Monday, 3 August 2015

Harriet Reeve Murder - Husband Sent For Trial

Tuesday 3rd August 1915: The magistrates sat at Leighton Buzzard Police Court this morning to hear the charge against William Benjamin Reeve of wilfully murdering his wife. Most of the evidence repeated that already heard at the inquest into Harriet Reeve’s death. Their son, William Benjamin Reeve junior, said that he had never before heard his father threaten his mother, but the boy’s friend George Flemming told a different story under questioning from the prosecuting lawyer, Mr. Prynne:
Prynne: Have you ever heard [Reeve] threaten his wife?
Flemming: Yes.
Prynne: More than once?
Flemming: Yes, two or three times.
Prynne: What was the nature of the threat?
Flemming: He said “I’ll kill you if I get near you.”
Prynne: When did he last threaten her?
Flemming: In June, when I was sleeping at his house.
Prynne: Did you ever see him strike her?
Flemming: No.
Prynne: Or say how he was going to kill her?
Flemming: Yes, once.
Prynne: What did he say?
Flemming: He saids “I’ll shoot you.”
Prynne: Did he go for the gun then?
Flemming: I don’t know, I was upstairs.
Reeve spent the hearing sitting on a chair near the dock with his head in his hands, looking up with a worn and haggard face only while his son was giving evidence. After a hearing lasting over three hours Reeve was sent for trial at the Bedfordshire Assizes. If found guilty, there can only be one penalty: death.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer 3 August 1915

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