Friday 22 December 2023

Edward Pope and the murder of Henry Watts - Greenhill Sheffield February 1939 - An Update

 About three months ago I posted an article to the site the covered the death of Henry Watts in Greenhill Sheffield in February 1939. The tag line was "It would be difficult to imagine a more clearer case of murder."

The assailant Edward Pope was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death by hanging at Leeds Assizes. The jury did pass a recommendation for mercy which the trial judge forwarded to the appropriate authorities for consideration.

After due consideration Edward Pope was reprieved and his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. It was clear that Edward was suffering from a form of paranoia but he did not meet the threshold for a defence of insanity.

The 1939 National Register has him as an inmate at Maidstone Gaol but three years later his probate record shows that he died on 8th June 1942 at Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight. He was 49 years old 

His effects that he left to his widow Winifred amounted to £15000 in todays money. But it is looks as though Edward did not receive any meaningful treatment for his mental condition(s). Parkhurst had and probably still does have a reputation for being one of the toughest prisons in the UK. I would think that any treatment Edward did receive would be purely incidental. And I think that it would be very unlikely that he would have received any visits from family given the wartime restrictions that were in force in the Isle of Wight.       

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