Boys Burn House To Hide Murder

Three teenagers were sentenced on November 24, 1972, at the Central Criminal Court (the Old Bailey) to terms of detention in connection with the murder of Maxwell Confait, 26, at his home: a bed-sitter in Doggett Road, Catford, SE6.

Mr. Richard du Cann, prosecuting, described the events as a “truly appalling crime.’ Mr Du Cann said that the three youths had broken into the house in the early hours of April 22, 1972, their motive being to rob or steal. Confait had discovered them shortly after they had broken in.

The court heard that 14-year-old schoolboy Ahmet Salih, of Nelgarde Road, Catford SE6 was a witness to the killing, by strangulation, of Confait.

Dead Man Was A Homosexual

Confait was said to be a homosexual who liked to dress in women’s clothing and was well-known in the locality. In the gay circles in which he circulated he was called ‘Michelle’.

After two of them had killed him all three of the youths set fire to the house, the rest of which was occupied by a Mr and Mrs Goode, and their five children. They awoke at 1.15am to discover smoke and flames coming from the basement. The fire was apparently started to “cover their traces”.

Colin George Latimore, 18, unemployed, of Nelgarde Road, Catford, was said to have strangled Confait by twisting some white electric flex around his neck. Lattimore was acquitted of murder, but found guilty of manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility and of arson. Said to have a mental age of 10, he was ordered to be detained under security conditions in a mental hospital without limit of time. In a statement he was alleged to have described the death of Confait as “an accident”.

Ronald William Leighton, 16, unemployed, who lived in the same road as the dead man, was described in reports as being “on the borderline of the subnormal”. Convicted of murder and arson, he was ordered by Mr Justice Chapman to be detained during Her Majesty’s pleasure (ie without limit of time) in such a place and under such conditions as the Secretary of State may direct.

Ahmet Salih, 14, schoolboy, also of Nelgarde Road, was convicted of setting fire to the house, with intent to endanger life; he was ordered to be detained for not less than four years in a place to be directed by the Home Secretary.

The police did not have to look far from the scene of the crime to find the accused. One of them lived in the same street as ‘Michelle’, the others just one street away.

Hired To Murder

COPENHAGEN: Danish police have arrested a man for killing Wolfgang Ihns in Hamburg late last month and claim he says he was hired to kill Ihns by Frau Ihns’ 24-year-old girlfriend.

The police arrested a young Dane called Danny Nielsen, an invalid living on a disability pension. They say he immediately admitted to committing the murder in Germany.

According to the police, Nielsen said he had been hired for £175 to “get the husband out of the way”.

Official sources add that 34-year-old Frau Ihns and the girl had been living together earlier this year.

Gay Tried For Acid Murder

LONDON: A staff supervisor from Paddington wept in the dock as he was jailed for four years by a judge in the Old Bailey at the end of his trial for killing his former lover.

The prosecution’s case had been that Michael Dickinson, who was originally called Smith, murdered his lover, William Dickinson, and after stabbing him, poured acid over his body to disfigure it. The prosecution said William had been out with a sailor friend of Michael’s the night of the stabbing.

Mr Richard du Cann had appeared for the prosecution and had alleged that after Michael and William met last March they started to live together. But their relationship was stormy because William was bisexual.

Two doctors called by the defence said that Michael was mentally disturbed, and the jury found him guilty of manslaughter, and not of murder.

The judge told 36-year-old Michael: “You have taken away the life of a young man of 24. He was a person of not very good character and he behaved very badly towards you, but he was entitled to live.

“I have no doubt that all you wanted from him was a little bit of kindness and straightforward dealing and because you did not get those things you completely lost control of yourself.”

When the trial opened the Evening Standard ran a scandal-type headline as a page lead, and used seven-and-a-half inches of the prosecution’s case. During the rest of the week-long trial it reported not a word until the verdict.

Manslaughter or murder

19720901-03ADELAIDE: George Duncan, a 42-year-old ex-Cambridge don was drowned in the city’s River Torrens early this year. London police are still in South Australia investigating this death, which was followed by the resignation of three members of the Adelaide vice squad.

George Duncan, an Australian, had returned to the country to take up a post at Adelaide University.

In May he and another man, 27-year-old Roger James were thrown into the river by four unknown attackers in Torrens River Park, the local trolling area.

Roger James broke an ankle in the fall and saw George Duncan was drowning. He shouted for help, he said at George’s inquest.

One of the attackers half-stripped and dived in to help George Duncan, but couldn’t find him. Then all four ran off.

That was Roger’s evidence at the inquest into George’s drowning.

Three vice squad officers didn’t deny they were in Torrens River Park on the night of May 10.

But, they said, they’d been drinking and had stopped off at a public lavatory near the Torrens for one of them to be sick.

A uniformed policeman in a patrol car drove up, but, he told the inquest, he was told to move off by one of the vice-busters Con Francis Crawley.

Crawley told the patrolman “You’re buggering up our poofters on the river.”

At a police enquiry into the killing. Senior Con Brian Hudson, Cawley and Con Michael denied they’d been anywhere near Torrens River Park. But when it came to the inquest they refused to answer any questions in case they incriminated themselves.

All three were promptly suspended from the police force as a result, and resigned almost immediately.

Even if the coroner returned an open verdict on George Duncan – adding there was no evidence to show any of the vice-men had been nearer than 300 yards from the death scene, Adelaide’s new police commissioner Harold Salisbury, who used to be in the Metropolitan Police, ordered another inquiry.

And to help him in this he invited his old buddies Chief Supt Bob McGowan and Det Sgt Charles O’Hanlon down under to dig a little dirt.

Scotland Yard told Gay News: “The officers haven’t come home yet, as far as I know. Any report they make will go directly to the local authority.”

A spokesman for Australia House said; “No result to this investigation has come over to us yet.”

The Gay Murder?

03-197207XX-03On Friday 8 July the body of a young man was discovered in a flooded gravel pit near Colnbrook, Buckinghamshire.

Frogmen on a routine training session discovered the body of twentythree year old Paul Duval lying face-down in the bushes.

A post mortem revealed that Paul had been murdered late Thursday evening and had died due to multiple injuries inflicted by a knife to the heart and chest area.

One theory currently being investigated by police is that Paul was murdered for rebuking another man’s sexual advances.

The National press and local Radio have repeatedly reported over the last 12 days that the area where the body was found is a popular gay meeting place, a sort of miniature Hampstead Heath.

A local police spokesman, who has been attached to Slough Police Station for the last ten years, said that the area, to the best of his knowledge, was only frequented by ‘fishermen’ at night time. Furthermore, any reports in the national press stating this area to be frequented by homosexuals was complete and utter fabrication acting only as a cheap booster to the reportage of that particular national newspaper.

The Evening News and the Evening Standard have both over the last week stated categorically and supported by their police spokesman, that the Colnbrook area is crawling with homosexuals at night time. ‘These views” said our spokesman, “are completely unfounded and would not be supported by any officer attached to this station.”