United Press Association—By Electric Telegraph. (Received 22nd March, 10 a.m.)
MURDER OF MOTHER. HARRY FOX CONVICTED. SENTENCED TO DEATH.
END OF ROOM 66 CASE. LONDON, 21st March.
Sydney • Harry Fox was found guilty at the Old
Bailey and sentenced to death for the murder of his mother, Mrs.
Rosaline Fox, in Room 66 at the Hotel Metropole, Margate.
The trial, was
the most sensational for years, the scene of the crime being
reconstructed in Court, and expert witnesses giving evidence as to the
effects of strangulation on the victim.
The Crown's case was that Fox
insured his mother's life for £3000 the day before she was found dead in
the hotel, and that he strangled her and then set fire to the room. The
Judge's summing up occupied two and a quarter hours. Dealing with the
conflict of medical testimony, he said that it was impossible to offer
the jury assistance. It was a curious coincidence that a brittle bone
referred to by the experts was unbroken. It was a strong point in favour
of Fox that the unfortunate parts concerned could not have been better
He referred to Fox's extraordinary life, going from place
to place without money, and declared that, the financial straits of Fox
had a very direct bearing on the case. The insurance policies were the
kernel of the case. Fox journeyed to London to take out policies when he
had barely sufficient money to pay his fare. Undoubtedly, if his mother
died by accident before midnight on 23rd October Fox's position would be
changed from despair and difficulties to one of affluence.
The jury were
absent for ninety-two minutes.
Asked if he had anything to say, Fox
replied "I never murdered my mother." He reeled as he left the dock.
The mysterious death of Mrs. Rosaline Fox, whose body was found in Room
66 at the Hotel Metropole, Margate, on 23rd October last, with the
carpet nearby smouldering, led eventually to a charge of murder against
her son, Sydney Harry Fox, a medical student, aged 30. The inquest
resulted in a verdict of death by misadventure, but inquiries by a
private detective on behalf of insurance companies liable under policies
taken out by the son, led the Margate police to seek the aid of Scotland
Yard. The body of Mrs. Fox was exhumed, and examination by Sir Bernard
Spilsbury confirmed suspicions that the deceased had met a violent death
by strangulation, before the fire took place.