Date: 11 Feb 1961
Place: Rimmer Street, Liverpool
Georgina Smith was found dying in Rimmer Street, Liverpool on the night of Friday 10 February 1961 with a fractured skull.
She died four hours later.
A 41-year-old pedlar was tried for her murder but the murder charge was later withdrawn. When the pedlar appeared on remand at Liverpool on Thursday 2 March 1961 the Crown said that it was their view that it would be unsafe to ask for the pedlar to be committed for trial. A representative for the Director of Public Prosecutions said, 'Of course, inquiries will continue, and if any further evidence is found, it will be open to me to reconsider the whole matter'.
When the pedlar was charged he said, 'I didn't do it'.
Georgina Smith had lived in 176 Dryden Street, Liverpool where she had lived alone. It was heard that she had been living alone for a number of years and that she had become accustomed to visiting public houses in the London Road area most evenings .
The pedlar had lived in Flat 2, 79 Oxford Street, Liverpool.
It was heard at on the evening of 10 February 1961 that Georgina Smith had visited two public houses in the London Road area, leaving the last, the Central Hotel, shortly before 10pm.
She was found shortly after 11pm lying in Rimmer Street, a narrow street off Kempton Street, in an unconscious condition.
She was then removed to the Royal Infirmary and although every effort was made to save her life, she died at 3.30am on 11 February 1961.
A post mortem revealed that she had sustained a number of injuries to the face and head as a result of which she died.
The police said that inquiries were made and that a description was obtained of a man who had been seen leaving Rimmer Street shortly before Georgina Smith was found.
The pedlar was later seen in Islington on 15 February 1961 and taken to the Central Detective Office where he was interviewed by the chief inspector and to whom he made statements. When he was charged the same morning he said, 'No, I didn't do it'.
However, at the Liverpool Magistrates court on Friday 3 March 1961 the representative for the Director of Public Prosecutions said that a man had walked into a police station on 22 February 1961 and made a statement and that following police inquiries, the Crown felt that it was unsafe to ask for the pedlar to be sent for trial.
After the pedlar was later discharged he said, 'It has been a nightmare. Now I must try to forget. I don't blame anyone for what has happened and I am not going to try to sue the police'.
At Georgina Smith's inquest, which concluded on 16 March 1961, an open verdict as returned.
The pedlar had been present at the inquest along with a 41-year-old labourer that had lived at 31 Birchfield Street in Liverpool, however, the labourer declined to answer any questions.
When the Coroner summed up he said, 'An extraordinary state of affairs. The whole thing is most unsatisfactory. Obviously the case against the pedlar must fall to the ground in view of the labourers statement. The pedlar has always maintained that he did not do it. On the evidence I do not see how any case can stand against the labourer at this moment. Inquiries are still going on'.
see National Archives - DPP 2/3252
see Daily Mirror - Friday 24 February 1961
see Nottingham Evening Post - Thursday 02 March 1961
see Coventry Evening Telegraph - Thursday 02 March 1961
see Birmingham Daily Post - Friday 17 February 1961
see Liverpool Echo - Thursday 16 February 1961
see Liverpool Echo - Thursday 16 March 1961
see Liverpool Echo - Thursday 02 March 1961
see Daily Mirror - Friday 03 March 1961