Mary Jane Phillips’ relationship with the man who today would be described as her partner was nothing if not fraught. When she decided to leave him, Arthur McKeown went after her and dragged her, screaming and punching, through the streets back to the home they shared in Robert Street, Belfast.

There, McKeown, 32, a driver, continued to pummel her and she continued to harangue him. This was to prove the last of their many battles, for later that night he beat her to death and then cut her throat.

When police arrived at the murder house, McKeown told them: “She liked being hurt. Anyway, we were both drunk and she must have fallen out of bed, injuring herself.”

McKeown had already served a prison sentence for assaulting Mary, the mother of two of his children, and this time he was found guilty at Belfast Assizes of murdering her. He was hanged on Monday, January 14th, 1889, at Belfast Prison.