Unsolved Murders

David Williams

Age: 3

Sex: male

Date: 1 Jan 1947

Place: Somerford Road, Reddish, Lancashire

David Williams drowned in a bath after his father went off to see to one of his daughters.

It was heard that his father had just been demobilised and that after returning home David Williams had not taken to him.

His father denied drowning him, saying, 'I did not drown him. I loved him too much'.

David Williams's mother said that there had been quarrels because David Williams had not taken to his father. She said that her husband was very fond of David Williams and had spent £6 10s on toys for him at Christmas but said that he had been upset as David Williams had not returned his affection.

She said that her husband had been quick tempered since a lorry accident in the army in June 1946 and had become inclined to burst out at the slightest provocation.

The police said that in a statement to them, the father had said, 'Since I was demobilised from the army in November 1946, the two girls were very fond of me, but the boy would not take to me. I smacked him because he would not play with me. On New Year's Eve I had a row with my wife and lost my temper. I ordered her out of the house. The following morning I got up and gave the children their breakfast. The boy would not play with the girls, so I hit him. After dinner I again hit him with my slipper as he just stood about. The two girls went out and I decided to give the boy a bath. I put about four inches of water in the bath. Just then one of the girls called me and I went downstairs leaving the boy sitting in the bath. I went upstairs and heard the boy splashing in the water. His head was under the water. I got him out and put him in bed.

At the inquest the father declined to give evidence.

The doctor that examined David Williams's body said that his cause of death was due to asphyxia due to drowning. He noted that there were a number of bruises on his body but said that they were superficial and had nothing to do with his death.

When the coroner summed up, he said that there was no evidence that the drowning was anything but an accident but told the jury that if they were not fully satisfied that it was entirely accidental that they should return an open verdict.

The jury then returned an open verdict.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Daily Mirror - Tuesday 07 January 1947, p4