Faced with the choice, some women are reluctant to give up either their husband or their lover. That was the trouble with Mrs. Elphick, and it cost two men their lives.

In 1945 her husband was serving overseas in the forces, and she became more than friendly with 31-year-old Michal Niescior, a former member of the Polish forces. He was working as a cook at the Polish Rest House for Sailors in Brighton, and he moved into her home, where they lived as man and wife.

They had an unpleasant surprise, however, when Mr. Elphick returned unexpectedly on August 10th, 1945, and sent Niescior packing. Mrs. Elphick accompanied her lover, but rejoined her husband nine days later. She nevertheless continued to meet Niescior, staying with him for three nights when her disgruntled husband locked her out of the house.

The next move was made by Niescior. On OCTOBER 22nd, 1945, he went to the Elphicks’ home, armed with a large carving knife.

On looking through the glass panel of his front door, Mr. Elphick grabbed a hammer when he saw the Pole brandishing the knife. The moment the door was opened, however, Niescior launched a furious attack with the knife, inflicting wounds from which Mr. Elphick died the next day.

Tried at Lewes Assizes for murder, Niescior was said by his counsel to have done nothing but defend himself. His counsel also attempted to discredit Mrs. Elphick’s testimony on the ground of her morals, and sought a manslaughter verdict.

In his summing-up, however, Mr. Justice Wrottesley said that although Mrs. Elphick was an adulteress, this did not necessarily make her a perjurer. The jury rejected Niescior’s claim that he had acted in self-defence, convicted him of murder and he was sentenced to death.

His appeal was dismissed, and Michal Niescior duly went to the gallows.