Arthur Jeffries, 44, threatened his fellow-poachers when they fell out with him and went poaching without him. He would “do” for one of them, he promised. And he did, on the night of NOVEMBER 12th, 1904.
It was 11.15 when four of the poachers passed the alley leading to his home in Rotherham, and saw him standing there with his wife.
“Good night, Arthur,” said his friend Samuel Barker.
“Good night to you, you bugger,” Jeffries grunted.
“Bugger you too, Arthur,” Barker replied with a laugh.
The response was not taken in the spirit intended. Jeffries sprang forward, grabbed his old friend, and a fight developed in which Barker was stabbed to death, the knife wound in his side penetrating to a depth of eight-and-a-half inches.
Arrested and charged with murder, Jeffries expressed genuine remorse, but claimed that as the fatal blow was delivered in the heat of the moment he was guilty only of manslaughter.
At his trial, however, the jury thought otherwise. Jeffries was convicted of murder and hanged at Leeds on December 29th, 1904.