Douglas Edmondson, 28, had done well at school in Southport, matriculating and subsequently joining the Royal Navy in 1933. Considered keen and intelligent, he became a stoker petty officer, but in 1940 a £16 deficit in his accounts as Mess Treasurer prompted him to attempt suicide. As a result he was hospitalised and was then given light duties.
Nine months later he broke an ankle while fire-watching during an air raid, and in hospital he fell in love with a nurse whom he married in August 1941.
Ever since he was 17, however, he had enjoyed an intimate relationship with another girl, Imelred Maria Osliff, now 28, who on learning of his marriage wrote letters of complaint to him and his brides parents.
For five months after his marriage Edmondson lived happily with his wife in Devonport. Then his landlady began pressing him for £15 for fire damage to a sofa, and on January 28th he went to Southport to try to borrow the money from Imelred.
On the morning of FEBRUARY 8th she was found strangled in the resorts Victoria Park, and there was also evidence of attempted rape. Arrested two days later, Edmondson admitted the murder.
At his trial he said he had met Imelred in the park by arrangement. When he asked her for £15, she asked if it was for him or for his wife, whom she called a prostitute. Edmondson said this caused him to lose his temper and he strangled her, afterwards taking 30 shillings from her attaché case.
For the defence a doctor testified that Edmondson was so unstable that he was liable to become temporarily insane under stress. A prison medical officer, however, said he had examined Edmondson and found him to be sane.
Summing-up, the judge said there had been insufficient provocation to justify reducing the charge to manslaughter. The jury then convicted Edmondson of murder and he was sentenced to death. His appeal was dismissed, and he was duly executed.