Killers sometimes give the strangest reasons for their crimes. Rodney Bailey said he beat Sandra Pickering, 16, to death with a hammer because he suffered from blackouts and had to “clear his mind.”

He told police he felt much better after murdering Sandra on the night of January 2nd, 1961, in the dark alleyway known as Donkey Lane, near Sapcote parish church.

At Leicester Assizes in May all the medical evidence suggested Bailey was mentally abnormal, and the trial judge agreed. But the jury convicted him of murder.

On OCTOBER 23rd the Appeal Court quashed the murder conviction, replacing it with one of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The court stipulated, however, that he should be confined indefinitely.