“I shall be locked up or commit suicide,” John Berry told his wife’s parents. She had left him, taking their 21-month-old son with her, and on JULY 23rd, 1955, Berry turned up at his in-laws’ home and snatched the infant. “Take a good look at him,” the 25-year-old salesman said as he left the house, “because this is the last time you will see him.”

At his bungalow at Porchester, Hampshire, the next day, Berry shut his son in the kitchen, turned on the gas taps, and left him to die.

At his trial at Winchester Assizes in December 1955 he pleaded insanity, but the jury convicted him of murder. At the same time they recommended mercy in “the strongest possible terms,” and he was released from prison nine years later.