|Article taken from local newspaper dated October 1979, transcribed by Raylee Burton.
But jury clears trio of murder
Three Londoners were cleared of murdering frail pensioner Winnie Love by a jury at Northampton Crown Court yesterday. But all three were found guilty of her manslaughter on the direction of Judge Sir Derek Hodgson.
Seventy-five year old Mrs. Love was found dead following a raid on her home in
The judge told the jury: “The prosecution has failed to establish evidence of murder.”
The three men, Norman Barned, Richard Gayle and Glen Lewis were also found guilty of robbing Mrs. Love of £1,685 and burgling her home on February 19th.
They will be sentenced with a fourth man Earl Savage (23), of
In statements to police all three charged with murder denied they intended to kill Mrs. Love.
Barned (19), Gayle (17), both of
Mr. Ian Davidson QC for Barned urged the judge to think of his client’s immaturity. “Others confronted with the lady might have run. Unfortunately he took the worst course.”
For Gayle, Mr. T. M. Dillon QC said: “My client is an extremely young youth. He was sick and surprised to hear that the lady had died. Do not crush him with a severe sentence.”
For Lewis, Mr. Anthony Cripps QC said his client was overcome by financial stress when the robbery took place. “He genuinely regrets the incident and has not been involved in violence before.”
Earlier the court heard a crime squad detective admit he had deceived Barned into giving a confession. Det Sgt John Percival said he denied Barned access to a solicitor until he made a statement because he claimed he was under orders from senior officers.
Questioned by Mr. Davidson QC about the directive Percival admitted that it did not exist.
“You were being deceitful, weren’t you?” Mr. Davidson asked.
Det Sgt Percival replied: “If you will.”
He added that he told Barned that he wanted his explanation of what happened before he was confused by someone else.
In his statement Barned (19) admitted gagging Mrs. Love. In an attempt to keep her quiet it was alleged he told police that he stuffed the gag firmly in her mouth.