British Executions

James Duffy

Age: 46

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 8 Dec 1903

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Durham

Method: hanging

Executioner: William Billington


Strangled girlfriend Ellen Newman at 4 Back Durham Street, Sunderland on Sunday, 6th September, 1903.

A widowed labourer convicted of the murder of his paramour at Sunderland. Duffy shared a house in Sunderland with Ellen Newman, a divorcee, and lived together happily even though he had once served a prison sentence for assaulting her. One night in September, they had a fierce quarrel during which Duffy strangled her. Realising what he had done, he summoned the police. Duffy was convicted at Durham Assizes and sentenced to death. He was scheduled to be hanged alongside another convicted murderer, Alfred Johnson. When Johnson was reprieved a week before the execution date, Duffy was hanged alone by William and John Billington.

see National Archives - HO 144/753/113358