Joseph Woodall, a First World War sergeant in the Manchester Regiment, lived in the Cleethorpes Poor Law Institute, where he had a crush on the Institute’s guardian, Mrs. Sarah Robinson. The couple had known each other a long time, and had lived together briefly in Manchester before he joined the army.

But Woodall was no longer mentally well. He complained constantly of hearing voices in his head, and was always practising with a pair of Indian clubs, which he would never let out of his sight.

On Friday, MARCH 14th, 1919, Sarah Robinson invited Woodall and another friend, Mrs. Elizabeth Evans, to supper with her. During the meal Woodall suddenly began beating them both with his Indian clubs. Mrs. Robinson died under the rain of blows, but Mrs. Evans recovered.

When Woodall was arrested three days later he appeared to have no recollection of the murder. He was tried at Lincoln Assizes and sent to Broadmoor.