20 August 1901 – John Joyce

An ex-soldier pleaded sunstroke in his defence after he drunkenly stabbed an 84-year-old drinking buddy.

Having served in India, John Joyce pleaded insanity brought on from sunstroke in defence of the murder of John Nugent.

Binge drinking

On 10 June 1901, following a drinking binge, the two men went back to Nugent’s house where Joyce knocked over a paraffin lamp. Nugent went to call the police. Panicked, an inebriated Joyce fatally plunged a knife into the elderly man’s heart.

Of course the desperate defence was rejected and Joyce was found guilty of murder and sentenced to be hanged. The 36-year-old’s executioners were James and William Billington and his hanging took place in Birmingham.

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