This week in history: Hackney man stands trial for ‘murdering Father Christmas’

The Gazette 60 years ago

The Gazette 60 years ago - Credit: Archant

The man accused of murdering “Father Christmas” appeared in court this week 60 years ago.

George William Collier, 67, of Queensbridge Road stood accused of killing Edgar Adams, 63, who lived at the same address.

Mr Adams was a bearded beggar who was known in Shoreditch as “Father Christmas”.

His body was found in a locked room in the “decrepit” house where they lived with four others.

His skull had been hit with a hatchet and was badly fractured.


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Collier claimed he had seen blood marks inside the front door eight weeks earlier, and he believed Mr Adams could have been in a fight, but retracted this.

When police asked him later if he know anything about Mr Adams, he told them: “I’m fed up. I know a few things, but I’m keeping them to myself.”

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He then alleged that two men who had got over a wall at the back of the house were responsible for the attack.

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