It looked like a sure-fire case of double-murder when police discovered the bodies of Mrs. Dorothy Mason and her baby son at their home in Haslemere Close, Stafford Road, Wallington. But Mrs. Mason’s husband David said it wasn’t like that at all. He claimed that he’d caught his wife in the act of killing their son and in the ensuing struggle he had with her he’d unintentionally killed her.

Mrs. Dorothy Mason had returned home on MAY 28th, 1946, from her work as a domestic help to be told by her husband that the child was in bed but not asleep. She retorted, “I will make the little brat sleep,” and went to the boy’s bedroom. Soon afterwards, Mason said, he went upstairs to find her smothering her son.

“I found her in the child’s bedroom by the bed…the expression on her face was hard and vicious,” he said. His story was that his wife then attacked him, seizing him by the neck. He tried to push her away and put his hands around her throat.

At Mason’s Old Bailey trial, where he was charged with murdering his wife, Dorothy’s brother William Rogers told the court that Mason was devoted to his son, whereas Dorothy had always treated the little boy with indifference. He believed his sister was capable of doing what Mason had described.

But the jury didn’t accept that, probably because Mason had changed his story after initially telling police that his wife had died after some sort of bilious attack. They decided that Mason deliberately killed her, and he was hanged at Wandsworth on September 6th, 1946.