Date: 2 Oct 1959
Louis Cassell was beaten to death in his office at 32 Wolverhampton Street, Dudley on Friday 2 October 1959.
He was a Jewish money lender and was described as 'The Grand Old Man of Birmingham Jewry'. He was also known as 'Old Louis'. He had lived in Flat 6, Cropthorne Court, Calthorpe Road in Edgbaston.
He died from severe head injuries and had been robbed. He had been beaten to death with a tyre lever and was found by his son.
A 37-year-old man, a collector, was charged with his murder but acquitted on Tuesday 2 February 1960.
The court case revolved largely on the time that the man on trial had visited Louis Cassell at his shop, his passing of certain white £5 notes and what had happened to the suit that he had been wearing on that day.
The man on trial had lodged at 7 Bushbury Road in Wolverhampton and had done so for 7 years and at the time of the murder had just started a new job.
He was called on 20 October 1059 by the police and asked to come in the following day to be interviewed. Following the interview on 21 October 1959 the police later charged the man with Louis Cassell's murder on Tuesday 17 November 1959.
The man had been a customer of Louis Cassell in the past and had recently taken a loan of £20 from him and had been due to make his first repayment to him on the day of the murder but said that he had not been in a position to repay him and had gone to his office no later than 11.30am to tell him that he could not but that he would make the payment within a month. He said that he had only been in Louis Cassell's office for a matter of minutes.
When it was noted that his thumb-print had been found on a receipt from a receipt book that was in Louis Cassell's office, the man said that that would have happened when Louis Cassell knocked the receipt book off his desk as he was walking back from his door and that he picked it up for him.
It was also heard that a man that fitted his description was seen coming down the steps of Louis Cassell's office at about 1pm, but the man said that he doubted that that had been him, saying that he did not think that he had been in Dudley at about 1pm.
Another witness said that they saw a man like him in a cafe at about 1.30pm but the witness failed to pick the man out at an identity parade.
He said that when he had gone to see Louis Cassell that he had gone in his car which he had parked in nearby Trinity Road and that after seeing Louis Cassell that he had driven straight back to Wolverhampton where he waited for a woman that he knew in Lord Street with whom he then went window shopping with and after he picked up his laundry took her back to her home in Kipling Road, Wolverhampton.
He was also said to have settled some debts shortly after using white £5 notes, which it were said Louis Cassell used in preference to the newer blue ones.
Louis Cassell's son, who lived with his father, said that Louis Cassell had spent the bulk of his career in a furnishing business but was also engaged in business in Dudley as a moneylender.
He said that Louis Cassell was not an extravagant man and that he always knew exactly what he paid for things, and added that Louis Cassell always drew his money from his furnishing business. He said that he thought that Louis Cassell kept his private and business monies separate.
Louis Cassell's son said that he didn't know how much money he used to keep as a float in his moneylending business, but said that he would always carry between £20 and £25 about with him.
He said that on 1 October 1959 that Louis Cassell gave him £12 housekeeping money as well as £2 as a present which he said Louis Cassell took from out of his waist-coat inside pocket, noting that he thought that there was some money left but that he could not say how much it was. He added that at the time that he knew that Louis Cassell had at least one of the old white £5 notes in with his money at the time.
He said that he generally had £1 notes and the old fashioned £5 notes.
He noted that Louis Cassell would make payments to his Synagogue, but that he would put the money away each week at his office, noting that the payments were irregular.
Louis Cassell's son said that Louis Cassell was driven to his business in Dudley from Edgbaston on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and that he used to take home-made cake with him but that otherwise he would buy bread, butter and rolls as well as milk in Dudley. He added that Louis Cassell would also take tea towels into the office and later identified a serviette, tea towel and towel found in his office as theirs.
He said that he remembered his father going to business on 2 October 1959 sometime between 9.15am and 9.30am or 9.40am, being driven there by another man who was paid £2 a week for the four days’ work.
Louis Cassell's son noted that the Jewish new year was to take place on the night of 2 October 1959.
He noted that Louis Cassell had a preference for the old type of £5 note, noting that he didn't have very good eyesight and that he was afraid that he would mix up the new type of blue £5 note with other notes.
Louis Cassell's son said that the last time that he saw Louis Cassell was on the morning of 2 October 1959 and that there was no trouble in the family so far as he was aware.
A cleaner that was employed by Smith's of Dudley at 6/7 Wolverhampton Street said that it was part of her duties there to help at Louis Cassell's office at 32 Wolverhampton Street and said that she more she would go to his office on the Monday mornings to clean but that she also took his milk there each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. She said that when she cleaned for him that she was there for roughly about 45 minutes.
She said that she took Louis Cassell his milk on the morning of 2 October 1950, noting that it was a jug that was about ¾ full and that she was later shown a jug with congealed milk in it and later the same jug with a line inside that showed exactly where the milk had been and said that when she had seen the milk at the police station that it hadn't been touched.
The cleaner said that Louis Cassell had been carrying on his business as a moneylender for the time that she had been cleaning and carrying his milk, but that she knew nothing about his moneylending business and that he never left any of his business papers about when he was cleaning and that he was usually a very tidy man.
She said that as far as she knew that Louis Cassell used the milk for lunchtime and for a cup of tea at about 4.30pm and that it appeared that on 2 October 1959 that he had not made tea. She said that she couldn't advance any reason why he didn't make tea on that day.
She added that there was a little box on the mantel-shelf with receipts in and that that was the only thing she saw left about by him.
The cleaner said that she last saw Louis Cassell at about 10.30am on 2 October 1959. She said that it was a habit of his to call at the shop before he went down to his office, saying that he had the car then and that he was driven from the shop to his office.
Another witness was a fireman with the Dudley Fire Service who lived in Terry Street, Kates Hill, who said that he had taken a loan from Louis Cassell for which he made weekly payments. He said that he made the payments at his office at 32 Wolverhampton Street, and made payments on 17 and 24 September and 2 October 1959, paying 15/-d each time. He said that he called at the office between 10.30am and 11am on the morning of 2 October 1959 and paid 15/-d to Louis Cassell for which he received a receipt. His receipt was the last item in the receipt book that was found in Louis Cassell's office on which the man that was trieds thumb print was on. The fireman noted that he didn't touch the receipt book.
A woman that had lived at 85 Lodge Crescent said that she had had dealings with Louis Cassell for about 5 years and that on the morning of 2 October 1959 at about 10.45am she put a payment on behalf of her mother who had taken a loan out with Louis Cassell as well as a payment in respect to her own loan with Louis Cassell through his letter box. She said that she didn't receive a receipt but later identified two receipts, Nos. 731 and 732 as receipts made out in respect to her payments.
A gents' hairdresser that carried on his business at 1 Priory Court said that he had known Louis Cassell for 20 years as a customer and said that Louis Cassell called at his premises on 2 October 1959 at about 11.15am but that he was not able to serve him at that time and asked him to call back in half-an-hour's time. He said that Louis Cassell called back at 11.45am and that he then attended to him personally and gave him a haircut.
He said that Louis Cassell also bought a packet of five Valet safety razor blades which he paid for at the same time as he paid for his haircut, noting that he saw the money from which Louis Cassell paid and that to the best of his knowledge and memory that he took it from his waistcoat pocket on the left hand side. He said that the money consisted of a number of old fashioned type £5 notes and a 10/-d note but that he could not tell as to the number of £5 notes, but estimated that there were between 5 and 10 and that they were folded up. He added that he didn't notice the other notes and that it was the old £5 notes that he noticed in particular as they were the old fashioned kind. He noted that Louis Cassell had used the 10.-d note to pay his bill and that he gave him change and that Louis Cassell gave him a tip of sixpence. He said that to the best of his memory that Louis Cassell replaced the notes from where he had taken them and that he had given him 5/4½d in change but that he didn't know where Louis Cassell had put that.
The gents' hairdresser said that Louis Cassell left his hairdressing saloon at approximately 12 o'clock and that he thought that when he did so that he turned right when he walked out and went off along Tower Street.
A cashier at Messrs. Lloyds Bank Ltd at 25 Wolverhampton Street in Dudley said that Louis Cassell had an account at the branch and that he came in from time to time to make payments and later produced a paying-in slip with her initial on it which was made on 2 October 1959, stating that Louis Cassell almost certainly called before 12 midday but that she thought that it was around 11.30am. She said that Louis Cassell paid in £87. 17. 0 in cheques as well as a money order that amounted to £5. 17. 0. making a total of £120 paid in.
She noted that she was aware that Louis Cassell preferred the white type £5 notes.
The manageress of a shop called Winters Stores in Fountain Arcade, Dudley said that Louis Cassell came in on 2 October 1959 dead on 12.30pm and bought a half pound of peanuts in a white bag which she later identified. She said that after he paid that she followed him out of the shop with some rubbish and went off towards Tower Street, noting that if Louis Cassell had also gone that way that she should have seen him. She noted that at that time he seemed as fit as a fiddle.
Louis Cassell was later seen at his office by a woman that had lived at 60 Lawnwood Road in Dudley and who had had dealings with him as a moneylender for the preceding four years. She said that she saw him in his office between 12.30pm and 12.35pm on 2 October 1959 as she owed a payment on that day but didn't have the money and said that she made an arrangement to come back the following week. She said that she received that money out of which she could have paid him later that afternoon. She said that when she got there that the street door was open and that his office door was ajar. She said that she always knocked and that when she did so Louis Cassell got up from his desk and said, 'Good morning' as he always did and invited her into the office. She said that she then made her explanation to him to come back and pay him the following week. She said that she didn't go back that day and that she had been in his office for about 20 minutes. She said that his office had been extremely tidy and that there was nothing about at all an that she didn't see the safe open or any drawers out. She said that when she was in his office that she sat in an ordinary high-backed chair there and did not see a cash box lying about with its tray out.
She noted that Louis Cassell had a notice that he used to put on his door if he was away for some time which said, 'Back in 5 minutes' or back in 10 minutes, or something like that. She also noted that on previous visits to his office that she had had to knock loudly before Louis Cassell would come to the door. She added that Louis Cassell had been methodical in relation to the giving of receipts.
The woman said that she left Louis Cassell's office at about 12.50pm or 12.55pm and went straight down Wolverhampton Street to the Galleon Milk Bar which was opposite the furnishing shop of Smith of Dudley and that she saw Louis Cassell again just after 1pm walking and just going into Smith of Dudley, noting that he was not wearing a hat at the time. She said that he wasn't carrying anything but had his walking stick and said that she saw him come back out again about 1.10pm or 1.15pm, about 10 minutes after he arrived. She noted that she didn't notice whether Louis Cassell had had a newspaper with him, but said that when he left Smith of Dudley that he had gone off in the direction of his office.
It was additionally noted that Louis Cassell had also called at the office of an advertising representative at the Dudley Herald Press offices in Priory Street, Dudley where he collected a free copy of the Dudley Herald for 2 October 1959 at approximately 12.50pm. He said that after he left his office that Louis Cassell had turned right in the direction of the GPO.
The advertising representative, who lived in Stourbridge Road, Dudley, said that he was a representative of the Midland United Newspapers at the Dudley Herald Press offices and that Louis Cassell was entitled to a free copy of the newspaper as he was an advertiser, advertising his money lending business and furnishing businesses and that he had called in for his copy at about 12.50pm and stayed for about 2-3 minutes. After Louis Cassell's murder, the advertising representative looked at a copy of the Dudley Herald for 2 October 1959 that the police had shown him as an exhibit and noted that although there was no mark on it to identify it was a free copy that it was identical to the copy that he had given Louis Cassell.
Louis Cassell was later seen by the manager of the furnishing store of Smith of Dudley at about 1.05pm or 1.10pm in the shop. He said that they had a conversation and that as a result he sent one of his young ladies for some biscuits. He said that Louis Cassell appeared in his normal health and that after the lady returned with some Ryvita biscuits that Louis Cassell left the shop and went off in the direction of his office, leaving about five minutes after he arrived.
Other evidence was given by a police constable with the County Borough of Dudley Police Force stating that he had seen Louis Cassell crossing Stone Street at 1.45pm.
He said that he knew Louis Cassell very well by sight and that he had been in his motor car driving along Stone Street from the direction of Priory Street towards the town centre when he had seen him crossing the street from the direction of the Arcade, Tower Street, going in the direction of Wolverhampton Street and crossing in the direction of the trolley bus terminus. He said that Louis Cassell had been alone and wearing a grey suit, a dark trilby type hat and carrying a walking stick in his right hand and a brief case in his left hand and wearing dark horn-rimmed spectacles.
A Magistrate for Dudley, who lived in St James's Road said that on the afternoon of 2 October 1959 that she had been canvassing the district of Wolverhampton Street and called at 32 but got no response. She said that she had called to see the two people that according to her canvassing card had lived in the upstairs flat but said that she later found out that the flat was unoccupied. She said that she didn't try the door and that she then left, noting that it would have been between 2.30pm and 2.45pm when she was there.
An officer with the GPO said that he saw Louis Cassell sometime between 2.30pm and 3pm on 2 October 1959. She said that she negotiated some postal orders for Louis Cassell at the GPO in Dudley on 2 October 1959 between 2.30pm and sometime after 3pm. She noted that there was a young boy with her to her right at the time that she did it and said that she paid Louis Cassell the sum of £13. 2. 6. in return, giving him 13 £1 notes and the 2/6d in silver. She said that the thirteen notes were clipped together and that when he moved away from the counter that he had had the money in his hand. She noted that he had been in a very good mood at the time.
Louis Cassell was seen by a news vendor at about 3.05pm near the Wolverhampton Corporation trolley bus terminus at Dudley in the bus shelter. He said that he had known Louis Cassell for about 14 years and that they would speak to each other in the town. He said that he had been on his pitch at the bus shelter on 2 October 1959 and saw Louis Cassell coming down the car park from the direction of the Arcade or Stone Street and that as he passed right in front of him he wished him a 'Good afternoon'. He noted that after Louis Cassell passed that he sold his last paper and looked at his watch and saw that it was 3.07pm, noting that he looked at it in order to decide whether he should wait for more papers or go to collect them. The news vendor said that Louis Cassell had been wearing a cleric grey suit and no hat. He said that Louis Cassell had had what appeared to have been a brown fruit bag or a shop-keepers paper bag in his right-hand pocket, the end of which was bulging out of his pocket. He said that after Louis Cassell passed him that he turned into Priory Street and towards Wolverhampton Street.
Another of Louis Cassell's son's, a managing director of five furnishing companies that had been built up by Louis Cassell and himself and who Louis Cassell was the chairman of, said that Louis Cassell carried on his business as a moneylender at 32 Wolverhampton Street in Dudley which he said was not very far from one of their furnishing companies, Smith of Dudley Ltd.
He said that Louis Cassell had a salary of £2,500 a year plus certain Directors' fees and that he had his cheques each month, but said that he could not say the exact amount he had at the start of October because he would have had four separate cheques.
He said that his office was at Dudley Furnishing Company which was just round the corner from Smith of Dudley Ltd and that he went to Smith’s daily, and that on the days that Louis Cassell was in Dudley for his moneylending business, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, that he made a point of seeing him if he could, unless he was out of town.
Louis Cassell's other son said that Louis Cassell was meticulous in his money habits, which he said applied to both his private and moneylending monies, and that as a float in his money lending business that he would not have had more than £120 to £130 which would not be on his person. He added that Louis Cassell usually had between £40 and £50 of his own personal money.
He said that Louis Cassell didn't like the new blue £5 notes and that whenever possible he would obtain the old white £5 notes.
He said that Louis Cassell would have lunch in his office, having a sandwich and a cup of tea, something very light, and noted that the tea was made in an infuser in the cup and that the milk was sent from Smith of Dudley.
The other son said that he saw Louis Cassell on 1 October 1959 in his office during one of his usual daily calls, at about 3.30pm, but said that he was not certain of the time but that it was sometime in the afternoon.
He said that on 2 October 1959 that he got into Dudley at about 1.30pm and went to his office at Dudley Furnishing Company and that later in the afternoon he went to Smith of Dudley's where he saw the manager and spoke to him after which he went to Louis Cassell's office, by which time it would have been about 3.30pm. He noted that Smith of Dudley's was about 200 to 300 yards from 32 Wolverhampton Street.
He said that the front door was open but that the inner door to Louis Cassell's office was locked but that there was nothing to indicate whether Louis Cassell was in or out. He noted that normally, if Louis Cassell was out, that he would place a small placard that slid into the door, which read, 'Please wait. Back in five Minutes', or whatever might be the case. However, he said that there was no card in the door on that occasion.
He said that he knocked on the door and called out but got no reply and that he then went back to Smith of Dudley calling on his way at the Post Office, saying that he thought that Louis Cassell might have been in there. He noted that he also looked at the bank but said that it was shut.
He said that when he got back to Smith of Dudley that he spoke to a woman there and then got a key to 32 Wolverhampton Street and went back. He said that the lock to Louis Cassell's office door was a Yale lock and that it would slam to. He said that he then opened the door, which he said opened fully and then went in to see Louis Cassell's body. He said that he then called for the police.
He later identified Louis Cassell's cash book, a black note book as well as another red cash book and three ledgers.
A doctor that had lived at 188 Wolverhampton Street in Dudley said that he was called out to 32 Wolverhampton Street at about 3.45pm on 2 October 1959. He said that when he arrived that he found Louis Cassell lying on the floor facing the door, lying prone with his face turned towards the wall and with a towel round his neck and a wound on the side of his head near to the top of his skull. He said that he examined him and found that he was dead and that he then left the building.
The pathologist that carried out the post mortem on Louis Cassell said that at 12.30pm on 3 October 1959 that he went to 32 Wolverhampton Street in Dudley where he examined the interior of Louis Cassell's office. He noted that by the time that he arrived that Louis Cassell's body had been removed but that there was a chalk outline on the floor where his body had been. He said that where Louis Cassell's head and shoulders would have been that there was a large pool of congealed blood in which there were fragments of skull bone. He said that there were also blood spots on the floor radiating away from the large pool and that there were spots on the nearby wall and on the cupboard door. He added that there was also a blood smear on the lower part of the wall.
He said that he performed the post mortem at 2am at Dudley Guest Hospital. He said that Louis Cassell was a small but well-nourished man and about 4ft 11in tall. He said that the right side of his face was flattened by pressure against the floor and lying on his body there was a blood-stained tea-towel and around his neck a strip of towelling about 6½in wide that was secured tightly at the back with a 'granny knot'. He noted that the ligature was cut to remove it and that the knot itself was preserved as evidence.
He said that Louis Cassell had been wearing a grey worsted jacket, waistcoat and trousers, a white shirt, a blue neck-tie, white prayer shawl, vest and long pants, black shoes and blue socks as well as a hernia truss.
He said that on the left of Louis Cassell's head there was a compound wound which was about 5in by 2in made up of four closely imposed straight wounds that ran into each other which he took photographs of. He said that beneath the compound wound there was extensive fracturing of the skull and tearing of the brain and that at the upper posterior end of the fracturing of the skull there were four semi-circular grooves in the broken bone edge.
The pathologist took several photographs of the grooves, noting that they were all severe wounds and in various photographs matched the wound up with a tyre lever that was suspected as having been the murder weapon.
He added that there was another wound on the outer corner of Louis Cassell's left eye and extensive bruising over his left cheek bone and eyelids. He said that on the centre of the back of his head that there were two wounds which were slightly curved, that his nose was bruised and that there was a graze on the front of his nose. Other injuries included extensive bruising of the angle of the jaw on the left, bruising to his lower lip in the left side, a slight bruise on his right cheek bone, bruising and tearing to his left little finger and a fracture to his finger just beyond the knuckle. He noted that there had been a gold ring on his little finger that had been bent and that he had clipped the ring and cut it.
The pathologist said that on internal examination that he found that Louis Cassell's brain was extensively lacerated beneath the fracture and that that there was slight bruising on the right side. He said that Louis Cassell's air passages were normal and that there was no bruising of the neck and that his lungs showed changes in keeping with his age and that there were no haemorrhages on the surface. He added that Louis Cassell's heart and arteries showed changes in keeping with his age, but not to a severe degree and that all of his other organs were normal.
He said that Louis Cassell's stomach contained a small amount of brownish fluid which was normal.
The pathologist concluded that Louis Cassell's cause of death was cerebral lacerations associated with the fractures of the skull.
He said that the injuries to the left side of Louis Cassell's head were consistent with having been caused by a heavy object having one fairly sharp edge and at least 4½in long. He noted that the object must have had a curve on it to have produced the groves in the bone. He added that four of the injuries to the left side of his head could have been caused by that object. He added that the wounds to the back of Louis Cassell's head had been caused by a similar instrument or the same instrument but that the curve to the wound suggested that the instrument used had been curved.
He added that the injuries were consistent with considerable force having been used.
He said that the injury on the upper corner of the left eye could have been caused by a variety of hard objects, noting that he did not think that it had been caused by the tyre lever, but that it was not impossible. He added that the other injuries could also have been caused by a variety of blunt instruments, some of which might have been caused by the floor.
He added that the ligature could have been applied before or after death but that there was no evidence that it had caused his death.
A tyre lever, Exhibit 22, was recovered from a garage at 7 Bushbury Road. The landlord sad that the tyre lever was his and that he was a motor engineer and had a small garage and workshop at the rear of his house. He noted that the beak on the tyre lever had been hammered by himself and maybe by other folk and that the man could have gone into his garage if he had wished.
In his statement, the landlord said:
'I can’t remember the date when I produced exhibit 22 to the police. I showed it to the police and it would be about three weeks this week (December). I found it the 2nd or 3rd week in October. I found it at the rear of my premises, on the garden, by some timber. There were also three other spanners with it. Before then, I last used it when I did a job to a car. It was on the garden and was the last week in August. I wanted to use it on various jobs but I missed it. That was in between those dates in August and October. I wanted to use it on a certain job in the second week in September and I could not find it. I didn't look very hard for it because I improvised with another lever smaller than this. I looked round my garage for it during the second week in September because I particularly wanted it but I couldn't find it. After the second week in September I didn't want it again because I had improvised with this smaller lever.
I had not been over this part of the garden before prior to finding Exhibit 22 there in October. When I found it, I saw it in a place where I had done another job at the end of August. The accused had access to that part of the garden. He could go anywhere. It is an open yard. I had washed this tool before I gave it to the police and had used it quite a lot. When I fetched it in from the garden, I dropped it in a paraffin bosh. That would be between the date when I found it in the 2nd or 3rd week in October and the date when I handed it over to the police'.
During the police investigation they interviewed a cashier with the Midland Bank Ltd in Market Place, Dudley who said that Louis Cassell called in at the branch on 1 October 1959 to present a cheque in his favour for £81 9 0d. He said that Louis Cassell called sometime after lunch but couldn't remember the exact time because it was a busy day, being the first day of the month, but estimated that it would have been about 2.30pm, adding that the bank closed at 3pm.
He said that Louis Cassell received 16 of the old £5 notes, one £1 note and 9/-d in silver.
He said that the blue £5 notes were the new notes that had superseded the old white £5 notes and that the old white £5 notes were quite rare and that if they came into the banks' possession they tried to retain them as they were legal tender and that they had to produce them to anyone that asked for them if they could. The cashier added that it was Louis Cassell's habit to ask for the old type £5 notes.
The cashier also noted that the 16 white £5 notes that he gave to Louis Cassell were not marked in any way that would allow them to identify them afterwards.
Evidence was given by a woman that lived at 65 Laurel Road in Dudley and who worked as a ladies hairdresser at 194 Wolverhampton Street, saying that she saw the man that was tried for Louis Cassell's murder come out of his office at about 1pm when she was going for her lunch.
She said that she knew Louis Cassell by sight only and that his office was about opposite to her premises, a little off to the right. She said that as she was leaving her premises for lunch at 1pm by force of habit she looked across the road and saw the man coming down Louis Cassell's step and heard him shout, 'Cheerios'. She noted that she would not have otherwise noticed him and that when she looked she didn't see anyone in the doorway. She added that she would recognise the man again and said that he was the man that was tried for Louis Cassell's murder. She said that he had been wearing a grey/blue suit and carrying a brief case although she noted that she could not tell the colour of it but thought that it was a leather one.
A detective that arrived to examine the scene after Louis Cassell's body was removed at 11.30pm on 2 October 1959 said that he made an examination of his office, both inside and out, and found no signs that the doors or windows had been forced and found that the door in the corridor that lead to the rear of the premises was locked.
He said that when he examined the chalk mark where the body had been that he found extensive blood staining, in particular around the area indicated as the position of the head and shoulders along with one large continuous pool of blood. On the wall on the left hand side on entering there were extensive blood splashes to a height of seven feet and extending from immediately inside the door to the far end of the room. The splashes concentrated towards the position at the foot of the wall which was opposite the head as it lay on the floor at which spot there was also a heavy smearing of blood as opposed to splashing which was immediately above and just touching the wainscoting.
There was also heavy splashing of blood on permanent cupboards facing the doorway but on the further side of the room. There were also splashes of blood on the door itself but not nearly as extensive as on the wall and cupboard. At least two of the chairs in the room were extensively splashed and on the chair between where Louis Cassell would have been lying and the cupboard there was extensive staining under the chair. There was also a straight line of blood towards the front of the chair and a concentration towards the corner as well as more minute splashes in the fireplace and on the desk. In front of the cupboard there were two chairs and on top of one of them there was an electric fire.
The detective said that from the various arcs of blood splashes leading from the position where Louis Cassell's body would have been it was pretty certain that a considerable part of the assault leading to his death must have taken place whilst he was on the floor, however there were also some indications from blood splashes that some sort of assault took place before his body went to the floor.
It was noted that there was a piece of blotting paper on the desk towards the right of the blotting pad that showed some blood splashes which from their shape indicated that they had probably dropped straight down.
The detective noted that there was considerable disorder in the office, noting that the safe was open, the two drawers at the bottom of the safe were open and the contents in general disorder. Drawers in the desk were open, there was a cash box on a chair to the left hand side of the desk and the tray was on a cushion behind it.
On the desk the detective found three books, including a red cash book and in one of the other two books, a small black book, he found eight folded white £5 notes and underneath the bottom book he found three £1 notes as well as six odd shilling s that were also on the desk. He noted that the notes were not visible until the books were examined one by one. He added that when he searched a cubby hole on the right of the desk he found five £1 notes which were flat out with some used envelopes on top of them. He noted that there was another cubby hole that contained a book with stamps in it. He said that the money in the cubby-hole looked as though it had been carefully put away but said that the money on top of the desk looked as though it had been hurriedly put away.
The detective noted that the cushion that had been under Louis Cassell's head had had two distinct continuous blood marks on the top of it each about the size of a hand, noting that even when he looked at it that it was still very wet and that the bottom of the cushion was soaking wet with blood. He said that there was a swivel chair in front of the desk as one would sit at it which was turned towards the pool of blood on the floor and that on the cushion on the chair there was a blood stain that would indicate that it had come into contact with the left thigh of a person sitting in the chair and that the trouser thigh was bloodstained.
The detective looked in the safe, but not in detail. Of three ledgers, the current ledger was on the top of the safe whilst the other two ledgers were inside the safe.
The main receipt book that was used in evidence and which had been mutilated had been on a chair behind the door on top of a folded jacket. The detective said that when he first saw it there were receipts in it up to 732 inclusive and that there was also a mark of blood on one of them which was later removed for detailed examination. He said that there were six receipts to a page and that the last page was cut out in his presence on 12 October 1959. He noted that there were a number of other receipt books, including one that was on top of a pile on the safe and another that was in a covering with the printers name on it which was on a table behind the door. However, he noted that he didn't find any other receipt books that had been mutilated in the way that the one found on the desk had been.
The receipt book was later handed over for detailed forensic examination on 12 October 1959.
There was also a copy of the Dudley Herald, the Jewish Chronicle and the Daily Express dated 2 October 1959 in the office along with a black trilby hat, a packet of Ryvita biscuits, which were on the table behind the door along with a packet of peanuts. He added that there was also a tray with tea things on it including a tin of tea and on the desk there was an infuser with dried tea in it. He said that the total weight of the tea in the tin and in the infuser was almost a quarter pound and that there was an empty ¼lb tea packet in the waste paper basket.
The detective noted that just outside the fireplace there was a towel that had a strip missing from it which had been tied round Louis Cassell's neck.
Between the safe and the fireplace there was a kettle on a ring.
Following Louis Cassell's post mortem the detective found more money in his clothing including 5 white £5 notes, 8 £1 notes and 1 10/-d note. The money was folded and was inside his inside waistcoat pocket.
The original of receipt 728 was found in a tin on the mantel-shelf that contained a number of receipts and on top of them. The detective said that in an old ledger in the safe he found eight half-crown Postal Orders which by reason of their date were no longer negotiable and one £1 note. The ledger was beneath some old documents and Companies' returns, the last entry in which was dated 3 July 1958 and the detective said that from the appearance of it it had certainly not been recently referred to. At the bottom of the left hand drawer of the safe there was a small red note book with the last entry being 14 December 1957 and also one white £5 note, four £1 notes and a letter. It was noted that the book was very dusty.
Detectives attached to the Finger Print Department went to 32 Wolverhampton Street in Dudley to check for fingerprints and took a number of pieces of evidence away with them and later found certain fingerprints on a receipt book, the clearest of which was on receipt number 730 and was in their opinion of a left thumb which they later matched with that of the man that was tried. The man explained that it must have got there when Louis Cassell had knocked it off his desk and he had picked it up.
The police said that after matching the prints found with the man tried for the murder that they were then able to determine what position the thumb print found on receipt 730 had been in when it had been made which then allowed them to consider how the impression had been made. In the first instance they noted that after careful examination of the thumbprint that in the top right hand corner of the impression there were blurred marks which indicated to them that severe pressure had been imposed at that point and after noting other features of the prints suggested that what had happened was that the right tip of the left thumb had been placed on the book, followed then by a pushing forward action of the thumb that created a contraction of the lower part of the thumb at the time contact took place between the thumb and the paper and that severe pressure was used. A detective said that in his opinion that that was most consistent with what would have happened if the left thumb had been holding down the book whilst pages were being torn from the right hand side.
The detective added that he had carried out experiments in picking up the book from every conceivable position that it might have fallen, including trying to pick it up from a table, and found that on no single occasion was he able to pick it up with his left thumb in the position in which the thumb print appeared on the receipt. He noted that the weight of the book was about 16-oz and that in order to pick the book up with the thumb print on the reverse side of the page that it would have been necessary for the book to be facing upwards and said that in that case that the weight of the book would have been mainly taken by the fingers underneath.
Following the discovery of the thumbprint on the receipt the police went to 7 Bushbury Road on 20 October 1959 to find the man whose thumb print they had found but he was not there and so they called Murdoch's Stores in Victoria and then Corke's in Princes Street, Wolverhampton after which they called Wolverhampton 31536. The last call was at about 6.20pm and when a policeman spoke to the man the policeman said, 'I want to make arrangements for you to go and see a detective in Dudley. When will be suitable?'. The man then enquired as to the reason for the visit and the policeman said, 'I don't know but I know that the detective is in charge of the murder enquiries'. The man then said 'I can't go in the morning but I think I could say 2 o'clock tomorrow'. The policeman then said, 'I don't know whether that will be suitable but if you will be at that number for a little longer I will contact the detective at Dudley and ask him to ring you to confirm it', to which the man replied, 'I shall be here for about ten minutes'. The policeman noted that during the whole of the conversation, first with the woman at 7 Bushbury Road and with the man that no mention was made of the date of the murder.
When another detective called back to confirm the appointment with the man they agreed that he was to go into the police station at Dudley to meet the detective at 2pm the following day, Wednesday 22 October 1959.
The man met the police on 21 October 1959 at Dudley police station at 2pm and after being told that they were making enquiries into the murder of Louis Cassell and that they understood that he had dealings with him he made a formal statement. In his statement he had said that he had called at Louis Cassell's office three or four weeks earlier to explain that he could not pay that week and made arrangements to pay later and left.
His statement read:
'I am employed as a collector by the Broadmead group of companies at their shop 'Murdochs', Victoria Street, Wolverhampton and am at present residing at 7 Bushbury Road, Heath Town, Wolverhampton.
I have had dealings with Mr Cassell over a period of years but there was a lapse of about 7 years until this year.
Sometime during August 1959 I found myself financially embarrassed and went to see Mr Cassell about a loan.
He loaned me the sum of £20.0.0 on this occasion which was to be paid back at the rate of £1.0.0. a week over a period of 30 weeks. I always paid monthly and by post except on rare occasions when I called at his office.
I have not paid any instalment on this loan and about three or four weeks ago it would be either on a Thursday or a Friday, at about midday I called on Mr Cassell at his office.
I explained to him that I had been unable to pay any instalment on the loan because I was short of money and I did not want him to write to my home.
He pointed out that I should pay regularly and that the loan could not go on indefinitely or County Court proceedings might be taken against me.
I promised that I would pay as soon as possible and he accepted this.
I have made no repayments to date but am happy to do so in the near future'.
After the main detective read the man’s statement, he asked him some questions, saying, 'I have read the statement you have made concerning your dealings with Mr Cassell. There are several points I would like to clear up. In the first place, you have said that about three or four weeks ago either on a Thursday or a Friday about midday, you called on Mr Cassell at his office'. When the man replied, 'Yes', the detective asked him, 'Did you have an appointment to see Mr Cassell?' and the man replied, 'No. I went to tell him that I could not pay'. The interview continued:
Detective: Can you fix in your mind the day or date on which you called on Mr Cassell?
Man: I have no idea but it was at the end of the week.
Detective: Is there any incident which will help you to fix which week it was?
Man: There is nothing at all.
Detective: Surely there is something, is there not some incident connected with your work which will help, for instance, on whom did you call before visiting Mr Cassell?
Man: I had done canvassing with a fellow.
Detective: Did he go with you to call on Mr Cassell?
Man: No, I left him in Wolverhampton.
Detective: Are you sure of that?
Detective: Well, if that is so, how do you remember that?
Man: Come to think of it, I called on Mr Cassell during the first week in which I started my new job'.
Detective: Are you sure of that?
Detective: That being so, on what date did you start your new job of which you speak?
The man then consulted his diary.
Man: I started on Monday the 28th September 1959.
Detective: Now are you certain you called on Mr Cassell the week before this or during that week?
Man: I know I had started the new job.
Detective: Mr Cassell was murdered on Friday, the 2nd October. That is the week in which you said you called. Is that so?
Man: It must be.
Detective: Now let's try to fix the day on which you called.
It was noted that the man had been seated up to that point but then got up and started to walk about the office. However, the detective said that he made no clear answer and the detective then continued.
Detective: Will you try to remember any incident in that week which will help you to fix the day on which you called on Mr Cassell? It should be easy in view of the fact that it was during the first week with your new employers.
Man: I remember one day that week. The man was demonstrating a tape-recorder to another man at Household Equipments at Wolverhampton and I believe it was the same day.
Detective: Which day was that?
Man: Well, I know he left the machine one day and collected it the next. Now that I come to think of it he collected it on the Friday.
Detective: Does that help you to fix the day on which you called on Mr Cassell?
The detective noted that at that point the man was still walking about the office and that he then leaned his back towards him and then turned around, leaned backwards on the table and continued.
Man: I'll stick my head right in the noose. It was Friday, the 2nd October.
Detective: Are you sure of that?
Man: Yes. The date sticks in my mind because I had a deal and someone said, the first month was up on the 2nd October. I thought to myself that is a week out but the date stuck in my mind.
Detective: Are you certain in your mind now that you visited Mr Cassell on Friday the 2nd October?
Man: Yes. I remember the same evening I went over to Whiteheath to collect £4 owing to me on a sale by a fellow and his wife.
Detective: Now we are certain of the date, can we fix the time?
Man: You know, I have no idea except it was some time in the morning before twelve.
Detective: You answer the description of a man who was seen walking down the steps leading from Mr Cassells's office after that time of the day. The detective then read out the description of the man that was seen coming down the steps, 'Aged about 40, 5ft 4in in height, stout build, full face, dark brown hair, balding at the front carrying a brown brief case'.
Man: That sounds very much like me.
Detective: If it helps you as to where you were that afternoon I could arrange for you to be put up for identification by the witness.
Man: Surely that is not necessary, I was there between twelve and one.
Detective: Where did you go after seeing Mr Cassell?
Man: I went back to Wolverhampton.
Detective: How did you travel?
Man: I went by bus because it was cheaper than using my car.
Detective: What number bus did you take?
Man: The 126, isn't it?
Detective: How much fare did you pay and where did you pick the bus up?
Man: I forget for the moment.
Detective: Where did you leave your car in Wolverhampton?
It was noted that the man then flicked his fingers and continued.
Man: I am a fool you know, I did come in by car. It was Birmingham I went to by bus.
Detective: If you came by car where did you leave it whilst you called on Mr Cassell?
Man: I left it in the road almost opposite Mr Cassell's office where there is a new church.
Detective: When you saw Mr Cassell, are you sure you didn't pay him any money?
Man: I am quite sure because I had none to pay. That is what made me think I went by bus because it's cheaper than using the car.
Detective: Are you sure you had no money that day.
Man: I certainly had none for Mr Cassell.
Detective: In order to enable us to fix the exact time or come as near as we possibly can, can you give details of anyone you saw before visiting Mr Cassell or after you had left?
Man: I saw a young lady I know when I got back to Wolverhampton. She has got to be back at work by 1.30 so it must have been before then.
Detective: That can be checked, who was the young lady?
Man: It was Miss X.
Detective: Where did you meet her?
Man: I did not meet her, I saw her going across the top of the road with a friend so I did not speak to her. (It was noted that he later changed his story and said that he did meet her although Miss X was claimed to have been a 'hostile witness' after she changed her story about the man having paid her back £5.).
Detective: Where did you go then?
Man: I just had a walk around town. I picked up my laundry at the Chinese laundry. I don't know whether I had a walk first or picked up my laundry first.
It was noted that the man then added as an afterthought.
Man: Oh yes. Then I went and had a bath.
Detective: Where did you go for this bath?
Man: I went to Heath Town Baths
Detective: Where did you leave the car whilst you had the bath?
Man: On the nearby patch.
Detective: Did you speak to anyone at all that afternoon?
Man: The first people I spoke to were my landlady and her husband.
Detective: In fairness to you I want you to be quite certain of this. Are you sure that you saw no one before seeing these two?
Man: I am certain.
Detective: What time would this be?
Man: Getting on towards four.
Detective: What happened next?
Man: I changed my shirt and collar and then went round looking for my work colleague.
Detective: Where did you look and did anyone see you whilst you were looking?
Man: In the cafes.
Detective: What cafes?
Man: The Express and Jennings in Wolverhampton.
Detective: Surely you saw someone you must know.
Man: No, I didn't. Just a minute I spoke to a man in the Express and asked him if he had seen my colleague. Then I found my colleague at Household Equipment where he had gone to pick up the recorder from another man.
Detective: What time was this?
Man: Between four and five.
Detective: You seem to have the day fixed well in your mind, what happened after that?
Man: I've told you, we went to Whiteheath where I collected £4 due to me.
Detective: Now try to cast your mind back to the interview with Mr Cassell.
Man: I've told you.
Detective: Once again I ask you. Did you pay him any money?
Man: I have already told you. I had no money, at least none that I could spare for him.
Detective: Whilst you were at the office, do you remember touching anything?
Man: No, nothing.
Detective: I want you to think hard about this and to be positive.
The man was said to have then looked round the office in which there were several ledgers of different types on the desk and said.
Man: I did pick something up. I knocked a book off the desk or he dropped it or something but I picked it up and handed it back to him.
The detective then took a new receipt book from a drawer and put it on the desk with the other ledgers and books and said.
Detective: Do you see anything like the book you picked up?
The man then pointed to the Red Day Book and said.
Man: It was like this or this.
Detective: Can you remember what you were wearing that day?
Man: It must have been the flannels and blazer that I usually wear to work but I have got two suites, the one I am wearing now and a brown one.
Detective: There is one more question I want to ask you at this stage and I want you to think carefully before you answer it. When did you first hear of the death of Mr Cassell?
Man: The first I heard of it was last night when the police officer spoke to me on he phone and fixed the appointment for today.
Detective: That seems rather strange because the murder received a great deal of publicity both here and in Wolverhampton in the press, on the radio and on television.
Man: I have no television because I go out every night.
Detective: Are you sure that you have not heard the police appeals for all persons who had called on Mr Cassell round about the 2nd October?
Man: I did not hear a thing about it.
The man then made a second statement which read:
'Further to the statement I made earlier today, I have been asked if I can fix the day on which I called on Mr Cassell. I am now sure that the day I called was Friday, 2nd October, 1959. I can fix it by an evening call when I went over to Whiteheath to collect £4 owing to me. It was a man and wife. Actually I saw him. In effect it was £4 to complete a deposit which had already been taken from my commission. The man lived at 18 Dorset Flats, Durham Road, Whiteheath.
I went to Mr Cassell's office by car and left it in a turning off the main road, that is Wolverhampton Street, where there is a new church. This turning is on the opposite side of the road to Cassell's office, the last turning before you get to the office coming from Wolverhampton. The time would be between 12 noon and 1pm and before going to Dudley I had been working in Wolverhampton with a colleague who I left to go into a cafe to have a meal. I knew he had to do a demonstration of a tape recorder at the offices of Household Equipment Limited, 20 Queen Street, Wolverhampton, sometime pm.
Possibly I was carrying a brief case when I called on Mr Cassell. I was only with him minutes and I have already said what happened.
I picked up the car and went to Lord Street, Wolverhampton. I arrived before 1.30pm because I saw a young lady I know going back from her lunch. She was with someone else so I did not speak to her. I then picked up my laundry from the Chinese Laundry at Snow Hill and had a walk round town. I don't remember at what stage I picked my laundry up, then I went to have a bath and this would take me about half-an-hour. Then I went home, this would be mid-afternoon. On getting home I saw my landlady and her husband and I believe I spoke to them. These were the first persons to whom I had spoken since leaving Cassell's office. I changed my shirt and collar and went back to town. I did not change my suit. I picked my colleague up at Household Equipments, after looking in two cafes for him. The cafes were Jennings and the Express, both in Queen Street, Wolverhampton, and in , or near one of them I spoke to a man I know and one of us mentioned my colleague.
I then went to Household Equipments and found my colleague in the company of some other people. I was with my colleague for a while. I don't remember whether I was with him continuously but later we went together in the car to collect the money I have already mentioned. I have a feeling Miss X might have gone with us as well. Miss X works at Midlands Aerosols, Great Brick-Kiln Street, Wolverhampton. She lives at 22 Kipling Road, Wolverhampton.
Referring to my interview with Mr Cassell, I remember sitting down. You have shown me several books, including a receipt book and a small cash book. I do remember that Mr Cassell accidently knocked one of these books to the floor and I bent down and picked it up. The book opened, but I didn't notice the inside. I handed it back to him or put it on his desk. I cannot remember handling anything else at the moment. I did not pay Mr Cassell any money that day. I had none to pay. I rather imagine that on leaving Cassell's office I went straight back to my car and back to Wolverhampton. The baths I used at Wolverhampton were Heath Town. I left my car on the adjacent patch. I don't know what I was wearing that day, it might have been flannels and blazer, that's what I normally wear to work. I have only two other suits. The one I am wearing now, a blue-bronze, and a brown one. I had no others immediately prior to 2nd October.
Today is the first time I have been wearing an overcoat but I have another raincoat at home which I have had with me this past week.
I have no objection to my fingerprints being taken.
There is nothing more I can say.
I know nothing about the death of Mr Cassell and the first I heard of it was last night when the police officer spoke to me on the phone to fix the appointment for today. When I mentioned this to my landlady she said she had not heard of it either.
I have no television and I am out every night. I did not see anything about it in the press and I did not know you wished to see a man who had called on Mr Cassell round about that day on 2nd October, or that it had been in the Press'.
Following the interview the man was questioned again at about 6.30pm after which he was asked whether he had any objection to having his car and room searched and the man replied, 'Carry on. Do what you like'.
After the interview the police checked the distance between Household Equipments Ltd and Trinity Road, Dudley and determined that it was 6.1 miles and that it took 12 minutes to drive. The police tried the journey twice and the results were the same. The police drove at the correct speed for built up areas and on the Birmingham/Wolverhampton Road at between 30 and 60 miles per hour and on both occasions stopped at four traffic lights on the Birmingham/Wolverhampton Road, noting that traffic was normal. On the first occasion it was 3.15pm on a Friday afternoon and on the second occasion they started from Dudley at 10.15am. It was further noted that the journey would have taken 30 minutes on the Wolverhampton bus route via Sedgley and about 20 minutes on the Midland Red buses, the times being from Dudley to Wolverhampton itself with another 5 to 7 minutes bus times from Wolverhampton town centre to Heath Town where Bushbury Road was.
The continued interview at 6.30pm included the following questions:
Detective: There are a few questions I would like to ask you about moneys you have received since starting your new job in September. You have told me you started your new work on Monday, the 28th September. Did you draw any money as wages or commission from your old firm on the weekend you left?
Man: Yes, I drew ten to twelve pounds.
The man then consulted some pay envelopes that the detective produced and then said.
Man: No, it was £11. 3. 0.
The detective then told him that there was no hurry and the man said:
Man: No it was £5 8. 1.
Detective: Did you pay out any cash that weekend?
Man: Yes. £3. 10. 0. lodgings.
Detective: What are your usual commitments?
Man: I pay £3. 10. 0. a week lodgings and £7. 10 .0. a week to my wife making a total of exactly £11 a week.
Detective: Did you pay your wife that week?
Man: I don't think I had the money to pay her that week.
Detective: We are quite clear, aren’t we, that was the weekend that you left your old firm.
Man: Yes. I should say so.
Detective: Before you went to Mr Cassell's on the day you have now agreed as Friday, the 2nd October, had you any other source of income?
Man: I've already told you. I drew £4 from a friend for a debt.
Detective: But that was after you had been to Mr Cassell's wasn't it.
Man: Yes but come to think of it there was another £5 that I drew from my new firm that weekend.
Detective: Did you pay your rent that weekend?
Detective: What about your wife?
Man: I sent her £7. 10. 0.
Detective: And what was your next source of income, was it your next week's pay?
Man: Yes. I drew a week on Friday the 9th October.
Detective: How much?
Man: I can't remember, £10 to £12 I think.
Detective: And did you pay your landlady £3. 10. 0.?
Detective: What about your wife?
Man: Yes, I paid her £7. 10. 0.
Detective: What about last week, how much did you draw?
Man: £10 or £11.
Detective: And did you pay your wife and landlady the full amount?
Detective: Have you drawn any amounts of £1 or over during that period?
Detective: Had you any other money or any other possible source of income during that period?
The man thought for a while and then said.
Man: Yes I always keep a nest-egg of £5.
Detective: Was there anymore?
Man: No. The detective then repeated the details to the man one by one and as he agreed he wrote them down in the form of a statement. The detective said that as they got to the end of it the man said, 'You know I can see there is an object in these questions' and the detective replied, 'Of course there is an object'. The man then confirmed that the statement was true but when he was asked to sign it he said, 'I would like to postpone signing that'.
In the further statement that the man didn't sign the man said:
'I have been asked details of my financial position. My commitments are £11 a week. Three pounds ten for my lodgings and £7.10s to my wife from whom I am separated. On Friday, 25th September 1959 I drew £5.8.1d. from my firm Household Equipment. I left that night and have not drawn any money from them since. I always kept a nest egg of £5. After drawing this pay I paid my lodgings over that weekend. I did not pay my wife. I had no other source of income that week prior to going to Mr Cassell. I have told you already I did get £4 that evening from a couple.
The first money I drew from any source after seeing Cassell was a sum of £5 I drew from my new employers Messrs. Broadmead. I drew no further cash from any source until drawing my next week's pay on Friday, 9th October. I have not drawn money from any other source than wages since then. The last wages I drew was on 16th October. This was £10 or £11. The weekend of 9th October, I paid my wife £7.10s and my landlady £3/10s. Last weekend I paid my wife £7.10s and my landlady £3.10s. I have not paid out any other fairly large amount'.
The detective then later questioned the man again at 9.20pm:
Detective: There are one or two other matters that I would like to clear up with you. In the first place, there are two splashes of blood on your brief case. Can you suggest to me any legitimate reason for them being there.
Man: I have no idea.
Detective: We understand that on the 3rd October 1959 you paid your landlady currency including a white £5 note. Where did you get that note?
Man: I have no idea.
Detective: It is very important because white £5 notes were stolen from Mr Cassell's.
Man: I should imagine that there are a lot of white £5 notes about.
Detective: But you have not handled a lot of them. Surely you can remember from whom you got it.
Man: I have no idea.
Detective: You have told us about two suits you have. We have been informed that you had a light grey suit. Where is it?
Man: In the car.
Detective: You also say you have two pairs of brown shoes.
The detective then showed him a pair and asked.
Detective: Is this one?
Man: No they're not mine, they're the man’s over at the cobber’s,
The man then produced two tickets from his note case and the detective asked him what was being done to the shoes and the man said.
Man: One is having their back stitched and the others are having rubber heals and I think that's all.
Detective: Have you thought yet from whom you obtained the white £5 note?
Man: You'll have to prove I had it, won't you?
Detective: That's simple enough. Have you had more than one?
Man: I don't think I should tell you. I've had a lot of £5 notes in my time.
Detective: Can you give us any other information that would help to prove where you were on the afternoon of the 2nd October?
Man: I'm not saying any more at the moment. You should have enough to prove my alibi.
The detective said that he then questioned the man over his use of the word alibi and the man said.
Man: That's what you detectives say. Perhaps I used the word loosely.
The detective said that he then told the man that he would be detained pending further enquiries and said that the man said, 'Have you the right to do that?', and that when he cautioned him the man said , 'I hope the bed will be comfortable'.
The detective said that he then handed the two tickets for the cobblers to another detective and noted that the man was provided a bed in the Surgeon's room. He said that the man seemed rather unconcerned. He noted that the man had been sitting during the interview and that at that stage he would not have been allowed to go home overnight. The detective said that it was by that time about 10pm and that the man at that stage was pretending to be tired by putting his head in his arms and curling himself up in his chair and said that he didn't want it to be suggested that he had questioned him whilst he was tired. The detective said that he cautioned the man because he had quieried their right to detain him and added that he was certainly detained. The detective said that the next day there came a stage in their enquiries when he was released which was around 5pm following an interview that started at 3.45pm.
The interview on 22 October at 3.45pm included:
Detective: although you have declined to answer questions, this is a very important matter and there are certain other matters to mention to you to give you an opportunity to explain. We have found a further £5 in the glove compartment in your car and that with £4 in your wallet and £1 in you blazer makes a total of £10 found in your possession.
Man: That is reasonable, the £5 is my nest-egg. The £4 is my personal money.
Detective: And the £1 in the pocket of your blazer?
Man: I do stick one away and I must have overlooked it.
Detective: That includes about £2 of the firm's money. Over the past three weeks your wife has received from you a total of £31. 10. 0.
Man: Yes and so?
Detective: You said you could not send her money on the 25th September yet on the 3rd October she received £10 from you. How was that?
Man: That is because I missed a week.
Detective: You wife received £31. 10.0. from you during the three weeks from the 2nd October, 1959, is that so?
Man: I told you last night. I am not talking about money any more.
Detective: You also gave Miss X an old type white £5 note in repayment of a debt and a further £3 present, both since the 2nd October. Is that so?
Man: No comment.
Detective: You gave your landlady £14 in the three weeks following the 2nd October and you missed the previous week. That also included one white £5 note. Have you any explanation to give about that?
Man: No comment.
Detective: You made a payment of £2 at Curry’s on the 3rd October.
Man: That is easy to explain. That was not mine. It was someone else’s. Miss X paid for the set.
Detective: Quite apart from your living expenses and your car expenses, to date we have a record of you paying out £64 subsequent to the 2nd October, and including the weekend before the 2nd October the total income including the nest-egg was only about £30. Where did the rest come from?
The detective said that the man then pursed his lips and stared up into the corner of the room and said nothing.
Detective: You will also recall I told you two splashes of blood have been found on your brief case. It has now been established that this is human blood. Do you wish to give any explanation of the possible cause?
Man: I can't
Detective: We have found a grey jacket in your car but the trousers are missing. Where are they?
Man: They should be with the suit.
When the detective told him that they weren't the man said.
Man: I have not destroyed them. They should be with the suit. I cannot account for them.
The detective then showed him a diary.
Detective: Is this yours?
The man said that it was.
Detective: Why is it marked on the 2nd October?
Man: It looks like a flaw.
The detective then gave the man a magnifying glass to examine it and told him that it was not a flaw and the man said.
Man: I cannot think of any explanation.
The detective then showed him the two pairs of shoes that had been recovered from the cobblers and said.
Detective: You told me that one was being soled and the other was having rubber heals.
Man: Not exactly, there was some work to be done underneath.
The man then pointed to one of the shoes and said.
Man: This is the one that needed stitching. I thought it only wanted soles on one.
The man then indicated to one of the pairs and said.
Man: I did ask for them to be soled and heeled.
Detective: You borrowed £5 from Miss X. Is that right?
Detective: Do you deny that you paid her £5 back to pay into her savings account?
Man: Our relationship is such that if she says I did, I would not dispute it.
Detective: She said it was a white £5 note.
Man: I don't know.
Detective: Before we leave the cash angle, is there anything you wish to say which will help our enquiry? You must realise that any explanation you give will be verified, and if the explanation is satisfactory there can be no suspicion as to your possession of the cash and notes.
Man: I'm trying to prevent a prosecution in respect of cash matters. I was hoping that I had successfully covered up certain matters.
The detective then said that he told the man that he had to realise that it was a murder enquiry and that he was ill-advised to take that course and the man said.
Man: You have given me every opportunity to clear the air but I would rather not say anything.
Detective: One final question. Do you know anything of the murder of Mr Cassell?
Man: I know nothing.
The man was then released from the police station at 5pm on 22 October 1959.
The police later saw the man on 30 October at about 12.15pm when he was interviewed again.
Detective: In fairness to you I want to see you again. There are certain matters I want to put to you. Between the period from 25th September to the 21 October we have reason to believe you have received or collected on your own behalf an approximate sum of £28. Add to that a nest egg of £5 you say you kept, that is £33. We can account for your disposal of over £75 since 2nd October. From where did the extra money come?
Man: No comment.
Detective: We have traced to your possession several old type white £5 notes which you cashed subsequent to the 2nd October. From where did you obtain these?
Man: How many did you say?
Man: No comment.
Detective: Have you yet remembered how the human blood splashings came to be on your brief case?
Detective: Have you found your grey trousers or can you say where they are?
Man: No. I should say I haven't looked for them. I presume you have.
Detective: You can't say where they are. Are they in your possession?
Detective: Can you give any further help as to where you were between 2.30pm and 3.30pm on Friday the 2nd October?
Man: Well now I have accounted for that time. At 2.30pm I would say that I was in the slipper baths at the Heath Town Baths. From there I went to my lodgings and that covers that period.
Detective: You have nothing to add to that?
Man: I repeat. What I wanted to imply was I was not saying that at half past two I went to the baths.
Detective: There is one other question I wish to ask you. I took a statement from you respecting your personal financial dealings. You said it was true but you refused to sign it. Do you now wish to sign it?
Detective: These facts will be reported to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
When the police later spoke to Miss X she said that when she had met the man on her lunchbreak that she had actually gone around with him in his car to the laundry. In her statement on 9 December 1959 she said:
'On Friday the 2nd October, I did not attend work in the morning. I had a bad leg and decided to see the doctor. I didn't visit the doctor that morning. I thought I would see him in the evening surgery. It being pay day on Friday I made up my mind to go to work, we leave at 4.30 on this day.
As I have lunch at my friends I was on my way there, and I saw the man's car in Lord Street. I went over to him and we went up town and walked round the shops. We then returned near work, I said I wasn't going back. The man took me to fetch his laundry. He parked the car in Snow Hill. I waited in the car for him. We then returned home arriving at about 2 o'clock.
When I met the man in Lord Street, Wolverhampton, it was about 12.45pm.
He left me outside my home, 22 Kipling Road, he was in the car'.
It was noted that Miss X was ruled a hostile witness at the trial after she later claimed that the man had not paid her back the £5 that she had lent him. It was heard that she had lent the man £5 on 12 September 1959 and in an early statement to the police had said that he had paid it back on 9 October 1959. However, at the trial she claimed that the man had offered to pay it back but that she had not accepted it and that the £7 that she had paid into her Post Office account on 10 October 1959 had not included the £5 that the man had owed her. After giving that evidence at the trial the prosecution showed Miss X's original statement to the police in which she said that the man had paid her back to the judge and he granted the prosecutions application that Miss X be treated as a hostile witness. When Miss X was asked why she had signed her statement as true at the trial she made no reply.
In a latter statement that she had made to the police in December 1959 Miss X said:
'I live at 22 Kipling Road, Wolverhampton, and am single. I know the accused man. I have known him for over five years. I think I am a close friend of his. I once worked at the same factory as him, Thomas & Evans, Wolverhampton. I now work at Midland Aerosols.
I have a Savings Bank account with the Trustee Savings Bank. I produce the book (exhibit 23). I look at the last entry but one. £5 was drawn out on the 12th September 1959. It was a loan to the accused. He needed £5 and I offered to lend it to him. He didn't actually give me any reason. Nor the circumstances. I look at the last entry in the book where there is a payment in on the 10th October 1959. It is of £7. I thought it was the money that I had been paid back but it was not. It was the money that I had saved up. I can't remember what notes it was that I paid in. I look at a statement. I gave a statement to the police at the Dudley police station but what date it was I don't remember. The detective was one of the persons who took the statement. I wrote something in my own hand at the end of that statement. I wrote in my own hand, 'I have read this statement'. It is quite true. I followed that with my signature. Those words and the signature appear on the statement handed to me. I was being interviewed by the police on a serious matter. I was telling them what I believed to be the truth. I can't be quite sure whether the loan of £5 was paid back or not. At the time I gave the statement I thought what I said was true when I said, 'He paid me back on the Friday'. He offered me back the money but I cannot be sure if I took it. As regards the sentence in my statement that I was paid back with a £5 note, I am not sure now if that was so. I told the detective at the time that I was not sure. I handle many £5 notes of both types and I don't notice particularly what type the notes are. I handle £5 notes in my wages. I usually get one in my wages. I have no idea what I earned in the week ending 10th October 1959. It is a long time ago. It would most likely be under £10. The £7 which I paid into my own account was the money that I had saved. I remember paying it into the Bank. I don't know what form it was in.
I am not sure whether the loan to the accused was repaid to me. I know it was offered but I am not sure whether I took it.
A little after that I didn't get a present from the accused. It was a loan. It was £3. I spent one of the £1's. I kept the other 2 £1 notes to give back to the accused together with another one. The purpose of the loan was that I wanted to buy some shoes. From refreshing my memory from the statement, I should say that the £3 was lent to me on the previous Friday previous to the 21st October 1959, viz October 16th.
In my statement I used the words, 'gave' me £3. The statement was read out to me. Nothing has occurred since 21st October to alter my views about money matters'.
Selected parts of the transcript of the man's defence follow (throughout the trial the man was noted for speaking quietly and not everything he said was recorded, he was prompted to speak clearly many times and places where what he said was not audible are indicated by ....):
Q: Are you a married man living apart from your wife?
Q: When did you first go to live at Bushbury Road?
A: At Whitsun. I think I took up residence there on Whit Sunday, but it might have been on Whit Saturday.
Q: It is near enough, Whitsun last year, 1959?
Q: At that time when you went to live there how many suits did you have?
A: Four in my possession. That is a grey suit, the one I am wearing now, a brown copper bronze and a blazer and flannels.
Q: What shoes did you have?
A: Four pairs, two brown and two black.
Q: Was the grey suit one that was made for you or did you buy it off the peg?
A: It was made to measure.
Q: was it a two-piece or three-piece.
A: A three-piece.
Q: That is trousers, waistcoat and jacket?
Q: Was the jacket double-breasted or single-breasted?
Q: Look at Exhibit 27. Is that yours?
Q: In particular, you are looking at the left hand by the left hand button hole. Why do you specifically say that one is not yours?
A: Because some time while I was at some place I fell asleep smoking a cigarette. I was also reading at the same time and the cigarette fell on the library book ..... This being double-breasted would stick out a bit more .... and burnt a hole somewhere here. I had that repaired at the cleaners. There was a small patch between three-eighths and half an inch long and perhaps a quarter of an inch deep put into the seam.
Judge: Is that just above the one button? Was it?
A: I cannot be exact, my Lord, but somewhere about here. It may have been a bit lower and it may have been a bit higher.
Q: On the button hole side?
Q: Do you see any such repair in the jacket in front of you?
A: That is what I was just looking for, and I can see no repair.
Q: Will you please take off your present jacket and put on the other one?
Q: No, do not tear the label off.
A: I have done now, I am very sorry.
Q: He is going to button it up.
A: It is on a single button.
Q: Just answer the questions I put to you for the moment. Button it up. Will you hold your arms straight down like that. I do not know whether the Jury can see. My Lord , may he stand up?
Judge: Just turn round. Turn right around.
Q: Have you some time ago had dealings with Mr Cassell of Dudley?
Q: How many years ago was that?
A: The beginning of September last year.
Q: No, I am talking about previously, some time away back?
A: I think those dealings finished about six or seven years ago.
Q: Did you go to him again last year?
Q: Do you remember the actual date you went?
A: No, it was at the beginning of September.
Judge: I wonder if you would mind keeping your voice a little bit raised so that you are sure that everybody in the Jury hears you.
Q: For what purpose did you go at the beginning of September?
A: To borrow £20.
Q: Did you get the loan of £20?
Q: In what fashion was the money given to you? How was the money made up of £20?
A: In notes.
Q: What sort of notes.
A: £5 notes.
Q: Which kind, the old kind or the new kind?
A: The white old type.
Q: Why did you want to borrow the £20?
A: I needed to have some money by me. At least I thought that I needed to have some by me.
Q: What was the reason that you might be wanting that £20?
A: I had taken some money from a previous employer. Although the principal of the firm had promised ....
Q: You must keep your voice up.
Q: He started 'The principal of the firm'.
Q: We cannot have what anybody else said to you. Do keep your voice up.
Judge: Unfortunately, one way or another the witness did not complete what he was saying. I am going to ask for his sake the shorthand writer to read out exactly what he had said. (which was done)
Q: Can you then explain exactly and more fully in what connection you wanted to have this £20 by you?
A: I must go back to the promise that no prosecution would be taken, but I felt that in case any prosecution was made I should have money by me to offer to repay the money, or part of it.
Q: You wanted it by you in case you were prosecuted to offer to pay part of it back, is that it?
Q: Exhibit 64, please. Is that an application form? Is that your signature at the bottom?
Q: 'Amount required £20'. That is correct, is it?
Q: 'Name in full'. And you give that. 'Address, 21 Brooklyn Grove, Coseley'. What address is that?
A: The address at which my wife lives now, and which I used to live with my wife.
Q: 'How long at present address? 10 years'.
Q: 'What rent do you pay? 30s'.
Q: 'What rent do you owe? None'.
Q: What is the value of your furniture and effects'. I cannot read whether it was £200 or £300. Can you?
A: It might be either. I remember having a discussion with Cassell about this. I said to him quite frankly I cannot give a figure.
Q: It looks to me like 3?
A: It could well be 3.
Q: Had you furniture and effects in your wife's house?
Q: 'What is the total amount of your debts? None'. Was that a true state of affairs at that date?
A: Yes, I think so.
Q: 'Occupation Manager'.
Q: 'Where employed Thomas & Evans'. Was that true at that time?
Q: Had you in fact ever been their manager?
Q: 'How long in present employment? 6 years'. By the 1st September was that right or not?
Q: At the 1st September were you in fact employed at Thomas & Evans?
Q: But you had been with them for six years?
Q: 'Are you at present a borrower or surety elsewhere? No'. Is that true?
Q: 'Have you ever been bankrupt?' I have missed one out. 'State amount of income or salary £925'. Was that true?
A: Appertaining to Thomas & Evans, yes.
Q: Was that what you were earning at Thomas & Evans?
Q: Had you ever been made a bankrupt?
A: No, no.
Q:Was the furniture and effects in your possession that is the furniture referred to up above, £300 absolutely your property?
Q: And was there ever a bill of sale or marriage settlement over your property?
So that document is party true and partly untrue?
Q: And then you signed the receipt for the money, did you, and the other document that goes with it?
Q: What arrangement did you make about repayment with Mr Cassell?
A: I arranged to repay him at monthly intervals.
Q: How did that compare with the arrangement you had with him previously some years back.
A: I arranged to repay him at monthly intervals.
Q: How did that compare with the arrangement you had made with him for repayment in your transaction some years previously?
A: It was exactly the same.
Q: Having got that £20 from him did you keep it or did you spend it?
A: I kept it.
Judge: What was the name of the employer?
A: New Cross Brick Works.
Judge: What was the date on which you left New Cross Brick Works?
A: Towards the end of August.
Q: Did you leave that employment voluntarily?
Q: What happened?
A: I was sacked, of course.
Q: You have just told us you kept the £30?
Q: I want to come down to the time when I think you got some employment with Household Equipment?
Q: Do you remember the date you began with them roughly?
A: The end of August, towards the end of August.
Q: And was your colleague a fellow employee?
A: I don't, at that time, I don't know.
Q: There came a time when he and you worked together?
Q: On Friday, the 25th September, were you out with your colleague in connection with your business affairs?
A: On Friday, 25th, that is a week before the murder?
Q: The week before 2nd October?
Q: And did you go with him in the course of your travels to Dudley?
A: We returned from Birmingham via Dudley, yes.
Q: Did you stop in Dudley for a short time?
A: Yes, about half and hour, I think.
Q: For about half and hour?
A: About half an hour.
Q: Do you know about what time of day it was?
I mean, morning, afternoon, evening?
A: Morning, or midday. It would have been before .... we had to be in Wolverhampton at Household Equipment at half-past one.
Q: So it would be some time before half-past one?
A: Before one o'clock I should say, yes.
Q: Where did you in fact stop, in Dudley I am talking about?
A: Trinity Road, I think .... is it?
Q: For what purpose did you stop on that occasion in Trinity Road?
A: We had that morning been for an interview with Broadmead group at Murdoch's in Birmingham.
Judge: The Jury is having difficulty in hearing what you say.
A: We had that morning been for an interview with the Broadmead group at Murdoch's shop in Corporation Street, Birmingham, and we had been engaged by them to start work with them. On the way back from Birmingham, thinking that one of us might be working in the Dudley area, I decided that we should go, or at least I should go, and have a look at the Murdoch's shops in the Dudley area.
Q: And having stopped the car in Trinity Road, as you have said, where did you in fact go?
A: To Broadmead's, I think it is in the High Street of Dudley, opposite the top of Stone Street, to their shop in Stone Street.
Judge: To their shop in what street?
A: Stone Street, and the third shop in, I think it is Hall Street.
Q: H-A-L-L Hall?
Judge: Is Hall Street on this map?
Q: It is on the extreme right of the map. The High Street is down here and Stone Street is here (indicating to the Jury)
Q: Having gone round those shops and stayed in Dudley about half an hour did you go back to the car in Trinity Road?
Q: Where you had parked it?
Q: And did you then go back to Wolverhampton?
Q: Now I want to come to Friday, 2nd October, or rather to go back to the Monday first. On the Monday of that week you started work with Murdoch's?
A: Yes, that is the 28th.
Q: The Monday after the Friday I have just been speaking about. Do you remember, can you remember precisely, what you were wearing on the Friday morning?
A: Which Friday morning?
Q: October 2nd?
Q: Do you remember where you went, first?
A: Yes, roughly, that is.
A: Yes, roughly.
Q: Where did you go in the morning, first?
A: From my lodgings I went into Wolverhampton town, and into Queen Street in particular, where I met my colleague in the Express Cafe.
Q: Where did you go after that?
A: To Featherstone.
Q: Perhaps we need not have it in any great detail. Did you then go out in connection with your business activities?
A: Exactly, yes.
Q: Do you remember roughly in which direction you went, in connection with your business activities?
A: I think roughly north-east or north-north-east, to Wolverhampton.
Q: Did there come a time when you came back from those missions?
Q: What time did you come back?
A: Some time after eleven o'clock. Between eleven and eleven thirty.
Q: Did you go to Dudley at all on that day?
A: I carried more or less straight on to Dudley from Featherstone, dropping my colleague in the vicinity of Queen Street, to go and have a meal.
Q: Do you remember roughly what time you dropped him, then?
A: No more than about half-past-eleven. I can say no nearer than that.
Q: Having dropped your colleague where did you then go?
A: To see Mr Cassells at Dudley.
Q: For what purpose did you wish to see him on that occasion?
A: Well, at about that time, of course, my first repayment was due.
A: And I went to explain that I was not in a position to repay him anything at that moment, but that I would make repayments within the month, and not later than another month hence.
Q: How long were you there on this occasion when you saw him?
A: Two to three minutes, very very short, something like that.
Q: We have been told that your thumb-print, an impression of your thumb-print, appears on Exhibit 36, which is the sheet torn from the book, exhibit 35. Will you tell my Lord and the Jury how that came about?
A: Yes. As Cassell walked back from his door, from the door of his office, to his desk, he knocked this book off the desk and I bent down and picked it up.
Q: Have you any recollection now how you picked it up?
A: None at all.
Q: A woman, who you have heard give evidence, said she saw you come down the steps at about one o'clock, down the steps from Mr Cassell's front office door at about one o'clock. Might that have been you?
A: I rather doubt it. It might have been but I rather doubt it.
Q: It might have been, but you rather doubt it? Why do you express doubt about it?
A: I might be wrong about this but I do not think I was in Dudley at one o'clock.
Q: Having left Mr Cassell's office, at whatever time it was, I should have asked you this, first of all, when you went to see Mr Cassell were you in your car?
Q: Where did you put your car when you went to see Mr Cassell?
A: In Trindle Road.
Q: I beg your pardon?
A: In Trindle Road.
A: The same place I parked the week before.
A: I beg your pardon, Trinity, yes.
Q: Having left Mr Cassell's office did you go back to the car.
Q: And where did you go then?
A: Back to Wolverhampton.
Judge: When you say you went back to the car, do you mean you went straight back or went back after doing something else, or what?
A: No, straight back, my Lord.
Q: Can you remember in Trinity Road whereabouts the car was parked?
A: If I say right on the corner of Trindle, Trinity Road and Wolverhampton Street, would that be precise enough. It might have been five yards down.
Q: Well, as near as possible to the corner?
Q: Which way was the car facing, towards Wolverhampton Street or down the hill the other way.
A: Down the hill away from Wolverhampton Street.
Q: That would be towards St James’s Road?
Q: Having got into the car which way did you drive to Wolverhampton?
A: Down Trinity Street, turn left at the bottom into St James's Road, at the top of St James’s Road turn right into the Parade, continue along .... I beg your pardon, I should say turn left at the bottom of Trinity Road and left again into the Parade, to the top of the Parade, turning right into the main road leading through Sedgley into Wolverhampton.
Q: Does that turn left, and left again, bring you back into Wolverhampton Street?
A: No. I don't think at that stage there is Wolverhampton Street.
Q: Anyway, you turn left at the bottom of Trinity Road, you turn left again, out of St James's Road and into the Parade?
Q: Eve Hill?
A: Eve hill.
Q: Then when you got to Wolverhampton where did you first stop? I must perhaps first ask the question, did you stop in Wolverhampton?
Q: Where did you first stop?
A: Lord Street, off Brick Kiln Street.
Q: And why did you stop there?
A: Well, I knew that Miss X would be passing the top of Lord Street, going along Great Brick Kiln Street on her way to and from lunch.
Q: About what time would that be?
A: About five and twenty to one and five and twenty past one.
Q: Well, then, it could be that you left Dudley at about one?
A: It could be, but I rather doubt it. I am not too happy about being definite.
Q: Anyway, having parked your car at Lord Street, did you remain in the car or did you get out of it?
A: I remained in it.
Q: And did you see Miss X?
Q: And then what happened?
A: She came over to the car. We could have spoken first of all, or she may have got in first, and we went off into Wolverhampton town, the shopping centre, that is.
Q: You drove, you mean?
A: Oh yes. We did a bit of window shopping. I collected my laundry and took Miss X home.
Q: She has told us where she lives, but I have forgotten for the moment. Do you remember where it is?
A: Kipling Road, Ford Houses, Wolverhampton.
Q: Is that in the town or outside the town or where?
A: On the outskirts of Wolverhampton.
Q: Do you remember approximately what time you dropped her there?
A: Between 2 and 2.30. We possibly got down there at 2 o'clock, could have sat nattering in the car for 15 minutes or so, but anywhere between 2 and 2.30.
Q: Where did you go then?
A: The Heath Town baths.
Q: Where is that in relation to where Miss X lived? I mean, do you have to go back into town for that or not?
A: Oh, no. Due east, I suggest.
Q: You spoke about laundry. Had you picked up your laundry?
A: Yes. We did that after we had done our window shopping.
Q: Do you know approximately what time you arrived at the baths?
A: No, but about half past 2. It may have been before.
Q: How long does it take to drive from Kipling Road, where you dropped Miss X, to the baths?
A: Between 5 and 10 minutes, I think.
Q: I am told I did not probably catch something you said as to the time at which you arrived at the baths. You said about 2.30 and you added something else?
A: Might have been a bit before.
Q: Did you leave the car somewhere adjacent to the baths?
A: Oh, yes. There is a small car park for the use of people using the baths immediately .... the baths in part face on to the road and in part face on to this car park, the road running in front of the car park and swinging round at right angles.
Q: Did you leave the car there and go into the baths?
Q: And did you have a bath?
Q: What is called a slipper bath?
A: I believe so.
Q: But it is an ordinary bath, is it?
Q: I think your landlords have said so, but we had better get it from you. Is there a bath at 7 Bushberry Road?
A: There is now but at the time there was not.
Q: Approximately at what time did you leave the baths?
A: It is rather difficult to say, but sometime around about 3 o'clock. It could have .... I do not definitely know, but it was around between 3 and 3.15, I suggest.
Q: Apart from buying your ticket at the ticket office did you talk to anybody?
Q: How far are the baths from Bushbury Road?
A: Oh, a few yards.
Q: Oh, very close. Where did you go after the baths?
A: Back to No. 7 Bushbury Road.
Q: Were the landlords or either of them in when you arrived?
A: The landlady was. Her husband came in from outside the house a little later. By that I do not know where he came from, he may have come in from off the street, shall we say, or he may have come in off the garden or out of the workshop, but he came into the house some time while I was there.
Q: When you got into the house where did you first go? By that I mean, which part of the house?
A: I think I went up to the bedroom.
Q: What did you do there?
A: Take my laundry up.
A: Then I rather think that I brought a pair of shoes downstairs which I intended taking to the cobblers. I went into what we now call the cloakroom, washed my hands and face, when I say I washed my hands, I mean that I wet my hands in the course of washing my face, having stripped off collar and tie, of course. At some time during this the landlady and I had a conversation through the bathroom door. I came out of the cloakroom and it is at this stage that the landlord comes back into the house. They tell me that they are going off. I go upstairs to change my collar and shirt, and then I leave the house as well.
Q: Did you take anything with you when you left the house that you can recollect?
A: The shoes, of course.
Q: That is the pair you brought down into the kitchen?
A: Plus another pair that I brought down with me on the second occasion.
Q: On the first occasion when you came down to wash your face you the brought pair of shoes down?
Q: And the landlords have told us about those. Then when you went up to change your shirt, put a clean shirt on and collar, did you then bring down another pair?
Q: What colour were those shoes? You have told us you had brown and black.
A: Brown, both pairs brown.
Q: When you left the house what time about did you leave the house?
A: I do not know. About half past three.
Q: When you left the house at, you said, about half past 3, with the shoes, where did you go first?
A: To the car.
Q: And once you were in the car?
A: To the cobblers.
Q: Where is the cobbler in relation to Bushbury Road?
A: I rather think they might be in Bushbury Road. They are at the top end of Bushbury Road from where we live. They may be in another street. They are on a corner block.
Q: In point of time in the car how long would it take to get from No. 7 Bushbury Road to the cobbler?
A: Oh, minutes, one, two, three minutes.
Q: Oh, as close as that?
A: Oh, yes.
Q: Where did you go after that?
A: If I may expand on that other question a little, if I had to leave No. 7 Bushbury Road to go to the cobblers and return I would probably say I wanted ten minutes in order to go out to the car, get to the cobber’s, get out of the car, go into the cobblers, return to the car and turn the car around, because traffic at that point is rather heavy and turning the car could take a little time.
Q: Where did you in fact go after you had left the cobblers?
A: Into Queen Street, Wolverhampton.
Q: For what purpose?
A: To meet my colleague.
Q:Where were you intending to meet him?
A: Well, I knew that he had to see the man at Household Equipments to pick up the tape recorder that he had left there the day before and which he had demonstrated to the man on the Thursday and he had left with the man to take home on the Thursday night. I knew my colleague had to pick that machine up some time on the Friday afternoon. I rather thought that he would have left the man before I got into Queen Street, and consequently I looked into the Express Cafe and Jennings. I popped back to the Express Cafe. I saw another man outside the Express Cafe. I said, 'Have you seen my colleague?'.
Q: Never mind what you said. Did you speak to him?
Q: Having spoken to him what did you then do?
A: I went to the Household Equipments office. I walked into the office. My colleague and some other salesmen were grouped round a table with the tape recorder, and the expression was made that ....
Q: Never mind what was said. One of the men has told us that you came in at 4 or shortly after. Would that be about right?
A: It would not be any later than 4 o'clock, quite right. It could be 4 o'clock.
Q: It would be about 4?
Q: Did you remain there some time, as has been said?
A: Yes, possibly, at least an hour.
Q: Then later on that evening did you go somewhere with your colleague?
Q: And was anyone else with you in your car?
A: Yes, another man.
Q: Where did you go?
A: To Whiteheath to the Dorset Flats in some road, Whiteheath.
Q: When you stopped the car did you get out?
Q: Did your colleague get out?
Q: Did the other man get out?
A: No, not unless he went with my colleague after I had left the car. To the best of my knowledge he did not get out.
Q: Did your colleague go off on his own errands?
Q: Where did you go?
A: To the Dorset Flats, to a man's flat in Dorset Flats.
Q: Did you transact your business there?
Q: What in fact happened between you and the occupier of that house?
A: The man gave me £4, as we had arranged four or five weeks earlier. We had a discussion about his sewing machine.
Q: Never mind. You had a business talk with him?
Q: And he gave you £4.
Q: As a result of a previous arrangement?
Q: What did you do with the £4?
A: I folded it, if it was not already folded, I folded it in four, I think, as I usually fold a £1 note, and put it there (indicating his breast pocket).
Q: Where did you do that?
A: Inside the man's flat.
Q: Quite sure about that?
A: Definite, oh, definite.
Q: Did you then go back to where you had parked the car?
Q: Was the other man in the car then?
A: The other man and .... the other man was, yes.
Q: But your colleague, do you remember whether your colleague was or not?
A: No. I was going to say my colleague was as well, but on reflection I do not remember whether I got back first or my colleague.
Q: Did the other man say anything to you when you got back?
A: When all three of us, that is, my colleague and the other man, were sitting in the car one of the two asked if I had had my money.
Q: What did you say?
A: I said, 'Yes, I have had it'.
Q: Is there any truth in the other man’s story that you took the money back with you in your hands and then in his presence took out a wad of notes and wrapped the £4 around it?
A: None whatsoever.
Q: Then I think you drove them back to Wolverhampton?
A: We may have made one more call for my colleague to collect money and then we came back to Wolverhampton, that is quite true.
Q: Now I want to turn to something else. The landlady has told us that there came a time when you paid her the rent that you were owing, a total of, I think it was, £7, which included a white £5 note. Is that correct?
Q: I forgot the date when she said that was.
Q: On the 3rd October 1959. It was left on the top of the bureau.
Q: I only wanted the date. We have also had evidence that on October 8th you went with a woman to Llangollen, calling at Shrewsbury on the way, where you had lunch?
Q: And you paid for your lunch with a white £5 note. Is that right?
A: I could have done.
Q: Where did those two white £5 notes come from?
A: They were two of the four that were given to me by Mr Cassell.
Q: Having kept it since September 1st, when you borrowed it, what had caused you to begin to part with some of that £20?
A: Well, I think the promise that was made to me had been (shall I say) fulfilled. Yes, I think that would be a ....
Q:Were any proceedings brought against you in connection with that matter that you have told us about earlier?
Q: Did you go back to Dudley that afternoon of Friday, 2nd October, after your first visit?
Q: Have you ever taken that tyre lever out of your landlord's premises?
Q: Although it follows, I think, from the questions I have asked you, I must formally ask you this one, did you kill Mr Cassell?
Q: Now do you remember the telephone conversation on October 20th (I think it was)?
A: That was on the Tuesday evening, yes?
Q: I want your version of that. Where were you when the telephone rang for the first time? In which part of the house, I mean.
A: Apart from saying the ground floor, I do not really know. I am trying to reflect on that night at the moment.
Q: Can you tell us this first, where is the telephone, in which room?
A: In the landlords' dining room, that is between the entrance hall and, shall we say, the back kitchen.
Q: Can you remember being in that room when the telephone rang?
A: No, but it is very likely that I was, because the telephone rang within a few minutes of entering the house. I would go in the back door that leads into the back kitchen, into the bathroom or the cloakroom to wash my hands, and back out into the landlords' dining-room, and it is very likely that at that point or in the kitchen itself I should stop and talk to the landlady, depending on the state of preparedness of the evening meal.
Q: That is a very long answer. Do you know where you were when the phone rang?
A: Not to be very definite about it.
Q: Did there come a time when you spoke on the telephone?
Q: How came that? Did somebody call you to the phone or what happened? How was it that you took up the receiver?
A: One of the landlords called me. The landlord was holding the receiver. He passed it to me. I said 'Who is it?', thinking it might have been somebody from the shop who wanted some information or even wanted to use my car. I said, 'Ask who it is'. The landlady then took the phone off me, enquired who it was, handed it back to me, saying 'The police' or something like that.
Q: Can you remember what the person at the other end said to you?
A: Whether he introduced himself first or enquired my name first I am not sure, but he did one of the two, he either introduced himself as being from Wolverhampton police or he asked my name and then introduced himself.
Q: Having got the introduction over, what did he then say?
A: He told me, as far as I remember, that the Dudley police want me to go up to the Dudley police station to see them. May I say this first, that when the landlady said it was the police I seem to think that I said to her 'The Birmingham parking offence', because a few days earlier I had been booked in Birmingham for parking on a street although there was no parking line.
Q: I want you to deal with what you and the police officer said to each other on the telephone.
A: He asked me or told me that Dudley police wanted to see me.
Q: Try again.
A: After he told me the Dudley police wanted to see me I asked him what for. He then said it was in connection with the Dudley murder. I said 'Oh yes, who is that, when did it happen?'. He told me that it was the moneylender and that the date was the 2nd October. He went on to add that he knew that I was a collector-salesman and it was quite possible that the Dudley police thought that I might have come into contact on my travels with someone in whom they were interested. I went on then to ask when they wanted to see me. He said, 'As soon as possible. Could you do it tomorrow, nine o'clock?'. I said 'No, I am rather busy tomorrow, possibly manage two o'clock or there abouts'. He went on to say 'I'll ring you back and confirm the appointment or I'll get the Dudley police to ring back direct themselves'.
Q: Then, as we know, about 10 minutes later the Dudley police did ring back and confirm the appointment for some time after two the following day, was it?
A: Yes, it might have been less than ten minutes.
Q: Did you keep the appointment?
Q: When you got to Dudley police station did you see the detective first?
Q: Do you agree with the evidence which he gave? Did he tell you that he had reason to believe that you had had dealings with Mr Cassell?
Q: Did he then ask you if you cared to make a statement with respect to those dealings and did you agree to make a statement immediately?
A: After a considerable amount of conversation.
Q: Conversation with him?
A: Oh yes, about the dealings with the moneylender, about my garage at Brookling Grove and about the Jaguar car that is stored in there, quite a long conversation.
Q: Then did you eventually make the statement which is Exhibit 51? Can he see that please? (Exhibit 51 handed to witness). Is that the one signed by you?
A: The only thing I recognise is the signature, that is mine at the bottom.
Q: Yes, I do not suppose you recognise the writing, which I expect was the writing of the detective. The signature is yours, is it not?
A: The signature is mine.
Q: Is the first paragraph correct? 'I am employed as a collector by the Broadmead Group of Companies, at their shop 'Murdoch's', Victoria Street, Wolverhampton, and am at present residing at 7 Bushbury Road, Town Heath, Wolverhampton'. Is that correct?
Q: 'I have had dealings with Mr Cassell over a period of years but there was a lapse of about 7 years until this year'. Is that correct?
Q: 'Sometimes during August, 1959, I found myself financially embarrassed and went to see Mr Cassell about a loan'. Is that correct?
Q: 'He loaned me the sum of £20. on this occasion which was to be paid back at the rate of £1 a week over a period of 30 weeks. I always paid monthly and by post except on rare occasions when I called at his office'. Was that correct?
A: May I say at this stage that this was not written at my dictation. It is correct.
Judge: The question is whether the contents of that are correct or not.
A: Yes, quite correct.
Q: It does not matter whether it was dictation at the moment or whether it was question and answer. The contents are correct?
Q: Is the next paragraph correct: 'I have not paid any instalment on this loan and about three or four weeks ago it would be either on a Thursday or a Friday, at about midday, I called on Mr Cassell at his office'.
A: Yes, quite correct.
Q: This was being taken on the 21st October and therefore three or four weeks ago would be either at the beginning of October or end of September.
Q: 'I explained to him that I had been unable to pay my instalment on the loan because I was short of money and I did not want him to write to my home'. Is that correct?
Q: The home that you refer to, is that the home in your application form?
Q: At Coseley where your wife lives?
Q: 'He pointed out that I should pay regularly and that the loan could not go on indefinitely or County Court proceedings might be taken against me'. Did he point that out to you?
A: Did Mr Cassell point that out?
Q: He did not tell you that?
A: No, he did not.
Q: How does it come in the statement?
Judge: Do not cross-examine him.
Q: I am not cross-examining him. How did that come in the statement?
A: As I have already said, this statement was written down by a police constable or police detective after a lot of conversation. During the conversation the detective mentioned or possibly mentioned County Court proceedings and I did not argue with him, I just said, 'Yes'.
Judge: Anyway, your evidence is that on the occasion of the 2nd October when you saw Mr Cassell he did not refer to County Court proceedings?
A: Mr Cassell did not, no.
Q: 'I promised that I would pay as soon as possible and he accepted this'. First of all, is that what you told the detective, that you promised Mr Cassell to pay as soon as possible and that Cassell was agreeable to that?
A: Yes, I think that is a fair statement.
Q: In substance is that right?
Q: And in substance is that what happened between you and Mr Cassell?
Q: Is the last paragraph right, 'I have made no repayments to date but am hoping to do in the near future'?
Q: Then a little later about quarter past three were you introduced by him or by somebody to the superintendent?
Judge: I think that would probably be the best time to adjourn. You will remember, members of the Jury, what I said about not talking to anybody about this case. The longer it goes on the more important it is.
Q: When we adjourned last night I was about to deal with your interview with the superintendent, but before that there is one matter which I ought to have put to you, and I will put it to you now. Do you remember the woman that gave evidence some days ago about a conversation she had with you one morning, she was rather confused about the date, in the Expresso Cafe at Wolverhampton?
Q: In the course of which she said something was said about her having been visited by the police and some comment made by you about your having taken her out on the previous Sunday. You know what I am referring to?
A: I know the conversation. Yes.
Q: Would you kindly tell my Lord and the Jury what you say she said to you about the Police and what you said to her about the police, and why you said whatever you said about the police. Do not forget to keep your voice well up?
A: Of course the conversation did not take place on the Monday morning that she mentioned.
Q: Never mind about the date. She was obviously confused about the date.
Q: When do you think it took place, this conversation?
A: One or two weeks after.
Q: When you say 'two weeks after' do you mean after the Sunday you had taken her out?
Q: What was said about the police having been to see her?
A: I think I would have said to her in the opening remark, 'I believe the police have been to see you' and then I went on to ask.
Judge: Do remember the Jury want to hear you.
A: I then went on to ask her if she had told the police that we had been to Shrewsbury and I told her at the same time that there was no need for her to tell the police about our journey to Shrewsbury, and I did that with the intention, or with the implication, that there was no need for her to become involved in this matter.
Q: To come to the interview with the superintendent, it started at 3.15pm, after you had given your first statement to the other detective. The first thing I want to ask you about it is this, My Lord, I am not going through every question and every answer. I am merely going to deal with the matters that I think it is necessary to deal with, you told the superintendent that on the afternoon of Friday, 2nd October, he said that you told him you had been to have a bath, you see, and he asked you where you left the car and you said 'On the nearby patch'. He then said to you 'Did you speak to anyone at all that afternoon?', and he says your answer was, 'The first people I spoke to were my landlady and her husband'. You told us yesterday that, having left Dudley, you went back to Wolverhampton and you met Miss X and spent about an hour with her. How comes it that you did not tell the superintendent that you had in fact been with Miss X that afternoon?
A: Well, the interview with the superintendent took place, I think, three weeks after the 2nd October, and the reason that I did not tell him that I had been with Miss X that afternoon was that I had not remembered it. I had not reconciled it with the 2nd October, in other words.
Q: How often were you in the habit of meeting her at that time of day?
A: At that time, if not meeting her being in that vicinity to see her?
A: It was a habit.
Q: It was a habit? Because, you see, you did suggest just before that passage in the conversation, or you did apparently tell him ...
Judge: Do not lead him, will you?
Q: No. The evidence which he gave was that you said 'I saw a young lady I know when I got back to Wolverhampton. She has got to be back at work by 1.30 or so'. I am sorry, 'She has got to be back at work by 1.30, so it must have been before then'. And he said to you, 'That can be checked. Who was the young lady' and you said, 'It was Miss X'. He asked you, 'Where did you meet her?', and you said, 'I did not meet her, I saw her going across the top of the road with a friend so I did not speak to her'. How do you reconcile that with what you have just told us. You told him you saw her on that occasion and did not in fact speak to her?
Q: And you are now in fact stating here that you did in fact speak to her?
A: The transcription by the superintendent there is slightly incorrect. My word would be that I 'would' see her, not that I 'did' see her, that I would see Miss X travelling along the road.
Q: But you were a bit more specific, you see, because according to him you went on to say that you did not speak to her because she was with a friend?
A: I would not speak to her because she would be with a friend. At that time as far as we were aware the friend was not aware of our relationship, not to my knowledge, and consequently if Miss X was with this particular person and we met then we did not acknowledge each other.
Q: I understand that but I just want to deal with this. You told the superintendent on the 21st October that you saw Miss X about this time of day but did not speak to her because she was with someone else. You have told us that in fact you did speak to her. I want you to explain, you see. How do you reconcile those two inconsistent statements?
A: But I had not told the inspector I saw her. I said that I would have gone there to see Miss X and that I would have seen her going along the street. In fact I was not saying to the inspector, and if his transcription had been accurate it would have been recorded as such, that I went to see her to speak to her, but that I would have gone there, as it was a habit, and that I would have seen her, always presuming, of course, that she was at work, and that we would not have spoken.
Q: I am not quite sure that either you understand my question or that I understand your answer.
Judge: With great respect, I think I have understood the sense of it, and I am inclined to think the Jury have. Let me put it like this. (to the man) You say that when dealing with the superintendent at that time you were saying, in effect, 'Well, it is my habit to go there at such and such a time, and therefore I would have done this or that' and you were speaking of what was your habit and not from your recollection of what happened on that day?
A: Exactly, my Lord.
Q: I am much obliged. I now understand it. Then you see, the statement Exhibit 58, which was written down some time as we now understand it after the discussion had taken place, and which you signed, dealing with the matter I have just been putting to you, reads as follows: 'I picked up the car and went to Lord Street, Wolverhampton', Do you see that passage?
Q: It reads as follows, and the Jury have no doubt got it, 'I arrived before 1.30pm because I saw a young lady I know, A Miss X, going back from her lunch. She was with someone else so I did not speak to her'. That was put in the document and was read over to you, you see?
Q: That is inconsistent with what you have now told us. Have you any explanation you can offer about that?
A: Yes. The superintendent, from time to time while this statement was being read over to me ....
Q: You are dropping your voice again?
A: The superintendent, from time to time whilst this document was being read over to me said phrases like, 'Now, do let us have your attention'. In other words, I was not very interested in this statement or in the questions that were asked me. You may feel that is foolish, I do not know, but, quite frankly, I had given the inspector the explanation and as far as I was concerned that was that. I was rather more interested in getting away from the superintendent, or from Dudley police station, whichever you like, so that there are certain little things that have been missed out of this statement and certain little things that we now know are not quite true, and not quite consistent with what I had told the superintendent.
Q: Now I want to come to the passage in the conversation later on when you had a discussion with him and he put questions to you about your clothes or suits. How do you say that conversation began? What did he ask you first about it?
A: Well, if we may begin the conversation where the inspector, I beg his pardon, I believe he is a superintendent, the superintendent read over to me the description of the man or one of the men that had been circulated in the press, on the wireless and where have you, that the police wished to interview, he described this man as we have already heard and he asked me if I greed hat the description rather fitted me and I said, 'Well, I suppose it does'. He said, 'Well, have you got a grey-blue suit?' and I said, 'Yes'. Then he went on a little later to say, 'And what other suits have you got?', so that I said, 'Well, I have this one and two others', implying that I had four suits, a grey suit that he had already asked me about, the one I am wearing now and was wearing then, and of course the brown copper-bronze and the blazer and flannels.
Q: Then did he ask you, as he has told us he did, what you were wearing on that day?
Q: Can you remember when that question came in sequence? You have told us he asked you if you had a blue-grey suit. Which came first, do you remember?
A: He would have asked me first if I had a grey suit because he would have asked me after reading the description out what I was wearing on Friday October 2nd.
Q: Then later that evening there was another discussion which began at 20 past 9. The first discussion had ended, I think you had gone into some room and been given some refreshment, do you remember that?
A: In the photographic room, yes.
Q: Then you had another discussion which began at 20 past 9 with him and in the course of that according to you ....
Judge: Pause one moment, so that the jury will again follow this. This relates not to No. 2 or No. 3 statement, but to the time after No. 3.
Q: My Lord, I think it does, yes.
Judge: If you are referring to 9.30 it is clear it does. I want to be quite clear that the jury know what you want to refer to.
Q: Yes. Unfortunately none of the written statements is timed, as they usually are.
Judge: But we have got the times, and I will repeat them to you if you want them, if it is any help to you. They are all in evidence.
Q: During the course of this later discussion the inspector told us that there was some further conversation about suits. Do you recall it? And there came a time when you gave the key of your car. That is the occasion I am talking about.
A: This is at 20 or half past 9.
Q: Twenty past 9.
Q: It began at 20 past 9. Do you remember giving ...
A: I remember the conversation.
Q: Do you remember giving the key of the car to some officer who went to search your car?
Judge: I do not want any confusion about this. The 9.20 occasion was after the No. 3. What I want assistance on at the moment is the precise occasion according to the evidence when the car key was handed over.
Q: It is on page 101 about half way down.
Judge: That is what I thought. Anyway on this page there is a conversation about shoes.
Q: My learned friend was asking about suits. It is just a little above that in the middle of the page.
Q: Do you remember there was a conversation both about shoes and suits in this later discussion?
A: I remember the conversation.
Q: I want you to tell us, if you will, what happened about suits in this second occasion.
A: Well, the opening question on this second occasion was, 'Where is your grey suit?'
Q: What did you say?
A: I said, 'It is in the back of the car'. I was asked why it was in the back of the car. I told the superintendent that it was to be cleaned, to be taken to the cleaners, that is, and he asked me again for the key to the car which I gave him, and someone was dispatched to go down and get the suit out of the car.
Q: And the superintendent told us that he never said to you on that occasion, 'Well, on the previous occasion you denied you had a grey suit'. Do you agree with that, that he never did say that on this second occasion?
A: Well, he had no reason to put the question because at no time had I denied having a grey suit, and in fact quite early in our conversations I had told him in fact that I had a grey suit, so there was no point in him putting he question.
Q: There came another interview on the 30th October when you had with you your solicitor. Before that was there an identity parade?
A: There was.
Q: How did that come about?
Judge: Are you leaving the suit? You are not going to go any further with the suit? We have got the position that the grey suit is stated to have been in the back of the car and it was there for being taken to the cleaners, and that the superintendent asked again for the key, and that someone was despatched to the car. In view of the rest of the evidence as regards that, are you going to leave the suit?
Q: I am much obliged. I will complete it. You gave the key of the car and somebody brought in, did somebody bring in from the car anything?
A: The jacket of a grey suit was brought in a short while later.
Q: And something else, I think a pair of shoes that were eventually proved to be the cobblers, they were brought inn, were they not?
A: I cannot remember.
Q: When the jacket was brought in did you see it?
A: I saw it as I see it now, in other words, at a distance.
Q: But did you examine it?
Q: I am not sure whether I asked you this yesterday but I must ask you this now, having seen it and examined it as you have, is it yours?
Judge: Was there any question raised when he brought the jacket and showed it to you as to the trousers?
JUDGE: What was said?
Q: What was said about the trousers? Answer my Lord's question.
A: I beg your pardon, I did not hear it. I was asked where the trousers were, and I went on to tell the superintendent that to the best of my knowledge they were with the suit, with the jacket.
Q: Was anything said about the waistcoat?
A: No, no waistcoat has ever been mentioned.
Q: Was the waistcoat with the other two pieces when it was put in the car?
A: When it was put in the car, yes.
Judge: Just let me see that I have this question of yours right. Was the effect of your question, 'Was it (the waistcoat) with the other two pieces when it was put in the car?'
Q: That was my question.
Judge: And his answer was 'Yes'.
Judge: Very well.
Q: Now come to the 30th October. Would you tell my Lord and the jury how the identity parade came about?
A: Yes. I was approached by the superintendent. I was told that in a cafe, the name of which escapes me, in Dudley a man was having a meal as far as I remember sometime after 2 on Friday the 2nd October, and the superintendent went on to say that he had reason to believe that I was the person who had that meal and there were two witnesses who would recognise the person and he proposed to put me up for identification and bring these two witnesses in . I was asked if I had any objection. I said No, and the identification parade was held.
A: In the police station.
Q: Where, at Dudley?
A: At Wolverhampton.
Q: And as we heard from the superintendent, you were not identified?
A: I was not identified.
Q: By the persons who were there. Now in this conversation that ensued between you and the superintendent, on the 30th October, there was yet another discussion about the suit. Do you remember that?
A: Rather vaguely, yes.
Q: The superintendent has told us that he asked you if you had found your grey trousers?
A: That is quite right.
Q: Or could you say where they were?
Q: He told us that you answered, 'No, I should say I hadn't looked for them. I presumed you had'. Is that correct? Is that what you said to him?
A: Yes, in effect. May I enlarge on that. I would say that of course between the 22nd October, the time I was seen by the police, and the 30th October, I was staying, as I think I have already said, at my father's house and not at 7 Bushbury Road.
Q: Where is your father's house?
A: Tipton. I had, therefore, no reason to ....
Q: Tipton in Staffordshire, do you mean?
Judge: And you were saying you had no reason ....?
A: .... to exchange any clothing at No. 7 Bushbury Road. At the 30th October, to the best of my knowledge, I had not been up to my bedroom at 7 Bushbury Road, and consequently I had not looked for the trousers. The inspector had told me they were missing, I knew that he had searched my room and it seemed pointless to me to look for them.
Q: In some other questions that he put to you in the course of that discussion on financial matters he told us that to various of them you said, 'No comment'.
A: Quite right.
Q: I think you should explain to us why it was at that stage you were disinclined to comment on financial matters to the superintendent.
A: To do that I must go back to the original conversation that the superintendent and I had about money. I think the conversation took place in the early evening of the 21st October, I am not sure, but that is it, and the superintendent was talking about .... the superintendent raised the question of earnings and he said 'How much did you earn on such and such a week?', I said 'Oh, a certain figure'. Then he went on and, quite frankly I had no recollection of what I had earned on those particular weeks and I remembered that in the document case that was in the office at that time there were certain wage packets, three of which have been produced as exhibits. So I went over to the table on which these three particular wage packets were stored in the document case ....
Judge: One moment, are you referring now to the 21st October or referring to the 30th October?
A: 21st, and I took the four wage packets from the document case and I took them back, sat down, I laid them out and I said, 'Now, on such-and-such a week I earned such-and-such a figure'. The superintendent went on, 'And what did you earn the week after that and the week after that?' and I checked the sums from the wage packets. Then the superintendent posed questions, presuming, for example, that on week A I had told the superintendent that I earned £5, the superintendent then says, 'On week A then you earned £10'. I said, No, not at all. I said I earned £10 on week B'. 'Oh, and what did you earn the week after?', and so we went through it again. 'An so then you earned the week before week A £5'. 'No, the week before week A I earned £7. On week A I earned £5'. The gist of the conversation went like that, at the end of every run through these few weeks' wages the superintendent came back starting with a different wage to a different week, and I said to him, in effect, I accused him that he was trying to confuse me and the superintendent turned round and said 'No, it is you that are trying to confuse me'. So I told him then that I should not discuss any money with him any further and that I should not sign any statement concerning money. The 'No comment' referred to on the 30th October is a continuation of my decision not to discuss money with him and not to sign any statement.
Q: The statement that you did not sign is what I think we have called statement 3, that is, the second part of Exhibit 58. During July, August and September, I am going back a little now, in addition to the income you earned from your employment did you have any other source of income?
A: July, August, yes.
Q: What was that?
A: The chief other source of income at that time was derived from hiring out the car that I had.
Q: Have you any written record of the hiring out of the car?
A: I think it is most likely that there will be references in my diary.
Q: May I see the diary please? (Exhibit 56 handed to witness). Look at July, August and September and tell us on what occasions you hired out the car in those months and how much you got for it.
A: There is one hiring that extends back into June and beginning of July, we will miss that. July 19th, a man from 58 Coppice Lane, Shoreditch, hired the car for Sunday and Monday, that is, 19th and 20th July.
Q: How much did you get for it?
A: £4 5s. On the 25th a man from 80 Dilloways, Willenhall in Staffordshire.
Judge: Which month?
Q: What name?
A: Mr L. He had booked the car for a week from the 25th July to 1st August.
Q: How much did that bring in?
Q: The next one?
A: A man from 66 Neve Road, I think it is, it is a shocking state of affairs when you cannot read your own writing.
Q: Never mind the address.
A: He had the car on Sunday, 2nd, Monday, 3rd, and Tuesday, 4th August.
Q: How much did you get for that one?
A: I am afraid there is no note of the actual amount paid.
Q: When was the next one?
A: On the 5th August, a man from 67 Dudley Road, Tipton, who hired it for the 5th only.
Q: How much?
A: There is no note of that, but the charge there would have been £2. 10s.
Q: The next?
A: A man from 205 Watling Street, Gayling, hired the car for the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th August and there he paid me £7. 10s. From the 22nd August ....
Judge: I assume from the nature of this questioning that we are going to have a considerable number of entries going right over a period. Has any table of them been prepared for the assistance of the Jury?
Q: No, my Lord.
Judge: This will take some time.
Q: I am very sorry about it. I do not think there are many more.
A: This is the last one in August.
Q: If your Lordship would wish it to be done we will have it done.
Judge: We shall have to see.
I can only judge from what has happened so far. You were dealing with 22 August.
A: From 22nd August to 31 August and man from 99 Rusin Road, Wolverhampton, £17. 10s. I have a note there.
Q: Are there any more?
A: That is the end of August.
Q: Any in September?
A: There was one, I remember one. Again the man from 67 Dudley Road, Tipton, had it on the 18th and 19th September.
Q: How much?
A: That would cost him £4. 5s. but I have not got it down here. I beg your pardon, I am wrong there. The amount received was £2. 5s. and he had it from the Friday evening of the 18th to the Saturday evening of the 19th.
Q: All the money that you have mentioned there, did you spend it as you got it or did you keep some of it?
A: Both, some I kept and some I spent.
Q: Can you explain to the members of the Jury when you last saw your grey suit?
A: Within a day or two of the 21st October. I would not say that I actually saw it on the 21st October, I possibly did, but I would not like to say definitely.
Q: Where had it been in the meantime?
A: For some week or so it had been in the back of the car.
A: Because I was taking it to the cleaners to be cleaned.
Q: Why were you taking it to be cleaned?
A: Because it was dirty, soiled.
A: No, soiled, food stains and what have you.
Q: What happened to it?
A: I have no idea. It was on the car seat, I know, at the time I was in the police station at Dudley on the 21st October.
Q: You had not seen it for three or four days in the back of the car although it had been in the back of the car for two or three weeks or thereabouts?
A: I did not say I had not seen it, I said I may not have seen it.
Q: Let us have your evidence clearly. I asked you when you last saw it and I ask you again when you last saw it?
A: I do not know.
Q: You cannot give the jury any idea when you last saw that grey suit?
Q: You may have seen it last on the 2nd October after you killed the old man, I suggest?
A: No, I saw it later than that.
Q: Will you look at Exhibit 27? It has been suggested by your learned Counsel that that is a practically new coat.
Q: Will you look in the inside breast pocket?
Q: Is it quite obvious to you that somebody has cut out the seller's label?
A: No, the seller's label is here.
Q: No, would you look inside? The seller there often puts a white label inside the jacket pocket giving the date upon which it is sold, particularly if it is made to measure?
A: Yes, I can see that.
Q: It has quite clearly been cut out, has it not?
Q: Who put that jacket in your motor-car?
A: I have no idea if this jacket was ever in my motor-car.
Q: You see, it was not suggested to any police witness that that jacket was not found in your motor-car. Give it to me.
Judge: Let us try and see clearly what his case is on this. Is it suggested that that is a jacket that did not come from your motor-car? Is that your suggestion?
Q: Then you accept that this jacket was in your motor-car on the 21st October, 1959?
Q: What is your suggestion then?
A: That is obviously not my jacket.
Q: Please answer the question.
A: I am giving you my suggestion. That is obviously not my jacket. I am at a loss to understand how that jacket can have come from my car.
Q: So we have got two strange coincidences to explain, (!) how your grey suit left your car. is that right?
Q: Are you unable to explain that?
Q: You cannot remember when you last saw it?
A: Not within hours, minutes, days.
Q: The suit you may have been wearing on the ....
A: Oh, I beg your pardon, I saw my grey suit, and I can only say, 'my grey jacket', in this respect, that it was similar, on the back seat of the car at the time that I went with the police for them to take the forensic tests from inside the car at some time after half past 5 on the 21st October, when in order to hand them my briefcase and to get my radio set out of the car I put on top of that jacket the travelling rug, not that jacket but the jacket that was in the car.
Q: I am afraid I shall have to begin again.
Judge: I want to understand this answer and I expect the Jury do too. You referred to the car being taken to the laboratories for a test.
Q: Then what did you refer to?
A: At some time in the very early evening of the 21st the superintendent asked for the keys of my car ....
Q: You see, we are only dealing with the question of when you saw the jacket and you have told me something a moment ago about an occasion when you saw what you described first as 'the jacket' and then as 'a jacket' being placed in a certain position in the car.
A: No, I am afraid I have not made myself clear. The car was visited by the superintendent with some portions of what appeared to be blotting paper. These he rubbed on the steering wheel and on the various parts of the car.
Q: Will you please tell me when.
A: In the early evening of the 21st October.
Q: And in your presence?
A: In my presence.
Q: That is the important point. I am going to ask you two or three questions and then you can give any explanation you like. When in your presence the car was visited was there a grey jacket in it?
Q: Was it a jacket which to outward appearances was the same as that one?
Q: And that was on the 21st October?
Q: At that moment, rightly or wrongly, did you think it was your grey jacket?
Q: Now we have the facts. Is there anything that you want to add on those questions which I have just put to you?
Q: Was the jacket lying where you had left your grey jacket?
A: Well, I could not say where I had left my grey jacket in particular.
Q: I thought you told members of the Jury that you put your grey suit into the car?
Q: 'In particular', he said.
A: It was on the back seat, yes.
Q: Had you put the waistcoat and the trousers on the back seat?
Q: Was the jacket more or less in the place where you had put your suit?
A: Apart from it being on the back seat, I cannot answer that question, but as far as the back seat is concerned, yes.
Q: On the 21st October when you took your car to the police station, are you saying you had not understood, did not appreciate that no waistcoat and no trousers were there?
A: I did not get your question properly.
Q: Are you saying that when you got to the police station on the 21st you did not know that your waistcoat and trousers were not in the car?
A: That is quite true.
Q: So now we come back to the coincidences. The first coincidence is that somebody takes the whole of your suit out of the back of your car. That is the first thing that happens apparently if your evidence is true?
Q: You never noticed that it had gone?
Q: Apparently that person replaced your grey suit ...
Judge: Not necessarily that person, some person.
Q: Yes, apparently some person replaced your grey suit by putting in an almost new grey jacket?
A: That I cannot answer.
Q:' Apparently', I said.
A: I am sorry, I cannot answer that question.
Q: It was there when you took your car to the police station, was it not?
A: Which was?
Q: This jacket here, as you said?
A: I do not know. As far as I am concerned, on the 21st October when I went to the police station my grey suit, including three pieces, was in the car. Beyond that I cannot say.
Q: You had your car locked up, of course, when you went to the police station?
A: I had, yes.
Q: So what it comes to is this, is it not, so far as you can give evidence, the finger of suspicion points to the police for changing over these things?
A: I am passing no comment there.
Q: Would you mind doing so? Can you suggest anybody else?
A: Put a question to me, please.
Q: If your evidence is acceptable, it must have been, must it not, the police who made this transfer?
Q: Did you observe that it had never been suggested to any policeman who gave evidence that he had tampered in any way improperly with any of your belongings?
A: Not particularly.
Q: You did not notice that?
Q: When did it first occur to you that the police had tampered with the evidence in this case?
A: No-one is suggesting here that the police have tampered with the evidence.
Q: Would you not call taking out your suit and replacing it with the jacket tampering with the evidence?
A: I have not said that the police did that.
Q: I thought you said nobody but the police could have done?
A: It was a difficult question to answer.
Judge: The actual question you put was that 'the finger of suspicion points to the police.
Q: When did it first occur to you that the finger of suspicion pointed to the police?
A: I do not know that the finger of suspicion has ever pointed at the police. The point never occurred to me.
Q: Who else can have made this change-over?
A: You are asking me a question I cannot answer, I do not know.
Q: Another point of coincidence is that unless it was the same person who changed it over, somebody must have been able to get a very good match of the material between the suit that you had and Exhibit 27, must they not?
A: No, no, fingering that suit this morning there is no comparison in the material there and in my grey suit. That has a rough feel, my grey suit was a fair quality.
Q: If that is so, why did you tell the members of the Jury that the reason you knew it was not your suit was because there was no repaired burn on the left-hand side of the jacket?
A: Well, there is no repair mark on that jacket.
Q: What you are saying now is, 'Obviously it's not my suit'?
A: I have said all along that it is not my suit.
Q: You have not said all along that it obviously is not your suit. I am going to point out one occasion when you said it was your jacket.
A: To look at that jacket from here, I am not going to split hairs on shades of grey, but when I see this that to all intents and purposes could be my jacket. But when I feel it I realise it is not, when I come to examine it closely I see there is no repair mark on it. It cannot, therefore, be my jacket.
Q: And a person who had apparently taken the trouble to remove the label put in by the manufacturer?
A: Well, that is a fair conjecture.
Q: Is it pure conjecture? I thought you agreed that the label had been taken out?
A: I agreed that the label had been taken out.
Q: Let us see what happens if you have a label inside. It will probably bear the purchaser's name on it, will it not? Look at your own now.
A: There is no label inside this jacket.
Q: Have you taken it out?
A: It has come out, the suit has been cleaned once or twice.
Q: May I look?
Judge: Can you put it higher than it may contain the name? There are sometimes labels inside surely that do not.
Q: When a suit is made to measure, as he has told members of the jury?
Judge: Yes, true.
Q: I should have thought that was the practice.
A: No, no. If I may, I have a grey overcoat downstairs which was made at the same time as his suit and which does not contain a label in the inside pocket and if you wish we will have that brought up.
Judge: I expect you will agree it is the sort of place where one does often find the name of the owner put in?
A: Not in my experience, I have read of it in books, but not in my experience.
Q: Not only the name of the owner but the date upon which the suit is manufactured?
A: Possibly, yes.
Q: And a serial number very often to show the type of cloth?
A: I do not know. I am used to having a card with the suit.
Q: Did you hear the inspector say that when this coat was brought in it was folded like that?
A: I did not, but I remember that it was in that particular fashion.
Q: Are you telling the members of the Jury that if you are taking a suit to the cleaners you have it nicely folded up like that?
A: I am, I do, yes.
Q: That is how your suit was folded?
Q: So we have another coincidence, that the person who put in Exhibit 27 took the trouble to fold it just as your own suit has been folded?
Judge: Well, you shrug your shoulders. What is your answer?
A: Well, it is a coincidence.
Q: Now I am coming to the moment it was brought in. Were you sitting beside the inspector when this suit was brought in?
A: No, I would not think I was, I do not remember sitting beside him at any stage in the proceedings.
Q: He told the member of the Jury, and he was not cross-examined about it, that he was sitting near to you and he pointed to a distance about 2 ft away and he said he had the jacket in his hands and you had a close look at it. Is that right or wrong?
A: Who had the jacket in his hands?
Q: The Inspector.
A: No, I think it was a third party.
Q: Well, that is untrue, is it?
A: As far as I remember, yes.
Counsel: I have no recollection of the superintendent saying that the man had a close look at it. I think he said he brought it in in its present condition.
Judge: I do not remember the words 'close look'. I would say it would probably be right to say that he had a look from close, not a close look.
Q: That is what I meant. I did not mean a close inspection. It came from your Lordship's question, because your Lordship said, 'When it was brought in where was he sitting and where were you sitting?'.
Judge: 'I had a close look' might imply to the Jury that it was a close examination and I do not think that was so.
Q: Do you admit that when asked by the inspector you said that was your jacket?
A: The jacket that was brought int that room, I said Yes, that was my jacket. I had not examined it, I had seen it at a distance of feet.
Q: You knew, of course, this was a murder enquiry?
Q: You know it was suggested that you had been wearing this jacket on the day the crime was committed, did you not?
A: No, it had not been suggested, had it?
Q: But had not it?
A: If it had how does the inspector, superintendent say that ....
Q: What I am ...
Counsel: Let him finish.
Q: He is asking a question and I cannot answer questions.
Judge: I think you are quite right in taking that point. Just repeat the question.
Q: You knew, did you not, that it was thought that the man who had some connection with the murder was wearing a grey suit on the day of the murder?
Judge: Just do yourself justice. I do not know whether it is right or wrong, but surely your evidence has been that the grey suit was mentioned, because it was supposed to be a grey suit that someone had seen you in?
A: Exactly, but it was not suggested at any time that the murderer wore the grey suit. It is quite true it was suggested that I might have worn one.
Q: The suggestion was, if I may sayso, that he was wearing a grey suit at one o'clock.
Q: The man whose description was given was wearing a grey suit. You knew, did you not, perfectly well that this grey suit played an important part in the matter?
A: Not to my mind it did not. I had given a perfectly reasonable explanation to the superintendent.
Q: This is a matter for the Jury to consider, but I suggest you knew perfectly well that the question of a grey suit was very important. Do you say you told the inspector you had a grey suit?
A: To understand that, yes.
Q: At which interview do you say you told him or do you not remember?
A: The one that began at 3.15.
When the man's defence summed up they said that there was no evidence that the man had been in Louis Cassell's office at the time of the murder or that any of the white £5 notes that he had handled had been stolen from Louis Cassell's office.
They said that the prosecution’s case was based on suspicion that had its origins in a white £5 note. However, they noted that despite scientific tests on the man's shoes, no blood had been found on them, adding that if he had of carried out the murder that they would have been saturated in blood. They added additionally that neither did the prosecution find any evidence of blood in his car
The defence added that the time factor made it very doubtful that the man could have committed the murder and that the evidence of the tyre lever 'did not point in any one direction'.
In particular, the defence noted that the thumb print found in the receipt book was more consistent with his innocence than guilt as it was obvious that the murderer had worn gloves.
When the judge summed up he said, 'You may think that for an average human being mere financial difficulty is not a compelling motive for murder. On the other hand this murder you may think was so callous, so brutal and so unusual in some of its aspects that it may have been committed by someone who didn't think as you and I think'.
When the judge described the man tried he observed that he had an unusual character, but noted that if the jury reached the conclusion that he was a liar and dishonest they would have to be careful, stating that the man was not on trial for being a liar or dishonest. He said, 'Men sometimes lie not only because they want to conceal the truth but sometimes because they have no real idea how to tell the truth'.
The judge said, 'There is sometimes a piece of circumstantial evidence which is capable of being damning in itself but more often it relies on a series of coincidences' and added that the jury had to use common sense to decide whether the circumstantial evidence fitted together in the case.
The jury retired for four hours before returning a verdict of not guilty.
After the man was discharged he told the press that he had slept through most of the time that the jury had been deliberating.
He said, 'I am grateful to all the friends who have stood by me throughout the trial including my landlord and landlady, Miss X, and many others.
see A Calendar Of Murder, Criminal Homicide In England Since 1957, Terence Morris and Louis Blom-Cooper
see National Archives - ASSI 6/214
see Birmingham Daily Post - Tuesday 17 November 1959 (includes photograph of man tried for murder)
see Birmingham Daily Post - Saturday 03 October 1959
see Birmingham Daily Post - Tuesday 02 February 1960
see Torbay Express and South Devon Echo - Tuesday 02 February 1960
see Aberdeen Evening Express - Wednesday 27 January 1960
see Daily Mirror - Tuesday 02 February 1960