Grandson of last British woman to be hanged fights to clear her name

Ruth Ellis
Ruth Ellis

source: Sunday Post
published: 27 June 2016

The grandson of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, has vowed to carry on the fight to clear her name. Steven Beard, 27, is seeking a pardon for Ellis, despite a Court of Appeal ruling that her conviction was not a miscarriage of justice.

The glamorous London nightclub hostess was sent to the gallows for shooting dead her abusive lover, racing driver David Blakely, in 1955.

Mr Beard believes new evidence published by writer Carol Ann Lee in her book, A Fine Day For A Hanging: The Real Ruth Ellis Story, could be the basis for a fresh appeal. The book was published four years after Georgina, Mr Beard’s mother, died of cancer in 2001.

He said: “Mum was fighting for a pardon from the court and for an apology that the sentence was wrong.

“Before she died, she found out Ruth was not going to get a reprieve.

“But then Carol published her book and, with the new evidence, there is a case to look at the case again.

“It would be a submission of the new evidence, in a way it has not been done before, to show she was not represented by a competent barrister.”

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