Four young boys are accused with robbery. one of them with murder, Hanging in Britain was still prevalent at that time. Can one of them escape the hangman's noose?'
Ruby White the petite honey blonde who works in a chemist shop spends her lunch break reading poetry in the local library. it is there that she meets Richard Llewellyn Shaw a writer and poet from Wales who has come to the North East to write a book. A relationship develops even though he is eight years her senior.
Then there is Jessie Longworth who has been saddled with looking after her father who is in the early stages of dementia. She is unable to cope with looking after her father, and her family and asks her brother Edward if he will take her father for a while. Joe Corder is an ex-dock worker. He worked hard all his life and gives his son his savings to help him start his own business. He meets Elizabeth who comes from a well to do family who all look down on Jessie and her father. She will not have him in her home.


1. 1

The four young lads stood in the dock at Newcastle Crown Court charged with the murder of a security guard John Banister during a robbery at HO Wills Cigarette factory on the 14th of June 1955.

Banister had been struck on the head by a heavy piece of lead piping which fractured his scull. Jeremy Fox the council for the prosecution stated That Alan “Butch” Stoneman aged seventeen had set out to kill John Banister. He had a history of offences including GBH and robbery with violence. Stoneman aged only nine had stolen a bar of toffee from a shop and punched the shopkeeper when he tried to stop him getting away. The other offence was a fight in the school yard where he was picked on for wearing rags instead of a school uniform. He retaliated in anger and the boy ended up with a broken nose. Danny McMullen 17 had also a history of violence. Severely beaten by his drunken father he picked up the poker from the fireplace and hit his father with it breaking his arm. Danny was later arrested and charged. Billy Royale sixteen years of age had no previous convictions and neither did Albert Reynolds. They had been recruited by Stoneman to carry out this robbery. They had stolen the vehicle from outside the Carlston Club on Albion Road in North Shields to use for the robbery that evening.

Jeremy Fox read out his opening statement. “You the jury will hear how Alan Stoneman had gone to the cigarette factory with a dual purpose and that was not only to rob the factory but to also kill the man who was having an affair with his mother.’

“He had strategically planned the robbery incorporating three other young men who did not know about his intention to kill John Banister.’ “They had drove away leaving John Banister to bleed to death.’ “They were stopped by passing police car and during a routine check. The officer spotted what appeared to be blood on the shirt of the accused. The four men became nervous and two of them ran off leaving Albert Reynolds and Billy Royal to carry the blame for the said crime.’

Under interrogation both Reynolds and Royale named Alan Stoneman and Danny McMullen as the other two men involved in the robbery after it was discovered that John Banister had died as a result of the attack. When they faced the prospect of being tried for the murder of John Banister they were most cooperative with the police.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury there can only be one verdict in this crime. I ask you for justice to be done and bring in a verdict of Guilty.

 Jeremy fox returned to his seat whilst Everett Humphries stood up and pleaded for the defence. 

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