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EXECUTIONER Albert Pierrepoint made a return trip to the city of Glasgow for another hanging just six weeks after ending the life of dancehall killer James Smith.
There within the walls of Barlinnie he placed a noose around the neck of Patrick Gallagher Deveney, 42, a Govan labourer who killed the mother of his five children.
No members of the public turned up outside the prison to watch the pinning of the execution notice on the main door.
Only prison officials, police and press were there at a minute or two past 8am to confirm that “sentence of death was this day executed on Patrick Gallagher Deveney”
The notice was signed by six witnesses including Governor Mayo; Depute town clerk J F Falconer, Prison interim medical officer T Poole, Roman Catholic visiting clergyman James Sweeney, and Magistrates John H Sherriff and Samuel Hay Gardiner.
Following the execution, it was confirmed that everything had been carried out “in a satisfactory manner and expeditiously done”.
And like that Deveney was gone. But his ending was his own doing. Aside from killing his own wife in the home they shared, Deveney had left his five children orphans.
He first appeared at the High Court in Glasgow charged with killing his 37-year-old wife Jeanie, whose maiden name was Todd.
The accusation was that on February 26, 1952 in his house at Blackburn Street, Glasgow, Deveney attacked his wife, struck her on the head with a hammer or similar instrument, tied a necktie round her neck and strangled her.
Another allegation that he “previously evinced malice and ill will against her” was added to the charge of murder.
The trial lasted three days and in closing the advocate-depute Mr D M Campbell asked the jury of eight women and seven men for a verdict of guilty, which they delivered.
He said: “It is not a pleasant thing to ask and it is an equally unpleasant thing for a jury to have to do but I have my duty to do and you have yours to do as citizens, and it is in that frame of mind that we must approach this case.”
As this direction was being read out to the jury, Deveney sat in the dock in a relaxed attitude with his face immobile. His right hand on the back of which was a tattooed bluebird rested lightly on his left leg.
When evidence in the case had ended before Lord Keith, the jury had heard from the defence that Deveney had a ‘psychopathic personality’. He suffered from blackouts and was addicted to aspirin tablets.
The jury also heard about the unhappy history of Deveney’s marriage which ended in the murder of his wife at 8pm on February 26.
Her body was only discovered after her brother and two police officers had to force entry to the house. There on the kitchen floor, the mother-offive lay strangled still wearing her overcoat which suggests she had only just got in the door when Deveney attacked.
Deveney himself went to Greenock police station with his brother to tell them something was up with his wife. He told them she was in the house and he also produced a Yale key. Those actions were something which incriminated him more during the High Court trial.
The Depute Advocate told jurors during the trial: “We do not know exactly what happened between these two that afternoon but it is not an unreasonable inference that some sort of struggle occurred. There was blood near the sink. There was a smear of blood on the wallpaper. And the woman’s body was lying between the fireplace and the bed, covered with a heap of bedclothes.
“We also know there had been a good deal of unhappiness between Mrs Deveney and her husband. We heard from her mother about their quarrelling on the previous Saturday, and of the milk bottles being thrown.
“We know that Mrs Deveney came to her mother and spend the nights of Saturday and Sunday there. We know that she went back on the Monday but that on the Tuesday morning she called again on her mother in a state of agitation and said to her mother, ‘We were quarrelling again all night. He says he is going to kill me.”
The Depute Advocate continued: “Later the same day she called on her friend Mrs Wilson, and she told Mrs Wilson ‘He has threatened to cut me to pieces.’
Those threats turned into reality, and Deveney through strangled his victim until her last breath. He did not appeal against the verdict for his evil actions and on May 29, 1952, Deveney left this earth.
lTomor row, the reclusive pensioner affectionately known as ‘Old Mick’.
A terrorist incident sent a blast through a packed underground train this morning. Pictures showed a flaming bucket on the train at Parsons Green in west London. There were injuries, but none thought to be life-threatening
Guards would pin notices outside Barlinnie after an execution. No member of the public turned up to see Deveney’s notice
Barlinnine Prison was the scene for the hanging, with Albert Pierrepoint, inset, in the role of the executioner at the jail