Leigh & District

Crime & Punishment

Facilitator:Barbara Joyce07516 225608
Venue & time:Leigh Miners10.30am - 12.30pm1st Tuesday in month
repeated at1pm - 3pmon the same day

January 2022

Happy New Year

The new year saw our numbers slightly depleted due to concerns about the omicron strain of the virus. In spite of this quite a few people attended and with windows open and face coverings worn it felt safe.

The topic was the trial of Robert Durst. It is hard to decide why this man behaves as he does. At the age of 79 he is serving a life sentence for murdering a close friend and has just been charged with the murder of his wife in 1982. He has also served a sentence in the past for the dismemberment and disposal of the body of a man who he shot in 'self defence'. The case came to the attention of the British public following the release of a documentary entitled 'The Jinx' by HBO in America which is available on NOW television

Our February meeting will be a bit more light-hearted and looks at celebrities who have been in trouble with the law. There are many of them and the impact on their career is not always negative.

Please feel free to join us on Tuesday 1st February at 10.30 repeated in the same day at 1pm. No need to book and non members can attend to 'give it a try' before committing themselves to joining the u3a.

Future topics below

01.02.22 Celebrities Incarcerated
01.03.22 Prison Escapes
05.04.22 Crime in Wartime
03.05.22 Unsolved Crimes
07.06.22 Trevor Hardy: The Beast of Manchester
05.07.22 Conan Doyle for the Defence: The Case of Oscar Slater
02.08.22 Lord Lucan and the murder of Sandra Rivett
06.09.22 Weinstein and Epstein
04.10.22 Parricide: murder of parents
01.11.22 Group behaviour in serious crime
06.12.22 Crime as portrayed on television and film

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The new concern about the COVID omicron variation, combined with a storm, kept our numbers down this month. However in spite of reduced attendance we enjoyed a good meeting looking at high jacking. We discussed two cases and why the incidence has reduced dramatically since the terrorist attacks in the US on 11th September 2001.

Our next meeting will take place in January 2022 when the topic will be the trial of Robert Durst. Durst is a member of a wealthy real estate family in New York. However he was the black sheep of this illustrious family and his behaviour leaves us gasping! It is a story that is stranger than fiction. In spite of the grief that Durst caused there are some funny moments in the narrative and it will make you wonder what made him tick.

All members are welcome to join us on Tuesday 4th January at 10.30 and repeated at 1pm. No need to book. Look forward to seeing you then. Meanwhile a happy Christmas to all members and we look forward to more crime and punishment discoveries on 2022.

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November 2021 - next meeting Tuesday 7th December 2021

As autumn draws in we had two well attended meetings in spite of the bad weather. Our topic was the hostage taking and murder of 4 members of the same extended family in 1977. The murders were perpetrated in rural Derbyshire by an escaped prisoner called Billy Hughes. He was eventually shot dead by armed police. The only surviving family member saw her mother, father, husband and young daughter killed in addition to being taken hostage and having her life threated by Hughes.

It is hard to know how this woman survived this ordeal and it was good to know that she is still with us and living a peaceful life in Ireland. There appears to be only one book written on the murders which is by Carol Ann Lee and Peter Howse. It's a tough read but is well researched and begs a lot of questions about the crime.

The December meeting will be a bit more light-hearted and will look at 2 cases of hijacking. This was a common event in the 60s and 70s and is an example of how the change of procedures can tackle certain crimes.

We will meet on TUESDAY 7th DECEMBER and you are welcome to attend at either 10.30 or 1pm when the session is repeated. No need to book, just come to the Miners where you will me made most welcome.

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October 2021

Members seem to be feeling more confident about venturing out and todays two meetings were well attended. The afternoon meeting particularly so. Kath Graham presented an interesting presentation on the 1949 Cameo Cinema murders and the miscarriage of justice which resulted in one innocent man being hanged and another being imprisoned. The real murderer has never been apprehended. It was only in 2001 that the case against these men was quashed. The police investigation was clearly very poor and some things have certainly improved since the late 40s.

Our NOVEMBER meetings are on 2nd November and will look at a hostage taking in 1977. This happened in Derbyshire and had tragic consequences. The meetings will take place at 10.30 and repeated the same afternoon at 1pm. All welcome and no need to book. The calendar for the remainder of this year and next year is below. Subject to change of course if any member would like to give their own presentation.

02.11.21 Pottery Cottage hostage taking
07.12.21 Hijacking

04.01.22 Robert Durst: Guilty or Innocent?
01.02.22 Celebrities Incarcerated
01.03.22 Prison Escapes
05.04.22 Crime in Wartime
03.05.22 Unsolved Crimes
07.06.22 Trevor Hardy: The Beast of Manchester
05.07.22 Conan Doyle for the Defence: The Case of Oscar Slater
02.08.22 Lord Lucan and the murder of Sandra Rivett
06.09.22 Weinstein and Epstein
04.10.22 Parricide: murder of parents
01.11.22 Group behaviour in serious crime
06.12.22 Crime as portrayed on television and film

September 2021

Second post COVID meeting - with all the windows open and some social distancing. The presentation, on Levi Bellfield, revealed a thoroughly unpleasant man. He has no moral core and is a narcissist and a cruel controlling bully. He is serving two whole life sentences so will die in prison. This is the only way to protect society from people like him.

Next month on Tuesday 5th October Kath Graham will give a talk on the Cameo murders. This was a robbery gone wrong in Liverpool with many repercussions. The meeting will take place at 10.30 repeated at 1pm. All members are welcome and there is no need to book. Kath has done presentations for the group before and this one promises (like the others) to be good.

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August 2021

Our first post COVID meetings took place this week - the first Tuesday of the month. Under our new timetable we had one meeting at 10.30 repeated at 1pm. The topic was The Horizon IT system which was full of bugs and glitches but nonetheless was used by the Post Office prosecutors as the sole evidence to prosecute 700 plus sub postmasters. After 19 years the scandal has finally been exposed and a Judicial Review is currently being established. Prosecutions have already been quashed, compensation amounting to millions or even billions will be due to the postmasters who were prosecuted and also those who were erroneously sacked.

There is now a lot of information about the case but in my view the best source is a journalist called Nick Wallis. In addition to a blog, articles and other written sources he has also produced a BBC Sounds podcast which you can listen to via your PC or tablet at BBC Sounds.

Our September meetings will take place on Tuesday 7th at 10.30 repeated at 1pm. The room hire fee is £1.50. No need to book. The topic is LEVI BELLFIELD. He is best known for the abduction and murder of Amanda (Milly) Dowler. However his hatred of females resulted in other deaths, attempted murders and sexual offences. He is currently where he belongs - in prison for the remainder of his life.

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July 2021

Well, unless we hear anything to the contrary between now and Tuesday 3rd August, we will be restarting our group. The meetings are now either 10.30am or repeated at 1pm on the same day - the first Tuesday in the month.

I know that many of us will be wary about indoor meetings and I can well understand that some may wish to see what happens to the infection rates and vaccine take up before venturing out. However if you choose to join us on the 3rd you will be most welcome. No need to book and you can come to either session. Please note that you will not be able to get a drink at The Miners but are welcome to bring your own.

It's a good topic - the Post Office Horizon IT scandal. I first prepared this presentation in November 2019 and a great deal has happened since then which has attracted national attention - and the story is nowhere near over.

Barbara

Archive
March 2021

The roadmap indicates that we may be getting some kind of resolution - hopefully by Late June? The topics will need to be updated by then as the Post Office scandal is still very active as is the fate of Sharmima Begum - the only remaining Bethnal Green schoolgirl - who is in a Kurdish run camp in Syria but is declared to not be a British citizen. Meanwhile please stay safe

Barbara Joyce

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February 2021

As the vaccines get underway perhaps there is some light at the end of the tunnel! The lockdown started a few days into the new year so the calendar for topics this year is undated and I will put some dates on when we are able to re start. Meanwhile if any member would like to deliver a presentation please let me know and I can add you to the undated calendar.

2021 Crime and Punishment topics

Levi Bellfield. The serial killer who was responsible for the death of Amanda (Milly) Dowler, Amelia Delagrange and Marsha McDonnell in addition to savage attacks on other young women. Currently serving a whole life sentence.

Crime in the Second World War – In the early years of the war crime decreased due to the conscription of those who would ordinarily be perpetrating offences. Some crime related directly to the conditions imposed in war time such as the blackout and rationing. Some crime was committed by American and Canadian soldiers stationed in the UK. At a later stage in the war guns were commonplace with a consequent rise in armed robberies.

Celebrities incarcerated – famous people who have seen the inside of a prison cell. This will include Hugh Grant and Phil Spector.

The Liverpool Cameo Murders – historic murder case in Liverpool.

Unsolved cases – some you may be familiar with such as Lord Lucan but some are less well known and include a series of murders in London in the 1960s where the perpetrator became known as ‘Jack the Stripper’ due to him leaving the bodies of his victims naked. There was also an ‘execution’ type killing in Nairn where a man called Alistair Wilson was shot on his own doorstep.

Prison escapes – rarer these days but this presentation looks at some famous ones including the IRA escape from the H Blocks in 1983. Charlie Wilson and Ronnie Biggs, convicted Great Train robbers, who escaped from their respective incarceration in 1964 and 1965 and Alfie Hinds, serial escapee, in the 1950s.

Murder of Parents, which will include the US case of the Menendez Brothers and the case on Jersey involving the Newell Brothers.

Scandal at the Post Office – the scandal of the sub post masters who were wrongly accused of fraud. The struggle of these wronged men and women for justice against a huge and well defended organisation. This is ongoing and may have been fully resolved by the time we re- start.

3 school girls from Bethnal Green – the 3 young girls who joined ISIS. Two of the school girls are dead and the other is awaiting a decision regarding a possible return to the UK from a camp in Syria.

Trevor Hardy – The Beast of Manchester – 1970s serial killer. Little known case which involved a violent psychopath. 3 teenagers were killed in North Manchester by this man who died in prison whilst serving a whole life sentence

The very strange case of Robert Durst – American murderer. Part of a wealthy real estate family in New York who is currently awaiting trial for the murder of his friend.

D B Cooper – the story of the USAs only unsolved plane hijacking. A fascinating story which is made more interesting by the fact that the perpetrator remains a mystery.

The Pottery Cottage murders – a shocking siege/ murder/abduction in the Peak District by an escaped prisoner in 1977

Operation Yewtree and beyond. Yewtree was established in order to investigate sexual offending by Jimmy Savile primarily but it was also linked to other perpetrators in the public eye.

Meanwhile I sent out some information on TV crime shows which reveals our endearing fascination with this genre. If anybody has a favourite TV detective show please feel free to send your reasons why you love this series and I can send them out to members who have access to e mail.

Soon be spring! Barbara

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January 2021

The start of a new year which in spite of being in tier 4 does hold out some hope for a return to u3a meetings once the vaccination has been rolled out.

I sent out a calendar of crime in 2020 to members, which made for depressing reading. Hopefully something a bit more cheery next time! Meanwhile I wish all our crime enthusiasts a happy new year and hope to meet face to face before too long.

Barbara

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At the end of each year we usually look at topics for the following year and draw up a calendar. The 2021 list of topics is undated as I am not sure when we can re-start. Please if anybody would like to do a presentation just contact me and I can add you to the list.

2021 Crime and Punishment topics

Levi Bellfield. The serial killer who was responsible for the death of Amanda (Milly) Dowler and other young women.

Crime in the Second World War

Celebrities incarcerated – famous people who have seen the inside of a prison cell

The Liverpool Cameo Murders – historic murder case in Liverpool

Unsolved cases – some you may be familiar with such as Lord Lucan but some are less well known and include a series of murders in London in the 1960s where the perpetrator became known as ‘Jack the Stripper’ due to him leaving the bodies of his victims naked.

Prison escapes – rarer these days but this presentation looks at some famous ones including the IRA escape from the H Blocks in 1983, Charlie Wilson and Ronnie Biggs, convicted Great Train robbers in 1964 and 1965 and Alfie Hinds in the 1950s.

Murder of Parents, which will include the US case of the Menendez Brothers and the case on Jersey involving the Newell Brothers.

Scandal at the Post Office – the scandal of the sub post masters who were wrongly accused of fraud. The struggle of these wronged men and women for justice against a huge and well defended organisation

3 school girls from Bethnal Green – the 3 girls who joined ISIS. Two of the school girls are dead and the other is awaiting a decision regarding a possible return to the UK from a camp in Syria.

Trevor Hardy – The Beast of Manchester – 1970s serial killer. Little known case which involved a violent psychopath.

The very strange case of Robert Durst – American murderer. Part of a wealthy real estate family in New York who is currently awaiting trial for the murder of his wife.

D B Cooper – the story of the USAs only unsolved plane hijacking.

Meanwhile Happy Christmas (in spite of it being much more low key this year) and fingers crossed that 2021 is an improvement on 2020.

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Update November 2020

Lockdown becomes (we think) Tier 3 this week and in spite of the positive vaccination news it will be a while before normal service is resumed. This month was to have been about gun law in the US and how this links to mass shootings. I did send some data out to members of the group which was pretty frightening but I doubt that there is about to be any amendment change - even with a new Democrat President.

In 'normal' years we do not meet in December due to the Miners shut down during the day from Christmas to New Year. The other thing that is normally a task in November is to create the calendar for next year. I will be giving out topics without dates and will place them here as soon as I can.

Lets hope the vaccinations can get out to us as soon as possible and that once the figures for hospitalisation have fallen we are allowed to meet again.

Barbara

Update September 2020

And another month passes! The meeting for October was going to look at the murder of parents. I had not included the Jeremy Bamber case where he shot his parents, sister and two nephews, as there was a really good drama covering the case on television earlier this year. However there is a book by Carol Ann Lee called 'The Murders at Whitehouse Farm' which is a very thorough and readable account of what happened. Recommended.

The case of the Menendez Brothers in the US is well known but there is a case with a similar motivation from Jersey involving the Newall family. In both cases the reason was the greed of the sons (as in the Bamber case). I have not yet researched cases with different motivation but will do this before we visit the topic post Covid.

One to be looked at when we get back to normal.

Barbara

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Update August 2020

As every day there appears to be reports in the papers of illegal raves I suspect that is the only way we will get to meet. No news yet from The Miners and it does not look hopeful what with the local enhanced regulations and worries about a 'spike' etc.

September was to have been 'Illegal to Legal' - legislation making previously illegal activities legal. This topic probably lends itself to some e mail communication so I will send out some of the research I have already undertaken to members and look forward to sharing some views.

Meanwhile I hope that you are keeping busy and not becoming too despondent. A vaccine may be just around the corner!

Update July 2020

Like a cracked record the message is the same again this month. The additional restrictions for Greater Manchester came into force today (31.07.20) so sadly it does not look like things will ease up for a while.

August was to be 'Prison Escape' month. Very apt considering we have all been incarcerated since mid March. The focus would have been on the Maze Prison escape in 1983, Ronnie Biggs and Charlie Wilson (Great Train robbers) and Alfie Hinds - prison escapee extraordinaire. It is ready and waiting for when we are free to meet again.

Watch this space for updates and meanwhile I hope everybody is well and coping as well as can be expected.

Barbara
Archive

Update June 2020

Still closed and restricted to our social bubble so it will not be possible for us to meet for a while yet.

The topic for July was to have been unsolved cases. The cases to be looked at were Lord Lucan, which most of us will know something about. Less well known but fascinating is the 'hit man' type murder in Nairn, Scotland of Alistair Wilson. There is no real motive for the murder and it remains a mystery. Finally there was a spate of murders in London in the early 60s which became known as the Jack the Stripper murders. Again these were never solved and still attract interest and attempts to identify suspects.

Another one for the back burner!

Hope everybody is keeping well and lets hope there is some good news soon which means we can meet up again.

26th May 2020

Still socially isolated and being alert.

Today's and yesterday's topic would have been 'Celebrities Incarcerated'. We'll put it on hold until we get out of our incarceration. I hope all group members and potential group members are as well as can be expected.

Will June be a goer for our group? If it is the topic will be The Liverpool Cameo Cinema Murders but if the Miners is still closed and we are unable to meet we will put that one on ice for the future.

See you soon I hope

Barbara
8th May 2020

It looks like we will be closed for a while and when we return to normal service we will have a lot of topics prepared.

I have been sending out a few quizzes to those members of the group who are on line. It is important to keep in touch. There are many 'true crime' books, magazines and TV programmes. There are also courses on Future Learn (free) and lectures on the Gresham College website.

See you soon

Barbara
March 21st 2020

As you will be aware the pandemic has necessitated closure of the U3A groups. We have no clear idea when we will be able to be up and running again but meanwhile I hope people are keeping busy and I have a few suggestions that have come from the group members on how to keep busy. I will update this as we progress with our isolation.

There were some great recommendations regarding what to watch/do during our coronavirus incarceration.
• Gardening – our gardens will be weed free and fit for purpose when this is all over.
• Fence painting – get those fences done – you know you hate doing it but no excuses now
• Ditto shed painting – who knows that shed may have to double as an isolation block pretty soon!!
• Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. From wardrobe tops (really Shirley?) to cupboards that have not seen the light of day for a while.
• Talking of which one tidy up of a food cupboard revealed a food sell by date of 2011 – shame on you M – you know who you are!! Anyone beat this?
• Good idea to look out old craft projects that you had abandoned –find the embroidery thrown at the back of a cupboard.
• You Tube – for new craft ideas. You Tube is a good free resource. I personally put ‘You Tube UK’ in Google and then just use the search facility at the op. Head phones on and I am entertained for a long time. I also like the way that the system anticipates other things that you may be interested in based on previous searches.
• The Rise –found on Netflix. Sounds good. Netflix recommendations are great as (like Prime) there is so much to choose from that a lot of the best stuff is hard to find.
• ’14 Days in May’ – found on I Player BBC 4 – also sounds good and thought provoking.
• If you are into Genealogy and have Ancestry or Find My Past there is a scheme whereby you can assist in discovering the history of female convicts sent to Tasmania. If you are interested I can send the details to you.
• Also a good time to do some more work on your own family tree.
• Decorating – you may be able to use the excuse that you can’t risk going to B and Q but if the materials are already bought you are obliged to get stuck in
• DIY hairdressing!! If hairdressers close this will be essential but one of our members is already training for cut and colours!
• The Twelfth Man – another Netflix gem
• 24th March on Channel 5 - a programme about April Jones the young girl who was abducted and murdered in mid Wales.

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Our March 2020 meetings will be held on Monday 23rd and repeated on Tuesday 24th - both meetings will start at 1pm

We will be looking at the criminal career of LEVI BELLFIELD. You will likely have heard of him as the man who abducted and murdered school girl Amanda 'Milly' Dowler. But he went on to kill two more women in West London and to seriously injure another. In addition he abused his partners and was a thoroughly nasty and vicious man.

Advance notice that our April meetings will be examining Crime in the Second World War. 27th and 28th April

February's meeting looked at an earlier war - the First World War and what happened to conscientious objectors. Thanks to Brian for an informative and very thought provoking meeting. Times have changed and it seems (with the benefit of hindsight) that these men were badly treated. Of particular interest was the story of Arthur Turtle - Tyldesley born but lived in Leigh and an imprisoned conscientious objector. Information about him is held in the Wigan Archives (currently at Leigh Library) or on line.

The calendar for the remainder of this year is below

23rd/24th March Levi Bellfield – serial killer
27th/28th April Crime in the Second World War
25th/26th May Celebrities incarcerated
22nd/23rd June The Liverpool Cameo Cinema Murders
27th/28th July Unsolved cases
24th/25th August Prison escapes
28th/29th September Illegal to legal – legislation making previously illegal activity legal
26th/27th October Murder of parents
23rd/24th November Gun law in the USA and mass shootings
December No meeting

Archive

Following our Christmas break the group met again in January when we looked at 'The Monster Butler' - Archibald Hall , also known as Roy Fontaine. He was a classic psychopath but in some ways not typical in that he only murdered people he knew, he used different 'modus operandi' for each killing, he was in his 50s when he began killing and he murdered 4 people in the company of another (non psychopath) Michael Kitto. There is a programme on You Tube called 'The Monster Butler' for those who may wish to learn more.

A different type of topic in February. We meet on Monday 24th repeated on Tuesday 25th February at 1pm. We will look at conscientious objectors in the First World War. In 1916 conscription was introduced for the first time in Britain. The Government knew that there would be men who objected to military service on conscientious grounds. The new law took this into account and included provision for these men. However some unexpectedly refused all alternative forms of service. They were therefore criminalised and imprisoned.

This will be of interest to members interested in 20th Century history as well as criminal justice. Please feel free to join us in February. No need to book.

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No meeting in December as The Miners will close during the day between Christmas and New Year. Opening again on 3rd January for the members Speaker meeting.

Our first meeting of 2020 will take place on Monday 27th January with a repeat on the next day - the 28th. Both meetings will start at 1pm and finish before 3pm.

The topic is Roy Fontaine (also known as Archibald Hall). He was a Scottish born criminal who used to move in elevated circles and often gained employment as a butler in the 1960s and 70s. His intention was to get access to the houses of wealthy and aristocratic employers and then to steal from them. In the 1970s however he also went on a killing spree and committed 5 murders in the space of a few months.

Please feel free to join us at either meeting. No need to book.

Meanwhile a very happy festive season and all the best for 2020.

Archive

The NOVEMBER 2019 meetings will be held on the Monday 25th November 2019 and repeated on the 26th. The topic is the murder of Julia Wallace. This is a murder case that scandalised and baffled Liverpool and remains unsolved 80 years on- despite her husband originally being convicted and sentenced to hang. The presentation, by one of our members, Kath, promises to be most interesting. Please join us for what will be our final meeting of 2019. No meeting in December as The Miners will be closed during the day over the Christmas period.

The January 2020 topic is Roy Fontaine (also known as The Monster Butler) - he was a jewel thief and serial killer. Dates for this meeting are 27th January repeated on 28th January 2020.

The calendar for next year is below

27th repeated 28th January The Monster Butler – Roy Fontaine – jewel thief and serial killer.
24th/25th February Conscientious Objectors in the First World War
23rd/24th March Levi Belfield – serial killer
27th/28th April Crime in the Second World War
25th/26th May Celebrities incarcerated
22nd/23rd June The Liverpool Cameo Cinema Murders
27th/28th July Unsolved cases
24th/25th August Prison escapes
28th/29th September Illegal to legal – legislation making previously illegal activity legal
26th/27th October Murder of parents
23rd/24th November Gun law in the USA and mass shootings
December No meeting

Archive

Our OCTOBER 2019 meetings will take place on October 28th and repeated on the 29th. Both meetings are held at The Miners and start at 1pm.

We will be looking at some Cold Cases. Unsolved homicides are kept open by the police and improved forensic science (particularly DNA) has resulted in old cases being solved. You are welcome to join the group and there is no need to book. it's not really like the TV programme 'Old Tricks' although some of the preliminary work is undertaken by retired officers.

The September meeting was on legislation designed to tackle new types of offences or strengthen old laws and provoked a lot of discussion and we had a good discussion. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.

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Our September 2019 meeting (23rd and repeated on the 24th) will look at instances where a law has been passed which made previously legal and acceptable behaviour illegal. Among other things we will look at 'upskirting', drunk driving, laws against smoking, and dangerous dogs. Some of these laws were unpopular and you may have views about the necessity for some of them.

Please join us on either day and you will be made most welcome.

I thought the good weather (after a few weeks of rain) may have reduced our numbers for the August meeting but we were very full. The presentation by Brian Joyce on Profumo reminded us all of how times have changed - although human behaviour remains the same. As somebody who was too young to understand the story in the early 60s it was very good to have it explained. Thanks to Brian for a great presentation.

PS A docu - drama about DS Fulcher (our topic a few months ago) starts on TV next week. With Martin Freeman it promises to be good.

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We are running the group on August bank holiday and repeated the Day after - 26th or 27th August 2019. The topic is Profumo - the 1960s scandal. You may be able to recall the scandal - or at least the bits your parents let you read about! Please join us for this session which should prove to be an interesting one.

The July meetings were well attended in spite of the sudden onset of very hot weather. We looked at MPs who have been imprisoned and why they got themselves into trouble. It was a good meeting on both days with quite a bit of reminiscence around some of the older cases. Thanks to Brian for the presentation and to Jo for the cake on Monday - bara brith - delicious.

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Our JULY 2019 meetings will examine MPS IN TROUBLE - HONOURABLE MEMBERS WHO HAVE ACTED DISHONOURABLY. This will be a presentation looking at MPs over the last 60 years who have fallen foul of the law. They come from all political persuasions and have various motivations for their actions. Join us on either MONDAY 22nd or TUESDAY 23rd JULY. The Tuesday meeting is a repeat of Monday. Both meetings start at 1pm. No need to book.

If any member has a presentation they would like to offer please contact me.You may have worked in the police, the courts or as a legal representative and have some inside knowledge. You may be interested in one particular offence or you may even have details of a local murder. Don't be shy and I can help with the technology if need be.

The June meeting was well attended and provoked some good discussion - particularly around the poll tax. A good topic which was suggested by a member of the group.

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In June we will look at CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. This is peaceful protest in order to air grievances and gain political change. There are many examples and we will look (briefly) at Peterloo as it is the 200th anniversary. We will then look at the 1990 Poll Tax protests which indirectly led to the demise of Mrs Thatcher. The Kinder Scout Mass Trespass was an attempt to open rights of ways for ramblers and other countryside users. The 1915 Glasgow Rent Strike is a further example of people power attaining a change in behaviour by the powerful - in this case exploitative landlords. Finally we will look at Extinction Rebellion which has captured the imagination of masses of young people who are concerned about our environment. It promises to be a good session so please join us on either MONDAY 24th June or the repeat on TUESDAY 25th June 2019. No need to book. Meetings start at 1pm and finish before 3pm.

Police corruption was our May 2019 topic and we looked at the Metropolitan Police Pornography Squad in the 1960s and ealry 70s. Times have changed and it was agreed that the police would not (and could not) behave like they did in this day and age.

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In May we will be looking at the disgraceful behaviour of The Metropolitan Police Porn Squad. In the 1960s and 70s the squad was called 'The Dirty Squad'
We will focus on the corrupt behaviour of the squad - which was rife right up to Commander level. What sort of things were the police up to, how did they get away with their behaviour and what happened to bring it to an end? You are welcome to join us on 27th My repeated on the 28th at 1pm.

There was a good attendance for the Renegades and Traitors presentation. We looked at 3 British men and one woman who had worked for Nazi Germany in the war. All interesting people but not at pleasant. One - Harold Cole - was likely to have been directly responsible for many deaths when he divulged the British escape routes out of occupied France.

Three of them broadcast for 'Germany Calling' - a radio station designed to promote Nazi propaganda. Thanks to Brian for an excellent presentation and also for Jo who provided cake on Monday

See you in May - 27th or 28th.

Please feel free to join us - each monthly topic makes sense in its own right so you can dip in and out as you think fit. Whether you attend once in a while or every month you will be made to feel most welcome and in spite of the subject the sessions are designed to be informative and enjoyable.

For more information please contact crime@leighanddistrictu3a.org.uk or phone 07516 225608 or 01942 517494.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • When and where does the group meet?

The group meets on the first Tuesday of the month. The meeting at 10.30 is repeated at 1pm on the same day. The notice board in the Foyer at the Miner's Welfare will tell you the room where the meeting will be held.

  • Can I attend either group?

Yes – or even both if you wish!

  • Do I need to know anything about criminology to attend?

No – just a general interest. Some of the group members have worked in prisons, police or solicitors but most are just interested in crime. If you find the group is not for you there is no compulsion to explain why - and nobody will pursue you to ask why you are not attending!

  • Do I need to prepare work for the session?

No – although any member is welcome to lead the session, and some members have read up around the topic before the session, but it is not necessary to do so.

  • Will I have to take any exams?

No. Nobody is ‘put on the spot’ to answer questions, do written work or to say anything unless they choose to. We generally enjoy a discussion around the topic and learn from each other.

  • Do I have to pay?

You will have to pay your membership to attend the groups and then £1.50p for room hire.

  • What kind of topics does the group look at?

We have looked at things like drugs and crime, alcohol, crimes in Leigh in the past, transportation to Australia, homicide, serial killers, sectarian murders and domestic abuse. As you can see the topics are varied and reflect the members interests! The topics can be challenging and the group is sometimes dealing with difficult issues but is not ‘heavy’.

  • Sounds ok – how do I join?

Just check the date and arrive – you will be made most welcome.

Dates for your Diary
Tue Feb 1st Celebrities Incarcerated
Tue Mar 1st Prison Escapes
Tue Apr 5th Crime in Wartime
Tue May 3rd Unsolved Crimes
Tue Jun 7th Trevor Hardy: The Beast of Manchester
Tue Jul 5th Conan Doyle for the Defence: The Case of Oscar Slater
Tue Aug 2nd Lord Lucan and the murder of Sandra Rivett
Tue Sep 6th Weinstein and Epstein
Tue Oct 4th Parricide: murder of parents
Tue Nov 1st Group behaviour in serious crime
Tue Dec 6th Crime as portrayed on television and film
More Group Pages
Acoustic Guitar Art Appreciation Astronomy Book Reading & Armchair Critics
Creative Writing Crime & Punishment Crime & Punishment 2 Egyptology
Indoor Bowls iPads & iPhones Italian Line Dancing
Local History Luncheon Club Maths Mixed Crafts
Musical Instruments Oil & Acrylic Painting Play Reading Poetry Appreciation
Quilters & Needlework Quiz Club Relaxation/Support Scrabble & Board Games
Shakespeare Singing for Fun Tai Chi for Health/Wellbeing Ukulele
Walking Cricket Watercolour Painting Women in History Women in History 2
More Group Pages
Acoustic Guitar Art Appreciation
Astronomy Book Reading & Armchair Critics
Creative Writing Crime & Punishment
Crime & Punishment 2 Egyptology
Indoor Bowls iPads & iPhones
Italian Line Dancing
Local History Luncheon Club
Maths Mixed Crafts
Musical Instruments Oil & Acrylic Painting
Play Reading Poetry Appreciation
Quilters & Needlework Quiz Club
Relaxation/Support Scrabble & Board Games
Shakespeare Singing for Fun
Tai Chi for Health/Wellbeing Ukulele
Walking Cricket Watercolour Painting
Women in History Women in History 2