William Bressington called at the home of two young boys and persuaded the younger, eight-year-old Gilbert Amos, to go for a walk with him. A few hours later the body of little Gilbert was found in Cozen’s Field, Staple Hill, Bristol. He had been sexually violated and strangled.

Bressington, who was 21, went home and confessed to his father that he had just committed a murder. The older Bressington was furious and a fight broke out between the two men. A neighbour pulled them apart; then a policeman arrived and Bressington confessed again.

At his trial at Bristol, William Bressington admitted killing Gilbert but denied the sexual assault, claiming that he had procured the child for a man named James.

The defence was that he was insane. His grandfather, an uncle, and a cousin had all been insane, and Bressington himself was discharged from the army described as feeble-minded. A local asylum doctor told the court that he would have no hesitation in certifying the prisoner.

But this was the 1920s, when insanity was far less understood than it is today. So Bressington was sentenced to death, and hanged by Thomas Pierrepoint at Bristol Prison on MARCH 31st, 1925.