Friday, 6 July 2012

Glimpses of the Pace trial: 6 July 1928

Concluding the series of posts on the coverage by the Daily Mirror of the Pace trial, which, on 6 July 1928 was in its fifth and final day. Its events are perhaps best summarised by considering the front page of the next day's edition of the Mirror:

Daily Mirror, 7 July 1928, p. 1. (Left: crowds greeting the acquittal in Gloucester. Upper right: Beatrice Pace. Lower right: Norman Birkett, K.C. (Beatrice's barrister) and Mr. Justice Horridge (the presiding judge).

From an editorial in the same issue:

The Strange Case of Mrs. Pace

Mrs. Pace was acquitted yesterday after an ordeal (before Coroner and Judge) that has lasted for weeks and has been watched by a huge crowd with every demonstration of intense excitement.

Our readers will have followed the evidence in our news columns; while our pictures have illustrated the accompaniment of public emotion.

We need not deny that the result will be saluted with popular approval, though it is wise always to deprecate the attempt to weigh upon cool justice by ‘taking sides’ in violent clamour.

It was obvious from the first that this woman’s tragic story had deeply impressed the crowd.

And it is indeed a pitiable thing that she should have been subjected to a preliminary torture, which seems, after the stopping of the case yesterday, to have been avoidable, as the Judge suggested.

The facts were reviewed in their first aspect, as we have said, for months. The trial suddenly ends—there is ‘no case.’ Mrs. Pace’s ordeal is over.

But what can compensate a hunted human creature for the anguish thus endured?

Evidently, some such conviction of needlessly inflicted suffering urged an emotional multitude at Gloucester to clamour, which was human enough, though deplorable as a precedent.

(Daily Mirror, 7 July 1928, p. 9)

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