As part of our weekly Crime Files series, we take a look at the archives to bring you stories from Herefordshire’s history.

The following story is from 1932.

A HEREFORDSHIRE kennel maid was strangled to death by a teenager at her employer’s home in 1932.

Ethel Corey, from Hereford, was found strangled in a bathroom of the house where she worked in July 1932.

A court heard Miss Corey and the defendant, Harold Hayward Wilkins, 16, had both worked for the same employer at Brinton Kennels, near Walsall, at the time of the 31-year-old’s death.

Wilkins and Miss Corey had been left home alone on July 9, with the maid’s body found after Wilkins called the police to report a burglary.

But, the prosecution said, the burglary complaint was a ruse invented by Wilkins, alleging that in a later statement he told police he had followed Miss Corey upstairs, ripping her dress off and snatching her. tying on his head.

“I took a leash out of her room and tied her arms behind her,” Wilkins reportedly said.

“She screamed slightly. I grabbed her with my hands around her neck.”

When he was charged, Wilkins reportedly said he didn’t want to do it.


The couple’s employer, Mr CL Hodgkinson, told the court he had returned home that day to find Wilkins sobbing in a broken manner.

Young Wilkins, of Mellish Road, Walsall, was found guilty and sentenced to death, with the jury making a strong recommendation for a pardon on account of his age on November 16.

He was later pardoned in November 1932. Later that month, his lawyer, M. A. V. Haden, announced that he would not be appealing his conviction.