Every time Ellen Thompson applied for a separation order, her 52-year-old husband Hyram talked her out of it. So she and their three children continued to live with him at Bamber Bridge, near Preston, despite his foul temper.

This was no better than usual on APRIL 25th, 1922, when he came home from work, sat down at the table and demanded his tea. Ellen asked him to prepare it himself as she was looking after a neighbour’s baby.

Flying into a rage, her husband began to abuse her. Then the worm turned. Ellen walked across to the table and smacked his face.

Whatever satisfaction this gave her was short-lived. Thompson rose from his chair, knocked her to the floor and kicked her to death. Then, still in a fury, he fetched his razor from the bathroom and cut her throat.

He had gone when the children came home and found their mother lying beside the baby she had been minding, which was now screaming in its cradle. Thompson was found later at a nearby bed and breakfast establishment, where he was arrested.

At his trial his son said the whole family had lived in fear of him: he was an idle, wicked drunkard. The jury did not trouble to retire to consider their verdict. They found Hyram Thompson guilty as soon as the judge finished summing up, and he was hanged on May 30th, 1922.