8 December 1909 – Abel Atherton
‘Yer hanging an innocent man,’ an anguished Abel Atherton claimed just as he was about to be hanged today in 1909.
He was sentenced to die for shooting Elizabeth Ann Patrick. However, throughout he maintained that it was an accident and he hadn’t meant to kill her. Nevertheless he didn’t get his reprieve.
Atherton was 29 when he was sent to the gallows in Durham, where Henry Pierrepoint pulled the lever with William Willis assisting.