shift on Wednesday 12 July 1939 and spoke to him about hearing a scream and bump when passing the house on his cycle at about 7.30am on Monday 10 July 1939, and told him that when he looked round to see what the cause of it was he fell over the handlebars of his cycle and into the hedge. The charge hand said that he didn't think much of his statement and said that he more or less laughed at him but said that the miner then said, 'I would swear on it'.
However, the charge hand said that when he thought the matter over at the weekend he then spoke to the miner about what he had said on the night shift on Monday 17 July and said that when they came up on the Tuesday morning 18 July, they cycled together to London Road and said that the miner showed him where he had fallen off his cycle near to Eastwood close to the 30 mile sign and said that he then attached some importance to what the miner had told him and suggested that he should go to the police with him but said that he later suggested that he should wait until the pathologist report came out with the time of death and that if it was near the time that he had heard the scream that he should then go to the police.
The neighbour, an attendant at Betteshanger Colliery baths, who lived at De Walden on London Road, two doors away from Eastwood who knew both Margaret Jackson and her husband said that he was well acquainted with their daily habits. He said that on the Monday 10 July 1939 he arose from bed and went into his garden at the rear at 7.45am and remained there until 8am when he went into his house for breakfast and was out again by 8.15am and then remained in his garden until 9.45am. He said that during that whole time he was in his garden he had a full view of the rear of Eastwood but at no time did he see any movement in the garden or hear Margaret Jackson's dog bark.
The police report stated that it was common knowledge that the dog was very fond of barking at the least movement near the house and the neighbour said that he was confident that if the dog had been out in the garden that he would have seen or heard it. The neighbour also said that Margaret Jackson was always out and into the house in the morning after breakfast, which was between 8am and 8.30am but that on this day in question he was positive that the back door of Margaret Jackson's house was never open and that neither was her dog out of the house. He went on to say that if any person had come through the hedge that surrounded the garden of Eastwood on two sides that he would have seen them as he was working in such a position in his garden that gave him a full and clear view of the rear of the house and the garden.
A miner that lived in The Grove on London Road, Sholden, whose house was next door to Eastwood and divided by a privet hedge at the side and an open pale and wire fence in the back garden, said that he went out into his garden at the rear just before 8am on Monday 10 July 1939, and saw that the man from De Walden was in his own garden next door and spoke to him, saying that soon after they both went in for breakfast. He said that he noticed that the back door to Margaret Jackson's house was closed and that he never heard any movements from it. He said that he remained in his kitchen after breakfast reading his paper and didn't hear Margaret Jackson's dog bark or any other sounds. He said that he later went back into his own garden at 10am and said that he still saw no movement in Margaret Jackson's garden or any sound from Eastwood.
The man from The Grove said that it was his usual practice since he had been on the sick list for some time, either before or after his breakfast, to go into the garden during the morning time, and said that he remembered that during the week prior to Margaret Jackson's death he had seen Margaret Jackson and her dog in her garden.
The police report noted that it was a matter of interest that Margaret Jackson's husband knew that the man from The Grove was at home on the sick list because prior to his holidays from which he had only returned a week, he had been bring his sick pay to him from the colliery. It was further noted that when an entry was affected by thieves at Margaret Jackson's house in the later autumn of 1938, Margaret Jackson's husband had at once gone for the assistance of the man from The Grove, but that on finding his wife murdered he had not sought his help.
The wife of the man that lived at The Grove said that they had been on neighbourly terms with Margaret Jackson and her husband but that they had not been the type to make friends and were very reserved. She said that she knew that Margaret Jackson's dog had a very deep affection for Margaret Jackson as it would follow her wherever she went and that when she went off and left it alone in the house it would sit in the downstairs front room window and cry for her return. She added that the dog was a good house dog as it would bark loudly if anyone came near the premises.
The woman from The Grove said that she was also very well versed in Margaret Jackson's habits and said that, amongst others, Margaret Jackson would open her back door about breakfast time and let her dog run into the garden and to also wash up and tidy the house after her husband had gone to work. She added that she was quite positive that she never heard Margaret Jackson about on the Monday morning, 10 July 1939, or either heard her dog in the garden until a policeman called on her at about 1.15pm and said that it wasn't until the policeman had called on her that she had given the absence of Margaret Jackson and her dog any serious thought.
She later added that she could remember looking towards the back door at Eastwood whilst her husband was picking some peas for dinner at about 10am and had noticed that it was closed. She said that she then went into her house and looked out of her front room window and heard Margaret Jackson's dog bark, saying that it was the only time that she heard it bark that morning. She added that at the same time she noticed that there were some workmen tarring the footpath on the opposite side of the road. She added that it was possible that when she had heard the dog bark from the house that the milkman had been at Eastwood at the same time.
A 14-year-old newsboy employed by the newsagent and tobacconist at 17A Gladstone Road in Deal said that he had delivered The Daily Mail newspaper to Eastwood for the previous four weeks at about 8.10am, putting it through the letterbox in the side door. He said that on several occasions when he had made a delivery, Margaret Jackson's dog had been on the lawn at the back and had barked and growled at him. He said that when he delivered the newspaper on 10 July 1939 that he had not heard a sound, noting that the only people that he had seen were the roadmen with the tar boiler opposite Eastwood.
A roadman that had been in the company of his three mates working on the road said that he was engaged from 7.15am on Monday 10 July 1939 preparing to tar the footpath in London Road which commenced opposite Eastwood, and that at about 8.15am he had gone to the side door of the house for a can of water to make some tea for breakfast. He said that when he opened the gate by the roadside and saw a dog at the ground floor front window and said that as he approached it barked. He said that he then knocked on the side door and said that a fair-haired lady opened it and that when she did the dog came out and jumped around him. He said that he then asked her for some water and said that the lady asked, 'Do you want it hot or cold?' and said that he replied, 'Cold'. He said that a few minutes later she handed him his can of cold water and said that he left the house, putting the water on the fire his mates had made to boil.
He said that at 8.30am they sat down for breakfast and that just before they started they were joined by their foreman. It was noted that from the position that the roadman was sat he did not have a viewpoint of Eastwood, being sat on the grass at the junction of London Road and New Road which was opposite the house, but with his back to the house and facing down New Road. He said that after breakfast terminated he and his mates commenced tarring the path opposite the house but said that at no time did he see or hear anything unusual. He added that he was certain that he would have heard the dog if it had barked because it had made so much noise when he had gone for the water.
The works foreman said that he had visited the roadmen who were to tar the footpath for Kent County Council, commencing directly opposite Eastwood towards Deal shortly after 8am on Monday 10 July 1939, and said that he saw the roadman go off for the can of water from Eastwood at about 8.15am, noting that although he didn't see a dog, he heard one when the roadman went to the house. He said that he stayed and had his breakfast with the roadmen and said that whilst with them the only persons he saw during that period were two men who came up New Road and stood outside Eastwood. The police report stated that to remove any suspicion about them at that point, it stated that it would be seen later that they had been waiting for an omnibus going to Sandwich.
The second roadman confirmed what the first roadman had said about going for water and said that he noticed that when he went for the water the that dog had barked was in the ground floor front window. He said that when they had sat down for their breakfast that he had sat down on the grass facing across New Road to the field opposite. He said that whilst he was having his breakfast, he saw a farm bailiff who was well known to him and another man come up New Road and wait outside Eastwood for an omnibus going to Sandwich which he said they later boarded. He said that he also saw another man that he knew, only living a few doors away from him in Mount Lodge Cottages, Sholden Lane, Deal, saying that he saw him going up the lane at the side of Eastwood at about 8.35am. He also added that he didn't see Margaret Jackson's husband leave Eastwood that morning.
The third roadman said that he saw the first roadman go up to Eastwood for the water at 8.15am, saw the dog barking at the window and then shortly after saw it jumping around the roadman at the door. He said that he was a regular worker on the stretch of the road and knew Eastwood quite well and had seen the dog there on many occasions. He said that he partook of his breakfast with his work mates and had sat down facing towards Sandwich and said that about 10 minutes later, judging by the fact that he had half eaten his breakfast, which he started at 8.30am, he saw Margaret Jackson's husband leave Eastwood with his cycle and ride off towards the colliery where he knew he was employed. He said that he had seen Margaret Jackson's husband leave his house on numerous occasions to go to work at about the same time as he did on the Monday 10 July 1939. He added that he had previously seen Margaret Jackson accompany her husband into the front garden when he left for work but said that on the Monday 10 July, she didn't. He also said that he saw the two men getting on the omnibus for Sandwich shortly after 9am. He said that he knew that it was the habit of one of the men that got on the omnibus for Sandwich to go there for the market day which was held on alternate Mondays, with Monday 10 July 1939 being a market day in Sandwich. The third roadman said that during the time he was having his meal he saw no one else about and said that whilst he was later tarring the pavement opposite the house be neither saw or heard anything untoward in the vicinity of Eastwood.
The fourth roadman who was a stranger to the area said that when they finished moving their gear to London road opposite Eastwood, he heard a clock strike 8am, and said that about a quarter of an hour later the first roadman went off for water and said that he saw the dog in the window and heard it bark. He said that they then had breakfast at 8.30am and said that he had been sitting looking across New Road to the field opposite. He said that he was certain that if there had been anything unusual happening whilst he had been working in the vicinity that he would have seen or heard it.
The police report noted that all the roadmen other than the foreman were of the usual type employed in that kind or work and were somewhat droll in their manner, but said that they were quite alert and sincere, and gave good accounts of what took place within their knowledge on Monday 10 July 1939.
A deputy who lived at Burghwallis on London Road quite close to Eastwood said that he came home from Betteshanger Colliery at 7am on 10 July 1939 and that from that time onwards until about 8.30am he had been in his garden at the rear tending to his birds in an aviary. He said that at about 8.30am he went from his house and past the front of Eastwood and turned up a lane on the left that ran beside the hedge of Margaret Jackson's garden, noting that at that time he saw the roadmen were just beginning to commence their breakfast at the junction of London Road and New Road on the opposite side of the house, to go and pick green food for his birds in a nearby field. He said that as he passed he did not see or hear Margaret Jackson's dog in the garden noting that on most occasions it would try to get through the hedge to him, barking and growling the whole time. The deputy said that he was emphatic about that as he freely admitted that he was afraid that if the dog could have got through the hedge that it would have bitten him.
He said that when he got to the field where he regularly picked green food he saw a man picking peas and spoke to him. He said that he thought that he spent about a quarter of an hour in going to the field, picking green food and returning home in total and said that on his return journey he didn't see or hear anything from Eastwood but noted that the workmen were still having their breakfast.
A shop assistant who lived at 44 Circular Road in Betteshanger and who was employed at Woolworths Ltd in High Street, Deal said that she travelled to work each day on her cycle and usually passed Eastwood at about 8.25am and said that she would frequently see Margaret Jackson's husband leaving the house whilst Margaret Jackson was either standing in the garden or front ground floor window watching him leave. She even said that whenever she had seen Margaret Jackson's husband leaving the house, prior to the time that they were away on holiday, that she had always seen Margaret Jackson waving her husband away and that the dog had either been in the garden or in the window.
The shop assistant said that when she rode passed Eastwood on 10 July 1939 she didn't see Margaret Jackson or her husband and assumed that Margaret Jackson's husband had either gone to work early or was late and noted that she saw no one about other than the roadmen sitting on the opposite corner having their breakfast.
A carman who lived on Railway Terrace in Sandwich said that he passed Eastwood at about 8.30am in his motor lorry going to Deal and saw nothing to attract his attention, although he said he did see the roadmen at the side of the road near Eastwood and said that some little way past he picked up a miner who was on his way home from the colliery whose name he didn't know but had met several times whilst playing darts.
The miner that the carman picked up lived at Hill Nill in Deal and was employed at Betteshanger Colliery and had been on a night shift on 9 July 1939 and had worked overtime, coming up at 7.45am. He had a bath and change at the pit head and then walked home along London Road from the railway bridge towards Deal, noting that he could not get a conveyance at that time from the colliery as the omnibus only ran at proper shift times for the conveyance of miners to their homes. He estimated that he must have passed Eastwood before 9am noting that he had met a clerk who was cycling to work at the colliery at 8.45am. He said that when he passed Eastwood he saw the roadmen sitting and having their breakfast opposite but saw no one in the roadway outside the house. The police report noted that he must have passed Eastwood before the man who had waited there outside for the omnibus had arrived.
A greengrocer who lived in Minrose in Sholden said that he had a field at the rear of The Close, which was approached by way of the lane to the side of Eastwood. He said that at about 8.30am on 10 July 1939 he rode along London Road from the direction of Deal past Eastwood and turned into the lane at the side of the house and proceeded to his field where his man was picking peas. He said that he never heard a noise when he passed Eastwood and didn't see the dog in the garden, noting that when the dog was in the garden it used to bark at him when he went up the lane and said that he was always well aware of its presence by that means. He said that after setting his men to work, he returned down the lane past Eastwood about ten minutes later but said all was quiet there and said that if there had been a stranger about then he must have seen him.
He said that he returned to the field at about 10.30am that same day and collected the peas that his man had collected noting that the man he had picking peas for him was still busy picking peas and that from the amount that he had picked said that he must have been at work picking them the whole time from 8.30am. He added that in all that time he didn't hear a thing from the house or hear the dog bark. He said that on that second visit the roadmen had been tarring the footpath on the opposite side of the road, the Deal side of Eastwood, not far from the house.
An assistant employed at the offices of the Betteshanger Colliery Housing Department who resided at 130 Blenheim Road in Deal said that he rode his cycle, as was his usual practice, to work on the Monday morning 10 July 1939, saying that when he was 20-30 yards away from Eastwood he saw Margaret Jackson's husband riding in front of him on a cycle. He said that at that point Margaret Jackson's husband was just past his house and the assistant said that Margaret Jackson's husband then raised his left arm and waved. The assistant said then, that as he approached Eastwood he looked towards Eastwood but failed to see anyone there.
The assistant said that he then caught up with Margaret Jackson's husband about halfway along Sandwich Road and that they then rode together to the colliery, adding that they talked about cricket and tennis and said that Margaret Jackson's husband appeared to be in his usual spirits.
The assistant said that he had seen Margaret Jackson's husband wave towards his house on previous occasions and said that he was definite that he had waved that morning, and said that he was certain that Margaret Jackson's husband had not been waving to him as Margaret Jackson's husband had been looking directly at his house.
However, the police report noted at that point that in Margaret Jackson's husband’s later statement he had said that when he had left his house Margaret Jackson had been seated in the back kitchen and would therefore have been out of view from the front of the house.
A motor driver from Walmer said that he had been driving a bus from Sholden Schools which he had taken to Sandwich Central School on the morning of 10 July 1939. He said that he left Sholden Schools at 8.55am and passed Eastwood at 8.37am stating that he saw nothing unusual but did see the workmen seated opposite having their breakfast. He said that he then again passed Eastwood at 8.57am and again saw no one at Eastwood.
A schoolboy that had been on the bus going to Sandwich said that he was aware that Margaret Jackson had a dog and had seen it on a number of occasions sitting at the ground floor room window and said that if there had been anyone at Eastwood he would have seen them. He said that for the last two and a half years he had been employed during out of school hours by a market gardener to deliver and solicit orders and that he used to call on Margaret Jackson on Saturday mornings and said that he knew that Margaret Jackson called her dog Roger. He said that when he called the dog would bark and then run through to the back of the house where he used to go to meet Margaret Jackson. The schoolboy added that during the recent weather the back door was generally open, and the dog would run around in the garden. He said that on those occasions when the dog was in the garden it used to run towards him, bark and jump up on him. He added that although the dog knew him quite well owing to his continuous visits, it never failed to bark when he called.
The schoolboy said that the last time he called at Eastwood was on Saturday 8 July 1939 when he said that Margaret Jackson had been wearing a green overall. He said that on previous occasions he had seen her wearing light brown bedroom slippers but that on the Saturday 8 July he was certain that she had been wearing low heeled shoes.
Two shop assistants, both sisters, from Deal said that they used to cycle together past Eastwood daily on their way to business and said that they knew Margaret Jackson's husband by sight and usually passed him near the colliery bridge as he was on his way to work. One of the sisters said that on occasions when passing Eastwood she had seen a dog in the ground floor front window whilst the other sister said that she had often seen both the dog and Margaret Jackson in the window.
They had left together at about 8.30am on 10 July 1939 and passed Margaret Jackson's husband on the deal side of the Colliery Bridge and arrived at Eastwood at about 8.40am. They said that apart from the roadmen who were having their breakfast, they saw no other people in the vicinity. One of the sisters said that she looked directly at Eastwood as she past it and said that she was definite that there was no person in the garden or at the side door at the time and also said that the dog was not at the window. She also added that had any person other than the roadmen been in the vicinity of Eastwood at the time that she would have seen them.
The senior wages clerk at Bettesahnger Colliery said that Margaret Jackson's husband was employed at the colliery as a wages clerk and had a weekly wage of £3.17.6.
He said that Margaret Jackson's husband arrived at the office on 10 July 1939 at 8.46am and then left for lunch at 12.45pm. He said that throughout the morning they worked closely together and said that other than perhaps being a little quieter than usual, Margaret Jackson's husband appeared to be normal. He said that he attributed Margaret Jackson's husband’s quietness to the fact that Margaret Jackson's husband had been doing the work of another employee at the time. He noted that Margaret Jackson's husband didn't associate with other employees other than the fact that he and Margaret Jackson used to play tennis with the club once or twice a week. He said that to his knowledge, Margaret Jackson was of a retiring nature.
A 10-year-old boy who lived at The Close, which was also known as The Bungalow, in Sholden, said that he had breakfast with his mother and father at 8.30am and then left for school at 8.50am and in doing so passed Eastwood. He said that he didn't see anyone go into or come out of the garden there or see their dog but did say that he saw the roadmen having breakfast.
A newsboy from Middle Street said that he delivered newspapers in the Sholden district and that he went up New Road from Sholden to London Road at about 8.58am on the Monday 10 July 1939 and saw the roadmen sitting on the verge at the junction having their breakfast and said that he saw no one enter or leave Eastwood, but said that he didn't deliver any papers there.
A housewife from The Poplars on London Road which was near to Eastwood said that she left with her little son to go to her dressmaker and said that she passed Eastwood but didn't see or hear anyone at Eastwood although she said that she did see the roadmen eating their breakfast and said that she said good morning to them as she passed. She said that when she returned home at about 10am she came back by another route and walked up London Road from the direction of Deal and didn't see any strangers about but said that by that time the roadmen were tarring the footpath outside her house which was about forty five yards from Eastwood.
The farm bailiff from Sholden Farm said that he made a regular habit of attending Sandwich Market, which was held on alternative Mondays and had gone to wait for the omnibus to Sandwich with his grandson. He said that he left his house in a horse and float at about 8.55am and left the float in New Road just before he reached the roadmen who were sitting on the verge and then waited for the 9.15am omnibus outside Eastwood which was a recognised stopping place. However, he said that after standing there for about ten minutes sheltering from the wind which was blowing down the side of the lane they decided to move up the London Road in the Sandwich direction to await it stopping as the tar boiler was on the opposite corner to Eastwood and with an omnibus stopping on the other side it would have caused an obstruction. He said that as he left he looked at his watch and saw that it was 9.10am and noticed that two of the roadmen had commenced work and thought to himself that they had taken an extra ten minutes to breakfast. He added that just before that the occupier of The Close spoke to him. He said that he was well aware of Margaret Jackson's dog as she had bought eggs from him some time ago and said that whilst he was waiting outside Eastwood he didn't see the dog or even hear a sound from the house. He said that when he got back from Sandwich market, arriving at Eastwood at about 11.45am he walked down New Road to his farm and again saw or heard nothing from Eastwood.
A farmer from chequers Court Farm said that he had driven past Eastwood at about 9am and saw nothing, saying that he had driven that route for years and was quite certain that he would have noticed any strange people hanging about.
A conductor on the East Kent Road Car Company omnibus said that he had been on duty that day on the Deal to Margate route and said that he first passed through Sholden aat 9.05am and didn't pick up or set anyone down. He said that he returned at 10.49am and again didn't pick up or drop anyone off.
A carrier passed along the London Road in his horse and cart on his way to Sandwich at about 9.10am on 10 July 1939 and said that before reaching Eastwood he saw a man apparently waiting for a bus who the police believe was no doubt the man they had given the statement saying that he had been waiting for a bus. The carrier said that he then saw the man and his grandson standing outside Eastwood an also some workmen brushing the footpath opposite, but said that he saw nothing else that would call for his attention.
The man from The Close on London Road said that he got up at 7.50am and fed his chickens and then went in for breakfast and stayed in until about 9.15am. He said that he then went to the end of the lane and saw the man and his grandson waiting for the omnibus and spoke to them and then saw the roadmen starting to work after which he went back to his garden and commenced picking raspberries, saying that in all the time he was up and down the lane he didn't hear a dog bark. He said that after he heard about the murder he examined the evergreen hedge that ran along between the garden of Eastwood and the lane leading to The Close at 3.30pm on 10 July 1939 and said that he was definite that no person had entered the grounds through that route, noting that everything was undisturbed. He also added that during the time that he was working in his garden amongst his raspberries, he had a full view of the upper side windows of Eastwood, and said that if the electric light had been burning that he was of the firm opinion that he would have seen it and the police report noted that a further experiment was carried out and it was found that the light was easily visible from where he had been working. He also said that he knew there was an electric light in the landing window as he had seen it switched on and off before in the dark evenings.
He also said that he left his bungalow at 11am to go into Deal and returned at 1.45pm and again, when he left he saw or heard nothing from Eastwood.
His wife, who was the assistant librarian of the Free Lending Library held at Sholden School said that Margaret Jackson and her husband were members and that she had last seen Margaret Jackson at the library on 8 June 1939. She also said that she knew that Margaret Jackson had a dog and said that it was always barking when people passed and said that she could even hear it inside her bungalow. She said that she got up at 8am with her husband and son and remained in the house until about 9.45am confined to her duties and then went out to help her husband with the raspberries in the garden until 10am and said that during that time she never heard anything from Eastwood. She also said that she was of the opinion that if the electric light had been burning in Eastwood that she would have seen it, especially when she was hanging out some washing at 11am and the police report states that it was a significant fact that when she went to the corner of her bungalow after the police had called on her at 1.30pm on 10 July 1939 that she immediately saw the electric light was burning on the landing and thought that it had been put on by the police who were at the house at the time.
An omnibus driver employed by the East Kent Road Car Company said that he started his first journey from Deal at about 9am and picked up the man and his grandson at London Road, close to Eastwood at about 9.10am on 10 July 1939 and dropped them at Sandwich. He said that the only other person he picked up or dropped off in the vicinity of Sholden was on his second journey from Deal to Margate at 11.20am when he set a lady down at Sholden who had come from Deal.
A coach driver from the East Kent Road Car Company said that he left his garage at 8.10am and drove empty to Finglesham Corner on the London Road where he picked up some children and then on his return journey to Deal from Sandwich he passed Eastwood at about 9.10am and said that he saw nothing unusual or anyone hanging about but did sea the roadmen working near Sholden Paddock.
Additionally, a farmer from Each Farm in Ash near Canterbury said that he drove past Eastwood at about 9.15am and then repassed at 9.50am on 10 July 1939 and on neither occasion did he see or hear anything unusual.
A town planner from Lemar on the London Road said that on 10 July 1939 at about 9.15am he stood outside on the footway about 100 yards on the Deal side of Eastwood and after about 2 or 3 minutes he caught an omnibus that took him to Sandwich and that when he passed Eastwood he saw no persons in the vicinity.
A journalist who lived in Gilford Road, Deal said that he passed Eastwood in his Austin Seven car between 9.15am and 9.30am on 10 July 1939 and said that he only saw some workmen on the path.
Margaret Jackson's husbands’ brother, a metal turner who lived in Clay Cross who was on holiday at Betteshanger and staying with his other brother on Circular Road in Betteshanger said that on 10 July 1939 in the company of his young lady they passed Eastwood at about 9.15am riding their cycles and said that when they were opposite they both rang their cycle bells to attract Margaret Jackson's attention but said that they didn't hear her or her dog, but noted that there were men tarring the footpath outside on the other side of the road to Eastwood. He said that they left again at 12.30pm and that when they passed again he rang his cycle bell again and saw that the dog was at the ground floor front window looking into the front garden towards the road. He said that they then continued cycling and that when they were at Pit Lane they saw Margaret Jackson's husband, his brother, cycling towards them in the direction of his home and said that they all dismounted and had a conversation, noting that the time was about 12.45pm. He said that Margaret Jackson's husband, his brother, appeared in his usual spirits and that after a few minutes they continued on their respective journeys.
Margaret Jackson's husbands brother said that shortly after 2pm he got a message to go to Eastwood with his other brother which they did and said that they then saw Margaret Jackson's husband, his brother at Ingleside, his neighbours house, saying he seemed distressed and said that he said to him, 'It's Margaret. She's dead. Somebody's done it'. The brother noted that Margaret Jackson's husband, his brother, had the dog with him.
The brother said that he was of the opinion that if a stranger had called at Eastwood then the dog would have barked.
He said that on the previous evening he and his young lady had been to Eastwood where they had partaken of supper with Margaret Jackson and her husband, his brother in the front room saying that they ate bread and cheese and drank tea and later left at 10.15pm. He said that Margaret Jackson and her husband where on quite happy terms when they left an that they all made arrangements for another reunion on Saturday 15 July 1939.
The brother's young lady corroborated his story about ringing their cycle bells as they passed Eastwood and later stopping with Margaret Jackson's husband and having a short conversation. She added that when they left Eastwood after their supper their the previous night that the crockery had not yet been washed up and said that Margaret Jackson and her husband were on happy terms.
An Automobile Association Scout who was on duty on the London Road said that at about 9.30am he stopped on the London Road about 15 to 20 yards past Eastwood and spoke to the roadmen who were tarring the footpath outside the house. He said that he spoke to the roadmen and then went off to purchase some matches for them near Upper Deal Church and gave them to them when he returned at about 9.50am. He said that he then turned his motorcycle around in the direction of Deal and proceeded to Mongeham where an accident had taken place.
It was then at 9.50am that the milkman called again at 9.50am to collect the account for the previous week at Eastwood. He said that when he got to the gate the dog jumped up into the ground floor front room window and barked. He said that he heard barking before the dog appeared in the window and said that he was certain that the dog had run into the room from another part of the house and that the barking had grown louder as it had come to the window. He said that he went up the path and to the side door as usual and knocked but not no reply. He said then that he noticed for the first time that the end of a key was protruding through the keyhole of the lower lock of the door and came to the conclusion that Margaret Jackson must be in and knocked two or three times more. He said that during the time that he was waiting for a reply he heard the dog pass the door and his barking gradually faded away and stopped. He said that he defined the stopping of the barking as a natural one and not that of a dog being chastised to stop.
He said that when he got no reply he left and that to his surprise the dog didn't come back to the front window to watch out of the gate as was its usual practice. He added that he was quite certain that the dog had the run of the house at the time and was not closed in the front room. The milkman said that when the weather was fine the dog had been running in the garden between 9.30am and 10am, usually when he called for his account on Saturdays, saying that it used to run and jump round him in a friendly manner. However, he said that when it was in the house it would always run to the front ground floor window as soon as he touched the gate and bark and further that when Margaret Jackson had paid him, which had always been at the side door, he had never seen the front room door closed which was directly opposite the side door.
A woman that had been visiting her mother who lived at Gregrec on London Road said that on the morning of 10 July 1939 she had taken her mother's dog for a walk at 10am, intending to do some shopping in Deal. She said that when she went past Eastwood she didn't see anything to attract her attention but did notice the roadmen tarring the path. She said that she went halfway down New Road and then came back again and that when she was passing Eastwood that time she noticed the dog in the ground floor front window. She said that she was certain that the dog had not been in the window the first time as she said that she was in the habit of looking to see if the dog was there whenever she passed the house as she was aware of its fondness for sitting there.
The proprietor of Highways, a garage said that he drove past Eastwood at about 10am and returned past at 11.15am on 10 July 1939 with his wife and didn't notice anyone in the vicinity of the house. He said that he qualified himself as to the powers of his observation by the fact that he was always on the alert in case anyone should step into the roadway when he was driving his car.
A grocers roundsman said that he stopped near Eastwood at about 10.30am to allow some coaches containing soldiers to pass and said that he saw the men tarring the road but saw no one hanging about or see a dog in the window.
An oil merchant said that he passed Eastwood at 10.30am and didn't see anything unusual. He said that he knew the neighbours as he served them and had previously seen Margaret Jackson with her dog in the garden on other occasions.
A married woman from Gregrec on London Road said that she came home from a shopping expedition in Deal at about 1pm on 10 July 1939 and that as soon as she arrived home she took her dog for a walk past Eastwood and up the lane at the side of the house. She said that when she passed she saw nothing to attract her attention and said that after she had got about 100 yards down the lane she turned round and went back. She said that when she was just opposite the side door of the house she heard it bang, saying, 'Like one big slam', and then heard running footsteps and looked up at the side windows and saw that the electric light was burning and said that it came to her mind to call out that the light had been left on. She said that the hedge was too thick for her to see who it was who had slammed the door, but said that when she got to London Road she saw Margaret Jackson's husband just turning into Ingleside, a house some yards down the road. She said that the address he had gone into was the local Rate Collector's office and said that it struck her that he was going to pay his rates during his lunch time and conjectured that he would be unlucky for his rebate as that had expired on 20 June 1939 when Margaret Jackson and her husband were on holiday. She said that there was no other sound from the house and said that the dog was not barking.
She said that she knew Margaret Jackson and her husband well by sight and had come to the conclusion that the reason that they didn't make friends was because they considered themselves slightly superior to miners. However, she said that she thought that Margaret Jackson was a strong type of woman and not a person that could easily be taken advantage of and said that she always appeared to be very fond of her husband.
She said that she had often seen Margaret Jackson's husband leave for work in the morning at about 8.30am when she had been in her front bedroom drawing the curtains and also seen him returning home for dinner at about 1pm and said that she was of the opinion that he must have been in the house on the 10 July 1939 when she had walked past with her dog.
The woman at Ingleside where Margaret Jackson's husband went for help said that she had been sitting in her office at the side of the house when the bell rang. She said that she got up and opened the door and saw Margaret Jackson's husband standing there in the doorway in a somewhat dazed condition holding his head with his right hand.
She said that he spoke first and said, 'Oh! Will you please ring up for the police and doctor?, I have just come home for dinner, could not find my wife downstairs'. She said that he then stumbled in the doorway, still with his hand to his head and that she then said to him, 'Do please sit down', noting that he appeared to be almost collapsing. She said that he then sat on a chair just inside the door and continued, 'I went upstairs found her lying on the bed with her clothes all ripped off her and terrible wounds in the head and I do not know whether she is alive or dead'. It was noted that he might have said 'Bashed in the head' instead of 'terrible wounds in the head'.
The woman said that she then asked Margaret Jackson's husband 'Who is your doctor?' and that he replied, 'Any doctor will do. My wife has no doctor, but my doctor is Dr ----'. She said that she then asked him if he would ring and said that he replied 'No, will you?'. She said that she then rang the police and then immediately after called for the first doctor that she could think of who was another doctor. She said that after she finished telephoning, Margaret Jackson's husband said, 'I must be getting back' and said that when she asked him, 'Do you want me to come along?' that he replied to the effect that he would. She said that she also enquired if he would like anything, but said that Margaret Jackson's husband left, saying, 'I would rather get back'. The woman said that after Margaret Jackson's husband left she went to her cupboard and took a bottle of sal volarile and followed up behind him to Eastwood.
She said that when she arrived at Eastwood she found Margaret Jackson's husband sitting on a chair just inside the kitchen door. She said that she didn't see the dog or hear it barking. She said that she then asked Margaret Jackson's husband if she could use a glass that was in the centre of the kitchen table and then said, 'Where can I find a spoon?', and said that Margaret Jackson's husband then got up and took a spoon from the cupboard near the sink and that she then made some sal volarile which he then drank.
The woman said that she noticed that there were blue cups, saucers and dishes partly washed up and on the draining board and dirty water in the basin in the sink and remarked to Margaret Jackson's husband that his wife had not finished washing up . She said that she also noted that there was a pail containing clean water standing in front of the kitchen fireplace and said to him, 'What's the pail of water for?' and said that he replied, 'Oh! That's what she boils her clothes in, she was going washing this morning'. She said that the water was perfectly clean and that she didn't see any clothing lying in the kitchen for washing.
The woman then asked Margaret Jackson's husband 'Do you know any trades people who would call?' and said that he replied, 'She makes her own bread, but the man who did the tarring outside called for some water before I left this morning. She was expecting Steed's milkman to call, because she had got to pay him. She did not pay him on Saturday and she told me she would pay him this morning, that is the reason the dog was shut away in the room because when she had to pay money out that would take a little time, she would always shut the dog away'. She said that she then asked what room his wife was in and then asked him if he had not better lie down, and said that at that moment there was a knock at the door which she answered and found that it was the police who she let in and then took to the front bedroom on the first floor where Margaret Jackson was lying dead on the bed.
She said that she then noticed that the landing light was burning and that there were a pair of steps to the left-hand side of the bedroom door. She added that Margaret Jackson's husband stayed downstairs and did not go into the bedroom.
She said that the bed was unmade, and that Margaret Jackson was lying on it with her head to the foot of the bed and her feet to the pillows, more or less obliquely across the bed. She said that she was practically unclothed except for a torn dress that was round her neck and shoulder and was lying face down on the eiderdown. The woman, who was a member of the local nursing association, also added that Margaret Jackson's hair was matted with blood but that she could not see the actual wound.
The police report noted that it was worth pointing out that when Margaret Jackson's husband had arrived at Ingleside to ask for help from the woman that he had said that Margaret Jackson, 'had terrible wounds in the head', and noted that it seemed somewhat strange that in his quick perception of his wife lying on the bed he had seen that whilst when a woman, more or less a trained nurse, did not see the wound when she viewed the her body.
The woman then went back downstairs and as the doctor had not arrived, the police requested that she call again and she went home and did so and then returned immediately after. The woman said that when she then went into the front downstairs room she saw Margaret Jacksons husband sitting on the couch holding the dog with a lead and that when she told him that the doctor had arrived said that he said, 'She had no enemies, I cannot think who could have done it'. Shortly after, when the doctor went into the room, Margaret Jackson's husband asked him whether she was dead, and the doctor replied, 'Oh yes, she has been dead some time'. The woman said that Margaret Jackson's husband then sort of swayed and that she pulled him down into a chair.
Margaret Jackson's husband then said, 'I will have to let them know at the colliery about my going back to work' and the woman asked him, 'Where do I ring up at the colliery?', and Margaret Jackson's husband replied, '603 and ask for the man'. The woman said that she then went back to her house and called the number that Margaret Jackson's husband had given her but found that it was wrong but managed however to make contact with the colliery and told them and then returned with some tea for Margaret Jackson's husband at Eastwood. Margaret Jackson's husband then said, 'I ought to let my relations know', but that was differed on the advice of the police.
The woman then took Margaret Jackson's husband and the dog back to her house and made him a steak and chips. He then called his brother at the colliery and his two brothers later came down and they went into the garden.
The woman later made Margaret Jackson's husband and his brothers some supper which comprised of two fillets of plaice, bread and butter and coffee. She said that Margaret Jackson's husband ate all of his and remarked, 'I have done better than my brothers. I have eaten mine', to which the woman said, 'I am glad'.
Margaret Jackson's husband later left with his brothers at 10.30pm by which time the woman said that he had more or less recovered but said that at no time did he shed any tears from the time that he came for help at 1pm until leaving. The woman said that she specially noticed that and said that she told his brothers that if he did cry, to let him do so as it would relieve his feelings.
When Margaret Jackson's husband went to the police station on 22 July 1939 and gave a statement he said that he had been employed as a wages clerk by Pearson and Dorman Ltd at Betteshanger Colliery since November 1930. He said that during his first four years there he had been courting Margaret Jackson and that when they got married on 15 November 1934 they went to live at Eastwood which he purchased through the Abbey Road Building Society. He said that since their marriage they had made no close friends apart from his brother in Betteshanger and they never visited other people’s houses in the district and neither had other people visited Eastwood. He said that both he and Margaret Jackson were members of the Peardorn Sports Club tennis section but that other than playing tennis they took no active part in the social side of the club.
He said that it was not his practice to give Margaret Jackson a regular weekly housekeeping allowance saying that instead Margaret Jackson asked for money when needed to defray housekeeping bills. He said that on Thursday 6 July 1939 he had given Margaret Jackson 25s and that to his knowledge, she had gone shopping on the Friday 7 and Saturday 8 July. The police report noted that the only money found in the house apart from a sixpence found on the bedroom carpet was the sum of 3. 1 1/4 that had been placed on the kitchen mantlepiece in readiness for the milkman.
Margaret Jackson's husband said that it was their usual practice to get up at about 7.45am and said that an alarm clock was utilised to awaken them. he said that on 10 July 1939 the alarm clock went off at 7.30am and that they remained in bed until 7.50am and then got up together. He said that he then went downstairs first and prepared his shaving water and was joined shortly after by Margaret Jackson. He said that at 7.55am he then proceeded to the bathroom which adjoined the bedroom and that whilst carrying out his ablutions he heard Margaret Jackson chopping wood at the back of the house, which signified to him that she had been to the top of the garden. He said that it was her practice to prepare breakfast whilst he was washing.
He said that whilst he was washing he heard a knock at the side door which was answered by Margaret Jackson. He said that he didn't hear what the caller said but said that he heard Margaret Jackson say, 'Do you want it hot or cold?', and assumed that one of the workmen, whom he had seen preparing to tar the footpath opposite when he had got up, was asking for water.
He said then, that after completing his toilet, he proceeded to the bedroom and folded his pyjamas and then dressed, arriving downstairs for breakfast at 8.15am with his wife. He said that he had Kellogg’s corn flakes, an egg, bread and butter whilst Margaret Jackson had Kellogg’s flakes, bread and marmalade, adding that they both had tea.
He said that he then finished his breakfast at 8.30am and left the table whilst Margaret Jackson remained seated feeding the dog.
He said that he then kissed his wife and procured his cycle from the store room adjoining the front room and left the house by way of the side door. The police report noted again that the man on the cycle had said that he had seen Margaret Jackson's husband wave towards the house when he left, which the report stated was a peculiar action in view of the fact that Margaret Jackson had been seated entirely out of view of the road at the time.
Margaret Jackson's husband said that for the past two years they had had an Irish terrier and said that if the door was open it would follow him to the gate and watch him out of sight. He also said that the dog would sit for hours daily at the ground floor front window and that if any person approached the house it would bark loudly and would in fact bark when he entered the gate. He also said that the dog was greatly attached to Margaret Jackson and was sure that it would attack any person that interfered with her, it having, he said, on occasions gripped hold of his clothing when he had played with his wife. He said that the dog was never trained to defend Margaret Jackson, saying that it seemed a natural instinct for it to.
He said that he had ridden a short distance towards Betteshanger when he was joined by another man riding to work and said that they then rode together.
He said that prior to his leaving home, Margaret Jackson had intimated that she intended washing that day, but had not made any preparations to do so.
He said that he arrived at the colliery at 8.45am and then carried on his duties until 12.45am at which time he proceeded home for lunch, noting that he met his brother on the way and had a short conversation with him.
He said that when he arrived home he entered the house by way of the back door and that to his surprise he discovered that dinner was not laid. He said that having seen the dog at the front room window when he entered the gate he concluded that Margaret Jackson was in that room, the door of which was shut. The police report noted at that point that it should be remembered that the milkman said he called at 9.50am, and said that he thought that the dog had had the run of the house.
Margaret Jackson's husband said that when he failed to find Margaret Jackson in that room he closed the door and called from the foot of the stairs, 'Carrots', which was Margaret Jackson's nickname, but received no reply. He said that he then ascended the stairs and noticed a pair of steps, which were usually kept in a store room off the kitchen, leaning against the door post between the front bedroom and bathroom, and noted that all the doors on the upper floor were open.
He said that when he then entered the front bedroom he saw Margaret Jackson lying face downwards on the bed with her face buried in the eiderdown, with evidence of blood in her hair. He also said that with the exception of the remains of some clothing round her neck that she was naked. He said that when he walked to the far, or window side of the bed he touched her left leg and found it to be quite cold and said that when he then endeavoured to lift her from the shoulders, he touched her left shoulder and found it to be warm.
He said that he suspected foul play and realised that she needed assistance and dashed downstairs and noticed that the lavatory and landing lights were burning. He said that he then left the house by the side door and proceeded to Ingleside and sought the assistance of the woman there in obtaining the services of the police and a doctor after which he returned to Eastwood, stating that at that time he did not know whether or not his wife was dead.
He said that he then returned to the bedroom and tried to move his wife's face out of the eiderdown, at which time he noticed a wound on her left temple, whereupon he let the eiderdown roll back on to her face an left the room, leaving her in the exact position as when he had found her upon arriving home from work, adding that he had touched nothing whatever in the room.
He said that he had noticed no disorder in the house, saying that everything appeared to be in its normal position, there being no sign of a struggle having taken place.
He said that as far as he was aware, the only person due to call at Eastwood that day, 10 July 1939, was the milkman.
He said that he could offer no explanation as to why the steps had been upstairs, adding that Margaret Jackson had no reason to use them and that whoever had removed them from the storeroom had done so with care, and not hurriedly, because he noticed that nothing in the storeroom had been disturbed.
He said that whilst he was seated in the kitchen after his second visit to the bedroom and awaiting the arrival of the woman from Ingleside, he noticed that the pots and crockery were half washed up and that a bucket of clean water stood ready on the hearth to be placed on the fire for the purpose of washing. He said that that indicated that Margaret Jackson had been interrupted in her work within half-an-hour of his leaving home and that she had been attacked at 9am. He said that he arrived at that conclusion owing to the fact that Margaret Jackson was very regular in her domestic habits and that, as soon as he left home for work, she would commence washing up.
Margaret Jackson's husband said that in re-constructing the occurrence, he thought that it was likely that she had arrived at the state of wiping the cream jug which was on the kitchen table, and then, being desirous of relieving herself, proceeded to the lavatory for that purpose. He then said that whilst she was in the lavatory some person had entered the house by way of the back door, and then proceeded upstairs with intent to steal. He said then, that in all probability that the intruder then met Margaret Jackson as she was leaving the lavatory and took her to the bedroom. He said that upon seeing the man, Margaret Jackson would have been dumbstruck, thus having no power to scream or defend herself at that moment, but added that as soon as the man would have started to use violence, Margaret Jackson would have resisted to the best of her ability.
Margaret Jackson's husband noted that his theory did not account for the movements of the dog and said that he could only suggest that it was taken unawares whilst in the ground floor front room and was closed in by the intruder.
The police report noted that it it was a strange coincidence that whereas the dog was always most active when all local residents or tradesmen called, that it should be caught unawares by an intruder who, to gain access to the side or back door, must have passed through the gate.
The police report also stated that Margaret Jackson's husband's re-construction of the crime was rather amazing in view of the fact that it was similar in detail to their re-construction with the exception that the 'intruder' was none other than Margaret Jackson's husband himself.
The police report noted that owing to the absence of a visible or known motive, widespread enquiries were made respecting the relationship between Margaret Jackson and her husband, and that it was established that to all outward appearance they were a devoted couple who had made no friends in the Deal or Betteshanger district. The report noted that the only people who had visited them or who they had visited were relatives who lived in Betteshanger.
The police report noted that a house to house enquiry was made in order to ascertain whether any strange persons had made any calls in the Sholden district on the morning of 10 July 1939 with a negative result. It also stated that all tradesmen had been interviewed and their movements accounted for and that no strange people had been seen in the vicinity of Eastwood during that morning.
The police report noted that although it was not possible at that time to suggest why Margaret Jackson's husband might have committed the crime in the absence of motive, it was thought that it may well be that he was unable to satisfy his sexual desires, it being obvious that Margaret Jackson did not intend to become pregnant in view of the fact that a box containing a sponge pessary, a cap pessary, a box containing soluble pessaries, a vaginal spray, a vaginal enema and an instrument for testing sheaths was found in the house.
The police report noted that a peculiar feature regarding the conduct of Margaret Jackson's husband was that he was able to take a complete stock of the house, position of various utensils and then re-construct the crime.
The report also noted another peculiar feature respecting Margaret Jackson's husband's reconstruction of the crime and that was the fact that he had said that his wife, 'desiring to relieve herself proceeded to the lavatory for this purpose', and stated that it should be remembered that at the post mortem examination that Margaret Jackson's bladder was found to be empty, tending to show that she was murdered immediately after evacuation. The report then stated therefore that Margaret Jackson's husband it seemed knew that Margaret Jackson had gone to the lavatory and that his statement was not one of mere assumption.
The report also stated that it was also obvious from the evidence at their disposal that no strange person visited the house after the husband had left, for if that had been the case, there was no doubt that the dog would have been disturbed and heard by the roadmen.
The report stated that assuming that Margaret Jackson and her husband commenced their breakfast at 8.15am, then from the pathologists findings Margaret Jackson would have been dead at 8.30am and at the very latest 8.45am. The report also stated that in view of the fact that the alarm clock had been set to ring at 7.21am, then it was reasonable to suppose that, particularly as Margaret Jackson intended to do some washing that day, that they had arose earlier than 7.50am as stated by Margaret Jackson's husband, and that breakfast was taken earlier than 8.15am.
The report noted that Margaret Jackson's husband’s view was that whilst Margaret Jackson had been in the lavatory and intruder had entered the house, proceeded upstairs with intent to steal. The report stated that in respect to that supposition nothing was found missing from the house, it being obvious from examination made of the premises that no effort had been made to steal. It also stated that it was also very obvious that it would be impossible for an intruder to catch the dog unawares and close it into a room without it making the slightest noise. The report noted that the husband’s statement to the effect that the dog was shut in the front room was contradicted by the milkman who had stated that it appeared to him that the dog had had a complete run of the house when he had gone to collect his money. The report then stated that it could be assumed that when the milkman had heard the dog go out of hearing that Margaret Jackson's husband had been standing at the door and that the dog had then gone up to the bedroom.
The report also further stated that if the evidence of the miner was accepted who had heard the bump and scream, that it was possible that the sound he had heard was caused by Margaret Jackson being knocked on a hard surface, whereby she received a bruise found by the pathologist on the left lung. It further stated that if the evidence of the man that had seen Margaret Jackson's husband waving to his house before cycling off with him to the colliery was accepted then it would appear that Margaret Jackson's husband had waved to the house with a view to establishing an alibi intimating to any person who saw him that he was waving to someone in the house.
The report also added that although Margaret Jackson's husband had stated that Margaret Jackson was gentle and sensitive and would have been scared if anyone had attacked her, and incapable of putting up much resistance, the doctor had stated that Margaret Jackson was definitely not of the timid or nervous disposition and rather was one of the type who, if given opportunity, would offer strong resistance if attacked.
The report also stated that after a quantity of blood stained bed clothing, two towels and a handkerchief were given to a doctor for examination, the bed clothes and one of the towels was found to have been stained with blood group 4, which was Margaret Jackson's blood group, and that blood stains found on a handkerchief was stained with blood group 2, which was that of Margaret Jackson's husband, although the doctor could assist no further than that.
The police noted that enquiries were made with a view to tracing all persons, cyclists, bus drivers and car drivers who had passed Eastwood during the morning of 10 July 1939 and stated that of the numerous persons interviewed, none were able to say that they had seen or heard anything unusual that morning.
The police stated that in view of the fact that Margaret Jackson's husband had stated that he had left home at 8.33am and that he had arrived at work at 8.46am, they caused tests to be made and timed a policeman who at 8.35am on 14 July 1939, left Eastwood and cycled at a normal pace to the main offices at Betteshanger colliery and found that the journey took him exactly 9 minutes, the distance being registered by his cyclometer as being 1 mile 1408 yards. The policeman then left the colliery and cycled back to Eastwood at 8.45am, but that time by using the main road, and said that that that journey took 11 1/2 minutes and that the distance was 2 miles and 30 yards.
The police included in their investigation a visit to Betteshanger colliery offices and interviewed the chief clerk there and the senior wages clerk, who examined the work that Margaret Jackson's husband had carried out that morning and found that it compared very favourably with the the work that Margaret Jackson's husband had previously carried out.
The report noted in conclusion a peculiar feature respecting Margaret Jackson's husbands conduct, that being his cool indifference shown relative to his position. The report noted that on the way to the police station after his arrest, Margaret Jackson's husband had conversed freely respecting the early crops of fruit and wheat etc and made no reference to the charge that had been made against him. It also noted that when he was charged, he then immediately asked for and was supplied with a meal which consisted of bread and butter, pastry and tea which he was said to have consumed in a perfectly normal manner and shewed no trace of anxiety or emotion.
Margaret Jackson's husband was acquitted of the murder of Margaret Jackson on 9 September 1939 after the bench at Canterbury Police Court decided that the prosecution had not made out a prima facie case against Margaret Jackson's husband. He was then discharged.
The court heard that anyone could have entered the house without being seen at the vital time. Evidence was also heard of the remote possibility that Margaret Jackson's husband had committed the murder with medical evidence revealing that there was only 6 minutes left in the timetable for Margaret Jackson to have finished eating her breakfast and to have been murdered, before her husband had left the house.
The defence stated that when many of the witnesses were cross examined regarding not seeing anyone entering Eastwood, many of them told a different story, saying that they were not looking at the vital period and that anyone could have gone in and they would not have noticed.
The defence said that Margaret Jackson was alive when she was seen by the roadman at 8.15am and also at 8.20am when she had brought the water out, at which time breakfast was not thought to have been started, and that there was a remote possibility that her husband could have killed her between then and when he left for work at 8.33am. However, other medical evidence stated that Margaret Jackson had died about 30 minutes after her breakfast which the defence said meant that it was impossible that Margaret Jackson's husband could have killed her.
The court asked that if there was only suspicion was that enough to place Margaret Jackson's husband on trial. It was then heard that if the case did go to trial that it was clear that a jury would have some doubt in their minds and said that it was their duty therefore to acquit Margaret Jackson's husband.
Margaret Jackson's husband had claimed his innocence throughout and said that he had complained of tramps, stating that he was apprehensive ever since their house had been broken into ten months earlier.
Margaret Jackson was buried in Clay Cross, Derbyshire on Friday 14 July. She was buried in the grave of her grandparents and aunt.
see National Archives - MEPO 3/810, DPP 2/670
see Dundee Courier - Saturday 19 August 1939
see Derby Daily Telegraph - Saturday 09 September 1939
see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Thursday 17 August 1939
see Dover Express - Friday 15 September 1939
see Western Daily Press - Saturday 15 July 1939
see Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 12 July 1939
see Liverpool Echo - Thursday 13 July 1939
see Hull Daily Mail - Friday 08 September 1939
see Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Saturday 12 August 1939 (with pictures of Margaret Newton Jackson and husband)
see Daily Herald - Thursday 13 July 1939 (with picture of step ladder)
see Lincolnshire Echo - Wednesday 12 July 1939
see Nottingham Evening Post - Friday 18 August 1939
see Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald - Friday 25 August 1939