Unsolved Murders

Elizabeth Etherington

Age: 43

Sex: female

Date: 15 Jul 1940

Place: Central Road, Portchester, Hampshire

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Elizabeth Etherington died from a head injury.

A 29-year-old labourer who she lived with was tried for her murder but acquitted.

It was said that Elizabeth Etherington and the labourer had been seen earlier on in the evening in a public-house where they had had a difference of opinion.

Elizabeth Etherington was later found lying on a bed at the house they shared and complained that the labourer had hit her.

She died later the following morning.

When a post-mortem was carried out it was found that she had a broken artery on the right side of her brain.

When the labourer was arrested and charged, he said, 'Murder? I'm innocent of it. I've a cear conscience of it'.

At his trial he pleaded not guilty to her murder saying, 'I would never have done this woman any harm, as I loved her too much'.

The doctor that carried out her post-mortem said that there was no sign of an external injury outside of her head but added that external violence might have been caused by a fall.

The labourer's defence said that no jury would convict even of manslaughter, stating that it had not been shown that the labourers act had caused Elizabeth Etherington's death.

The jury then found the labourer not guilty of both murder and manslaughter on the direction of the judge.

The judge said that he could not understand why the labourer had been committed for trial for murder.


see Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough - Monday 15 July 1940, p1

see Gloucestershire Echo - Monday 24 June 1940

see Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette - Monday 24 June 1940

see Manchester Evening News - Monday 24 June 1940

see Evening Despatch - Monday 15 July 1940

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Tuesday 16 July 1940