Unsolved Murders

David McTaggart

Age: 6

Sex: male

Date: 31 Jul 1963

Place: Sunderland Road, Gateshead

David McTaggart was knocked down by a van whilst he was out playing near his home in Sunderland Road, Gateshead.

An open verdict was returned at his inquest.

No one saw what happened.

The police said that all efforts to find witnesses to what happened were made, but without luck. They said:

So far nobody has come forward.

A woman that had lived in Spencer Street said she had been sitting at her window and saw a van parked outside her house. She said that she then saw the van driver chase David McTaggart away from the van after which she saw the van reverse and then drive away and that after that she saw David McTaggart laying in the road.

She said that she then went out to pick him up, thinking that he was 'foxing', but then saw that he was injured.

After the van was traced, the van driver made a statement which was later read out at the inquest.

In his statement the van driver said that whilst he had been in the shop that he had seen a small boy in his cab playing with the steering wheel. He said that he removed the boy but that even then, after he got back into his cab, the boy got onto his running board. He said that he put him down again, but that after he started to drive off again he saw the boy running behind his van and so he got out again and found him on the rear step of the van.

He said that he then put the boy beside some other children and thought that he had stayed there with them and then turned and drove off, saying that he felt nothing as he did so.

The chief inspector of the Forensic Science Laboratory at Gosforth said that tyre impressions on David McTaggart's legs matched those of the wheels of the van.

However, no one saw what happened and an open verdict was returned.

Spencer Street has since been demolished, although there is still a small access road off Sunderland Road to mark where it was.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Newcastle Evening Chronicle - Wednesday 31 July 1963

see Newcastle Evening Chronicle - Tuesday 28 May 1963

see National Library of Scotland