SO FAR: Dorrington, Lincolnshire, early September 1922. A young man called George Robinson, rejected by his former sweetheart, Frances Pacey, has attacked her in her bedroom in her mother’s house, slashing her throat. He has run off to his own house, and cut his throat. Both have been taken to hospital in Lincoln, fifteen miles away. Despite the best efforts of the surgeons, Frances succumbs to her wounds. The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer carried this report in the inquest on the death of Frances Pacey:
Frances’s funeral, for whatever reason, was a lonely affair:
George Robinson was either lucky – or unlucky. I suppose there are arguments for both statements. He was lucky in the sense that his self-inflicted wounds were either half-hearted, or perhaps inefficient. Whatever the case, he made a full recovery. He was unlucky in the sense that had he died in his own bed on that September day. he would have been spared the subsequent court appearances throughout the autumn of 1922, and more dramatically, he would not have met his death on a chilly December morning within Lincoln prison.
It was all quite simple. George Robinson murdered his former sweetheart. The customary route for defence barristers when faced with the clear and obvious guilt of their client, was to plead that he (very rarely ‘she’) was insane at the time. A very unscientific guess, after researching many of these cases, is that the ploy worked in scarcely two out of ten cases. George Robinson, after months in the cells, was finally brought to trial at the Autumn Assizes in Lincoln. Presiding over the court was Mr Justice Lush (left) (who was to retire from his High Court duties a few years later, due to failing hearing). George Robinson’s defence fell on deaf ears – perhaps literally – and he was sentenced to death. Later, an appeal was lodged with the Home Secretary, but it was rejected.
In a unique circumstance, two Lincolnshire men were sent to the gallows in the same Assizes. Robinson’s fellow murderer was none other than Frank Fowler, killer of another eighteen year-old girl, and you can read about that case by clicking this link. It was two for the price of one on the morning of 13th December 1922, when the formidable Thomas Pierrepoint (right, Uncle of Albert) carried out his morning’s work with chilling efficiency.
FOR MORE LINCOLNSHIRE MURDERS, CLICK THIS LINK