Shortly before noon on MARCH 24th, 1955, the body of Harold Parker, 45, was found in a disused restaurant in Folkestone. He had been attacked in the early hours of that day with a hammer which was found nearby, and he had received numerous deep wounds to his scalp and face.

Fingerprints on the hammer led the police to Albert Lumelino, a 43-year-old West Indian who admitted being with Mr. Parker in the early hours of March 24th. But Lumelino said that the victim had been alive when he left him, and claimed he had himself been attacked and robbed of £500 by the man who was Mr. Parker’s killer.

After Lumelino repeated this story at his trial the prosecution revealed that he had been convicted of stealing a football pools certificate for some winnings which he had claimed for himself.

His story wasn’t believed by the jury, and he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

When his case went to appeal his counsel claimed that the football pools evidence should not have been introduced because it suggested the killer’s motive was robbery, and Lumelino had a conviction for theft. But, said the defence, there was no established motive for the murder.

The appeal judges, however, said that the trial judge had used his discretion correctly because Lumelino claimed he had been robbed of a substantial sum of money, and the jury had a right to know where it had come from.

The appeal was dismissed, but Lumelino was reprieved on August 28th, two days before he was due to be hanged at Wandsworth Prison.