Unsolved Murders

Jack Dearnley Parvin

Age: 15

Sex: male

Date: 21 Dec 1956

Place: 25 Church Street, Ormskirk, Lancashire

Jack Dearnley Parvin was found dead in a loft at the rear of a butcher's shop in Church Street, Ormskirk on 21 December 1956.

He had earlier gone missing on 17 December 1956.

He was a butcher's assistant and had worked at the butchers' on whose premises he was later found. However, he had been fired on the day he died.

It was said that he had died from exposure assisted by a coma induced by barbiturate.

He had lived at 13 Sephton Drive in Ormskirk.

An open verdict was returned at his inquest. It was said hat although he had previously threatened to commit suicide that that could not be taken as evidence that he had committed suicide.

The Coroner said, 'We know he took tablets which were not prescribed for him. It may be he wanted to sleep and took some of these tablets. We do not know. It may have been a bit of bravado. In what circumstances the barbiturate was taken there is no evidence to show, and I think the only proper verdict I can return is an open verdict'.

Although not reported, it is worth noting that the butcher's shop was on Church Street in Ormskirk which was the the same street that Margaret Ormesher and Mary Ormesher lived in and who were murdered on 6 May 1956.

His mother said that Jack Parvin had had lived with her and that he had always enjoyed good health and led a normal life. She said that he started to work as an errand boy at the butcher's shop when he was 13-years-old and that when he left school in the summer of 1956 that he started to work at the shop regularly.

She said, 'He seemed to enjoy his work and was highly thought of by his employer. During the last 18 months he appeared to be getting over-confident, and began to associate with boys older than himself. I complained about this and about him staying out late at night, and this caused many arguments. On two or three occasions he threatened to take his own life, but these occasion were due to depression'.

She said that on Monday 17 December 1956 that Jack Parvin left home at 8.30am for work and took a doctor’s prescription for sleeping tablets for her. She said that on previous occasions she had received 24 tablets on a doctor's prescription. she said that he did not return home that night, but that she didn't think that hat was strange as she knew that the butcher's shop was busy at Christmas and thought that he would be sleeping there.

However, she said that the following afternoon she made enquiries and was told that he had finished work at the shop at lunchtime the previous day and had not been seen since. His mother then said that when Jack Parvin then failed to return by teatime that she called the police.

A retired railwayman that had lived at 17 Ravenscroft in Ormskirk said that he had known Jack Parvin for two years and said that he was a willing boy and a good worker. He said that on the afternoon of 17 December 1956 that it had come to his knowledge that there had been trouble between Jack Parvin and the butcher and that Jack Parvin had been dismissed as a result.

Then, on 21 December 1956 at about 11.30am he had an occasion to go down to the butcher's yard at the rear of the shop and decided to have a look around and said, 'I found a cat ladder leading to the loft and saw the boy lying on the floor ten feet from the trap door. He appeared to be dead or asleep and I immediately informed the butcher'. When he was questioned at the inquest the retired railway man said that Jack Parvin had been lying on bare boards.

The butcher said that he had always found Jack Parvin very willing but said that on 17 December 1956 he had had occasion to speak to him regarding his conduct. He said, 'He started to be cheeky and asked for his cards. I dismissed him'. When the Coroner asked the butcher at the inquest whether it had been a very serious busines the butcher replied, 'Yes, sir, he was interfering with my personal possessions'. When the Coroner asked the butcher whether he was taking proceedings, the butcher replied, 'No, sir'.

When a policeman gave evidence, he said that there was every appearance that Jack Parvin had died in his sleep. He said that the loft had fallen into a state of disrepair and that it would have afforded little protection from the severe weather at the time.

When the pathologist gave evidence he said that he found 10mg of barbiturate in his body, and noted that that in itself would not have been enough to have killed anyone.

An open verdict was returned.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Liverpool Echo - Tuesday 29 January 1957, p6