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Jimmy O’Connor
12:00AM BST 05 Oct 2001
JIMMY O’CONNOR, who has died aged 83, became a successful television playwright in middle age; he could never, though, escape the trauma of his youth, when he spent eight weeks in a condemned cell waiting to be hanged.

In January 1942 O’Connor had been charged with the murder of George Ambridge, described in the papers as “a coal merchant”, who had been brutally battered to death in Hampton Road, Kilburn, north London, on

April 14 1941.


The proceedings at O’Connor’s trial were perfunctory in the extreme.

Much of the evidence against the accused came from convicted criminals – men who, in O’Connor’s view, either held a grudge against him or had been leant on by the police.

Hardly less questionable, by modern standards, was the forensic evidence given by Sir Bernard Spilsbury who, arguing from the state of some fish and chips in Ambridge’s stomach, fixed the time of the murder at around midnight.

But counsel for the defence was in no position to argue for his client, having taken on the case only five minutes before it was heard.

O’Connor’s alibi, supported by his wife, that he had been at a party on the evening of the murder, found no credence, and Mr Justice Croom-Johnson, having delivered himself of a one-sided summing-up, lost no time in donning the black cap.


Three weeks after the trial O’Connor’s appeal failed.

For the next two months he was held in Pentonville.

Then, 48 hours before he was due to swing, he heard that the Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison, had granted a reprieve.

The Obituary Of Jimmy O’Connor

From Crisis To Drama From Counsel To Counsellor

12:00AM BST 05 Oct 2001
JIMMY O’CONNOR, who has died aged 83, became a successful television playwright in middle age; he could never, though, escape the trauma of his youth, when he spent eight weeks in a condemned cell waiting to be hanged.

The Jimmy O’Connor & Nemone Lethbridge Love ❤️ And Justice Story

The greatest break in Jimmy O’Connor’s life came in August 1959, when he married Nemone Lethbridge, a barrister – also a beauty – who had been drawn into his fight to win a pardon.

For three years they kept their marriage a secret – with reason: after the news leaked out, in 1962, Nemone Lethbridge lost her place in chambers.

Nevertheless, they seemed to be happy together and, catching the enthusiasm of those times for the representation of life in the raw,

 

 

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