Date Of Execution: 1 Aug 1905
Crime Location: Field near St Michaels Church, Tenterden
Execution Place: Maidstone
Executioner: Henry Pierrepoint
Ferat Mohamed Benali was convicted of the murder of Hadjou Idder 40 and sentenced to death.
He battered him to death and cut his throat in a field near St Michael's church, Tenterden on 17 June 1905.
At his execution he threw no light on the motive for his crime but did say that he had given way to drink.
Ferat Benali and Hadjou Idder were Algerian pedlars and had been selling mats.
Four men were initially charged with the murder of Hadjou Idder, however, one of them was discharged before the trial and two of them were found not guilty.
All five of them had lived together for two months but on 13 June 1905 they separated and three of them, including Ferat Benali and Hadjou Idder, went to stay in Ashford whilst the other two went to stay in Robertsbridge.
On the night of 16/17 June 1905 Hadjou Idder was murdered.
Ferat Benali had been seen with Hadjou Idder two or three times during the night and had also later confessed at the inquest.
It was shown that one of the other men was undoubtedly in Ashford on the night having arrived between 9pm and 10pm and did not leave until the next morning between 7am and 8am.
The third man had been seen with Ferat Benali during the evening and also in the morning and was beyond all doubt not in his lodgings in Robertsbridge in the morning. Police also found a handkerchief on him that had blood on it.
The court heard that when Ferat Benali had made his confession he had said that the third man from Robertsbridge had not taken any part in the murder although it was stressed that the jury should not place too much trust in that statement as he might have been trying to shield the third man.
Hadjou Idder had been found in a field near St Michael's Vicarage by a working man that had been taking a short cut across the field in which the grass stood high and ready for cutting. He said that Hadjou Idder had his throat cut and also had several stab wounds to his trunk. Hadjou Idder had also been battered with a large stick.
Two peddlers had been seen the previous day in Tenterden selling mats and later moved on to St Michael's, a small village, and after they had sold out of mats they went to the pub and were later seen leaving together.
When the body of Hadjou Idder was removed to the village he was identified as having been one of the peddlers that had been selling mats.
see National Archives - HO 144/791/130192
see Kent & Sussex Courier - Friday 04 August 1905
see Kent & Sussex Courier - Friday 14 July 1905
see Lichfield Mercury - Friday 23 June 1905
see Gloucester Journal - Saturday 05 August 1905