Travelling jeweller Frederick Lucas, 52, chose the wrong man to do a business deal with when John Young, 40, a builder of Belmont Road, Ilford, approached him to buy some gold sovereigns. The deal went pear-shaped when Young went off with some of the jeweller’s money.

In a subsequent confrontation between the two men in June, 1945, at Mr. Lucas’s bungalow in Undercliff Gardens, Leigh-on-Sea, Young “went into a frenzy,” and battered both Mr. Lucas and his wife Cissie to death.

Before the double-murder was discovered Young tried to commit suicide three times. When detectives interviewed him he said, “I have been expecting you. It was me. I want to get it off my chest.”

Addressing the jury at his trial he said: “I want you to realise that I am not afraid to die. In fact, I have prayed for death on a great number of occasions during the past six months.

“I would like you to believe that the man who stands before you charged with this murder is not really the man who committed the murder, but the frame of a man into whose being a demon entered that morning.”

The jury however, did not seem impressed with this rhetoric. They found Young, who was charged only with the murder of Frederick Lucas, guilty. He went to the scaffold at Pentonville Prison on DECEMBER 21st, 1945.