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  #4981  
Old 08-08-2018, 01:21 AM
Spitfire Spitfire is offline
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At the time we are talking about, the Estate Duty threshold was £3,000 and for a deceased leaving a widow and children the statutory legacy for the widow was £5,000.

So in both Gregsten and France's cases their respective widows would have been entitled to the whole of the estate, with Gregsten's estate with a potential liability to Estate Duty.
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  #4982  
Old 08-08-2018, 03:16 AM
NickB NickB is offline
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Even if Estate Duty had been paid it was only 1% for the first band of £3-4,000.

Previously I suggested that the £3,269 might be explained by Gregsten’s mother having put her house in his name to avoid Estate Duty, but it seems hardly worth doing that to avoid £32! Perhaps she had other assets.

Anyway the Land Registry entry for 19 Wentworth Avenue will show who had title at that time.
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  #4983  
Old 08-15-2018, 06:12 AM
Alfie Alfie is offline
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Default PLA: a car thief or a motorcycle thief?

I can't recall whether or not this has been discussed before on the board, so apologies in advance if it has.

Hawser has Alphon convicted in 1953 for pinching a motor cycle, Woffinden a car. Given that Alphon being able to drive a car would bolster Woffinden's thesis, and keeping in mind his record for being free-and-easy with the facts, I'm inclined to believe Hawser. Anyone know for sure?
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  #4984  
Old 08-15-2018, 11:22 AM
moste moste is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfie View Post
I can't recall whether or not this has been discussed before on the board, so apologies in advance if it has.

Hawser has Alphon convicted in 1953 for pinching a motor cycle, Woffinden a car. Given that Alphon being able to drive a car would bolster Woffinden's thesis, and keeping in mind his record for being free-and-easy with the facts, I'm inclined to believe Hawser. Anyone know for sure?
The four pages in various chapters of Woffindens book ‘Hanratty The final verdict’ do not allude to the author believing Hanratty pinched a car, what was your source for this?
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  #4985  
Old 08-15-2018, 11:55 AM
Sherlock Houses Sherlock Houses is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfie View Post

Hawser has Alphon convicted in 1953 for pinching a motor cycle, Woffinden a car. Given that Alphon being able to drive a car would bolster Woffinden's thesis, I'm inclined to believe Hawser.
Quelle surprise !
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  #4986  
Old 08-15-2018, 11:56 AM
moste moste is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moste View Post
The four pages in various chapters of Woffindens book ‘Hanratty The final verdict’ do not allude to the author believing Hanratty pinched a car, what was your source for this?
OK I have found the paragraph you are talking about. woffinden is stating that he discovered in 1992,Alphons previous criminal record. "He was convicted at the guild hall in London on the sixth of October1953 for taking and driving away a motor car". Are you of the opinion that Woffinden was lying then ?
To complete the paragraph for those who are not blessed with a copy of his 'tour de force'
"The fact that the judge intervened in this dialogue, virtually inviting Acott to think again about what he had just said, indicated that he, the judge, was probably appraised of the criminal records of the central figures, and thus personally understood how misleading Acotts evidence was".(Acott had said 'it was a motor cycle!)
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  #4987  
Old 08-15-2018, 12:04 PM
NickB NickB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfie View Post
I can't recall whether or not this has been discussed before on the board, so apologies in advance if it has.

Hawser has Alphon convicted in 1953 for pinching a motor cycle, Woffinden a car. Given that Alphon being able to drive a car would bolster Woffinden's thesis, and keeping in mind his record for being free-and-easy with the facts, I'm inclined to believe Hawser. Anyone know for sure?
Yes you raised this question in post 4803.

My reply was that I find Woffinden's 'motor car' claim suspicious, because he just says "I found the information" without elaborating on what type of information it was.

It could have been a vague press report or anything. He is usually careful to specify his sources (a point in his favour) and so it is noticeable when he does not do this.

Incidentally, have you seen my PM?
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  #4988  
Old 08-15-2018, 01:51 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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Reference the (in)famous occasion when, in Fox's car with Fox driving, Justice and Alphon were taken to Dorney and according to Fox one of them shouted "Stop!" when they were passing the gate to the cornfield. According to Fox, he got out of the car and walked around the immediate area, while Alphon got behind the wheel and tried to move the car. He failed, crashing the gears, and soon gave up. I would think that this episode would in itself be sufficient evidence to support the claim that Alphon could not drive a car.

Regarding his conviction at the Guildhall on 6 October 1953, when his offence was described as 'taking and driving away a motor car'. Has anyone been able to locate precisely what Alphon actually did to lead to his arrest and conviction? Did he 'take' the car and 'drive it away' all over London and the south-east, or did he manage only to bump it along a few feet before he stalled it and was apprehended, perhaps by its owner? As far as I'm aware, car theft does not necessarily imply that the thief actually drives the stolen vehicle any distance. I would be very interested to see the precise details, if still available, of Alphon's arraignment for 'taking and driving away a motor car'.

Fox clearly stated that Alphon was quite unable to set into motion his, Fox's, car on the visit to the cornfield. So is it really logical to accept that Alphon was the man who drove the Morris Minor from Deadman's Hill to Redbridge, much of the journey being made in the dark?

Hanratty certainly could drive, but badly. He had a bit of a record of damaging cars, including his own Sunbeam, plus the car he hired in Ireland, and also the Morris Minor, as it was found at Redbridge, which was superficially damaged and had not been so damaged at the time of the abduction.

During his interrogation by Acott and Oxford, Alphon openly stated that he had once had a provisional licence for a motor-cycle, but as far as I'm aware he never stated that he was was able to drive a car.

Graham
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  #4989  
Old 08-15-2018, 03:16 PM
cobalt cobalt is offline
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You don’t need to try so hard Graham; I think most of us would concede that Alphon’s ability to drive a car was limited. In fact his ability to actually function effectively was severely limited throughout his life, despite having an above average intelligence if his Paris interview is anything to go by. In that, his finest moment, Alphon’s ability to talk in the abstract sets him a level above Jim Hanratty I would imagine, although neither of them were competent enough to finish their National Service. Hanratty could at least, legally, drive a car.

The question is whether Alphon could have driven the car from Dead Man’s Hill to Redbridge Tube Station. (Let us for the moment omit any other circuitous routes in between or changes of driver.) The answer is surely yes, he could. With much more difficulty than Hanratty it is true, but he could have driven in the early hours of the morning when traffic was light and managed to park the car badly, before absconding. Alphon was man who regularly overestimated his abilities, so the concept of driving a murder car south was within his mental compass. Necessity might also have provided a spur to his actions.

The car of course was central to the case: a treasure trove of forensic detail, especially in the absence of a clear motive or suspect. It was found within 24 hours, within the golden time frame. Yet, incredibly, it yielded nothing useful to the prosecution. Where’s the blood? Where’s the semen? Where’s the sweat? Where’s the saliva? Where’s the fibres?
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  #4990  
Old 08-17-2018, 02:41 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Cobalt, it's not a question of 'trying hard', more a question of trying to maximise the limited information that we have concerning the personalities, histories and various capabilities of both Hanratty and Alphon. Fox said quite categorically that Alphon was unable even to set his, Fox's, car in motion on the night of the 'gateway hunt', this only a few months after the actual murder. So I would say, given this snippet, it is highly unlikely that Alphon could have driven safely and successfully from Deadman's Hill to Redbridge. And don't forget that both Justice and (perhaps to a slightly lesser extent) Fox wanted the world to believe that Alphon was the killer, so to very effectively publicise Alphon's total lack of skill with a car would be rather detrimental to their efforts.

Do you remember the first few times you tried to drive a car?

Hanratty, on the other hand, was a confirmed car-thief, and made no secret of this. But that doesn't necessarily make him a good driver. And by the way, he could not drive a car legally in the UK, as he had no UK licence; this is why he went to Ireland, to get an Irish Republic licence for which taking a driving-test apparently wasn't a requirement. And while he was there, he pranged the car he'd hired!

With regard to the Morris yielding no forensic evidence useful to the prosecution, once again let me highlight the Janice Weston murder, in which her car was driven, presumably by her murderer but certainly not by her as she was dead, from near Huntingdon to central London. Yet no forensic evidence was found to link any driver with the car other than Janice Weston and her husband. It seems that lightning does strike twice.

Graham
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