Through working in a seamens hostel run by her mother in Cardiff, 17-year-old Doris Appleton met a black sailor, Lester Hamilton, 25, who became her boyfriend. But when Hamilton arrived at the hostel with another man on the evening of FEBRUARY 13th, 1921, Doris didnt like the look of his companion and refused him admission. Dont invite that kind of man into my mothers house, she told Hamilton.
Enraged by this slight, Hamilton drew a gun and shot her dead. Then he walked out and shot himself in the head.
Although his wound was serious, he made a full recovery, and on July 25th he was put on trial for his life. The defence claimed that on going to the hostel Hamilton had found Doris with a Japanese sailor. When he confronted her about this, she allegedly made derogatory remarks about his colour.
The jury decided this was insufficient provocation to warrant a manslaughter verdict, and they found Hamilton guilty of murder. Sentenced to death, he was hanged at Cardiff Prison on August 16th, 1921.