PC Robertson and PC Hastings were the first officers to arrive at the pub; they went to arrest the gunman. They asked him to push the gun under the door then come out. When he failed to respond they forced their way in and disarmed him. His gun was found to be cocked with a live round in it.

On the floor in the smoke room, Michael Martin MacFarlane, a 21 year old steel worker was dead; four other men were rushed to hospital. Within a few hour two of the men who had been shot in the head, Thomas Michael Owen, a 29 year old soldier and George Frederick Morris, a 32 year old furnace man, died.

The next morning Mohamed Ismail, a 30 year old unemployed Somali labourer of Spital Hill, made a six minute court appearance during which he was charged with triple capital murder. At the committal hearing on the 28th January, Fred Shutt said that Ismail was talking, drinking and smoking as usual. A likely motive for the incident was revealed. Ismail had been talking to two women earlier on New Year’s day, he had told them that he was fed up with living but suicide was against his religion, if he killed himself he would go to hell. He thought that if he killed someone and was then killed for doing it, then he would not go to hell.

At Sheffield Assizes on Thursday 25th February 1960 Ismail was found unfit to plead to the triple capital murder charge. Justice Edmund Davies ordered that he be detained in strict custody until Her Majesty's pleasure be known.


January 2


867 York is seized by Vikings


At 23.00 on the evening of Friday 2nd January 1931, John Sprentall was checking that the premises that he managed were secure. The warehouse was in Robinson Street, Dewsbury and as he approached the yard at the rear he noticed that the left hand side of the gate was open. He went to the warehouse door and checked that it was locked, seeing that it was he made his way back to the gate. As he got near to it he saw a person on the ground, she was between the open gate and another warehouse that was in the yard. He noticed blood on the woman and ran to alert the police. PC Arthur Edward Kidd was on patrol when John found him and told him about the body. When he got to the scene he saw that the woman was face down on the ground. Some of her clothing was in disarray and some celery tops were covering her head. He turned her over and seeing a gag in her mouth he removed it, she was breathing but only just. An ambulance arrived and she was put into it with PC Kidd accompanying her but she died before it got to Dewsbury Infirmary. It was only when her body was in the Infirmary’s mortuary that PC Kidd realised he knew the woman. She was Margaret Schofield, a 56 year old unemployed weaver who lodged in Halifax Road, Dewsbury.

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