Date: 11 Sep 1983
Janice Weston was found dead in a ditch by a lay-by on the A1 in Cambridgeshire on 11 September 1983.
Her husband was later held for 53 hours in December 1983 in relation to her murder but was not charged. He had been on bail through to February 1984. A report on the case was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions but no charges were brought.
At the time she was living in Addison Avenue, Holland Park, West London with her husband who had been away for the weekend in France on business at the time of her murder. he had called her over the weekend but got no reply.
She had been to work in Lincolns Inn, London where she was a partner in Charles Russell and Co., a firm of solicitors. She had left work on 10 September 1983 at 4.15pm and gone home to change into jeans and a sweater and had half a meal which she had left behind and then gone out in her silver Alfa Romeo car. At the time she had been working on a book mnuscript which she had tken with her. Her husband thought she was going to spend the weekend in London.
It was thought that she might have been going to her country home (also described as their weekend flat) in Clopton Hall, Northamptonshire. Clopton Hall stood in 32 acres of land.
Her body was found at 9am the next day, Sunday 11 September 1983 in a ditch on the northbound carriageway of the A1 about half a mile south of the Brampton Hut roundabout by a cyclist. She had been beaten to death with a car jack which was found nearby. A detective said that her killer had possibly lost his temper and had gone beserk. She was found fully clothed. The post mortem revealed thatshe had fought her attacker. It was thought that robbery was not the motive.
Her car was found 4 days later in Redhill Street, Regents Park and had blood stains in it.
Her husband said that Janice Weston used to pick up hitch-hikers but thought that at the time she had stopped doing so. One theory that was considered was that she had picked up a hitch-hiker on her way North to her country home.
Detectives also said that they were certain that Janice Weston had stopped to change a flat tyre in the lay-by where she was killed. She had obtained a spare wheel the previous Saturday and when police found her car the spare wheel wasfitted to the rear near-side of her car whilst the original wheel was not found.
Janice Weston was educated at St Michaels Convent School and graduated with a first claass honours in Law from Manchester University. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1971 and practised for several years in the City and became one of the first women to achieve a partnership in the field of Commercial Laaw which had traditionally been a closed field to women.
She had been left £100k and some property in a will by a merchant banker a few years before her murder in 1977. She had become friends with the merchant banker before she was married when the firm she was woring for had been acting as company lawyers for the toy firm Mettoy. The companies company secretary had said that 'She helped him tremendously when he got into a mess with his shareholdings in various companies'. The will had been contested by the mans relatives and an out of court settlement had been made.
She had left her husband £300k in her will.
She practiced under her maiden name of Janice Wright.
She was a leading authority on intellectual property and had been writing a book on computer data protection at the time of her death. She also served as the vice-chairmanof the computer and electronic devices committee of the International Bar Association and was due to present a paper at its October meeting in Toronto, Canada. She was also a member of the parliamentary information technology committee nd of the British Literary and Artistic Copyright Association.
In 1980 she had been elected as the first chairman of the City Womens Network, which was an organisation of senior women in finance related businesses and professions. She also worked with other groups seeking more equitable tax treatment for women, the appointment of more women directors and equal pay for women.
see A Staff Reporter. "Plea to free husband of dead solicitor." Times [London, England] 17 Dec. 1983: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 31 Mar. 2013.
see Stewart Tendler, Crime Reporter. "A1 murder victim identified." Times [London, England] 15 Sept. 1983: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 July 2016.
see "WPC poses as murder victim by A1." Times [London, England] 16 Sept. 1983: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 July 2016.
see "Wheel clue to killer of solicitor." Times [London, England] 17 Sept. 1983: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 July 2016.
see "Mrs J. C. Weston." Times [London, England] 24 Sept. 1983: 10. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 July 2016.
see A Staff Reporter. "Plea to free husband of dead solicitor." Times [London, England] 17 Dec. 1983: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 July 2016.
see "A1 victim was left £100,000." Times [London, England] 4 Jan. 1984: 2. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 July 2016.
see Stewart Tendler. "A1 murder victim left £301,967." Times [London, England] 5 Jan. 1984: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 July 2016.
see Stewart Tendler, Crime Correspondent. "Detectives reopen A1 murder enquiry." Times [London, England] 29 Oct. 1991: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 July 2016.
see Hunts Post
see Case Book