Injustice is the theme running through all the 'Cruel Streets' books. Personal and Social.
1908. THIS CRIME THOUGH saw no thought of 'wrong man hanged'. Young Noah Collins was infatuated with his landlady's daughter Anita Lawrence. She did not return the fondness. He thought about it, killed her, then gave himself up.
His plea of 'guilty' led to his execution by the Pierpoints at Cardiff Prison.
One or two strange happenings after the execution. The bell was not tolled, nor the black flag hoisted. There was a well-dressed young woman in the 50-strong crowd at the prison gates. She appeared to be emotionally upset by the notice of death pinned to the gate. She held her dignity though.
Witnesses said no-one recognised her, and as she walked away she kept looking back. Collins had fought in the Boer Wars and his barristers tried to promote the case for insanity. They failed.
At 10am, on the 30th December 1908 his body was taken to the graveyard for executed individuals alongside the kitchen wall at the prison. It was snowing and bitterly cold for his last journey.
Photos: Collins and Anita Lawrence
My thigh muscles were in spasms and I was wondering how I was ever going to complete the 90 km trek....