The Long Drop: Two Were Hanged - One Was Innocent by Christopher Berry-Dee
Late on the evening of 26 September 1928, PC George Gutteridge, the village policeman of Stapleford Abbots, Essex, was murdered when he halted a speeding car. Both his eyes were shot out. Society was outraged and when Frederick Guy Browne and William Henry Kennedy were arrested and tried, they faced extreme public prejudice. Both were found guilty and hanged. Kennedy's solicitor, who was Christopher Berry-Dee's grandfather, told the author that while Kennedy was guilty, Browne was not. And the police knew it. He was never at the scene of the crime. A detailed analysis of the trial evidence shows that the police used questionable tactics and muddled the identification of the murder weapon, and that Browne was convicted on dubious evidence.