This week 60 years ago: Pen club murder trial

PUBLISHED: 09:24 11 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:25 11 February 2020

Hackney Gazette, February 12, 1960.

Hackney Gazette, February 12, 1960.


Special police arrangements were put in force at Old Street Magistrates' Court 60 years ago.

More than 100 people 'struggled' and 'pushed' to get in to the 5 minute hearing where three people were charged with the murder of nightclub owner Selwyn Keith Cooney, 31.

He'd staggered out of the Pen Club in Duval Street, Spitalfields, with a bullet wound in his head the previous Sunday.

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Many knew him by the name Jimmy Neill and his father said he was a 'very strong boy and no trouble at all.'

The same week, a painter and decorator was charged with murder.

A few days before the victim was found dead in her blazing flat, the accused was heard to have said: "I will roast you on a Christmas tree with that can of oil."

A Dalston youth discovered in a factory was charged with breaking and entering and with stealing a magnifying class, a cigarette case and a nail file.

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