James Mills, 35, went to his stepmother’s house in Elizabeth Street, Cessnock, Glasgow, on APRIL 8th, 1935, to talk over family matters. During their discussion his stepmother became hysterical and threatened to kill herself.

Mills took a knife away from her after she promised she would not harm herself, and left. Later that day, however, she was found strangled with a piece of rope.

Was it murder or suicide? The police decided it was murder and arrested Mills, and the jury too decided that murder it was. When they announced their majority verdict Mills had to be dragged from the court protesting his innocence.

A month later Appeal Court judges shook their heads in disapproval. The Crown had failed to prove that Mills had killed his stepmother beyond a reasonable doubt, they declared. The conviction was quashed and Mills left the court a free man.