This week 60 years ago: Hackney Gazette reports ‘husband poisoned wife with rat poison’

Hackney Gazette November 7, 1958.

Hackney Gazette November 7, 1958. - Credit: Archant

A 19-year-old from Stoke Newington whose husband allegedly put rat poison in her tea told a court that she was “still in love with him”.

The 17-year-old accused denied trying to injure the woman from whom he was separated when he paid her a visit.

But he did ask her if the tea he had made her had a “funny taste”, the court heard. He then apparently suggested playing chess and she sat on his knee. “He went to kiss me,” said the woman. “He drew back and said: ‘I mustn’t.’ I said: ‘Why?’ and he said: ‘I put poison in your tea.’

“I laughed because I didn’t believe him.”

But then she saw something that resembled broken biscuits at the bottom of her cup and he told her it was rat poison – at which point she got scared and was sick. That night when he slept, she took a small tin out of his pocket and gave it to police. Lab analysis showed the crumbs inside were mixed with a compound that could be fatal to humans in just three grains.