When Mrs. Ada Corry, a 60-year-old cripple, was found dead at her home in Lambeth, London, on APRIL 18th, 1950, it was at first thought she had died of fright during a burglary. An autopsy, however, found the cause of death to be a number of blows to her body.

Several articles were missing from her home, along with her lodger Francis McLean, a 24-year-old Irish labourer. A hunt was launched for him, and a fortnight later an off-duty detective spotted him in Edgware Road.

Arrested and charged with Mrs. Corry’s murder, McLean admitted robbing her but denied intending to kill her, saying he had only pushed her and tried to tie her up.

At his Old Bailey trial he was convicted and sentenced to death. Then he was reprieved on July 10th, the day before he was due to hang. The Home Secretary had accepted that the blows Mrs. Corry received would not normally have caused death, but had proved fatal because of her poor health.

McLean’s sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and he was released after serving nine and a half years.