Everyone along Belfasts Crumlin Road knew that for a fee of two guineas and no questions asked Dr. Nathaniel McConnell would always help out a girl in trouble. When on NOVEMBER 1st, 1918, Mary Jane Reid called at the surgery in North Street, Belfast, Dr. McConnell could see she was in considerable trouble. After performing an abortion he went off to a pub and by mid-afternoon, from all accounts, he was drunk.
Drunk enough, evidently, to tell someone on a tram what he had done to Mary someone who unfortunately for the doctor knew the Reids.
Next day Mary Reid died. Dr. McConnell wrote the cause of death on her death certificate as Influenza and acute gastritis.
But the garrulous doctors tramway conversation triggered a post-mortem, which found that Mary had died from a blunt instrument which was inserted into her two days before she died.
Dr. McConnell, who would always help out a girl in trouble, was arrested, charged with murder, tried, and sentenced on April 23rd, 1919, to hang for murdering Mary. Later the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He was released after two years.