Unsolved Murders

Andrew Paterson Drury

Age: 28

Sex: male

Date: 25 Nov 1950

Place: Stannergate, Dundee

Andrew Paterson Drury was stabbed in Stannergate, Dundee on the morning of Sunday 26 November 1950.

A 23-year-old Pathan seaman from the jute liner SS Mahsud was tried for his murder but acquitted after the charge was found not proven.

Andrew Drury was stabbed on a footpath between the Old Broughty Ferry Road and the River Tay at Stannergate, about 40 yards west of the steps that led to the East Bridge, Stannergate, in Dundee on 25 November 1950. He was stabbed in the neck, body, arms and leg with a knife and robbed. His assailant took his watch, cigarette case, lighter and £2 in money.

Andrew Drury's body was found by a banker. When the police went to the scene they found Andrew Drury lying on the path in Stannergate with his throat cut and two stab wounds about his left nipple and his clothing saturated with blood.

When the police later spoke to a bus driver and conductor, they went off to the SS Mahsud the following day, 26 November 1950 where they found a knife in the Pathan seaman's box which he admitted was his.

When the police took the Pathan seaman to the captain and charged him, the Pathan seaman said, after hearing the translation, 'I was with him. I did not hit him. I did not have a knife'.

Andrew Drury had lived at 21a Carnegie Street in Dundee and was a machinist.

His wife said that on 25 November 1950 that he asked Andrew Drury why he had not left his 1 1/2 day's wages and said that he told her that he and some other people had been paid off and that he had got £5 of lying money. However, she said that when she passed him his jacket he couldn't find the £5 and that he was very worried about the loss. However, she said that he went out and returned between 2.30pm and 4pm and gave her £3. When she was asked where he had got the money from his wife said that Andrew Drury told her that he had won some money playing pitch and toss with some other fellows on the Hilltown. She added that he also told her that another man there had lost about £12.

She said that at about 4pm she asked Andrew Drury if he was going to the pictures, but said that he told her that he was going to go back to see if he could win some more money, saying that he then left at 4.30pm and that she went off to the pictures with her sister-in-law.

She said that at the time Andrew Drury had been wearing a wristlet watch on a black leather strap which she later identified in court. She said that he had also had a cigarette case that had a lighter attached to it which she also later identified.

She said that when she later returned home from supper at her sister's house in Temple Lane that Andrew Drury was out but said that he was always late coming home on Saturdays.

However, she said that she was informed the following morning that he was dead.

She said that Andrew Drury did take a bit of drink at the week-ends but noted that he had been off it for a while.

She added that she knew of no reason why Andrew Drury would be in Stannergate on the night of his murder, although noted that his sister lived in Craigiebank which was not far from Stannergate.

Andrew Drury's 20-year-old sister who lived in Hindmarsh Avenue said that Andrew Drury had not wanted to go to the pictures and told her that he was going to see a man about some money and then asked her where the other sister lived, noting that he knew that it was Dean Avenue, and that after she directed him, he told her that he 'would see'.

A 29-year-old fireman who lived in Derby Street said that he agreed to play pitch and toss on ground at Hilltown on 25 November 1950 and that Andrew Drury joined them between 1.30pm and 2pm, noting that he had had a drink but that he knew what he was doing. He said that Andrew Drury stopped playing at about 3pm saying that he thought that he had won between £12 and £15. The fireman said that Andrew Drury had been pretty lucky and had won £7 off him on the last bet, but noted that before he left that he gave him £1.

He said that Andrew Drury put the money that he won in his trousers pocket and that he didn't see him again.

He noted that he didn't know if it was a regular gambling school noting that it was his second visit.

Another man, a 33-year-old steel erector who had lived in Thorter Row said that he also played pitch and toss and estimated Andrew Drury's winnings to have been about £15.

A 26-year-old labourer who lived in Drumlanrig Drive said that he had gone to the bar in Dock Street on 25 November 1950 at about 6pm and saw three Pakistani gentlemen there and said that he sat down beside them and stood two rounds of drinks, noting that before he left that another man joined them, Andrew Drury. He said that he didn't know the man, but said that he had been wearing a brown sports jacket and trousers. He said that the man had had some drink but wasn't drunk. He said that when he left the bar the other man was speaking to another man in the bar that had been wearing a dark hat and suit who he later identified as the Pathan seaman.

He said that when he left the bar everything was fine. He noted that whilst he was in the bar that he spoke to the eldest of the three Pakistanis, noting that the other two didn't seem to understand at all. He added that he could not make out what Andrew Drury had been talking about, saying that he just heard whispering. He also said that he didn't see Andrew Drury flashing notes about.

The Saturday night waiter in the bar said that he had seen Andrew Drury in the bar on the night of 25 November 1950 and said that he saw him order three glasses of rum and a 37s 6d bottle of rum. He later identified Andrew Drury's body on Monday 27 November 1950.

Another Saturday night helper in the bar said that he also saw Andrew Drury in the bar on the Saturday night and said that he saw that he had a few £1 notes in his wallet. He added that he also recognised the Pathan seaman from the bar that night.

At the trial, 27 items were produced in evidence including a watch and a cigarette lighter and the Crown listed 32 witnesses.

It was said that the Pathan seaman was the last person to have been seen with Andrew Drury and that he had attacked and robbed him shortly after near a bus stop and then returned to his ship no which he was a crew member and hidden some of Andrew Drury's possessions in his bunk.

Evidence was given against him at the trial by two other seamen from the SS Mahsud, although it was noted that they were from different cultures and religions and that their might have been other motives behind their evidence.

One of the other seaman, was a Muslim and a native of Calcutta and took his oath on the Koran whilst the other was a Hindu and took his oath by putting his hand on the Ramayana, a sacred book. However, soon after he repeated his oath on another sacred book, the Gita. When he was asked how old he was he replied, 'When there were horse trams in London I was eight years', to which the judge asked, 'Can we have it a little bit clearer than that?', and he replied, 'About 60'.

He said that he had arrived in Dundee on 24 November 1950 aboard the SS Mahsud and said that the following afternoon he went into a shop  and then met the other Lascar seaman and the Pathan seaman and that they then went to a public house in Dock Street where they were joined by Andrew Drury who gave them whisky and beer and then bought them a bottle of liquor.

He said that they then all left the public house at about 7.30pm an that the Pathan seaman linked arms with Andrew Drury and that they then walked in the direction of the ship, stating that the Pathan seaman was luring Andrew Drury step-by-step. He said that he wanted them to stop, but said that the Pathan seaman said, 'A little further, a little further again, and still a little further', until they arrived at the bus stance.

The Lascar seaman from Calcutta said that when the bus came, he and the other Lascar seaman got on and that he asked the Pathan seaman to go with them but said that he refused.

The Pathan seaman from Calcutta later identified a wristwatch that he had seen worn by Andrew Drury when they were in the beer shop, adding that he saw it later in the Pathan seaman's bed when the Captain exposed it.

The other Lascar seaman, the Hindu, said that he had left the SS Mahsud at about 3pm on the Saturday 25 November 1950 and had met the other Lascar seaman and the Pathan seaman and said that after visiting two markets where the Pathan seaman bought a soft felt hat for 9d that they went to a public house in Dock Street and said that they then met Andrew Drury who started speaking to the Pathan seaman.

He said that Andrew Drury then bought them all a glass of beer and a nip of brandy and that that when he did so he thought that he noticed about £4 or £5 in Andrew Drury's wallet, saying that he took two or three of them out to pay for drinks as well as a bottle of drink.

He said that they then left the bar together but said that he didn't know what time it was, but that the Pathan seaman and Andrew Drury were walking together with their arms linked. He said that they walked towards the docks but didn't go to the ship, saying that they walked much farther than where the ship was berthed and stopped at a bus halt where he and the other Lascar seaman got on the bus home, but said that the Pathan seaman refused to get on the bus and stayed there with Andrew Drury with their arms linked.

The Hindu Lascar seaman said that he got back to the ship at about 9.30pm but said that he didn't see the Pathan seaman come back that night, noting that the Pathan seaman's bunk was about two yards from his.

When the Hindu Lascar seaman was shown the knife, he identified it as one that he had seen in the possession of the Pathan seaman but said that he had not seen any similar knives aboard ship.

He said then that on the Sunday the ship's master came to their quarters and found the watch, cigarette case, lighter and £2 in the Pathan seaman's bunk. He said that they were found wrapped in a towel under the blankets in the Pathan seaman's bed.

He noted that the Pathan seaman had been wearing the soft felt hat that he had bought in the market whilst in the public house

He added that there were 24 men in the same quarters as him and admitted that he had seen other knives about the ship for cutting ropes.

He later said that he remembered being shown to the bus conductor along with the other two seamen that he had been out with on the Saturday night, noting that he thought that they had been shown because the quartermaster had seen them all in the bar together on the night of the murder. He added that he didn't know how many more seamen from the SS Mahsud had been ashore on the Saturday night.

He added that both he and the other Lascar seaman had accepted drinks from Andrew Drury but said that the Pathan seaman was not drinking strong drinks.

At the trial he noted that there was no reason why he and the other Lascar seaman should not have left the Pathan seaman and Andrew Drury at the bus stop, but said that he thought that it was a fellow-feeling for Andrew Drury who had to go home alone. When the Hindu Lascar seaman was asked, 'Wasn't it fellow feeling for the rum and the money you knew the drunk man had?' the Lascar seaman replied, 'We had no such intent'.

He said that the other Lascar seaman, who he said could speak a little English as he had been to Dundee before and knew his way about, appealed to Andrew Drury in English to let the Pathan seaman go and also to the Pathan seaman to leave Andrew Drury alone. When the Hindu Lascar seaman was asked whether the other Lascar seaman knew enough English to ask Andrew Drury for a drink, the Hindu Lascar seaman said, 'The other Lascar seaman said to the man, 'You are drunk, go home to bed'.

When the Captain found the items hidden in the Pathan seaman's bed, he said, 'For these he had murdered a man'. It was said that the towel that they were wrapped up in was red whilst the two blankets on the bed were black.

It was also heard that when the bunks were first searched that the Pathan seaman had shown the serang a bunk other than his own and that the serang reported that to the Captain. It was noted that there was a watchman's bunk adjacent to the Pathan seaman's bunk.

At the trial the defence asked the Hindu Lascar seaman whether the bunk that the items were found in wasn't actually really the watchman's bunk and the witness said that it was not. It was however noted that there was no division between the watchman's bunk and the Pathan seaman's bunk. However, it was also noted that it was known that the Pathan seaman had kept the towel under his blanket for keeping things that he bought at ports and sold at other ports and that everybody knew that.

It was further noted that the message boy had been sleeping in the bunk below the Pathan seaman's bunk on the night that the Lascar seaman said they came back.

When the Hindu Lascar seaman was asked whether the Pathan seaman was a friend of his, he replied, 'No, there can't be friendship between Muslim and Hindu'.

It was also heard that the Hindu Lascar seaman had said in a statement that the Pathan seaman was asleep in his bunk when he had got back aboard the ship, and he replied 'No'. When the judge then asked again, 'Was it a mistake?', the interpreter said that the Hindu Lascar seaman was saying that he had never said that the Pathan seaman was aboard when he had arrived with the other Lascar seamen.

When the judge summed up at the trial he said that there was no room for a lesser verdict, saying that it was murder or an acquittal. He noted that there were no eye-witnesses in the case but observed that evidence of facts and circumstances could be just as compelling as the evidence of an eye witness, stating that many crimes that took place in secret or in darkness could only be proved in that way.

He noted that the two Lascar seamen, who had been in the company of Andrew Drury and the Pathan seaman during the evening, had said that they had left the Pathan seaman at a bus stop in East Stannergate shorty before Andrew Drury was found dead by the banker.

He noted that the two Lascar seamen also noted that the Pathan seaman's bunk on the ship was the upper one, which was of significance.

He said that if the jury rejected the evidence of the two Lascar seamen, that being of having seen the Pathan seaman at the bus stop and of his bunk being the upper one that the crown case had to fail because it was otherwise seriously defective in other matters.

He then instructed the jury  to consider the quality and weight of the two Lascar seamen's evidence, with additional consideration made because the evidence had been translated. He also noted that they were of Eastern origin and that they were different in race and religion to the accused Pathan seaman with additional doubts as to whether they regarded the oaths that they had made when sworn in at the beginning of the trial in the same way that Scottish people did.

The judge added that they also had to decide whether they had detected any animosity between the seamen who were otherwise said to have been drinking amicably together in the Castle Bar on the Saturday evening.

Additionally he noted that there were discrepancies in the times given by the two Lascar seamen and that it was for the jury to decide whether they thought that they were mistakes or false statements.

He also noted that neither of the Lascar seamen had initially disclosed that they had returned to the ship after 6pm on the Saturday night when the crew was first paraded, and that it was again for the jury to consider whether that concealment of their movements cast a sinister light upon their evidence, or whether it was due to a natural desire to keep out of trouble.

The juries attention was also drawn to the independent corroboration about the party in the Castle Bar, to the identification of the two seamen who boarded the bus and to the body being that of the man seen with the Lascar seamen at the bus stop.

They were further directed to consider whether there was any reasonable possibility that the Lascar seamen had not given an accurate account of what took place at the bus stop or whether or not they were satisfied that their story was borne out by the evidence of the bus driver and conductor.

The jury were also directed to consider carefully the evidence regarding the times and distances involved, bearing in mind that there were also other factors to be taken into account.

When the judge discussed the knife, he said that they might take the view that the knife did not help very much but said that they were bound to consider it with the other evidence.

It was also noted that articles that had belonged to Andrew Drury were found in the upper bunk aboard the SS Mahsud, and the jury were asked to consider whose bunk it was, and also to consider that if the articles were found in the upper bunk and that it was the Pathan seaman's bunk, then who put them there, noting that a reasonable explanation was that they were put there as a plant by some person in order to apparently create evidence against the Pathan seaman. It was noted that the articles were discovered sometime after the Pathan seaman had been taken into custody and also sometime after the captain of the ship had made strong remarks about the good name of the ship having been affected and about his determination that a search should be continued until the articles were found. It was noted also that it was only five minutes after the captains speech to that effect that the serang summoned the captain to examine the upper bunk. As such, it was noted that the combination of circumstances made the second search suspicious and that it was possible that some one might have put the articles in the upper bunk to keep suspicion away from the person who had been in possession of them.

It was however also noted by the Crown that the only reasonable inference from those facts was that the Pathan seaman, the person last in the company of Andrew Drury, must have brought the articles on board.

It was noted that there was no fingerprint evidence in the case.

After the jury retired, they returned a unanimous verdict of not proven and the Pathan seaman was released.

After the trial the Pathan seaman was photographed by the press at the Colonels house having tea with him in celebration of his acquittal. After the trial that Pathan seaman left for Glasgow to stay at the Pakistan Seaman's Mission before taking a Brocklebank Line ship back to Kohat Province in the North West Frontier sating that he was not returning to sea and would be going back to his farm.

Andrew Drury had been demobbed from the navy in January 1946 and married on 14 September 1946 and had a four-year-old son. At the time of his marriage he had been working in the Caledon Shipyard but left there in 1947 to be a wood machinist in Cameron's Chair Factory after which he did a spell with McLeans Engineering Works in Fairbairn Street and then joined Mingware, Milton of Craigie Road as a metal polisher. His wife had worked as a jute spinner in the Caldrum Street Works.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Dundee Courier - Saturday 10 February 1951

see Dundee Courier - Wednesday 07 February 1951

see Dundee Courier - Monday 29 January 1951

see Aberdeen Evening Express - Wednesday 07 February 1951

see Aberdeen Evening Express - Thursday 08 February 1951

see Aberdeen Evening Express - Friday 09 February 1951

see Aberdeen Evening Express - Thursday 08 February 1951

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Tuesday 28 November 1950