News flashback: Murder trial of Hackney schoolgirl Keighley Barton

12:00 16 October 2016

Hackney Gazette 14.10.86

Hackney Gazette 14.10.86


Every week the Gazette will delve into its archives to see what was happening in Hackney 30 and 60 years ago. This week features a “horrible hospital wrangle” and a murder trial.

Hackney Gazette 17.10.56Hackney Gazette 17.10.56

30 years ago:

The jury in the murder trial for schoolgirl Keighley Barton were told she could still be alive.

The 14-year-old vanished and had not been found and her stepfather Ronald Barton, 46, was charged with murdering her.

Det Supt Charles Farquhar told jurors at the Old Bailey he had to keep open the possibility she was still alive because not all the people who reported seeing her had been interviewed.

Barton, who was later convicted of murder, had allegedly told a cellmate in Brixton Prison he had done it and put her body in a car crushing machine. Prosecutors said Barton had two motives for the murder. Firstly, to silence her accusations he had sexually abused her and secondly to get at her mother Therese who was living with another man.

60 years ago:

Two Pcs were criticised over a charge against a man of possessing 162 radio valves in Whitby Street, Bethnal Green.

The charge was dismissed before magistrate Harold Sturge could call the defence saying the officers needed “furhter instruction” in the use of the Met Police Act.

A “horrible wrangle” took place on what was “almost a death bed” in the Whittington Hospital.

Horace Pearce and Alfred James Cook, his brother in law, were accusing each other of assault. They had argued over Cook’s parents’ possessions while they were in hospital.

Cook said Pearce had dragged him towards an open window while visiting the elders. Pearce was found guilty of assault.

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney News Stories

Yesterday, 10:50

Persuading Hackney’s first-time buyers to make what is likely to be their biggest investment yet without setting foot inside the property is no mean feat.

Yesterday, 13:00

A bloodsoaked man stumbled into a supermarket this morning after the fourth stabbing in Dalston in the space of nine days.

Yesterday, 12:05

This is the terrifying moment a heroic shopkeeper risked his life to help a boy chased into his Hoxton newsagents by a knife-wielding maniac.

Wed, 15:56

Campaigners for Dalston music venue Passing Clouds will have the chance to buy the building after it was given protected status by Hackney Council.

Wed, 15:22

Gang police are investigating a knife fight that spilled into the streets of Dalston on Monday night.

Wed, 12:32

A gang of youths have been caught on camera lobbing fireworks in the streets of Hackney.

Wed, 10:45

After months of writing manifestos, speaking at hustings and campaigning at schools and youth clubs, 24 young people aged 11-19 have been elected to represent their peers for the next two years.

Wed, 09:30

Terrified customers were evacuated from the Nike Hackney shop on Saturday afternoon when a fight broke out between two men.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists