This week 60 years ago: Pen club murder trial

Hackney Gazette, February 12, 1960.

Hackney Gazette, February 12, 1960. - Credit: Archant

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.

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.


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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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