Date: 10 Dec 1934
Violet Kathleen Woolmington was shot by her 21-year-old husband.
The husband was convicted of her murder and sentenced to death but his conviction was quashed when it was heard that the judge had made an error when he told the jury that the onus was on her husband to prove that the shooting of his wife was accidental.
Violet Woolmington's husband was a farm labourer.
He shot her at her mother's house in Milborne Port on 10 December 1934.
The husband said that he had lived happily with Violet Woolmington whilst they were at his mother's but that Violet Woolmington left him on 29 November 1934 after which he said that he did all he could to persuade her to come back.
The husband said that he thought that on 9 December 1934 he would give it another shot an said, 'I took a gun from the barn of the farmer, my employer, and sawed the barrels off. I went to my wife and threatened that if she would not comeback, I would shoot myself, and I demonstrated with the gun to show her. I unbuttoned my overcoat and brought the gun up across my waist. The gun went off. It was the greatest shock of my life'.
At the trial, the prosecution said that after Violet Woolmington and her husband were married in August 1934 they went off to live in a cottage at Oburne on the farm that the husband worked on. However, Violet Woolmington left on 29 November 1934 and went to live with her mother in New Town, Milborne Port, and refused to return because they had had differences. The prosecution noted that although Violet Woolmington was not living at her husband’s cottage at the time, there had been no separation by order of a court.
The prosecution said that an aunt of Violet Woolmington, who lived next door to Violet Woolmington's mother, said that she heard Violet Woolmington's voice in the house and afterwards the report of a gun. She said that she then saw Violet Woolmington's husband riding off on his bicycle. She said that she then found Violet Woolmington in the front room of her house dead on the floor.
The medical evidence concluded that Violet Woolmington had died from a gunshot wound in the region of the heart.
see National Archives - HO 144/19946
see Hull Daily Mail - Wednesday 17 April 1935
see Gloucester Citizen - Friday 15 February 1935
see Western Daily Press - Tuesday 21 May 1935
see Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Saturday 22 December 1934