Unsolved Murders

Peter Clifford Cobb

Age: 15

Sex: male

Date: 28 Jun 1948

Place: Old Harbour, Scale Lane, Stathes, Hull

Peter Clifford Cobb was found dead in the mud in Old Harbour on the Tuesday night 29 June 1948.

It was thought that he had received a head injury before he went in and his death was initially considered suspicious, however, a verdict of accidental death was later returned.

He was pulled out of the harbour mud near Scale Lane in Stathes.

There was no water in his lungs, and he had a fractured skull along with a scrub mark above his left eye. It was initially said that he had died before going into the water and that he must have been out of the water for some minutes after receiving his injury and that if he had fallen from the quayside and struck his head on a steel barge before entering the water that it was possible that he would have swallowed some water.

It was also noted that Peter Cobb was an excellent swimmer and that he held several certificates.

However, the police said that they thought that Peter Cobb had fallen in from the quayside when his bicycle brake failed whilst the tide was out and hit his head on a keel and died on the exposed harbour bed and had then later been caught up in the water when the tide returned. A police sergeant said, 'This youth probably cycled up to the edge of the jetty where his cycle chain broke, and he dived over. His head hit the keel and he fractured his skull. He then fell to the bottom of the dock between the edge of the jetty and a keel, where later his body was covered by the water'.

Peter Cobb was last seen when he left his home at 7.45pm on 28 June 1948. He had returned home from work at 7pm and had some dinner and then gone out on his bicycle.

The police were later informed when he didn't return home that night.

It was noted that the only brake that he had on his bicycle was a back-pedalling brake and that if his chain broke that the brake could not be operated. It was added that when his bicycle was recovered from the dock the chain was missing.

It was said that at the time that Peter Cobb would have fallen in that there would have been no water at the side of the Old Harbour and that there would not have been sufficient water to cover his body until the tide rose.

The doctor said that when he first heard the medical evidence he was disturbed, but after hearing the theory advanced regarding Peter Cobb's chain braking and him falling into the harbour whilst the tide was out, he felt that there were no loose ends.

When the coroner summed up he said, 'All theories fall down, unless they are supported by facts, but the facts in this case tie up with the theory', and a verdict of accidental death was returned.

Peter Cobb had lived in 6 Ripon Street in Hull.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Hull Daily Mail - Friday 02 July 1948

see Hull Daily Mail - Friday 09 July 1948