Two boys told the police that they knew they had seen a lorry driver near a murder scene because they had glimpsed “the shiny peak” of his cap. The lorry driver, William Oakley, was defended by the celebrated Norman Birkett QC when he was accused of murdering Eliza Worton, afterwards throwing her body into a Tipton, Staffordshire, canal.

Dramatically Birkett held up an old greasy brown cap for the jury to see. “Look at it,” he said. “There may be confusion in this world and there will be confusion until the end of time. But there can be no confusion between this and a shiny peak.”

His life undoubtedly saved by his dirty cap, Oakley was acquitted. There was no evidence of motive, association, quarrel or threats, so it remains very unlikely that he killed Eliza, a sailor’s wife, on Sunday, February 16th, 1936.