Thursday, 5 July 2012

Glimpses of the Pace trial: 5 July 1928

Excerpts from the coverage in the Daily Mirror of the fourth day of the trial of Beatrice Pace for the alleged murder of her husband Harry.

Inside the courtroom:

The greater part of the morning was occupied by the evidence of cross-examination of Chief Inspector Cornish, of Scotland Yard.

Describing his interview with Mrs. Pace, the inspector said it lasted from 11.15 a.m. to 9.15 p.m., with intervals for meals. “She seemed very anxious to tell us the story of her married life, and it was an hour before we reduced a word to writing,” he said.

In the statement alleged to have been made by the widow reference was made to her unhappy married life and her husband’s cruelty.

Pace, it was stated, once tied her to the bedpost and left her like it all day.

“When he went to bed he took up a small pistol, which he put under his pillow. He came after me at two o’clock in the morning.” ... “I have been told by Chief Inspector Cornish that the organs of my husband contained arsenic and he has invited me to tell him if possible how it got there,” continued the statement. ...

“My answer is: I cannot account for it unless he has taken it himself.”

“I certainly have not given him anything other than his ordinary and proper food, and although he has been very cruel to me at times I was very devoted to him and loved him to the end.”

“He had threatened to do it. Three years ago he said he would do away with himself.” 

Outside the courtroom:

Vigorous steps were taken by the police yesterday to avoid a repetition of the disorderly scenes which have occurred daily at Gloucester since the trial of Mrs. Pace began.

Mounted policemen drove the crowd out of the road behind the court and thus left a clear passage for the taxicab in which Mrs. Pace is conveyed to and from the prison.

They could not, however, prevent a large crowd from collecting at either end of the road. People shouted hurrahs and waved handkerchiefs to Mrs. Pace.

During the interval four men who broke away from the queue were knocked down by a policeman’s horse and injured slightly.

(‘Ten Hours’ Talk with Mrs. Pace’, Daily Mirror, 6 July 1928, p. 4.)

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