Joseph Calebrere’s young wife had “given way to drink,” and this, it was said, preyed on his mind. In what was later described as “a fit of ungovernable fury” in April 1904, Calebrere, an ice-cream merchant, killed his wife and three children with a hatchet at their home in Kilbirnie, North Ayrshire.

At Glasgow Circuit Court on JULY 5th he was sentenced to death, but this was commuted to life. In August 1914, he was released by a government with weightier matters on its mind.