After an affray in a Coventry pub on June 6th, 1947, Abdul Jubber, 36, had to spend three days in hospital. His assailants, he told police, were Alfred Wagstaff, a plasterer, and other men he didn’t know. But the police took no action.

The day he left hospital Jubber bought a long-bladed knife and on JUNE 13th walked into a cafe just as Wagstaff was leaving it. There was a scuffle during which Wagstaff was killed by stab wounds.

Jubber, a Morris Motors employee, of Berry Street, Coventry, did not deny killing Wagstaff, but claimed that it was manslaughter on the grounds that he was provoked. He had no idea that Wagstaff was going to be at the cafe and had bought the knife only to show it to his assailants if they attacked him again. He was terrified, he claimed, of further attacks. Leaving the cafe in Primrose Hill Street, Wagstaff had produced a razor or a knife and attacked him. That resulted in the fight in which Wagstaff was killed.

Five years previously Jubber had been acquitted by a Scottish court of murder on the high seas, the charge being found not proven. He also had previous convictions for receiving stolen goods and for unlawful wounding.

Now he was sentenced to death for killing Wagstaff, and he failed on appeal. But the Home Secretary took the view that, although the provocation he had undergone was insufficient to reduce the crime to manslaughter, it was sufficient for mercy to be shown. The sentence was accordingly commuted to life imprisonment.