Unsolved Murders

Fred Froggatt

Age: 29

Sex: male

Date: 6 Apr 1934

Place: Tinsley Tram Terminus, Sheffield

Fred Froggatt was run over by a car whilst cycling through Tinsley Tram Terminus.

The car driver said that Fred Froggatt was travelling quickly with his head low over the handlebars. He said that he slackened his speed, but that as he approached Fred Froggatt, Fred Froggatt swerved towards the centre of the road and that he then swerved on to his wrong side to avoid him. He said then that he thought that Fred Froggatt, on seeing a tram, had swerved back again, and so he attempted to pass him on the nearside, but said that he failed to avoid him.

A man from Helen Street in Sheffield said that he had seen a motorist pull out behind a tram on to his offside to pass. He said that he then saw Fred Froggatt on the other side of the road riding between the from-city tram tracks. He said that then both the car and Fred Froggatt appeared to swerve and that Fred Froggatt was then struck by the offside wheel of the car. He said that on impact, Fred Froggatt was flung four or five feet into the air and then struck the windscreen, and then fell in the road beside the car, which he said then pulled up quickly, swerving across the front of the tram. He said that in his opinion the car driver was to blame, as in pulling out to pass the tramcar he gave himself no possible chance of seeing if the road was clear.

A person that examined the scene on behalf of the Sheffield police said that the skid marks left in the road were 84 feet long.

A policeman that examined the car said that he found that the windscreen which was made of unsplinterable glass was completely shattered.

Other witnesses also stated in evidence that in their opinion the driver was responsible for the accident.

However the Coroner said that he didn't think that the evidence was strong enough to necessitate a criminal verdict of manslaughter, and advised the jury to bring in an open verdict which he said would leave it open to the police to take what action they thought fit.

When the coroner had summed up, he said that the case was very unsatisfactory from the point of view of the contradictory and unreliable evidence put before the jury, adding that the driver of the car was the most unsatisfactory witness that he had heard.

The Coroner also said, 'Everyone in these days is commenting on the increasing number of fatal accidents on the roads. One of the causes in my opinion is that coroner's juries often take too lenient a view, that magistrates often take too lenient a view, and that when the police prosecute at the assizes they are met with the legal difficulty about what is criminal negligence'.

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Sheffield Independent - Friday 06 April 1934